Famous Tightlacers

(Pauline) POLAIRE (Emilie-Marie Bouchard) 


All enlargeable

Polaire was the world record holder prior to Ethel Granger, claiming a measurement of 14 inches, although that may have been just once, for an instance, wearing a tight belt
(just under 16 inches was probably her true size).  She was a close friend of Colette (here shown at age 15) in her youth.


(Above left) 1900

(L) Obviously retouched, but certainly pleasant to look upon.  (R) "Publicity" picture from a 1906 production of 'dans les Hannetons'

DO visit this most interesting French language site, dedicated to Polaire, and containing pictures and voice recordings
has tendered this very early filmclip of Polaire (silent)

Library of Congress file (1909)

Michael M. offers: "Willy was the pseudonym of Henry Gauthier-Villars, the first husband of the famous French writer Colette (Sidonie-Gabrielle Claudine Colette).
 In the late 1890-years, as a very young woman, Colette wrote the then very popular 'Claudine'-novels. As it was not suitable for a lady to write novels that tell the
thoughts and feelings of girls and young women very frankly, they were published under the pseudonym of her husband ('Willy'). Due to the success of the publications,
there were soon 'Claudine'-plays in theaters in Paris. Polaire was chosen to act as the leading lady in the role of 'Claudine' and Henry Gauthier-Villars, Colette and Polaire
 became very close friends. In public, Henry presented Colette and Polaire as twins, and they had to appear in the exactly the same look. If you Google 'Henry Colette Polaire'
 you can find
photos of that appearance in the Internet."


The author alerts us to his new (French) book about the fabulous wasp-waisted singer and actress:
Polaire - La demoiselle la rose rouge
(une amie de Colette) 

Contains Many photos, drawings, caricatures, letters, etc. (about 500 documents)
Press release and ordering information (in French)


A Polaire by Stebbing



...with Germaine Gallois

Miss Gallois was an elegant and beautiful French soprano and actress (1869-1932),
in vogue during the Belle poque till the late 1920's.


(below) "...from the 1904 production of 'dans Le Friquet.'  Theses are crops - for full picture, click



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