Boho chic. Hippie chic.
Before Kate Moss and Sienna Miller sported those trends, there was the woman who invented them: Talitha Getty.
She was a model, actress, and most importantly the Bohemian Queen, a hippie chic angel who glamorized the swinging 1960s scene.
Mod. Hippie. Stylish. Mythical. Her fashion sense from four decades ago continues to inspire designers such as Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Michael Kors, and Christian Dior.
Her style can be seen everywhere and yet her name has not graced the ears of most people in our generation.
Talitha was born in 1940 in Indonesia to Dutch parents. She was interned along with her mother in a Japanese prison camp during the Second World War. Her father, a painter named Willem Pol, was imprisoned in a different camp, and after their release the couple separated.
She moved to England with her mother, who died in 1948, and was brought up by her father and his second wife, Poppet John, the daughter of the painter Augustus John.
As soon as she became a teenager, the gorgeous creature was swarmed by admirers. In 1966 Talitha fell in love with and married John Paul Getty Junior, the son of the richest man in the world, and heir to an oil fortune.
They quickly purchased the breathtaking 19th century Le Palais du Zahir in Marrakech, which became known as the Pleasure Palace.
The wild couple hosted some of the most famous parties of the decade in their new home. Some of their closest friends included members of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, plus Yves Saint Laurent and Diane von Furstenberg.
Adorned in harem pants and silky blouses, the barefoot flower child entranced everyone she met.
“When I knew Talitha Getty my vision completely changed. I knew the youthfulness of the Sixties. Talitha and Paul Getty lying on a starlit terrace in Marrakech, beautiful and damned, and a whole generation assembled as if for eternity where the curtain of the past seemed to lift before an extraordinary future…”
- Yves Saint Laurent
During these years, the bohemian beauty gave birth to a son and dabbled in a little acting. Her career didn’t matter, however, because she was a style icon.
But like most icons, her pedestal began to crumble with the erosion of a serious drug addiction.
It was a problem she shared with her husband.
In 1971, at just 30 years old, the charismatic hippie with the long limbs and heartbreaking smile died of a heroin overdose in Rome.
She left behind a 3-year-old son and a fashion legacy that will never be out of style.