La Muse et L’Amour de L’Ange

From birth, the Muse was graced with charm, mystery, independence, humility and a beautiful voice.

From a very young age, the Muse had invited and mastered a life of adventure and opportunity. She has danced about the globe with magic and opulence, ever since.

On stage or off, the Muse draws people to her with intrigue and accessibility, all at once. Her international style, repertoire and presence transport audiences and friends to an imaginary Paris or Hollywood of the 50’s and 60’s.

The Angel, like so many others (including Salvador Dali), found that he could not resist his fascination with the Muse. And, like so many others, he sent his envoys to lure her to him with gifts and promises. She eventually accepted his invitation.

Neither the Muse nor the Angel suspected that this would be one of the greatest loves they would ever know.

This is the story of international chanteuse Morganne Picard and the love of Los Angeles…

“…I’ve seen it before, and I’ll see it again. Yes I’ve seen it before, just little bits of history repeating.”

She left Montreal after a successful emancipation from her parents. Her musical and modeling career began in Paris when she was signed by Warner Brothers International, in her early teens. Though her formal training had been with masters of opera, icons like Evis, Edith Piaf, Dalida, Shirley Bassey and Eartha Kitt were her passion. Kitt was one of Morganne’s idols and she’s seen her in concert a few times, and even performed at the same event, once.

“Eartha Kitt was the headliner, so you can imagine how excited I was to be singing on the same stage as her. There was a long runway attached to the stage, so at her sound check I was at the end of the runway, to the side. I gazed and admired her up close, with my hands holding my face and my elbows on the stage,” the Muse recalled. “As she approached while singing, she saw me touching the runway and snapped at me, using her famous growl, ‘RRRR, young lady, please step away from my stage!’” she said. Morganne imitates her very well.

Her encounter with another one of her idols had an altogether different outcome. As a proud supporter of the LGBT community from a very young age, she had access to many creative and connected gay men.

“Dalida was an icon in my French culture and I admired her voice and grace. While living in Paris I became good friends with many gay men in the fashion industry, and some of those creative men were Dalida’s beauty team. They invited me to dine with Dalida at her restaurant in Montmartre, which was a ‘Moulin,’” the Muse said. “She immediately liked my style and invited me to sit next to her. I was the only woman allowed to be close to her amidst ‘the boys!’ I felt very special, that’s for sure. She was very kind and nurturing to me.”

“Moon River, wider than a mile, I’m crossing you in style someday… Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker, wherever you’re going, I’m going your way…”

Her striking appearance and alluring voice quickly made Morganne a favorite among the elite fashion circles of Milan and Paris, as well. One of the many fashion visionaries to take kindly to Morganne was Madame Grès, the sculptress turned fashion designer.

“She was a legend and a master artist. She designed haute couture gowns for the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Jacqueline Kennedy, all icons that I admire,” she said. “Madame Grès was kind to me, and so humble considering her success.”

Other fashion masters drawn to the Muse included Paloma, the daughter of Pablo Picasso, and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, the prêt-a-porter designer who famously used graffiti in his collections.

“I modeled Paloma Picasso’s jewelry and accessory line. It was a privilege to represent her and her legendary status. She had an empowered alpha personality,” the muse remembered. “Jean-Charles was an extremely innovative designer. He incorporated many art forms in his collections,” she said. “I had an affinity with him, as he is a noble, a marquis to be exact, and I am a descendant of a marquis bloodline.”

Ne me quitte pas… If you go away on this summer day, then you might as well take the sun away… But if you stay, I’ll make you a day, like no day has been, or will be again… Ne me quitte pas, ne me quitte pas…”

The Muse had only just arrived, when the volatility of the Angel shattered alliances, broke promises and scared many away.

​“I came to Los Angeles for a record deal with MCA Records,” Morganne said, however, “the contract fizzled because L.A. was in shambles for over a year caused by the Northridge earthquake. I arrived on the eve of it.”

Rather than running away and leaving the Angel abandoned and broken, “I stayed because I did not want to be a coward and abandon the city because of the earthquake. I took it as a challenge to summon up my courage amidst the chaos caused by the earthquake and share my energy and cosmopolitan experience,” said Morganne.

The Angel kept her happy with the diversity of music, film, art, fashion, dance, cuisine and people of his heart.

“Of course the weather was alluring. Which other Mecca on earth can boast having beautiful weather and be on par with all the major cities of the world? I’ve lived in New York, Paris, Milan, Tokyo, etc., and Los Angeles really is the City of Angels,” Morganne said.

The expanse of the city with its many varied communities and cultures encourages innovation and acceptance in all areas including music and fashion. She discovered populations and treasures in his heart that are rarely mentioned in statistics and go ignored by outsiders.

“I fell in love with the nature that surrounds the county, the easy going spirit of the natives and the multicultural communities that make Los Angeles so rich and so abundant in diversity,” the Muse said. “There is a music scene to suit all tastes. Los Angeles County has the most music venues on earth, so there is a stage and demand for all kinds of music.”

