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Rosie Vela

Posted by Gabriel Kikas

 A Place for Rosie Vela Fans!

I created on Facebook a Rosie Vela Group Page, and I have been amazed by the lovely feedback from my 150+ fellow members. Here are some examples.  Kim Parker noted: “Such a beautiful sweet sexy face, my dear friend Rosie Vela.” Tamara Hayes eloquently concurred by stating: “I can’t tell you how many times Rosie has told me to look into the sun. This picture captures her essence completely. Peter, my hat is off to you. What exceptional photography and your ability to capture the totality of a moment” (Photo 1. Photographer: Peter Kagan.  Source: Jude Brando Collection). Thank you for your love and support: Jude Corleone (Brando), Edward Hazelton, Michele Hong, Kim Parker, Maria Emma Serrano, Stephanie Shulman, Richard Hartz, Janet Wolfman, Tamara Hayes, and Rosie Vela. 

Rosie is an exquisite songwriter and vocalist. Rosie, who took up classical piano, worked with some of the greats in the music business, including Walter Becke, Donald Fagen, and Jeff Lynne. Her solo work includes an album called Zazu and her group work consist of employment with Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra. Some of her more exciting stories involve how George Harrison “used to visit my studio often with his guitar to figure out what chords I wrote with” (quote from Rosie Vela’s LinkedIn page). Many of our members posted YouTube video links of her work as a soloist and background singer for the ELO. I invite you to look. 

Rosie is also an enchanting artist and student of art history. For example, when she was in Rome for a photo shoot, “she went daily to the Sistine Chapel to look at Michelangelo’s Art” (Photo 2 and Quote: Jude Corleone Collection). On a Barbados trip with Peter Max, Rosie talked about “how the Sunsets were like paintings of the great Masters in Art. Each were splendiferous … Love, peace, a glorious serenity to me was the only way to live” (Photo 3. Source: Rosie Vela Collection). Rosie’s peacefulness comes through this painting by her: “I love this one’s rainbow of colors. Heart Shines.” Kim Parker concurs with Rosie by noting:  “Makes me happy and love all the bright colors!” (Photo 4. Source: Rosie Vela Collection). 

During her university years, she reminisces “I used to design & sew my long hippie fairytale gypsy dresses to college every day for 2 1/2 yrs” (Photo 5. Source: Jude Brando Collection).  David Conrad, an aspiring photographer at the time, was so impressed that he asked if he could photoshoot the collection. On a more serious note, however, Rosie talked about how she lost her “late hubby Jim who had recently passed from Spinal Cancer.” New York City proved to be a renaissance for her. Rosie exquisitely noted that “Vogue saved me from my great sadness by booking me almost every day for years. Thank You Arthur Elgort, Sandy Linter, Harry King, Polly Mellon, Grace Mirabella, Alexander Lieberman, Rochelle Udell for honoring me with such A Wondrous Magical Mystery Tour of Vogue and its many covers” (Photo 6. Source: Edward Hazelton Collection)

I am thankful to Rosie for posting some of her own fashion stories. Here are a couple of examples. On May 11, 2021, I posted this lovely photo of Rosie Vela (Photo 7. Photographer: Bill King).  Rosie notes: “I love this pic so full of life & laughter. One of the first poses I ever did was one like this.” She also wrote: “Bill used to turn his fan up on high and would take a spray water bottle and hold it in back of the fan and start spraying models to get them to look ‘lively’ & I didn’t want to get that done to me ever so I gave Bill what he wanted without the water spraying me through that fan. Lol. The things we remember.” Yes indeed.

On April 29, 2021, I posted this photo of Rosie Vela in a Calvin Klein ad (Photo 8. Photographer: Arthur Elgort. Source: Edward Hazelton Collection). Around the same time, Rosie wrote: “We shot this on my bed at Artist Peter Max’s Studio on RSD in NYC. The Sunsets on the River reflected the most Beautiful Red Gold Light that was Like Fairy Land.” She went on to say that “Calvin was so happy that he sent me an entire wardrobe of clothes, but I got so embarrassed cuz I did this out of love for CK that I stupidly sent the clothes back to Calvin. I just wanted him to know I did it for love. I sure hope he wasn’t offended.” Richard Hartz, who has contributed some exquisite photography of Rosie, responded to her post saying, “what a beautiful story! The photo is very revealing of its beauty. You have an awesome heart Rosie, to send back all those clothes. A lot of girls would not have been as compassionate” I could not agree more, Richard.

I hope, dear Fashion Friends, that you will take a moment to visit my Rosie Vela Group Page on Facebook. You will find a diverse set of photos, stories, and videos on the page for you to enjoy. My lovely friend Tamara Hayes wonderfully noted that we have created “a digital museum.” 

I want to thank Paige Hall Bluhdorn for the opportunity to write a blog for News That Moves. I thank her for her friendship and support. 

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