Friday, August 11, 2017

Edythe Farrell on Charles Guyette’s Lady Wrestling Amazon, plus Bettie Page’s Corset!

Charles Guyette, Lady Wrestling, Irving Klaw

“Olga Baranova ranks with [lady wrestler Miss Zoska] Burska in charm. Daughter of a brawny Russian grappler who grunted for the Czar, she came to wrestling from the unlikely precincts of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her auburn hair, flashing gray eyes and willowy figure would have qualified her for show business, but Olga starved for a while in road shows, and as a dress and shoe model, until the big money of lady wrestling was dangled before her lovely eyes. Soon after, she was acclaimed as the new glamor girl of wrestling….”

—Edythe Farrell, “The Lady Wrestlers,” American Mercury, Dec. 1942.

Charles Guyette, Irving Klaw, Vintage Fetish, high heeled boots

Here she is as a model for Charles Guyette. 

Charles Guyette, Leonard Burtman, Vintage Fetish, high heeled boots

And, here, on the back of a hardcover book published by Leonard Burtman in 1960.

Edythe Farrell, who had a great eye for female beauty, had a particular fondness for this lady wrestler/model ... and her introduction came through Charles Guyette.

Who was Edythe Farrell? She was another outsider, a woman ahead of her time, who played a small but crucial role in the advancement of fetish art. After marrying early in life, she rebelled against being a housewife and struck out as a tabloid journalist. She met with early success. In 1938, at age 25, she became editor-in-chief of the National Police Gazette, and in the years following managed to quadruple that publication's circulation.

Edythe Farrell, National Police Gazette, Charles Guyette

It was also during this time that she became acquainted with Charles Guyette, a unique costumer with bizarre taste and a fondness for lady wrestlers. Her relationship with Guyette is detailed in the illustrated tribute: Charles Guyette.

Edythe Farrell, National Police Gazette, Charles Guyette

In 1944, after resigning from her post with the National Police Gazette, Farrell became a key editor for Robert Harrison, publisher of such popular pin-up magazines as Wink, Flirt, Eyeful, Beauty Parade....

As editor for Harrison she continued to rely on Guyette and featured Guyette's lady wrestler friend, Miss Baranova, often.

Robert Harrison magazines, Charles Guyette, Edythe Farrell, lady wrestler
 
Here (below) is Baranova again in a 1942 issue of the National Police Gazette, edited by Farrell. The photos are from Charles Guyette. 

National Police Gazette, Charles Guyette, Edythe Farrell, fetish model
  
Recognizable in the photo on the right is Guyette's favorite vintage corset.

National Police Gazette, Charles Guyette, Irving Klaw, corset, Edythe Farrell, fetish model

It would later appear on Bettie Page when Guyette became a costumer for Irving Klaw.

Bettie Page, Betty Page, Charles Guyette, corset, Irving Klaw, vintage fetish

The same corset also appeared on Klaw model Rita Carlson, co-star of the lost Klaw short, "Mistress Betty Gets Spanked" (below), which was advertised in Klaw bulletin #102, circa 1955.

Bettie Page, Betty Page, Charles Guyette, corset, Irving Klaw, vintage fetish

Bettie Page, Betty Page, Charles Guyette, corset, Irving Klaw, vintage fetish

Aside from being a costumer (and Irving Klaw's predecessor), Guyette had also managed females wrestlers and boxers. In fact, beyond corsets, ultra-high heels shoes and boots, "fighting women" was his primary interest.

Charles Guyette, Olga Baranova, lady wrestler, lady boxer

You can read more about the secret history of the birth of American fetish art and Charles Guyette in the new tribute, available now.

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art by Richard Pérez Seves

Charles Guyette was a sexual fantasist, who earned his living as a costumer. He sold photos of his "costume studies" on the sly. He produced custom-made high-heel boots and shoes, sold corsets, opera gloves, and other eccentric accessories. He understood the transformative power of clothing, particularly "bizarre" and theatrical fashion. He is also referenced in the new film on Wonder Woman's creator, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, as the costumer for Wonder Woman's real life inspiration, Olive Byrne. 

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art

One of the reasons I put this book together was to honor the fetish community and one way to do this was to recognize and celebrate individuals who contributed to it. Charles Guyette was the first person to produce and distribute fetish art in America. This is his story, this is his contribution to the diversity of American culture. 

 Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Now available on Amazon in 2 editions: the original (180 pages) or the 2018 Expanded Second Edition (206 pages: see interior images on this page).

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art 
** 2018 Expanded Second Edition **


Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition
=========================================
Here's the story:

It so happened that I came into possesion of newly discovered, uniquely beautiful Charles Guyette images only recently....

How? The catalyst was Dita Von Teese.

After she mentioned the first edition in her Instagram account >> HERE <<  I was contacted by people from around the world who realized they owned Guyette images. (They just didn't know it before they saw my book.) So the new images in the second edition are from various countries: Germany, France, even the UK. That's how far Guyette images have traveled.

