Anna Lee (Анна Щукина) (ana_lee) wrote,
Anna Lee (Анна Щукина)

Penelope Tree: Hot, Hot, Hot, Smart, Smart, Smart!

Richard Avedon once said of her, "Penelope is never only of today. To each gesture she brings a sense of all the things that have ever interested her, out of this she invents every moment a new little role for herself which she plays with devastating humor ... she is a delight." Her best talent may have been for being original, according to famed photographer David Bailey: "Penelope Tree is the most original model there's ever been. She's the most original-looking girl I've ever seen."






Penelope Tree (born 1950) is a former Anglo-American model.

She was the only child of Marietta Peabody Tree, a socialite and Democratic political activist, and Ronald Tree, a bisexual journalist, investor and MP. Tree is a great-granddaughter of American retailer Marshall Field and of American educator Rev. Endicott Peabody.
Tree's family objected to her career as a model, and when she was first photographed at the age of 13 by Diane Arbus, her father vowed he would sue if the pictures were published.

Cecil Beaton also photographed Tree's elfin face, one that made "The Tree" a match for "The Twig" in the 1960s. By the time Diana Vreeland sent her to Richard Avedon, she was seventeen and her father had relented. David Bailey described Penelope as 'an Egyptian Jimminy Cricket". In 1967, she moved into Bailey's flat in London's Primose Hill neighbourhood. It became a hang-out for spaced-out hippies during the "Swinging Sixties" who, Bailey recalled, would be "smoking joints I had paid for and calling me a capitalist pig!" In another famous quote, John Lennon, asked to encapsulate Tree in three words, called her, "Hot, Hot, Hot, Smart, Smart, Smart!" She has been extensively compared to The Beatles for inspiring the swinging 60's movement and for galvanizing a generation of young American females. Scars from late-onset acne ended her career in the early 1970s: "I went from being sought-after to being shunned because nobody could bear to talk about the way I looked."
In 1974, Bailey and Tree split up and she moved to Sydney, Australia. She appeared in the British comedy film The Rutles in 1978. She is the half-sister of US author Frances FitzGerald and a niece of former Massachusetts governor Endicott Peabody.

She has been married twice, once to the South African rock musician Ricky Fataar (who was a member of The Flames, The Rutles, and the Beach Boys). She has two children, Paloma Tree Fataar (a graduate of Bard College and a student of Tibetan Buddhism and music), and Michael, by her second marriage.
She currently works for Lotus Outreach, a charity which works in Cambodia in partnership with local grassroots women's organisations to give girls from the very poorest families the wherewithal to go to school.


"Tree was 13 when the legendary photographer Diane Arbus came across her - she cannot recall how - and photographed her for a feature for Town & Country magazine. She groans. 'It was torture, the whole thing. Now I know why everyone in her pictures looks like they do - because they have had to spend three hours with Diane Arbus staring at them.' It was a broiling August day, she was dressed top-to-toe in riding gear and told to lie down in a field. 'Now I know what she was trying to get: spoilt rich kid looking absolutely desperate in her own native habitat,' she says. When her father saw the images he was hopping mad and forbade them to be used."

Penelope Tree
: Another of the great British models of the '60s, Penelope rivaled Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy as London's favorite fashion face 'n' figure.

BIRTH: She was born in '50, so like any of the other underage Swingin' Chicks of the '60s, including Angela Cartwright and Anissa Jones, she was under twenty all decade long.

IMPACT ON THE '60s: While the name isn't as instantly recognizable as Twiggy's, Penelope Tree was still a powerful presence on the fashion scene in the '60s. Playboy mentioned her in the magazine's year-end roundup of '68 events, presented in a Judith Wax poem entitled "That Was the Year That Was" in January '69. Here's Penelope's stanza, with a reference to Twiggy and her manager/lover, Justin de Villeneuve:

"Penelope hath frightened stare
And nests of robins in her hair
'Twas Villeneuve caused Twig to be,
But only Vogue could make a Tree."

