– By Stacy Igel –
Talitha Getty was born on the tiny island nation of Java into a family of artists, (her father was a painter and her mother was the daughter of well-known Bohemian painter Augustus John). Even from a young age, it was clear that she was an unrivaled beauty who possessed a certain worldliness which belied her age. As she became an actress and jet-setter, not surprisingly, she was pursued by a number of men, romantically and artistically, including the dancer Rudolf Nureyev, the photographer Patrick Lichfield, the designer Yves Saint Laurent, Mick Jagger, and oil heir John Paul Getty (who ultimately became her husband).
It should shock no one, given her obvious beauty and charm (not to mention her famous, well-connected friends), that Getty became somewhat of a fashion “It” girl for a brief period in the mid-to-late 1960s. She managed to embody, (all at once), both the wild decadence and naïve innocence of the era. Most notably, she became Yves Saint-Laurent’s muse and attracted tastemakers like Diane Vreeland. Along with the likes of Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy, Getty came to typify the fashion of the era. She was innovative in her use of ethnic garb — caftans, Balinese wraps, and Moroccan djellabas adorned with mountains of middle-eastern costume jewelry while accessorizing with gladiator sandals (or no shoes at all) and crowns of flowers in her hair. With her exotic ensembles and exuberant personal style, she initiated an entirely new genre of fashion titled “gypset”, (gypsy + jet-setter), forever solidifying her spot as a fashion icon. Unfortunately, Getty’s time as a style phenom was cut drastically short, as were many iconic lives during this era. However, with her beauty, individualism and stand-out imaginative style, she has left all of us with a forever fantasized lasting impression.
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