Wednesday Words of Wisdom From C.Z. Guest

New York socialite, prominent hostess, noted horsewoman, and lifelong member of The Best Dressed List, C.Z. Guest is quoted as saying:

"All the girls today want to be famous, but they haven't earned their spurs"

When taking inventory of American fifties' fashion icons, C.Z. Guest graces the list as royalty.  Born Lucy Douglas Cochrane, she became known as C.Z. because of her younger brother's mispronunciation of "sissy." 

C.Z. Guest in 1947 seated wearing a fur stole
C.Z. Guest 1947
Peter Stackpole
Google: Life

The stage was set for her ascension to fashion icon status when she married Winston Frederick Churchill Guest, a first cousin to Winston Churchill. Their wedding took place at Ernest Hemingway's home in Havana, Cuba. Hemingway served as best man.

In a 2014 interview with WMagazine, Cornelia Guest remembers the preparations for her parent's extravagant dinner parties at their family estate. The guest lists often included celebrities Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, and Cecil Beaton. Cornelia's godparents are the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. 

A classic beauty, Guest was frequently seen wearing elegant fashions by couture designers Mainbocher, Adolfo, and Givenchy.

Long multi-colored dress with Asian look by Mainbocher displayed on dress form
Mainbocher 1950
©Metropolitan Museum
Gift of Mrs. Winston F. Guest

Gold beaded evening gown by Mainbocher displayed on mannequin
Mainbocher Late Fifties
©Metropolitan Museum
Gift of CZ Guest

C. Z. Guest: "I like the classic look. Keep it simple. There's only so much you can wear."

Mrs. Guest died November 8, 2003. She was 83.


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