Marvellous Millicent Rogers

Few style icons have a museum named after them, but one such icon, Millicent Rogers (1902 – 1953) has just that – The Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, New Mexico.  Her creative style and passion for silver and turquoise jewellery, and textiles that she discovered in New Mexico, ignited a lifelong passion.

Millicent Rogers   Courtesy Millicent Rogers Museum

Born the granddaughter of Standard Oil tycoon Henry Huttleston Rogers, she was heiress to considerable wealth and was featured in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.  Millicent travelled the world, married three times and had three children.

Circa January 1939 — Millicent Rogers wearing black velvet Schiaparelli dinner suit with metallic-braid edging and fleury-cross brooches. — Image by © Condé Nast Archive/Corbis

Her personal style was inspiration for the chic women of her time such as Wallis Simpson. She combined couture designed blouses and tiered ruffled skirts by Charles James of New York, with bold turquoise and artisan silver jewellery, launching a Southwestern chic style still relevant today.

Iconic shot of Millicent Rogers at the Taos museum taken by Louise Dahl-Wolfe for Harper’s Bazaar in 1948. Photo courtesy of the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, New Mexico.

Millicent Rogers’ possessed a great love of the stark landscape of New Mexico and its Hispanic and Native American peoples, their culture and crafts and became a champion of their rights.  She amassed an amazing collection of jewellery, textiles and artefacts now on display in the museum.

Pieces from Rogers personal collection on display at the Millicent Rogers Museum. Photo courtesy of the Millicent Rogers Museum

In 1947 she moved to Taos, New Mexico.  Her creative talent took her beyond the current trends as she adopted her own individual style resembling her environment.

Millicent Rogers adopted Native American dress while living in Taos. Photo courtesy of the Millicent Rogers Museum.

The Southwestern chic look was soon established.   With her acquired knowledge of Indian craftsmanship she created jewellery in gold, silver and copper.

Rogers photographed by Horst P. Horst in 1949 for Vogue in a necklace of her own design. Photo courtesy of Condé Nast Archive

Diana Vreeland recalled in 1984:  “She was totally creative.  She left an imprint on everything she did.  Forty years later, hers is a look that is totally of today.” and we would add is still very much alive in the 21st century.

Millicent Rogers pictured with her son Paul Peralta Ramos in Taos. Photo courtesy of the Millicent Rogers Museum

A link to the Millicent Rogers Museum can be found by clicking here