Book Review: Goddess of Love Incarnate

After finishing the book last night, I thought it was due time to get rolling with my late review. (I have a new respect for Kindles’ though – the book was heavy to cart around on transit). All the stories and the photographs included in the book made for an interesting read. Lili had lived and Leslie Zemeckis did a fantastic job capturing her roller coaster of a life.

Before the book, I had never heard of Lili St. Cyr and the differences between us are obvious. But after reading Lili’s bio I couldn’t help but to pull some similarities:

  • We both have affection for white roses, pearls, and champagne. I know Instagram accounts built on this love.
  • Fans of great fashion designers like Balenciaga and Dior (Although my goal is to actually wear the clothes one day like Lili – My Dior espadrilles are magnificent. The perfume they sprayed on them at Le Bon Marche in Paris lingered all the way home).
  • We like to keep busy, are disciplined and are always working on something. Lili was continually trying to improve and worked hard to be stand out.
  • We don’t like the feeling of being claustrophobic or tied down. Lili did have 5 or 6 marriages by the time she was my age, which seems like a lot – but I figured she was into the euphoria of romance rather than a lifelong commitment.
  • We like adventure. I seem to enjoy international travel more than Lili did but then again I’m also not carting around vintage trunks when travel either.
  • We both have been to the Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood and the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco (it’s now the Westin St. Francis – but it’s kept it’s charm) and Bergdorf Goodman.
  • She spent a large amount of time in Canada – Montreal to be exact. I’m from the west coast of Canada.
  • Lili made a Love List (sort of)! On page 329, I was delighted to read that for an interview she broke down her lovers/friends and the qualities she admired about them such as wit, sex appeal and generosity.

At the high point in her career, Lili was pulling a 6-figure salary (maybe the equivalent of almost a million now?) but sadly spending through all her earnings at a rapid rate. Like a bad business case, if she only invested a small portion of her millions she wouldn’t have to sell her beloved house. A collaboration with a company like Agent Provocateur or Dom Pérignon would have been a lucrative deal (this is easy to propose as an outsider!). She did have her own lingerie line at one point. It’s a shame her club in NYC, Boudoir never made it. I’m sure the décor and design was amazing. Many opportunities sadly lost.

I enjoyed reading this well written biography full of details and packed with research. And although her demise was tragic and unpleasant, the story of the stripteuse can live on in The Goddess of Love Incarnate, as glamorous, passionate and full of joie de vivre as Lili St. Cyr herself.

ELENA:) ps: I had a short 5 minute 5 question interview with author, Leslie Zemeckis posted on my News & Events page.


LeslieFinalKelly Rutherford, Leslie Zemeckis, Susan RockefellerBook cover

NYC Photo shoot

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I’m actually enjoying catching up on old TV episodes and sleeping. I have finally finished the Lili St. Cyr biography I have been reading as well (read all about it in a future post).

Back in NYC, I teamed up with my friends from Flytographer to shoot in the streets of Soho. This time, the fabulous Mayleen was behind the camera and we had a lot of fun. She schooled me all about Miami, shooting notable clients and how to be fearless in a “coat that looks like a shag bear that didn’t stand a chance.” Here are some shots with hair and makeup by Bianca and Anthony. As you can see, I’m a fan of the profile shot;)




5 Minutes 5 Questions: Leslie Zemeckis


Book cover

Kelly Rutherford, Leslie Zemeckis, Susan Rockefeller


Filmmaker and Author Leslie Zemeckis‘s new book, entitled Goddess of the Love Incarnate: The Life of Stripteuse Lili St. Cyr gives an extensive account of history’s most famous stripteaser – Lili St. Cyr.

Not knowing anything about the art of burlesque, I was interested to A: read the book (review coming soon) and B: learn a bit about the author herself (who, yes – is married to famed Producer/Director Robert Zemeckis). Here is 5 minutes 5 questions with the talented Leslie Zemeckis:

1) How long have you lived in Santa Barbara?

15 years.

2) What is your biggest lesson you have learned about writing someone’s biography?

To remove myself. I am there to tell a story, the person’s story – not my pov about her or her life. But to relate the “facts” in a way that the audience will understand (whether they like or dislike the person) who they are and why they are the way they are.

3) What’s your advice to getting out of writers block?

Write. I don’t have writer’s block. I have a million stories I want to tell. Just power through the first (many) terrible rough drafts. Be passionate about something.

4) What draws you to the art of burlesque?

The people who were involved. No one has covered this era and talked to the performers themselves (most dead now) it is from where all our art today comes from, Johnny Carson, Saturday Night Live, Carol Burnett, yet it continues to be dismissed and likened to pornography.

5) What do you think Lili St. Cyr’s top three characteristics on her Love List would be (characteristics or qualities she was looking for in a potential mate or current mate)?

Tall, dark and handsome. That was it. She wasn’t after money or fame.

Don’t forget to follow Leslie on Twitter: @LeslieZemeckis and ‘Like’ the Facebook page: Goddess of the Love Incarnate and Leslie Zemeckis.