A fashion muse and femme fatale

Amy Finnerty in the Wall Street Journal:

ScreenHunter_01 Sep. 12 09.10 Millicent Rogers (1902-53) was a fashion muse and femme fatale who charted an unsteady course through the boutiques, ballrooms and salons of America and Europe. Cherie Burns has written a bracing, sex-and-shopping account of that life, suggesting that haute couture provided a cloistered young debutante a way to “lay claim to herself” and become a sophisticated socialite. But this puts perhaps too psychological a spin on the fashion forays of Millicent, who was forever in search of novelty to combat her upper-class ennui.

The money came from her paternal grandfather, Henry Huttleston Rogers, a Standard Oil founder called the “hellhound of Wall Street.” As a child she was kept out of school for long stretches by rheumatic fever, but she learned French and German, studied Greek and bantered with her brother in Latin. Millicent's family summered on an 1,800-acre estate in Southampton, N.Y.; her parents had built an Italianate villa there that would make one of Edith Wharton's buccaneers blush. “God, I'm sick of the place,” Millicent wrote in her diary near the start of World War I. “I want to do something for a change.” She took a nursing course but found changing dressings “horrible in the extream [sic].” Her English correspondence throughout this book is notable for atrocious spelling.

More here.