Tag Archives: Truman Capote

Words: Capote’s Swans Are Alive and Well and Living on Runways

They were walking, breathing Slim Aarons photos come to life—literally. The photographer who defined midcentury style by taking photos of “attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places” frequently captured them at home and at play, and often both. Some 60 years later, much like “walkers” and long lunches at La Côte Basque, these stylish women—whom Truman Capote dubbed his “swans”—have largely faded from view.

But this season, they took wing again. Look no further than the 2022 pre-fall shows at New York Fashion Week, where the swans’ silhouettes found their way into collections as varied as Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Khaite, and Christopher John Rogers—complete with some thoroughly modern updates. At Oscar, perfectly cut tweed suits came with statement buttons and bare midriffs. Carolina Herrera’s models stood on pedestals, but their swanlike ensembles included down-to-earth touches like cutouts; Rogers updated classic silhouettes with bold stripes and one-of-a-kind hats. These are clothes for a woman who prizes individuality, maybe even eccentricity, in a sea of algorithm-driven sameness.

To read the full story, visit Elle.com.

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Words: Lee Radziwill, Truman Capote, and Their Doomed ‘Laura’

Lee Radziwill’s acting career started off with the best of intentions.

In 1967, Truman Capote became fixated on making his friend into a star. That his friend was Princess Lee Radziwill, a fixture of the high society to which Capote remained slavish, was naturally a major component. Capote’s own waspish take on Radziwill’s rivalry with her sister, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis—“My God, how jealous she is of Jackie: I never knew,” he wrote to Cecil Beaton immediately after meeting Radziwill—was another. Capote saw this as a chance to help Radziwill upstage her sister by embarking on something glamorous and exciting. And it was a chance for him to ignore the looming deadline for his follow-up to In Cold Blood.

When Capote first summoned producer David Susskind to his home to pitch the idea of Radziwill in a high-end, glossy, TV movie, Susskind, not unfairly, asked if anyone cared enough about Radziwill to watch. “Truman just shrieked,” Susskind later told the New York Times, “And said, ‘Are you kidding?’”

Capote was right: Radziwill’s television debut was seen by 38 million people when it finally aired January 24, 1968. But while the audience tuned in, the critics were savage. Radziwill never acted again.

To read the full story, visit Town & Country.

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