CAREER IN THE '60s: She came from a rich and traditional English family who didn't appreciate her rebellious decision as a young teen to become a model. Her father was a multimillionaire, and her mother Marietta was the first woman delegate to the United Nations, and she had many powerful and famous friends in politics. The legendary photographer Diane Arbus discovered Penelope when she was only thirteen, and her outraged parents promised a lawsuit if pictures of her were published. She didn't make it into a magazine (Mademoiselle) until '65, when she was fifteen. At seventeen she met with Vogue editor Diana Vreeland. Penelope herself said that she first encountered both Vreeland and photographer Richard Avedon at the Black and White Ball thrown in late '66 by Truman Capote. Supposedly some of the Vogue editors thought she was too gawky and plain, but Avedon saw the strange beauty within her. According to Michael Gross's Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women, Avedon knew Penelope was a rare find: "She's perfect," he declared, "don't touch her." Avedon then shot her for Vogue, and her rep spread around the world. By this time her family relented in their opposition. Penelope was on three Vogue covers during the decade.

CAREER OUTSIDE THE '60s: She quit modeling in the early '70s, with stories of a strange skin disease possibly explaining her sudden disappearance. She is listed in the credits of the '78 spoof on the Beatles called The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash. In that movie, her husband, Ricky Fataar, played Stig, "the quiet one," and Penelope played his wife. She had no lines but got some screen time in fab fashions walking next to her husband. Penelope made some kind of contribution to the 1996 Mantra Mix CD, which was created in Australia to benefit Tibet, she's listed as an "assistant."

TALENT: Richard Avedon once said of her, "Penelope is never only of today. To each gesture she brings a sense of all the things that have ever interested her, out of this she invents every moment a new little role for herself which she plays with devastating humor ... she is a delight." Her best talent may have been for being original, according to famed photographer David Bailey: "Penelope Tree is the most original model there's ever been. She's the most original-looking girl I've ever seen." Still, there's no evidence of any acting, musical, or otherwise creative talent, unlike Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy, both of whom at least attempted movie careers and wrote books.

HER '60s LOOK: "The face of the decade" she was called by Women's Wear Daily. Photographers loved her, so she must've been doing something right. She had a face like a doll, at once young and innocent but with a scary force behind the eyes, amplified by her sometimes extreme makeup and her reluctance to ever smile in any photo we've ever seen of her. In the book The Sixties: A Decade in Vogue, she explained her exaggerated makeup: "I started it all at thirteen, I think to annoy my friends' parents." Starting with that kind of anti-establishment attitude, she was a perfect reflection of what was going on in the late '60s, and her unconventional looks symbolized and reflected the strangeness and nonconformity of the times. So different was her makeup, Jean Shrimpton said, "Her style is almost science." Weird science, that is: Penelope once shaved off her eyebrows because she wanted "to look more like a Martian than I already did." Tall and gangly, she was another of the bone-thin models who were all the rage in the swingin' '60s. David Bailey described her as being an "Egyptian Jiminy Cricket." Penelope stood 5' 10" and at that height was on par with Jean Shrimpton, plus she was some four inches taller than Twiggy. Penelope was often shown in bizarre settings, sometimes as a mythic figure or a wood nymph. In Radical Rags, Fashions of the Sixties, she explained her unique poses and why the public can't emulate her look: "You can't look like Vogue. It doesn't want you to. It just wants to show you what individuality is." Later Penelope admitted that she was anorexic throughout her modeling career in order to maintain that waif-like body.

LIFESTYLE: In '67 Penelope met David Bailey in the Vogue offices and soon moved in with him. Bailey, of course, had already enjoyed a passionate early-'60s romance with Jean Shrimpton and was married at the time to Catherine Deneuve, whom he wouldn't divorce until '70. Supposedly Catherine could see what was coming: One story has it that when she saw a photo of Penelope, she told her husband Bailey that he was going to fall in love with her. He did, and he and Penelope got a house and painted one of the rooms black and another one purple. Supposedly Penelope installed a UFO detector, and the place was often filled with various hippies and radicals. She and Bailey broke up in '74, and she left for Australia. Penelope later married rock musician Ricky Fataar, who briefly joined the Beach Boys and contributed several songs to their Holland LP in '72. She married again and has two children, Paloma and Michael.

