#ModelCrushMonday: Cathee Dahmen

This week’s #ModelCrushMonday has a look that perfectly typifies the 60s and 70s. Her long, lean figure and wide-eyed face carried off everything from the most expensive, exclusive designers to the cheap, throway (literally, in the case of paper dresses) fashions of the time.

Born to a Native American father and German mother in Minnesota, Cathee moved to Rhode Island at 17 to live with her uncle (artist George Morrison, or Wah Wah Teh Go Nay Ga Bo). She had borne a child and given her up for adoption (you can read about her daughter’s life in a book, Cricket). It was here that she was discovered by Antonio Lopez, who was a fashion illustrator for the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Elle and the New York Times. He launched quite a few models’ careers, like Tina Chow, Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange (all of whom will some day feature on #ModelCrushMonday!). In introducing Cathee to the fashion scene in New York, she was helped to get signed to Ford Models and became one of their biggest earners throughout the 60s and into the mid-70s.

Just look at her!

I actually can’t get enough of her face. She was so versatile and carried off the key looks of both the poppy, swinging 60s…

As well as the more sultry 70s…

She had renown as a model because she needed so little direction: apparently her great skill was to see herself through the photographer’s lens and pose exactly how was required without needing direction. And as you can see, her versatility helped her span the decades and whatever style was in.

Her popularity waned in the mid-70s but Cathee carried on modelling until 1980 when she retired, as there was still a good market for her in Japan.

I am just rather in love with her look and the time period she represents. Sadly, Cathee died in her 50s but she leaves behind a truly inspiring legacy.

Rebecca x

All images from Pinterest.



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