Françoise Rubartelli: A Swiss Beauty’s Journey from Cambridge to Vogue’s Pages

Françoise Schluter’s story begins in the quaint settings of Cambridge, where the Swiss beauty was pursuing her studies in languages. To earn pocket money, Schluter worked at a local pub, a decision that would unknowingly set the stage for her life to change dramatically. It was here that she met Franco Rubartelli, a meeting that blossomed into love, leading the couple to embark on a life together. Their union, marked by shared dreams and aspirations, soon welcomed a son, Luigi, and the family made Rome their home.

A Fateful Night and a Fortuitous Photograph

One evening, in what can only be described as a twist of fate, Franco Rubartelli discovered a camera in their apartment. With no prior experience in photography and without the trappings of a traditional photo shoot—no stylists, hair, or makeup artists—Rubartelli asked his wife to pose for him on a beach. The pictures he took that night, driven by a mix of fear of loss and a desire to capture the essence of the woman he loved, were raw, infused with a sense of longing, youth, and an unbridled sense of freedom. These qualities, so starkly different from the formal fashion photographs of the era, would soon catapult Françoise into the limelight.

Curious about the potential of these photographs, Rubartelli inquired with his wife about the most prestigious fashion magazine, and upon learning it was Vogue, he took a gamble. After scraping together some money to develop the film, he sent the photographs to the magazine, hoping for a response but expecting little.

The Telegram That Changed Everything

The reply from Vogue came not just as a response but as a validation of Rubartelli’s raw talent and Françoise’s natural beauty and charisma. A telegram from none other than Diana Vreeland, the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue, arrived, stating: “Beautiful model, beautiful pictures, will get in touch with you.” This message was the beginning of a fruitful collaboration that would see Françoise Rubartelli gracing the pages of Vogue, starting with their first story in the August 1964 issue. Working alongside Consuelo Crespi, the magazine’s editor in Rome, the photographer-model duo began to make their mark in the fashion world.

The Muse of the 60s Fashion

Françoise Rubartelli’s ascendance to fashion stardom was not just a testament to her beauty but also to the era’s changing dynamics, where spontaneity, natural charm, and authenticity began to take precedence over staged perfection. Her photographs, characterized by a sense of freedom and an almost candid portrayal of beauty, resonated with the 1960s youth, making her an icon of the time.

#1 Françoise Rubartelli’s hairstyle by Kenneth and necklace by Jack Gilbert, 1965.

#2 Françoise Rubartelli in a beaded and satin gown by Belinda Belville, 1966.

#3 Françoise Rubartelli in a violet chiffon dress by Donald Brooks, 1966.

#4 Françoise Rubartelli wearing a blue crepe evening dress by Polly Peck, 1966.

#5 Françoise Rubartelli in a red chinchilla cloth coat by Matlin, 1967.

#6 Françoise Rubartelli in a grass-green duffel-coat by Dominic for Matty Talmack, 1967.

#7 Françoise Rubartelli in a red-dyed mink blazer and white mink skirt by Laurence Kay, 1967.

#8 Françoise Rubartelli in a midnight-blue silk chiffon dress by George Halley, 1968.

#9 Françoise Rubartelli in a beige mini-wrap coat by Don Simonelli for Modelia, 1968.

#10 Françoise Rubartelli in a bright purple sequined jumpsuit by Marc Bohan for Dior, 1968.

#11 Françoise Rubartelli in a chrome yellow rabbit fur ski suit by Courrèges, 1968.

#12 Françoise Rubartelli in an organza silk dress by Oscar de la Renta, 1968.

#13 Françoise Rubartelli in deep dark green silk organza by Miss Branell, 1968.

#14 Françoise Rubartelli in an EMBA natural demi-buff mink coat, 1968.

#15 Françoise Rubartelli in a grass-green mini-coat by Originala, 1968.

#16 Françoise Rubartelli in a leather edged cape and dirndl by Bonnie Cashin for Phillip Sils, 1968.

#17 Françoise Rubartelli in an Inverness cape-coat in pale taupe-brown fleece by Donald Brooks, 1968.

#18 Françoise Rubartelli in a worsted bright yellow over navy overplaid by Handmacher, 1968.

#19 Françoise Rubartelli in a yellow rayon-crêpe shirtdress by Malcolm Starr, 1968.

#20 Françoise Rubartelli wearing golden gauze around her head by Yves Saint Laurent, 1968.

#21 Françoise Rubartelli wearing Moon Drops Demi Makeup by Revlon, 1968.

#22 Françoise Rubartelli in a vermillion organdie dress by George Halley, 1969.

#23 Françoise Rubartelli in a bikini in India pink by Jantzen, 1969.

#24 Françoise Rubartelli in a lemon-yellow and green plaid three-piece by Ginori, 1969.

#25 Françoise Rubartelli in a shimmery bodice and scarlet flounced skirt by Oscar de la Renta, 1969.

#26 Françoise Rubartelli in striped pants and a deep-water green pull by Scott Barrie, 1969.

#27 Françoise Rubartelli in a white bikini over brown by Bill Blass for Roxanne, 1969.

#28 Françoise Rubartelli in an evening chemise over pants by Christian Dior, 1969.

#29 Françoise Rubartelli wearing a leather headband by Ruza Creations, 1969.

#30 Françoise Rubartelli, photographed by David Bailey, 1969.

Written by Emily Madison

Emily Madison, a vintage enthusiast with a passion for all things old Hollywood and retro. When she's not busy fawning over her collection of vintage record players, you can find her cuddling with her beloved feline companions. With a love for classic films and a penchant for collecting vintage treasures, Emily is always on the lookout for the next big find.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pandora And The Flying Dutchman 1951

The Cinematic Brilliance of 1951’s Pandora and the Flying Dutchman with Intriguing Photos

The Long Night 1947

The Long Night (1947): A Noir Gem Unveiled with Spectacular Stills