The Most Stylish Moments From Amanda Lear’s Ultra-Glamorous Life

Amanda LEar
Photo by Barbara Rombi Serra /Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

While the world knows very little for certain about Amanda Lear’s origins (her exact age, nationality, and natural hair color are among the many mysteries), what we are certain of is that she has lived one of the most glamorous lives imaginable. Starting off as a cabaret artist and runway model (she walked for Karl Lagerfeld during his time designing for Jean Patou), she was soon introduced to Salvador Dalí by Paco Rabanne. The artist was immediately struck by her beauty and took her in as a muse. Lear described their long relationship as a “spiritual marriage,” though Dalí had a wife and Lear continued to date others. Those other boyfriends included The Rolling Stones’s Brian Jones (it’s widely rumored the song “Miss Amanda Jones” was inspired by her) and David Bowie. At one point she was set to play Princess Irulan in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s never-realized adaptation of Dune (Florence Pugh will play the part in Denis Villeneuve’s version). In the late ’70s, Lear launched a disco career and has since released 18 studio albums. She may or may not have partially inspired the Absolutely Fabulous character Patsy Stone and she’s the model on the cover of Roxy Music’s iconic For Your Pleasure album (she was briefly involved with lead singer Bryan Ferry). For 21 years, she was married to a notorious bisexual French Aristocrat. She also remains a major muse and close friend of Jean Paul Gaultier. She’s written books, presented television shows, acted on stage and screen and exhibited her paintings. Even at 77 years old (...or 80 ...or 84, depending on who you ask), she still makes it out to sit front row at a fashion show or to attend an event.

Like we said, one of the most glamourous lives of all time—and she did it all in style. Here, a look back at some of her defining style moments.

1967: Out in Paris With Salvador Dalí
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Dalí and Lear met in 1965 and immediately struck a deep connection. Lear would often accompany the artist and his wife on holiday for the remaining 16 years of his life.

1968: Hanging With The Beatles
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Lear was a regular on the scene of London’s Swinging ’60s crowd, and often rubbed shoulders with The Beatles. Here, they attended the opening of the Apple Tailoring Shop in full Dandy attire.

1968: Modeling Clothing by Ossie Clark
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At 5’10”, Lear made for a striking model and worked often with leading ’60s designers like Ossie Clark (whose clothes are pictured here) and Mary Quant, the godmother of the miniskirt.

Circa 1970: In the Recording Booth
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Lear carried on a two-year relationship with David Bowie in the mid ’70s, and it was Bowie who suggested the model take voice lessons and attempt to launch a music career.

1979: Performing in Germany
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Lear’s dark disco sound capitalized on her enigmatic public persona, and found an audience particularly among German, Italian, and Swiss listeners.

1979: Performing in Germany
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Over 18 albums, she also branched out beyond disco, and released projects that incorporated rock, acoustic folk, and standards.

1979: Lounging in Yellow
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By the late ’70s, Lear had begun to establish herself as an actress, particularly in Italy.

1979: On Holiday
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Lear met Alain-Philippe Malagnac at a nightclub in 1978, and married a year later (despite Dalí’s objections).

1980: Performing on Television
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Lear’s performance career continued.

1982: Posing at Home
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Not many can pull off a marching band jacket and leopard-print bikini bottoms, but Lear can.

Circa 1990: At Le Palace Nightclub
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Performing in all black at Paris’s Le Palace, the club where she met her husband.

1998: Italian TV
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In the ’90s, Lear found steady work as a presenter on Italian television and always brought glamour to the job.

2004: Cannes Film Festival
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Lear’s ’00s glamour gave Paris Hilton a run for her money.

2004: Shrek 2 Premiere
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Any glamorous life worth living includes showing up to the premiere of Shrek 2 in Cannes wearing aviator glasses, a going-out top, and a feathered blonde blowout.

2011: Gaultier Show
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What’s more fabulous than showing up front row with a Birkin, red leopard coat, and a t-shirt featuring a picture of yourself flipping the bird?

2014: Artist Against AIDS Gala
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This particular Gaultier motif is all the rage among aspiring “It” girls at the moment, but Lear was wearing it ten years ago.

2015: Lampoon Venice Gala
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She can still do proper glamour pretty well.

2016: amfAR Milano Gala
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A dramatic leg reveal that would make Angelina Jolie jealous.

2018: Gucci Cruise Show
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Lear remains a muse to a new generation of designers—and, of course, was invited by Alessandro Michele to attend a Gucci show back in 2018.

2019: Trophées du Film Français
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These days, the pink sunglasses have become a trademark.

2020: Jean Paul Gaultier’s Retirement Show
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Lear returned to the runway in 2020 to make a special appearance during the retirement show of her good friend Jean Paul Gaultier.

2020: Roger Vivier Presentation
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Even cats in ballgowns can’t out-glamour Ms. Lear.

2022: Venice International Film Festival
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This fuchsia fit stole the show at last year’s Venice Interational Film Festival.

2023: Dior Menswear Show
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Even now, Lear remains a front-row regular.