The Way We Wore by Daphne Selfe and published by Macmillan. RRP $39.99.
The Way We Wore by Daphne Selfe and published by Macmillan. RRP $39.99. Photos Contributed

Being her Selfe for the world's most famous cameras

PHOTOGRAPHED by some of the world's biggest names, including Mario Testino and David Bailey, Daphne Selfe modelled for some of the foremost fashion houses and advertising agencies.

Credits and collaborators include Dolce and Gabbana, Alice Temperley as well as appearing in advertisements for household brands of cereal, gin, biscuits and bacon.

In an extraordinary career trajectory, Daphne Selfe, now in her late 80s, has never been busier. After raising three children and the passing of her husband, the high-octane world of couture came calling once again and the aging model was lured back to the glamour of high fashion.

The Way We Wore is a heart-warming account of her life-long love affair with fashion. Her nostalgic recollections invite readers to accompany her down the catwalks of her memory from the organdie party frocks of her 1930s English childhood to the glossy pages of today's fashion magazines.

Daphne shares a wealth of anecdotes from her modelling career, beginning as a department store house model. The result is a vivid and inspiring memoir from a woman who has always embraced life and continues to do so in her ninth decade.

Christian Dior is a constant thread and Selfe's great fashion icon. After the austerity of the war and aged in her early 20s, Selfe was utterly seduced - as millions of women were - by his defiantly extravagant, flagrantly full New Look dresses.

With Britain's rationed fabrics, most women could only dream of Dior's revolutionary Parisian designs. But as soon as Selfe could afford to, she recalls making herself a New Look-inspired cocktail dress of grey taffeta with a flared skirt and a strapless bodice.

Daphne Selfe's first evening dress was a soft pink satin skirt with a black lace bodice covered in hand-stitched sequins. Her wedding day was recalled in detail for its cream georgette bridal dress with her mother's antique Brussels lace veil and her aunt's Christian Dior earrings.

The Way We Wore is an inspiring memoir from an aging fashionista who has continuously embraced life, as much now as in her early career. If you've ever fantasised of couture or modelling, this elegant, wistful book will have you twirling in front of the mirror, making silk swoosh and sequins glitter.

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