French model Simone d’Aillencourt shot by famous fashion photographer William Helburn for Charm Magazine (“the magazine for women who work”) in 1950. With Washington Square Park and the Arch in the background as the perfect fashion accessory!
You can see a glimpse of a bus driving out of the park east of the Arch. This was before cars and buses were banned from the park.
There is not much information about d’Aillencourt online – she was quite talented. A Flickr page dedicated to her provides some background:
Simone had never intended to become a model. A stay in London, where she had come to improve her English, had prompted her in that direction – so many people had assumed she was an exotic French model that she felt she ought to oblige. She signed up at the Lucy Clayton Agency and it turned out she was a natural.
In those days, models turned up at shoots expected to perform miracles with their hair and make-up. ‘I don’t think I’m pretty or beautiful, but I do love fashion and I could transform myself very quickly to suit whatever I was wearing,’ she said later.
Photo: William Helburn