'Anna Pavlova was an instantly reconisable face in early twentieth-century media. She travelled all over the world and featured widely in the national and local press, but she waas also regularly seen in illustrated theatre, fashion and society periodicals. Always well turned out and charismatic, loved by the camera as well as by her fans, for twenty years Pavlova's image was used to sell everything from cosmetics to pianos. She was one of the first icons of the twentieth century.'
I was very excited to see that Anna Pavlova will be appearing in ITV's Mr Selfridge on Sunday! In honour of this I have finally gotten around to doing a well overdue Anna Pavlova post.
She is one of my main style icons but there are so many reasons as to why I love Anna.
Yes she did indeed have a (very yummy) dessert named after her and yes she did have pet swans, she is the epitome of the 'Fairy tale' ballerina! She single handly changed the way that London viewed Ballet dancing and was loved by the masses for her personality as well as her dancing, she really was one of the first twentieth centuary icons.
She was very openly a huge animal lover and particularly fond of birds and that just makes her even more special in my eyes.
When Anna was on her death bed she was told that she could have an operation that would save her life but leave her unable to dance. It is reported that she said "If I can't dance then I would rather be dead". The story goes that she died just after her 50th Birthday clutching her costume from The Dying Swan.
Photo's from my Instagram:@aharemofpeacocksShe was recently celebrated by the BFI with a series of showings of her dances and footage of her travels. I managed to attend one which included some absolutely lovely home videos, filmed by her and her colleauges. It really showed off her true beauty and grace and to my delight her animals featured in there quite a lot too.
I also could not resist the ' Anna Pavlova Twentieth Century Ballerina' book. All the photo's and extracts from this post are taken from it and I can't recommend it enough. Its so stunning.
I am intrigued to see how they will portray her in Mr Selfridge and will be glued to the television on Sunday night. I also have some exciting Mr Selfridge related local history to share with you very soon.
In the mean time I will leave you with an extract from the book on this very subject, as well as the original picture of her 'Anna Pavlova' Selfridges window, don't say I never treat you!
'So she tried on hats...flitting from one glass to another...moving her head and body to try the effect of some particular chapeau in half a dozen dainty poses. Selfridge's millinery department ceased to be a shop; it became a studio, a stage on which moved the most graceful figure in Europe, and the assembled attendants composed an admiring audience, though compelled to silent applause.'
Daily Mail 1911