Soviet Art

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Soviet Twiggy Galya Milovskaya

Soviet Twiggy Galya Milovskaya

Fashion model of 1960s, Soviet Twiggy Galya Milovskaya

Soviet Twiggy Galya Milovskaya
The foreign press and people related to fashion called her “Soviet Twiggy”. She really looked like Twiggy in appearance, boyish figure and excessive thinness. Although Soviet Twiggy Galya Milovskaya dreamed of the theater, her life turned to be different. While still a student of the Shchukin Theater School, the beautiful girl began working as a fashion model at the Moscow Fashion House. A classmate invited her to try her hand in “demonstrating clothes”, as it was called, and Galina, without thinking twice, agreed. In the USSR she was considered rather skinny, because her weight barely reached the level of 42 kg with height 170 cm. In the Soviet Union it was considered that the model should be closer to the people, therefore, not too thin.

Soviet Twiggy Galya Milovskaya

Soviet Twiggy Galya Milovskaya

In 1967 she opened the first International Fashion Festival in Moscow, where she was spotted by Western couturier and journalists. American Vogue wanted to do a photo shoot with Milovskaya, but it took them two years to get permission from the Soviet authorities. For the filming in the Soviet capital arrived renowned photographer Arno de Rhone. Photo session took place on Red Square with government permission.

The result met all expectations: the rating of popularity of the Soviet model soared up abroad, but at home she became an outcast. Stylists offered fashion photoshoot with the provocative title “On Stalin’s ashes”, proving that in the Soviet Union, too, there are bold women, who can sit on the pavement, in pants, legs apart, back to the Kremlin wall, the Mausoleum, and portraits of party leaders right on Red Square.

After the publication of these photos, where Galina was sitting with her back to the portraits of party members, the model was banned from filming for foreign magazines.

But the scandal did not break Galya, she only added fuel to the fire, when appeared almost nude for the Italian magazine “Espresso”. Photographer Caio Mario Garrubba made shots of Galina, whose body was painted by body artist Anatolii Brusilovskiy. So, Milovskaya became probably the first Soviet model of body art.

After that, the model was suspended from work. At theater school, too, began problems: in the eyes of authorities she was morally wrong. In 1974 Galina travels to Israel and from there to Europe. As a result, she settles in London.

There Galina Milovskaya participated in shows and shootings for famous magazines thanks to her patron Ellen Ford, founder of the agency «Ford». But despite a successful professional development, her career has acquired a political tinge. In Europe, Galina was called “Solzhenitsyn fashion.”

In one of the trips Galina Milovskaya met her future husband, the bank’s director, Jean Paul Dessertine. Literally 15 minutes after they met, charmed by Russian beauty, the Frenchman made a proposal to Soviet Twiggy Galina Milovskaya. And she said yes. To this day they have lived together for more than 30 years.

Once married Galya left the modeling business, graduated from the Department of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts at Sorbonne, and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Today the former Soviet fashion model shoots documentaries. Most famous of them – “The moment when the memories come” about the inhabitants of a nursing home and “These crazy Russians” about Russian avant-garde artists.

Galya Milovskaya-Dessertine has an adult daughter – ethnographer, expert on Guinea. After the collapse of the USSR, Milovskaya visited Russia. She brought to the Leningrad Film Festival her famous film “These crazy Russians” – about the avant-garde artists, who emigrated to France in the 1970s.

Soviet Twiggy Galya Milovskaya

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