Barbra Streisand wore an elegant Anne Fogarty dress in a Bert Stern photo that appeared in the August 1, 1964 issue of Vogue Magazine. In this spread, Streisand is seen modeling multiple outfits featuring the latest fashion trends. Vogue noted that this look was “a dress that stands beautifully-tall and strict-while the famous bock-velvet magic entrances the skin. By Anne Fogarty of Acele acetate and Narco rayon. (Martin velvet).”
This streamlined, sheath maxi dress features a jewel neck line, elongated princess seams and a multi-tiered ruffle bottom. There is a vent at the back of the ruffles to allow ease of movement. A long hidden zipper closure runs down the center back and there is a hook and eye closure at the neckline. Fogarty’s brand A.F Boutique made this design in multiple colors and fabrics. Ruffles were a consistent theme in her early 1960’s dresses which is no surprise since she was famous for her ultra-feminine dresses in the 1950’s.
By this 1964 Streisand was already making her mark as a style icon. Alongside the photo of her in this dress Vogue wrote “Barbra Streisand, girl phenomenon, has eyes like tilted blue almonds, long elegant hands and feet, and the vital star-credentials: she grips, she holds, she sells–records, prime TV time, tables at nightclubs, blocs of theatre seats. At twenty-two she is an authentic Toast Of The Town with sense to leave the crust untrimmed. She comes on exactly right-strong, slangy, a bit wistful, the familiar Brooklyn diphthongs careening through the warm, big voice like and explosion of firecrackers on the Gowanus Canal. She doesn’t have fondnesses, she has passions—“wild furs, “raw” earrings, the Italian language, dresses with décolletage (“I’ve got a great chest, great shoulders, I love to show them.”); dresses that deliver the full impact of the heroic Streisand profile. This is no Ugly-Duckling-turned-Swan; she’s improved on the fable. As revised by Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl, duckling is quite a dish in its own right.” Vogue also noted where readers could buy this Fogarty dress with its matching stole for the price of $145.00. Retailers carrying the look included Miss Bergdorf of Bergdorf Goodman; Wanamaker’s; Phila; L.S. Ayres and I. Magnin. Her bold Cadoro ring could also be purchased at Bergdorf Goodman.
Anne Fogarty (1919-1980) worked as a model before she began studying fashion design. Her first job as an in-house designer was for Youth Guild, followed by Margot Dresses where she worked for seven years before taking a position with Saks Fifth Avenue.
Fogarty’s design aesthetic was super-feminine and took obvious inspiration from Dior’s “New Look.” She loved to make dresses featuring the “paper-doll” silhouette and her personal favorite design is said to have been a button down shirt-dress from 1954. Most of her dresses were sold with detachable petticoats to enhance their shape and give them volume. Her quintessential 1950’s housewife dresses were affordable and practical, which helped make them extremely popular with women. In 1959 Fogarty wrote a style guide titled Wife Dressing: The Fine Art of Being a Well-Dressed Wife, further cementing her as a household name. This book includes advice like “Too much attention is paid to kitchen equipment and decor; too little to what is worn in this setting. Why look like Cinderella’s crotchety stepmother when you can be a lyrical embodiment of all that a home and hearth means!” Reading this dated book today provides so much insight into the way women in the 1950’s were groomed and pressured as much by other women as men to perfect their stereotypical gender roles. Sprinkled throughout, however, are many non-sexist tidbits which are actually good advice, such as “You are you. You are not the model in that photograph or the girl beside you in the elevator or a woman eating lunch at the next table. What they are wearing may stop traffic, but be sure it’s right for you before emulating the effect.”
In 1962 Fogarty launched Anne Fogarty Inc, which led to multiple spinoff labels including A.F. Boutique, (seen on Streisand) Clothes Circuit and Collectors Items by Anne Fogarty. In the 1960’s we start to see Fogarty’s designs evolve to meet the new found freedoms women were experiencing. Cinched waistlines relaxed and the popular full skirts from the prior decade faded to make way for sheath dresses. In spite of these changes, Fogarty maintained her talent for producing impeccable and flattering silhouettes. After a long successful career, Fogarty closed her business in 1974 but continued to design freelance until her death in 1980.
The August 1, 1964 issue of Vogue marked the second time photos from Bert Stern and Streisand’s session appeared in the magazine. A portrait of her by Stern had appeared earlier in the year in the March 1, 1964 issue, alongside a portrait of her taken by Cecil Beaton. The strong and simple headshot used for the Release Me 2 cover was taken during this session.The same photo was also seen on the Duets album cover 2002 with similar stylized art.
Bert Stern knew how to bring out the best in his models, which is evidenced in the many stunning portraits in his vast portfolio. He captured many of his models in elongated poses and dance moves that brought a unique sense motion to each frame. Stern was no stranger to the dance world, having been married to ballet star Allegra Kent from 1959-1975. One of his most famous sessions took place with Marilyn Monroe in 1962, just six weeks before her death. This series of 2,500 photos is know as “The Last Sitting” and were published in a book “Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting” in 2000.
Like Streisand, Stern was also born to Jewish parents in Brooklyn, NY. Seeing Irving Penn’s work sparked his interest in photography, but since he was drafted by the Army his first job as a camera man ended up happening on base in Japan during the Korean War. Once he returned home he worked in a mail room at LOOK magazine where he met director Stanley Kubrick. The two became friends which led to Stern’s photos being used as key art for movies including Lolita. One of his most famous images is that of a Giza pyramid reflected in a martini glass, which was used in the 1955 Smirnoff vodka marketing campaign “Driest of Dry.” Since this campaign revolutionized the product advertising world, Stern is now sometimes dubbed “the original mad man.” He continued to shoot some of the biggest names in Hollywood for the rest of his career, one of which was Barbra Streisand. There is no doubt that the stunning photos Stern took of Streisand for Vogue helped to seal her position as one of the biggest style influencers of the 1960’s.