Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Ultimate Charlie Girl

a closeup of Shelley from a Charlie perfume ad, 1977
Shelley was THE ultimate Charlie Girl - gorgeous, sexy and young, as well as glamorous, liberated and independent. She was the perfect embodiment of the brand's ideals. She represented the brand from 1976 to 1982 and catapulted it, as well as herself, to worldwide popularity and recognition. She told Viva magazine in 1978, "It's amazing how many people recognize me and thank me for my image. They say, 'You beat out Lauren (Hutton) and Karen (Graham - of Estée Lauder) any day for me.'" By then, Shelley ranked among a handful of Übermodels who had signed groundbreaking and lucrative contracts with the giant cosmetics companies of the time. Aside from Shelley, Lauren and Karen, there were Iman, Cheryl Tiegs, Cristina Ferare and Margaux Hemingway. They were the million-dollar faces in the beauty industry, commanding million-dollar fees. They were the highest-paid models of the era. Shelley added, "But I'm not interested in being competitive... only with myself. I don't go around thinking, 'I'm gonna get you, sister...'" The more the merrier as they say.
Shelley in a Charlie perfume ad, 1977

Spotted at a NY Party 1977

Shelley at a New York party in 1977
Shelley first gained international recognition as THE Charlie Girl in 1976. She lived in New York at the time, was a known as sort of a clothes horse, and was spotted at numerous parties around the city. In August of 1977, she was caught by the paparazzi with Susan Sarandon and Patrick Wayne at the opening night party of Otherwise Engaged, a hit Broadway play by Simon Gray with TV talk show host Dick Cavett in the lead role. It was Cavett's Broadway debut. Shelley and Cavett both appeared in the Woody Allen classic Annie Hall which hit the theaters April of that year.
Shelley with Susan Sarandon and Patrick Wayne
in a New York party, 1977

French Kids

a closeup of Shelley from an ad for Gay Gibson, 1969
Shelley was one of the busiest models from the 1960s to the 1970s. She appeared in countless ads, catalogs and magazine spreads. In 1969, she appeared in an ad for Gay Gibson. The fashion label came out of Kansas City, Missouri, and was owned by the Gernes Garment Company. Gay Gibson was just a label though, no person by that name designed the clothes. In their ad dubbed called "French Kids," Shelley wore an outfit in Parisian pink.  She wore The Swing-Shift, a pink shift dress with snips and strips of white vinyl. A matching white watch, white knee socks and white footwear finished her look. Shelley looked space-age chic.

Shelley in an ad for Gay Gibson, 1969

ET Interview '86, C

screen captures of Shelley
from an Entertainment Tonight interview, 1986
Shelley's third foray into series television was Jack and Mike in 1986. The show explored the life of Jackie Shea and Mike Brennan, a married couple with busy careers trying to make their marriage work. The yuppie phenomenon exploded in the 1980s when more and more women began entering the workforce and climbing up the corporate ladder on their own, holding positions previously reserved for men only in past generations. Before the show premiered, Shelley was interviewed by Entertainment Tonight to talk about her new venture. "I saw in the script a modern woman who really loves her job and really loves her husband and is trying to balance the two," Shelley told ET. She added, "It's not easy balancing a job you love and a husband you love very much."
more screen captures of Shelley
from an Entertainment Tonight interview, 1986
"I don't have to do a series," Shelley confessed to ET, "You know, I'm fine doing television movies; and I started to produce my own, which is what I eventually want to do" (which she' doing now, by the way). But then she read the script for Jack and Mike and liked it so much, she signed on the dotted line. Shelley always admitted she loved working on Jack and Mike, but the series, unfortunately, had a short run (sleeper hits were unheard of then). Let's hope it makes it on DVD soon.

4-Piece Outfit

a closeup of Shelley from a spread
for Sears Fall Winter 1977
Shelley appeared in many catalogs during her years as one of America's top Supermodels. She appeared on catalog spreads for JCPenney, Montgomery Ward, Alden's and many more. In 1977, she appeared on the pages of the Sears Fall Winter 1977 catalog. In the Fashion Value page spread, she modeled the 4-Piece Outfit, a wardrobe set that was color-coordinated and ready to go anywhere. She wore a sleeveless pullover-style top with a soft cowl-neck over a pair of pull-on style pants with straight-cut legs and an elasticized waistband. She topped it off with an easy-fitting shirt-style jacket with pointed collars. Matching footwear and bracelets finished her look. And Shelley made the outfit look sensational.

Shelley in a a spread
for Sears Fall Winter 1977

Rag Sheet Angel

a promo pic of Shelley from 1978
Shelley became Charlie's Angels no. 5 in 1979 and was instantly a Hollywood superstar even before filming anything for the hit TV series. She was suddenly thrust into the limelight and became a rag sheet target overnight. Suddenly, everything she did was being written - true and untrue. In 2002, she told TV Tales, "There's a downside to this stuff." One of the first stories that came out was about her was her on and off relationship with screenwriter and director Nicholas Mayer. "I feel badly when I read things about myself that aren't true - like the fact that I just broke up with my long-time boyfriend writer-director Nicholas Mayer. That bothered me terribly. We're still very much together and people print lies." Like the Angels before her, she had entered the virtual fishbowl, the "rock star space." She added, "I was totally unprepared for the press "bonanza" that followed."
a rag sheet writeup about Shelley from 1979

Add 'Em All Up 1972 B

closeups of Shelley from a spread
for the Simplicity Home Catalog, 1972
Shelley has appeared on many spreads for many catalogs from the late '60s to the mid-'70s. Many Supermodels at the time appeared in the most popular catalogs during the era like Cheryl Tiegs, Beverly Johnson, Patti Hansen and Shelley Smith, just to name a few. Many models who eventually became actresses also appeared in the catalogs like Veronica Hamel, Erin Grey, Kim Basinger and Pam Dawber.
closeups of Shelley from a spread
for the Simplicity Home Catalog, 1972
Shelley appeared on the pages of the the Simplicity Home Catalog Fall/Winter 1972 issue. In the spread called "Add 'Em All Up," she modeled great looking get-ons that added up to a totally smashing look for fall that season. Shelley paired pattern no. 5194, a top with a high round neckline and a back zipper as well as skirt with front pleats and back zipper, with pattern no. 5218, a collared dickie. She also wore pattern no. 5142, a bibbed long skirt, over a sweater and shirt combo top. And Shelley looked fab in both.

Shelley in a spread
for the Simplicity Home Catalog, 1972