It’s been a relatively quiet two months on hjordisniven.com, but there have been a number of additions to the site.
There is one new page since our last post – a look at wartime Sweden focussing on how events and surroundings may have impacted on Hjördis. She claimed that even as child she was keen to travel, so to have been “almost hermetically sealed from the outside world” in Sweden must have been a cause of frustration. Indeed, as soon as the war was over, Hjördis and Carl-Gustaf Tersmeden were off to the Americas in double-quick time.
Back by popular demand
You’ll notice a very beautiful colourised photo within the wartime Sweden feature, scanned from the cover of Vårt Hem magazine. (Colourised photos usually look fairly terrible, but this one is a work of art).
Hjördis’ first Vårt Hem cover shot (and possibly the earliest from any magazine), shows her dressed in red. Again, beautifully coloured. It was published on the 21st November 1943. Hjördis was name-checked inside, along with a small bio:
“This week’s cover: Hjördis Genberg is a mannequin and one of the most beautiful in the capital. She is 23 years old, and when she came to Stockholm it was to go to art school. However, her stunning appearance soon led to modelling.”
The readers’ positive reactions showed just how striking Hjördis’ image was for her Swedish audience, and also how her popularity was exploding.
She made a return appearance on the magazine’s 9th January 1944 cover, due to popular demand.
Her “stunning appearance” led to small decorative parts in Swedish movies. The clip below is of Hjördis as a roulette-table player in Monte Carlo (filmed by necessity in Stockholm during 1943). The movie is ‘Sjätte Skottet’.
Hjördis’ brief scene in ‘Sjätte Skottet’. In later years she would become familiar with the interior of the real casino at Monte Carlo.
‘The beautiful ice lady, 1960‘ page has had a few updates, including David letting rip about his dislike of shopping with Hjördis, while having strong opinions on what she should buy:
“I feel an ass in a woman’s shop. Anyway, once she goes in she’s there for the day. But I do help when she’s choosing what to put on some evenings. There aren’t any colours I particularly dislike. But I am a bit jumpy about blues. And I can’t bear the cliche of blue eyes worn with the obvious blue dress – as bad as redheads who wear green.”
Another updated page from 1960 is ‘Come up and see my etchings‘, where among other things, David gets rather agitated at the thought of women posing. (As if men don’t).
“And I can’t stand the poseur who knows all her best angles – or those dreadful women who never dare smile because it gives them lines around the mouth. Woe betide those glassy-eyed creatures: I feel I want to stick a knife in them, if only to wreck that dreadful fixed look.” [Take a deep breath David… Relaaaxxx…]
Hjördis must have long since known her best angles, but everyone has to start somewhere. Perhaps the most interesting item to turn up recently is a newspaper advert from 1937 for ‘X and Y’ face cream. Sadly the picture quality is very poor, but it looks very much like 17-year-old Hjördis posing for her first modelling job.
A recently identified model shot of Hjordis from her modelling days at the Nordiska Kompaniet, 1945.
The Nordiska Museet fashion exhibition is still running in Stockholm, featuring photos of Hjördis in her modelling days. There are now over 90 identified photos of her in their online collection.
The museum are keen to identify other models from the 1940s and 1950s. Maybe you can help.
From Hjördis’ contemporaries, they have now been able to label photos of her friend and mentor Kim Andersson / Söderlund, and have built Swedish language Wiki pages for both Kim and Hjördis.