“La mer qu’on voit danser le long des golfes clairs a des reflets d’argent… Somewhere beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me… It’s far beyond the stars. It’s near beyond the moon…”

The Muse brought to the Angel a Parisian/Euro sensibility that has grown in recent years, only adding to the glamour and opulence of the city.

​“I have seen a boost of Europeans moving to Los Angeles. So I feel that there is an interchange and sharing of ideas in all areas, such as music, literature, cuisines, fashion etc,” the Muse explained. “Los Angeles is so far from Europe compared to the East Coast that there is a longing to experience all the richness that the old world has to offer.​ Angelenos want to connect with the world by tasting, emulating or admiring the European flair.”

Another boost to the Parisian influence over the Angel occurred when Morganne met designer, Ali Rahimi at his French couture salon for her Effie Magazine photo shoot. She descended upon the photo shoot, like a flash flood of jewelry, feathers, hats and wigs.

On that day, the bodice of a new couture creation had been taunting Rahimi. The moment the she arrived, his vision became clear and the gown was assembled. In a flurry of excitement, Morganne was sewn into the lipstick red sculpture of a gown, and the photographs flew. She had inspired its completion and brought it to life, so Rahimi named it “The Morganne.”

When Rahimi presented the Muse with a breathtaking 60’s inspired floor length royal blue gown, he had no idea that among the hats in her luggage was a brilliant royal blue feather accented chapeau. The two matched perfectly and instantly a love triangle was formed; Morganne fell in love with the gown, Rahimi fell in love with Morganne and Morganne fell in love with Rahimi. As one of the last French couture salons in Los Angeles, Mon Atelier embodies all that is Morganne.

“It’s no secret that I Lovvvveeee when I’m present when someone incredible breathes LIFE into some fabric that I’ve imagined and pieced together,” Rahimi gushed to the Effie Magazine editors who had arranged the introduction. “So thank you, for the gift that is Morganne!”

Having been a muse for so many people throughout her life, Morganne revealed that as flattering as the experience has always been, it is just as humbling.

“My heart and soul loves it. One of the greatest gifts a person can have is to make others happy and empower them to excel in their craft. It gives me a sense of purpose to inspire others,” the Muse said.

Seeing people smile and feeling their happiness while she sings and entertains them is very rewarding to Morganne. “It gives me purpose to make people feel good and enjoy the present,” the Muse said. “The audience and I connect on a creative level, where I am the ring master as I bring them into my world on a stimulating journey.”

“At the end of a rainbow, you’ll find a pot of gold. At the end of a story you’ll find it’s all been told, but our love has treasure our hearts can always spend, and it has a story without any end…”

And while so many of Morganne’s performances have a special meaning for her, one in particular stands out. “I used to have a residency in L.A. that lasted 5 years. I would talk in between the songs, either about current events, astrology, my travels and my philosophy,” she remembered. “One night after a show, a man came up to me and said that I saved his life! He had just lost his wife and child in a car accident, and that listening to me sing and talk about life inspired him to keep on living. Prior to attending my shows, he was suicidal.”

Amazed at the strength of her influence, the Muse realized what a great responsibility she had to set a positive and hopeful example for others. People have always been drawn to her inherent fearlessness and self assurance, two elements that she is also drawn to.

“Charisma is what I think creates sex appeal. It is an inner strength of self awareness and love. Sexiness is a chemistry factor that emanates from within. Kindness, empathy and charm are sexy to me,” she revealed. “When people take good care of themselves, share ideas and are giving of their hearts, they are sexy.” As a former ballet dancer, she considers good posture to be very sexy as well.

Whether inherent or not, the Muse believes that fearlessness, self assurance and adventure can be achieved by anyone. The same is true for hopes, dreams and love, she said. All one has to do is accept the invitation and “go for it.”

The Muse always accepts an invitation to dance about the globe or an opportunity for adventure. She makes no predictions about the future or how long this love affair with the Angel will last. However, she will continue to accept the treasures of his heart, for as long as he wishes to give them. And, at least for now, with grace and gratitude, Morganne is the Muse of Los Angeles.

“Dearest [Darlings],
Thank you so very much for your kindness, friendship and support!
Gracias, for all the good times and creative times.
Merci, for your hospitality and for being Angels!
With Love,
Morganne.”

 

For more information about Morganne Picard, visit www.morganne.comMorganne returns to Rockwell Table & Stage in honor of Bastille Day on Monday, July 14. For tickets and information, CLICK HERE or  visit rockwell-la.com.

Wardrobe by Ali Rahimi for Mon Atelier. For more information, visit www.monatelier.com.

Photography by Natalie Sehn Weber and Effie Magazine staff.

4 Comments

  1. William Messenger

    June 18, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Good article. Captures Morganne very well.

  2. Ruthie

    June 21, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Love it!! Especially the part about Madame Grès! Lol

    Very well written 🙂

  3. Maria C. Cacarnakis

    June 24, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Wonderful article ! Thanks Effie Magazine !
    Maria C. Cacarnakis

  4. Tina

    June 25, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Fantastic article and beautifully laid out. Morganne was made for those dresses! Captivating on all levels!

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