Mind you, not all the images shared were Charles Guyette images. Some were actually German ("Fleischer") and others of French (unknown) origin.

Strangely these collectors have chosen not to be acknowledged in the second edition of the Guyette book. This is their choice. Some cited their "straight" jobs, and the unfortunate stigma still attached to fetish-related material, etc. (Which I understand.) Therefore all the new Guyette images are simply cited under the umbrella of "Private Collection" in the book, along with some of my own.

NOTE: the Guyette biographical material remains the same (aside from minor changes in the endnotes). In the end, this expanded 2018 edition simply contains 30 or so more vintage images, all lovingly arranged, and the book is 25 pages longer.

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

 I cherry-picked the very best images of the 50 or so shown to me. These images were then restored (by me) in photoshop, which took me about a month. But I was happy to do it. I couldn't imagine a more beautiful project than preserving the legacy of Charles Guyette for generations to come.

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Here's a peek inside the new second edition:
(Note: the book is too big to fit on my home scanner 
so there's more margin in the actual book.)

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

EXPANDED 2018 Edition (206 pages) 
> Make this collection yours today! <

>> US <<
>> UK <<

>> France <<
>> Italia <<
>> España <<
>> Canada <<
>> Australia <<
>> Méjico << 
>> Brasil << 
>> 日本 << 
>> भारत << 


*     *     *     *     *     *
Peek inside with Dita Von Teese:
==>> HERE <<==
Dita Von Teese, Instagram, Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art

Reviews:

 "If New York collector, writer and fetish historian Richard Pérez Seves had not decided to assemble what he knew about Charles Guyette (along with a substantial selection of images) into this paperback, this influential forerunner of the genre's better known exponents would have continued a lot longer as the great unsung hero of American fetish art."—Tony Mitchell, thefetishistas.com

"If you're at all a fan of fetish art ... then this book will be right up your alley." —kinkweekly.com

"I've often cited John Willie's gals as my biggest fashion inspiration but I'll have to start tipping my hat to Guyette as well."—Dita Von Teese


Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition


Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition




Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition


Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art,  Expanded Second Edition

Charles Guyette, the "G-string King," referenced in the film of Wonder Woman's creator, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, and costumer to Bettie Page, is rightly considered the godfather of American fetish art. His fetish art operation was the first of its kind in America, dealing in what was then generally regarded as “deviant” European-inspired material. In 1935, he was arrested and sent to federal prison. But what should’ve been the end was just the beginning. Although rarely credited by name in his lifetime, he influenced everyone who would follow him, particularly the publishers Robert Harrison, John Willie, Irving Klaw, and Leonard Burtman. The aim of this book was to evoke the spirit of Guyette—to collect surviving fragments of a decimated catalog largely by referencing vintage fetish publications from the 1930s through the 1980s and reconstruct a lost history. This portfolio of images is followed by biographical information seen nowhere else, and serves as a substantial introduction to the birth of American fetish art and the cultural impact of an unrecognized pioneer. 

 *     *     *     *     *     *


 *     *     *     *     *     *

Publications referenced in composing this tribute include:
Bizarre Life v.4, n.6, 1980.
Black Lace v.1, n.1, undated (c. 1958).
Catalog C-2, 1957.
Fetishist n.1, undated (c. 1985).
London Life, March 22 1935.
Bizarre Classix v.4, 1980.
Exotique Correspondence Digest n.1, 1958.
Bizarre Classix v.3, 1978.
Bizarre Classix v.5, 1983.
London Life, April 8 1939.
Exotique n.13, undated (c. 1957).
Fantastique Photo Album n. 2, undated (c. 1960).
Exotique n.1, undated (c. 1955).
Exotique n.10, undated (c. 1956).
Bizarre n.9, 1952.
Bizarre n.6, 1951.
Exotique n.12, undated (c. 1957).
Exotique n.8, undated (c. 1956).
Exotique n.16, 1957.
Exotique Photo Album n.1, undated (c. 1957).
Painful Memories v.1, n.1, undated (c. 1981).
Gay Book magazine, Dec. 1937.
Gay Book magazine, May 1938.
Wink magazine, Jan. 1949.
Gay Book magazine, Aug. 1937.
Gay Book magazine, Sept. 1937.
Fetish Letters v.1, n.1, undated (c. 1985).
Exotique n.34, 1959.
Erotic Symbolism by Edw. Podolsky, 1960.
Bizarre Classix v.1, 1976.
Portrait of Evil F-6, undated (c. 1962).
Wink magazine, April 1947.
Bizarre Classix v.2, 1977.
Exotique Correspondence Digest n.1, 1958.
New Exotique Photo Album n.9, 1959.
Exotique Correspondence Digest n.1, 1958.
Flirt magazine, March 1948.
Bizarre Classix v.2, 1977.
Gay Book magazine, Feb. 1937.
Wink magazine, Dec. 1947.
Exotique n.4, undated (c. 1956).
Bizarre Life v.1, n.1, 1966.


Thanks for checking in. Hope you'll join me next time....

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