In New York, Evelyn made a living posing for various postcards, like this one below:
People sometimes mistakenly refer to these as french postcards. They weren’t. French postcards involved nudity, while these, called mignon, were supposed to be wholesome yet sensual depictions of young women. It was a bit like the difference between posing for Maxim and Playboy.
She became wildly successful. She appeared on the cover of many women’s magazines that still exist today, including Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, the Women’s Home Companion, Ladies’ Home Journal and Cosmopolitan. She became one of the first true covergirls, and her image was soon being used to sell everything from Coca-Cola to life insurance.
She also posed for very notable artists, like Charles Gibson, as the quintessential “Gibson Girl.” (Gibson Girls were considered the great beauties of the period). His most famous work, “The Eternal Question” – in which a woman’s hairstyle is fashioned into the shape of a question mark – features Evelyn.
One day, when modeling for Gibson she met a man who exclaimed, “”By Jove, Gibson! Who is this little vision of the empyrean blue? Tell me; I must know the little sprite, whether she is of this earth or just a fairy from out of Wonderland.”
He really said that. At least, that is what is recorded about their introduction. Never mind that no one else at the time talked that way, and it sounds like a bad Lifetime movie take on how people at the turn of the century talked.
That man was Stanford White.
He was, almost certainly, the most famous architect of the period, just as Evelyn was one of its great beauties.
More than that, though, Stanford White was a man with a silly mustache. Are you ready for his silly mustache?