style icon: dovima

posted by:  audra

get excited, kids!  i’ve been dying to do a bit on another model from the 1950s i’m currently obsessed with:  dovima.  she was born dorothy virginia margaret juba on december 11, 1927 & met her demise at the age of 62 on may 3, 1990 of liver cancer. a sagittarius!  of course!  and liver cancer?  that tells me she was likely a heavy drinker & smoker.  more sighs…  anyway, already nicknamed ‘doe’, she would later be known as ‘dovima’; a name she had for an imaginary friend as a child.  i read someplace that she created the name from ‘do’ for dorothy, ‘vi’ for victory, and ‘ma’ for her ma…but clearly she chose ‘dovima’ from taking the first two letters of her first & middle names (dorothy virginia margaret…obvs!).  well, either way, what a clever little cunt!

anyway, dovima came down with a pesky little thing called rheumatic fever at a tender young age.  typical treatment for rheumatic fever — and i should know; my mother had it when she was young, too — is lots & lots of bedrest…like, months at a time.  her doctor suggested a year, but her crazily over-protective mum made it something like seven years at home.  seven!  of course she would have an imaginary friend!  i had imaginary friends too…but looking back on it now, i’m pretty sure our house was just haunted.  anyway…again, moving on…

the short version…  she was trolliping down the sidewalk in nyc one day & was discovered by a vogue editor.  the very next day she had a photoshoot with jean patchett’s bff, irving penn(!).  soon she was wearing dior & balenciaga gowns on the covers of vogue & bazaar.

she retired in 1959 because she “…didn’t want to wait until the camera turned cruel.”  smart woman.  she spent all of her modeling money  (okay, does anyone else notice how uncannily alike we are?!  except for the catholic part, we’re practically twins!  i’m now convinced that i’m the shorter, stockier reincarnation of doe.  yes!), so she worked for awhile doing spokeswoman stuff & television spots.  in the seventies, she ended up hosting at restaurants & selling makeup.  fuck, i am really in for it!

during this time, dovima met the love of her life, casper west hollingsworth — a bartender — & was very happily married to him for only three years before west kicked the bucket.

i read that in 1984, she started hosting at the two guys pizzeria for some time…although two guys’ website says they’ve been around since 1988…hmm…curious…but on her ‘has been’ status, in 1987 she said:

“The only ‘has been’ is one who has been. You have to Have Been in order to be a has been.”

again with the clever cuntiness!  brilliant.  other dovima trivia to impress your friends with:  she was a comic book aficianado, a battered-wife of two abusive husbands, a dovout catholic (eek!), had a cameo in funny face with audrey hepburn & was the highest paid model of her time…at 75 bucks an hour.

okay.  enough of my yammering…

so, i totally don’t remember her part in funny face.  at all.  buuut, in my defense, i think i was like 8 when i last watched it!  i’m on it though…i’ll view it again very, very soon…if only for dovima; i rather hate musicals.  doesn’t she just make you wanna line your eyes, put on some red lippy & play dress-up?!  guess what i’m doing tonight…?!

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