Saturday, August 1, 2009
Nancy "Slim" Gross Hayward Keith (July 15, 1916 – April 6, 1990) was a socialite and fashion icon during the 1950s and 1960s, exemplifying the American jet set. She is perhaps best known, along with her friend Babe Paley, as the thinly veiled inspiration for characters in Truman Capote's novel Answered Prayers. There were many qualities that made Slim a fascination to those around her. They included intelligence, a great sense of humor, beauty and a terrific interest in men. From an early age she knew to dress well; and by the age of 22, had appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, something she was to do many times throughout her life. She graced the Best Dressed list almost yearly, and was the first private citizen to receive the Nieman Marcus Fashion Award. This award was usually given to designers, and awarded to honor someone who has made an impact on fashion. She was also dubbed the original "California Girl", for her golden looks and athletic ability. Reputed to have a lovely singing voice, she considered a career in opera, before deciding it was too demanding. Looking back at her life (which includes three lucrative marriages, with a Hollywood director, a Broadway producer, and an English aristocrat), one quality stands out- her style which over the years has lost nothing of it's modernity.
(corbis, Fashionisa: A Century of Style Icons)