For many people, being told that they dress like their grandmother would be perceived as an insult; for Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann it is an absolute compliment. Wiedemann represents the third generation in a family of women with an iconic style and influence on fashion.
Wiedemann’s grandmother was none other than legendary silver screen star Ingrid Bergman. Bergman was born in Stockholm, Sweden on August 19, 1915. Both of her parents died when she was a girl and she was raised by an uncle who encouraged a career as an actress.
When she was seventeen, Bergman enrolled in the Swedish Royal Theatre, but soon realised she preferred film over the stage. She spent a decade making movies in Sweden, during which time she also married dentist Petter Londstrom. In 1938, after giving birth to a girl named Pia, Bergman made the move to Hollywood.
The move proved to be fruitful for Bergman. Between 1943 and 1979, she won three Academy Awards and was nominated for another four. Alongside her talent, Bergman also turned heads for her unprecedented beauty. Her naturally delicate features were rarely covered up with makeup, and at 5’10 she not only towered over many other female actresses at the time, but she was taller than some of her male co-stars too (including Casablanca co-star Humphrey Bogart).
In 1949 Bergman began working with Italian director, Roberto Rossellini. The two fell in love and began a tumultuous affair. Once word broke out about their relationship, it created a scandal as the two were already married to other people. Bergman became pregnant with Rossellini’s child and soon divorced Londstrom. In 1950, she married Rossellini and the couple went on to have three children: son Roberto (born February 7, 1950), and twin girls Isabella and Isotta “Ingrid” Rossellini (born June 18, 1952).
While the younger Ingrid went on to become a professor of literature, her twin decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
Isabella Rossellini was raised in Italy but decided to move to New York when she was eighteen to pursue a modelling career. At first, she worked mainly in television and held a job as a reporter.
By the time she was 28, she was booking more and more fashion editorials that appeared Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Elle. However, Rossellini became best known after being named the spokes model for Lancôme cosmetics, a position she held from 1982 to 1996.
She also made a successful venture into the film industry, starring in acclaimed films including Blue Velvet and Infamous. Her love for film influenced her relationships; she was married to director Martin Scorsese from 1979 to 1982 and dated director David Lynch from 1986 to 1990. However, it was during her four year marriage to model Jon
Wiedemann that she had daughter Elettra, born in 1983.
Elettra had inherited the same good looks that had benefitted her mother and grandmother, although her look was much more modern and edgier.
Consequently, one of her first major modelling jobs was for Abercrombie and Fitch.
She was also very successful in Europe; she has appeared on the covers of French Elle, Spanish Glamour, and the Italian magazine Grazia. In 2006, Elettra made headlines when she became the new face for Lancôme, the company that had let go her mother ten years earlier for looking “too old.”
Currently a model with IMG Models in New York and View Management in Spain, Elettra continues to reflect the elegance and grace that made her family so famous. From Casablanca to David Lynch films to Abercrombie, Ingrid, Isabella and Elettra each ventured into different aspects of their respective careers, but their classic style remained universal amongst them.
Photos courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.