Beauty – Polly Allen Mellen
Francesco Scavullo photographed & interviewed stylist Polly Mellen for his book Scavullo Women (1985). As a protégé of the charismatic Diana Vreeland, Mellen became a sittings editor first at Harper’s Bazaar, then at American Vogue, collaborating with such legendary photographers as Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, and Irving Penn, and eventually continuing her career at Allure magazine. “She was and still is the most creative sittings editor I ever worked with,” says Richard Avedon.
“Fashion is what we’re seen in, and it is the way we present ourselves. And thats important. I care deeply about fashion, but I must tell you the way I care. I care about fashion for the person who is wearing it. I care that that person knows what she can wear. How she should look. Because I honestly think that I can look at any woman and say, ‘Gee if she did it this way, she’d look so terrific.’ I never think, Is she beautiful looking?”
“Style can be a person who is not beautiful-looking. Style is a person who dares, who has the confidence of knowing what is right for her. I’ve said a lot of times that you should try something out something first before you take it out. But I don’t do that always. Sometimes I just put on my purple leather pumps, with the bright green cocardes on the toes, and go out anyway.”