Monday, 25 April 2011

Sacred monsters

Photographed by Norman Parkinson
For Vogue, May 1959 - Maternity: Fresh Approach To Coming Events

Lady Clare Rendlesham (d.1987)

The smart and notoriously formidable once fashion editor at Vogue and Queen.

Legend has it, Rendlesham parlayed the sale of some heirloom  antique French gold boxes into  the Yves St. Laurent franchise in Britain.  She was a woman of influence who was as well known to London's fashionable set as she was disliked.  As fashion journalist Brenda Polan recalled, ...she was a monster. Most people were too scared even to talk to her. 

Jocelyn Stevens, publisher of Queen, describes what happened after he had fired the formidable Rendlesham from her post in 1966 -

'I heard this extraordinary noise. She had thrown her typewriter out of the window,' he says, miming typewriter keys exploding in all directions. 'So I went downstairs and helped her. We threw everything out of her office window. There were people looking up at us, the police came. When there was nothing left in the office, we both sat on the carpet.'
Why help?
'I was a gentleman,' he protests.

Clearly, a gentleman who would not be out done.

Now playing:  Janelle Monáe - Tightrope


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

What a dreadful sounding, but probably most talented, woman.

Having discovered your blog by chance, we were most intrigued to read your previous post on Keith Haring. During our time as guides at The Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest, the museum held a major exhibition of Haring's work which included the altar piece you show.

Sam Havadtoy, who is Hungarian and lives in Budapest, was, as chairman of the Friends of the Museum largely instrumental in securing this exhibition for Hungary - one of the most popular, as it proved, that the museum had mounted. We were pleased to meet on several occasions this most intelligent man who is, as we are sure you are aware, a talented artist in his own right.

HOBAC said...

H - she was brilliant and not entirely without charm, if one was lucky.

How lucky you are, Budapest is so beautiful.

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Great story. I think I'd have liked her xx

Clive Kandel said...

Although formidable, if she liked you she could be a very good friend and more than kind. I helped her form an important collection of Cartier Art Deco jewels and she was eager to learn and was a most professional and fair client.
I travelled with her and saw the most loving and kindest behaviour towards her family.
She did not suffer fools.

HOBAC said...

CK - a friend of mine was her contemporary and has nothing but fond memories of her.