The inimitable Millicent Rogers was born into a wealthy New York family in 1902, and as the granddaughter of Standard Oil tycoon Henry Huttleson Rogers (and an heiress to his fortune), wanted for virtually nothing. Throughout the 1920s, the young socialite was often featured in fashion spreads for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, her personal life a topic frequently covered by newspaper gossip columnists of the time.
In 1924, Rogers married her first husband, Ludwig von Salm-Hoogstraeten, in secret. Their elopement was the social sujet du jour, not only because Salm-Hoogstraeten was 20 years her senior, but also due to his labeling as a "penniless" "gold-digging Austrian count" by the media. They divorced after a short-lived relationship, and although Rogers gave marriage a try twice more, both attempts ultimately failed.
Rogers moved to Europe in the '30s, settling in the Austrian ski resort village of St. Anton. Here she began mixing her designer wardrobe, which at the time included labels such as Schiaparelli and Mainbocher, with traditional Austrian dirndl ensembles. We'll call this reinvention number one.
Rogers' second style shift occurred at the onset of World War II, at which point she returned to the East Coast of the U.S. and became a client of celebrated couturier Charles James, donning his architectural evening dresses at gala events with such distinguished suitors as Roald Dahl on her arm. After relocating to Hollywood for a brief stint and having her heart broken by Clarke Gable, she made a final move to Taos, New Mexico in the mid-1940s.
While Millicent Rogers' personal style transformed several times throughout her 51 years, she is most noted for her love of silver and turquoise Navajo jewelry. Her distinctive style popularized a southwestern bohemian look consisting of peasant blouses, broomstick skirts and hand-crafted aboriginal accessories, and her influence lingers to this day.
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