EXTRAS: Penelope's mother was considered a legendary beauty, and she had passionate affairs with director John Huston -- who called her "the most beautiful and desirable woman I have ever known" -- and Adlai Stevenson ... Penelope's mom hobnobbed with the social elite of Europe and America and had homes in Europe, New York, and Barbados ... Penelope's father, Ronald Tree, was a member of British Parliament, Penelope's sister, Frances Fitzgerald, was a writer who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam ... the U.K. band Felt had a song in '83 called "Penelope Tree," but the composer said it wasn't about her, he just liked the name ... here are those lyrics, just in case:

"I didn't want the world to know, that sunlight bathed the golden glow, loneliness is like a disease, triggers off my sense of unease, I was lonely until I found the reason, the reason was me
Oh, Penelope Tree...
Why don't you just enter the night, why don't you just do what you like, loneliness and all that heartache, that's something I just can't take, you've got your head on back to front, that's easy, so easy for me, oh that's easy for me, you know that's easy for me...
Oh, Penelope Tree
Hey tell me why are you so scared, it's like the beginning go there, gold mine trash seeks brave dark warrior, what are we doing, why are we here, why must we die? Oh no no no, that's easy, so easy for me"
... some of the information on this page comes from San Francisco's own Tara Pollard."





"Penelope was probably the most widely known and successful model of the sixties - due, in part, to her liaison with David Bailey. She comes from one of those grand, rich, old Anglo/American families and has many eminent forebears. I met her first in Barbados when I was commissioned to photograph her father's palatial house, Heron Bay. She was about fifteen at that time and already gave promise of being a great beauty. Subsequently, I spent many happy weeks staying with her parents in their splendid town house on 79th Street, New York, and came to know the family well. On one occasion I can remember Penelope appearing for dinner in a mini-skirt made entirely of foxes' brushes (tails) and she seemed perplexed by her father's expostulations - he was a former Master of Foxhounds. Penelope was perhaps the first to combine successfully the role of society beauty and working model. Shown here with her grandmother, mother and sister, it is apparent from where Penelope inherited her outstanding looks." - Photographer Patrick Lichfield



By Richard Avedon

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Photographed by Cecil Beaton, 1967

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Penelope with her family
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By Richard Avedon 
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It Girl, Penelope Tree, photographed by David Bailey for Vogue, February 1969

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T for Tibet



Clockwise from top left: Veruschka, Penelope Tree, Kate Moss, and Twiggy, all photographed in London by David Bailey. Styled by Michael Roberts; Moss styled by Mouchette Bell.

Four Faces of London
by Nicholas Coleridge
September 2008
What is it about London girls? Not that the four iconic models in this David Bailey portfolio are all Brits, but together they sum up five decades of London cool. Photographed in outfits designed by Christopher Bailey (no relation) for Burberry, created specially for this V.F. shoot, they exude the uncompromising individual quirkiness that’s been the hallmark of London from the days of Carnaby Street, Pop art, and Mary Whitehouse to those of Topshop, Britart, and Amy Winehouse. The antithesis of the cookie-cutter Eastern Europeans who trudge today’s global catwalks, or the sleek late-80s supermodels—Cindy, Linda, Christy—they transcended the anonymous-model genre to become personalities in their own right.
Veruschka, born Vera Gräfin von Lehndorff-Steinort into a noble family in East Prussia, may be the industry’s first modern, high-recognition face. Her brief appearance in Blow-Up, Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 cult film based on David Bailey’s Beatnik milieu, was called by Premiere magazine the sexiest scene in cinema history. That same year she did her first shoot wearing nothing but body paint. This month Assouline is publishing Veruschka, a limited-edition book that distills her legend. Penelope Tree, the daughter of journalist and M.P. Ronald Tree and American socialite Marietta Tree, after being spotted by Diana Vreeland and championed by Richard Avedon, gravitated to London, to the studio—and quickly the bedroom—of Bailey. Her doll-like features, gangly figure, and nonconformist attitude (she once shaved off her eyebrows “to look more like a Martian”) earned her the drooling admiration of the Beatles generation. Because she has seldom been seen smiling for the camera, her portrait here is historic. Twiggy, born Lesley Hornby in the London suburb of Neasden and known for her big eyes, long fake eyelashes, and tiny waist, epitomized 60s Swinging London, just as Kate Moss from Croydon epitomizes the city over the past two decades. Groover, designer, serial rock-star girlfriend, she’s currently Britain’s most recognizable woman, after the Queen and Victoria Beckham.


Photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for US Harper's Bazaar Sept. 2001.
Model: Angela Lindvall as Penelope Tree














Natalia Vodianova as Penelope Tree

Gisele Bundhen as Penelope Tree

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Unknown author

A David Bailey interview where he talks about Penelope:

BAILEY: I can tell you this: size doesn't count. It got better, too. There were a few in between, by the way. I remember Catherine saw some pictures of Penelope Tree by Avedon in American Vogue, and she said, "You're gonna run off with this woman." Which was odd because I didn't even know who Penelope Tree was.
But you did run off with Tree. And wasn't she 17 years old?
BAILEY: Well, I was only 30—or something like that. Yes, Penelope was 17, but mentally she was 35. I mean, Penelope was very grown up—really sophisticated.
Was she a similar kind of phenomenon as Twiggy?
BAILEY: Penelope was more than Twiggy. Twiggy was like the Monkees, the Beatles. Penelope kind of started all that "Flower Power." And she wore the shortest miniskirts I've ever seen.
Wasn't she aristocratic?
BAILEY: Yes, and she was a real rebel. But I didn't do such great pictures of Penelope. Somehow I couldn't. Avedon did great pictures of Penelope—really great pictures. But I guess Penelope's still my best friend, along with my wife and a couple of guys. I see her at least once a month.
How did you meet her?
BAILEY: Vogue called me up and said, "We're photographing this very aristocratic girl called Penelope Tree, and we don't want any of your nonsense." What a stupid thing to say. It was like a red rag to a bull. If they hadn't said anything, I might not have noticed. But because they said it I thought, "My God, now I'm really interested."
Was she as bright as they say?
BAILEY: Bright, bright, bright, bright. I think the first conversation we had was about T.S. Eliot. And it didn't stop for eight years.

What was it about her look that made her right for that time? Why did she hit the way she did?
BAILEY: In a way, Penelope was New York's revenge on London. It was sort of, "We can shock too." Vreeland discovered her at Truman Capote's Black-and-White ball. Actually, I think Guy Bourdin was the first one to take pictures of Penelope, then Avedon. And it went from there.

 How happy were her parents to see you coming?
BAILEY: Her mother hated me. But her mother was a horrible woman. Marietta Tree, my God, what a bitch! She was a complete phony, a fake, a snob,... the worst!
Do you think that made you more attractive to Penelope?
BAILEY: I think she liked it that I didn't like her mother, in a funny sort of way, because I remember when I went to collect Penelope, her mother opened the door and said, "She's not going to London with you." And I said, "Oh, all right." Then I said, "You know, it could be worse; it could be a Rolling Stone." And she laughed. So we sort of had a standoff. Anyway, Penelope and I flew off to London, leaving tear-stained Marietta Tree on the doorstep of her mansion.
Didn't she give up Sarah Lawrence for you?
BAILEY: I think Penelope would have given up Sarah Lawrence anyway. In a way, she was sort of an intellectual cripple. She wanted to write like Dostoevsky straight away. She was too self-critical... she wanted to start there and not work up to there. Which paralyzed her. I think some people get paralyzed because they're too bright. It's best to be a bit stupid like me and not know that you're not any good. Nobody's any good at the beginning. But unlike Shrimpton and Deneuve, Penelope was fantastic in terms of style—avant-garde. When she was 19, they offered her the editorship of Italian Vogue. Penelope was out there! You should have seen her father's face when she walked out with a skirt made of raccoon tails, and her knickers below her skirt! But Penelope's father was great. He once said, "We're almost the same because we're so far apart that the circle's almost complete." But Penelope was something special. I think she changed a generation of young American girls.

David Bailey's Interview - продолжение, на 10 страницах

A rare interview with Penelope Tree, 2008

Биографическая статья в Википедии

No Regrets: The Life of Marietta Tree. - book reviews

Fashion: After the Twig, the Tree? - TIME, 1967
Tags: 1960s, models, vintage fashion
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