© Sandrine Boyer
© Willy Rizzo

1949: Willy Rizzo reporting in Deauville

For the first time since the end of the war, the casino’s new decor, as well as its players, actors, and atmosphere were photographed under the exclusive demand of François André, director of Deauville’s hotels and casino, in order to modernize the casino’s image. Adding a glamourous touch to the city, the Rallye nautique du Pavillon d’Or (Golden Pavilion nautical rally) took place at the same time, surrounded by an affluence of celebrities: Heddy Lamar, George Raft, Sophie Desmarets, Ludmilla Tchérina, Tilda Thamar, Vincent Scotto, Serge Reggiani, Albert, first maître d’hôtel at Maxim’s, Jane Wyman, Lord Rothschild …Seventy-two yachts from all over the world gave the city a festive and sporty atmosphere. From the Planches boardwalk where ladies paraded in their fancy armature bathing suits, and where parasols seemed to form a multicolored forest, to the Le Bar du Soleil, Le Ciro’s, Chez Carpentier, Le Grill du Casino, Les Ambassadeurs, Le Brummell, laughs resonated, conversations were lively, and a joyful ambiance reigned. It was this very atmosphere that Will Rizzo captured, invited with his friends, the Kessel brothers, to spend a few days in Deauville. Using a 6x6, he photographed the city with the passion of his youth (21 years old) and an expert’s eye. His photographs, which were shot five years after the Allied Landing, were the first published pictures of Deauville after the war. Willy Rizzo was one of the most talented photographers of the new brand Paris Match, he became the artistic director of Marie-Claire and collaborated with the greatest magazines, namely Vogue.