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October 12, 2020

35 Stunning Photos of Classic Model Monique Chevalier in the 1950s and ’60s

The name may have sounded quintessentially French. But the key to Monique Chevalier’s long, successful career lay in her ability to be anyone, from anywhere; All-American girl-next-door or haughty grande dame, ice queen or playful ingenue.


And her globetrotting began early — born 1937 as Monique Graebener in Germany, and educated in England and Switzerland, she made her modelling debut as a teenager in mid-fifties Paris, working with the likes of Regina Relang, Georges Saad, and Philippe Pottier; even then, every picture she took came stamped with an imperiously confident gaze.

French models had always done well in New York, from Bettina Graziani and Alla Ilitchoun onwards. But they’d always been guest stars, offering fleeting bursts of exoticism to a landscape defined by the American Look (and the American models who created it). But Graebener came to New York, and stayed; she signed with the Ford Agency, switched surname to Lefebvre and then Chevalier, and became one of the city’s most popular models.

Over the following decade, she continued to work on both sides of the Atlantic, with Irving Penn, Karen Radkai, Richard Rutledge and many others. But she’s perhaps most known for the pictures she took with Bert Stern; and years later, as the proprietor of the well-regarded Monique Knowlton art gallery, she’d repay the favour, giving Stern’s photography one of his first exhibitions. (By John Michael O'Sullivan)

Take a look at these stunning photos to see beautiful portrait of Monique Chevalier as a model in the 1950s and 1960s.

Monique Chevalier in bright red ribbed wool suit by Dick Dumas for P.R.I. Designs, 1958
Monique Chevalier in brilliant lilac wool tweed suit worn with a hat and blouse of ruby-red velvet by Ben Zuckerman, hat by Emme, jewelry by David Webb, photo by Karen Radkai, Vogue, November 1, 1958
Monique Chevalier in chocolate brown wool coat lined in skunk fur worn over a white worsted pleated dress, both by Donald Brooks, photo by Karen Radkai, Vogue, October 15, 1958
Monique Chevalier in Lutetia EMBA mink coat by Christian Dior, photo by Virginia Thoren, 1958
Monique Chevalier in raspberry Glen plaid wool suit, jacket lining and camisole of deep claret crêpe, by Scaasi, black fox beret by Emme, kidskin gloves by Dawnelle, Cartier earrings, photo by Irving Penn, Vogue, September 15, 1958
Monique Chevalier in silk-satin chrysanthemum-printed evening gown by Adele Simpson, Vogue, 1958
Monique Chevalier in the end-all trenchcoat of vicuña and natural Russian sable by Country Tweeds, sunglasses by Lugene, photo by Karen Radkai, Vogue, September 15, 1958
Monique Chevalier is wearing a bright pink skirt-sized apron in satiny cotton; the streamers wrapped high on the waist of a toe-length black sweater, photo by Irving Penn, Vogue, December 1958
Monique Chevalier in Dior, photo by Mark Shaw, 1960
Monique Chevalier in white lace evening dress with matching lace coat, the skirt flares in two tiers from a close bare bodice, by Jacques Heim Boutique, coiffure by Carita, photo by Willy Rizzo, Vogue, March 1, 1960
Monique Chevalier, Pond's make-up ad, Vogue, March 15, 1960
Monique Chevalier in almond-green wool jersey suit with sleeveless silk paisley blouse by Frechtel, coiffure by Charles of the Ritz, photo by Irving Penn, Vogue, December 1, 1961
Monique Chevalier in cinnamon skirt and blond cardigan of wool tweed over pink sleeveless angora and lambswool pull-over, all by Evan-Picone, ring by Castlecliff, photo by Bert Stern, Vogue, August 1, 1961
Monique Chevalier in lemon-yellow sleeveless sweater of lamb's wool and angora by Evan-Picone, faux emeralds and gilt jewelry by Brania, photo by Bruce Davidson, Vogue, July 1961
Monique Chevalier in pale blue jersey blouse by Sloat, ruby and diamond jewelry by David Webb, coiffure by Kenneth, photo by John Rawlings, 1961
Monique Chevalier in two-piece outfit by Kimberly, alligator shoes by I. Miller, alligator bag by Walter Katten, and beret by Emme, photo by Frances McLaughlin-Gill, Paris, 1961
Photograph for 'A Bouquet to Your Beauty' campaign with Monique Chevalier, 1961 by Athol Shmith
Monique Chevalier and Connie Joannes, the Avon Lady, Avon cosmetics ad, Vogue, April 1, 1962
Monique Chevalier getting her hair done by Kenneth of Lilly Dache, photo by Sante Forlano, New York, July 1962
Monique Chevalier holding Fleming-Joffe snakeskin shoe from small scale, photo by Karen Radkai, Vogue, 1962
Monique Chevalier in ball gown of white satin, narrow with high bow, and jacket of gold and bronze-colored embroidery cuffed in sable, by Marc Bohan for Dior, coiffure by Carita, photo by Irving Penn, Vogue, November 1, 1962
Monique Chevalier in light blue, three-piece suit in heavy-linen weave silk by Sportswhirl Couture, with matching beret by Emme, photo by Sante Forlano, 1962
Monique Chevalier in long sheath of bronze silk, tile-printed in black, by Pauline Trigere, diamonds set in gold by David Webb, photo by Bert Stern, Vogue, May 1, 1962
Monique Chevalier in pure white short, full-skirted dress of silk crêpe by Eric Lund, gold and diamond jewelry by David Webb, photo by Irving Penn, Vogue, May 1, 1962
Monique Chevalier in rayon crêpe dress in miniature apple print by Jerry Dress, hat by M.r John, Vogue, April 1, 1962
Monique Chevalier wearing blue dress in Moygashel Irish linen by Sloat, black patent handbag by MM, kid gloves by Aris and Beret by Emme, photo by Sante Forlano, 1962
Monique Chevalier, photo by Irving Penn, Vogue, April 1962
Monique Chevalier, Underwater colors by Dorothy Gray ad, Vogue, April 1, 1962
Monique Chevalier in bleached-sand textured knit suit with turtle-neck shell by Lee Herman, jewelry by Tiffany, giant sou'wester by Emme, photo by Richard Avedon, Harper's Bazaar, April 1963
Monique Chevalier in Jasmine EMBA white mink coat-dress, white satin tie and zipped closing in front, by Jean Louis for Alixandre, diamond and sapphire drop earrings by Van Cleef & Arpels, photo by Irving Penn, Vogue, October 1, 1963
Monique Chevalier in slim coat of blue and white wool houndstooth worn over a white wool jersey shift by Harry Frechtel, matching hat by Lilly Daché, photo by Irving Penn, Vogue, January 1, 1963
Monique Chevalier, costume by Evan-Picone, ring by Van Cleef & Arpels, Revlon's Jungle Peach ad, Vogue, April 1, 1963
Monique Chevalier, jewelry by Cartier, Touch & Glow make-up by Revlon ad, Vogue, February 1, 1963
Monique Chevalier, MacShore Classics ad, 1963
Monique Chevalier's face in cut-out, photo by Tony Vaccaro, Home Companion, 1965




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