From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Camilla Antoinette Clifford (June 29,1885 - June 28,1971), was an actress and model famous as the original "Gibson girl". Daughter of Reynold Clifford and Matilda Ottersen, she was born in Antwerp, Belgium. In the early 1900's she won US$2000 in a magazine contest sponsored by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson to find a real-life version of his "Gibson girl". She became an actress, performing in the United States from 1902 and England from 1904.
While only playing walk-on parts, Clifford became famous for her beauty, and was known as the ideal Gibson Girl. However, she was by no means the only woman (or man) to play the popular character. Her towering coiffure and long, elegant gowns wrapped around her hourglass figure and tightly corsetted wasp waist (claimed to be 18 inches) defined the Gibson girl style. Photographs of her taken by Lizzie Caswall Smith taken in 1905 often appear in historical fashion books and on web sites to illustrate the Edwardian style.