Blast From The Past

Gia Francesco Scavullo
Gia Francesco Scavullo

We came across Francesco Scavullo's 1982 coffee-table tome Women on a Soho wander over the weekend and did a triple-take once we realized the heavily contoured, lip-lined, big-haired cover-babe was a 17-year old Brooke Shields [1].

Inside? Luminaries abound, including Gia (_ Gia!!!!_) [5], who tells Scavullo: “There's a lot more to being good-looking than makeup and prettiness...there's a lot more to being a woman than that. When I look in the mirror, I just want to like myself...And if I like myself, then I look good.” Jil Sander [2]—who, judging from her Milan appearance last weekend, knows a thing or two about aging gracefully—notes, “I learned early that I had to become strong in order to do what I wanted. Every woman in the Eighties needs a strong personality. It's much more valuable than beauty...I am face-minded. I'm interested in personality and you see that in the expression, in the eyes, when a woman is not overwhelmed by her clothes.” Also inside are Farrah Fawcett [4], Princess Caroline of Monaco [6], an extremely fresh-faced and freckly Patti Hansen [9], Norma Kamali [7], and Donna Summers [8], among others. The whole thing is like a retro-minded—we aren't kidding about the lip liner—and extensive Top Shelf. Obviously, we loved it.

As for Scavullo himself, he offers his readers their own 'ideal beauty regimen,' which we think largely stands the test of time (though the wording of #7 is especially tragic, in retrospect, considering Gia's drug-related demise in 1986):

1.Understand Yourself. Take the time to get to know yourself. Study yourself, your habits and your features, and evaluate each of them realistically. Which are best? Which have areas for improvement?

2. Consult an expert for advice. Every woman's features are different, and to be truly beautiful, your makeup, hair, skin and wardrobe should be suited specifically to you. Let an expert teach you how to maximize your potential.

3. Develop a style of your own. What you're trying to achieve is a look that enhances your features as much as possible and at the same time lets your natural beauty shine through.

4. Allow yourself enough time to be beautiful. Give yourself enough time to improve those areas that need it an to maintain a balanced beautiful look.

5.** Be open to new ideas**. Be flexible and experiment with new ways to accessorize, apply makeup, and so on. Freshness only adds to basic beauty.

6. Keep your body healthy. Always get enough sleep and exercise, eat properly, and maintain good nutritional habits.

7. Be disciplined. Once you've found what works for you, stick with it. Being beautiful is a kind of positive addiction, and once you've developed the habit you won't want to give it up.

8. Have respect for yourself. Always maintain an attitude of tremendous respect for yourself and for the people you come in contact with, so that you always try to look your best. A positive mental attitude is the best incentive to beauty; if you love yourself and you love life, you can't help being naturally beautiful!