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Miss Orloff Regrets: 1921

New York, June 3, 1921. "Orloff (girl in slacks)." Our third and final look at this intriguing ingenue. 5x7 glass negative, G.G. Bain Collection. View full size.

New York, June 3, 1921. "Orloff (girl in slacks)." Our third and final look at this intriguing ingenue. 5x7 glass negative, G.G. Bain Collection. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Cover Girl

If modern magazines would post pictures of women like these, then perhaps I might actually show an interest in looking at them because to be frank, this girl looks about 200% hotter than any of the disgustingly skinny women they love putting on fashion magazine covers.

Foy loves Fina (2)

I love her. She's just as imperfect as I am - less so, even. A match made from above for a little heaven on earth before we go back to the clouds.

Las Vegas

Sty in your eye

Looks like a nice sty sprouting up in her left eye ... polysporin indeed! I think her teeth have a shadow on them due to indents caused by some type of damage. Love the one button bathing suit.

Miss Orloff Bobs Her Hair

Bobbing the hair seems to have been the "beginning of a major change in societal norms and values seen during the 1920s." (

Time magazine reported in 1930 that "Roman Catholic authorities at the Vatican decided last week that bobbed hair shall not exclude women from Catholic churches or from the Sacraments."

Right on Fina!

Holy Smpkes!

Like everybody else, thought she looked great in the first shot, not so good after. But in reality, this was back in the day when people lived a little rougher lives then we do today. And somebody thought enough of her to take some candid shots that we get to see today - a rare glimpse into life during that time. And that's enough.

Oh, that hat

That hat definitely didn't help matters any. This doesn't even look like the same girl that we saw in the first photo. Definitely the hat. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

It is tempting

to leave a negative comment on this final view of the less-than-lovely Miss Orloff, especially since I didn't heed the warning not to click 'full size'. But there's a mirror in this room and it tends to shut me right up.

Still really hoping that's just lipstick on her teeth though, ewwuuue.

Softcore for the time

While this picture generates ridicule and cheap laughs today, at the time this look was smokin' hot. Prior to the 1920s, you'd only find this kind of revealing clothing and suggestion in Victorian porn and "art" photography. Of course, the licentious, scandalous '20s destroyed many cultural taboos; there's a lot of softcore cheesecake photography from this time. My wife's grandparents were Vaudeville stars that no one now remembers. The grandmother was a lead in "Good News", and introduced the dance The Varsity Drag to the nation. She, too, took some cheesecake professional photos, though not quite as suggestive as the bodacious Ms. Orloff (I should scan those and submit them to the visitor's area on this site).

Gray Lady

Remember the movie "The Picture of Dorian Gray," where the subject of the portrait never ages but the painting does. We have a kindred situation here. Only she becomes less attractive with each photo.

Rolled Down Stockings

My grandmother was in her 20's during the '20s. She told me about how fashion of the day dictated short hair and rolled down stockings. I guess she wasn't fooling.

Do yourselves a favor folks

Don't click "View full size."

What time is it?

All my clocks have stopped.

Beauty's only skin deep

What did the photographer see here, something that just didn't come across, some fantastic personality that couldn't be captured in a photograph?

I keep coming back to this because I look at my girlfriend of 5 years, the sweetest person I've ever met - she doesn't turn any heads, she doesn't photograph well (not by me, anyway), but there's something there I can't live without.


Not so very long ago people had to resign themselves to traveling down life's highway with the same bodies and profiles with which their Creator had endowed them.

No tummy-tucks, nose jobs, liposuction, chin lifts, implants, collagen, botox … what a shame, everybody forced to retain his or her own individuality. How empty life must have been then.

Now anybody can look like anybody else! Thank God for Progress.


What, you don't like mustachioed lovelies with wild child-bearing hips, flawed complexion, stained teeth and shadowed eyes? I'm so very glad that there are those who find her lovely, for after all every human deserves to be seen as lovely, even we homely old bags with bags under our eyes. Still you won't see me posing on camera as though I were a bathing beauty, not even when I was a beauty, which apparently I'm told I was in my youth. I didn't see it. I saw myself as pleasant-enough-looking but certainly no glamourpuss. I did not put myself out as one either. If I had, I suppose I'd resent the criticism I'd generate but after all, that's inevitable.

Anyway, Ms. Orloff is very unlikely to still be around to hear the hurtful words.


>> Looks like the lady had a smoking body, and a smile on her lips.

I don't know about smoking body, but definitely smoking teeth!

[Or maybe that's lipstick. Is there a dentist in the house? - Dave]


Hey, guys, cut a girl some slack! When this shot was taken, the Roaring 20s still had three years to go, and she'd lived six of 'em. Then, too dentistry, cosmetology, and image, image, image were not the orders of the day like they are now. She could have used a good night's sleep, though.

[Check your math! - Dave]

Wait for the glamour

OK, 11:13, I've just got to put in my dentures first, and get out of this stained wife-beater tee.

(Really, though, this photo was obviously intended as cheesecake. Therefore, it's fair game.)

Her Boudoir

Another shot in the bedroom. She has to get out of the house more.

Round Figures

Looks like the lady had a smoking body, and a smile on her lips.

Yes, her profile is nice, but that figure is one some gals would kill to have. The hat is silly, as are the stockings, and the bathing costume she's wearing looks frumpy today, but if this young lady were wearing modern clothes, she'd turn heads even today.

I don't see where the naysayers come off ... are they married to the (young) Morgan Fairchild, or to Maryiln Monroe?

Inside yesterday's paper

Were there a lot more "Page 3 girls" in American newspapers in the early 20th century?

A Wish for the Hecklers

May your photo be posted on a blog a few decades in the future and may the populace have at it with the same tender mercies you have displayed here. In fact, why wait? How about submitting your best glamour shots now?

She's hot

C'mon, she's got a smokin' bod.

Where's my eye bleach?

Yes. That'll be quite enough of Miss Orloff, thank you.


I'm glad there's not any more of these. I thought she looked kind of cute in the first one, but she gets progressively worse with each picture.

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