It is not for nothing that the character played by Andrei Mironov in The Diamond Hand works on the podium - this should show the lowest degree of his moral decline. The profession of a fashion model in the Soviet Union was not prestigious, it barely fit into the moral principles and foundations of a socialist society. And when a man worked as a fashion model … We offer a little look into the backstage of the "beautiful business"
At the lowest grade
Strictly speaking, a fashion model is an unofficial, popular name associated with neglect and demotion to the level of a living mannequin. Officially, the profession was called "clothing demonstrator" and was equated with the lowest categories of blue-collar occupations. In the 60s and 70s, the salary was about 76 rubles a month, at the level of a cleaning lady (in production she received 80 rubles, in administrative premises from 60 to 70 rubles). The profession did not enjoy prestige, the Rabotnitsa magazine, for example, wrote materials condemning the moral character of fashion models. Nikita Mikhalkov, having married a fashion model, said for a long time that his wife was a translator.
In the USSR, the emergence of the profession, the fashion historian Alexander Vasiliev, dates back to the 40s, but it flourished in the 60s and 80s. It is interesting that for a long time illustrations in Soviet fashion magazines were drawn and the services of models were not required. In fact, the demonstration of clothes on the catwalk was almost the only occupation of Soviet fashion models. There were Fashion Houses and Model Houses in the USSR. The first are privileged tailoring ateliers, the second are the place of work of fashion designers and fashion models, and their task was to create and show, in modern language ready-to-wear, things that will be produced in large quantities. Model sizes from 44 to 48, no "90-60-90". As well as beauty contests or tempting contracts with foreign couturiers and magazines. A fashion model's working day could last 8-10 hours, without overtime pay. There were work books, there was an experience. But there was no trade union or creative union. Models and underwear were demonstrated at closed shows for employees of sewing enterprises.
At the same time, the layman, who saw only the bright outer side of the work of fashion models, had the impression of their easy life and no less easy behavior. Nevertheless, many Soviet women secretly envied fashion models - they wear beautiful clothes, move in the highest circles, and even get money for it!
Tatyana Mikhalkova, nee Shigaeva, is one of the few Soviet fashion models whose fate was successful and successful. The biographies of the first beauties of the Soviet Union are much more tragic.
Regina Zbarskaya became a world celebrity in the early 60s, working with Pierre Cardin and Christian Dior. Her name was shrouded in secrets and rumors. For example, it is not known exactly where she was born and who her parents are. They said that she works for the KGB or, conversely, for the Yugoslav intelligence. She was credited with stunning novels. Zbarskaya's personal life did not work out, she tried several times to commit suicide, lost her job as a fashion model and began to work in a model house as a cleaner. She ended up committing suicide on November 15, 1987. Regina managed to visit a mental hospital.
Valentina Yashina's personal life did not work out, her career, too. She was called the domestic Greta Garbo, the face of the era and one of the most beautiful models of the USSR. Yashina died in poverty and loneliness.
Galina Milovskaya was the first to appear for Vogue and one of the pictures, reprinted by America magazine, marked the beginning of the end of her career. In the photo, Milovskaya sits on the paving stones of Red Square, legs apart, and even with her back to the Mausoleum! A scandal broke out. After showing the collection of swimwear, Milovskaya was kicked out of the Shchukin school.The scandals continued and the authorities advised Milovskaya to emigrate, which she did in 1974. At first, she enjoyed success, including because of the glory of a fighter against the Soviet regime. But the hype quickly died down and Milovskaya changed her profession, becoming a documentary filmmaker.