Vogue March 1964

March 1964


by Shana Alexander

She spins her own myth day by day, this young woman with a New York twang in her voice, the loose wrists of a child, and the light of great talent — Barbra Streisand of the new musical, Funny Girl. The legend is this: a poor kid from Brooklyn, at whom nobody looks twice except in sympathy, says she will be a Star. Everyone laughs. She has faith. She wins through. For Barbra Streisand this comic-book plot happens to be true. Only slightly in her twenties, she has the knack of indelibility. In the musical, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, on the TV shows of long-time stars, at the Bon Soir in New York, at the Bowl in Hollywood, in her two spectacular record albums, she has been her listeners' immediate discovery. In these photographs, two more discoverers, Cecil Beaton and Bert Stern, explored some part of her force, her humour.

Cecil Beaton photo

Actually Barbra Streisand discovered herself. The flash wit, the allergy to anything that's "a drag" (she'd take the dow-awful before the merely good any day), the impatience with blah facts (she wanted her new third record album called her fourth because she doesn't like threes), the kook shoes, the clothes she often designs herself, the apartment she and her husband, Elliott Gould, have furnished sparsely with two huge Victorian armchairs and a monstrous Elizabethan bed are all original Barbra Streisand. She amuses, astounds, and bamboozles the professional heads around her. Mostly she gets her way. Who else can decipher the myth of Streisand while it is still inside her?

Bert Stern photo

Outtakes & Notes on This Magazine:

Note: Below is a clipping about Beaton and this photo session (it did not appear in this edition of Vogue, however).

Beaton newspaper clipping

And here are alternate shots by Mr. Beaton of Barbra Streisand:

Alternate shot of Barbra Streisand by Cecil Beaton


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