As we try to catch up on our centrefolds of the month we go back forty years to Russo-Italian girl Franca Petrov from November 1970.
A very seventies top!
Well, that's if the accompanying text is to be believed and, at this time, Penthouse was still using some of its models' real names and stories but as we can't find anything else about the young lady who knows?
It could just be that they chose the Italo-Russian mix to justify the quotation from Stendahl they used to open the piece. Stendahl reckoned that the ideally beautiful woman "would combine the regal grace and proud carriage of a Russian nobleman with the full-blown earth beauty of an Italian girl". We can't think that Penthouse today would open their centrefold pictorial with a quote from a nineteenth century French novelist!
In fact the Penthouse piece claims, at one point, that Franca's father had studied in Grenoble, which is just, coincidentally, Stendahl's birthplace.
This pictorial was shot by two seperate photographers: David Dagley and Marc Sharratt. We don't think that these photographers ever did any other work for Penthouse but do know that Sharratt photographed Pink Floyd in the sixties.
For most of her pictorial's pictures Franca is actually dressed. Agent Triple P actually likes to see his centrefold ladies dressed in some of their pictures and when you factor in the fashions of forty years ago it sets the whole pictorial firmly in its time.
Triple P, who has some experience of Italian women, responds very positively to her dark and sultry Mediterranean looks.
It's a shame so many mens' magazines photographers don't show their models smiling but then if you are being asked to look sultry and Mediterranean then its difficult, we suppose.
An interesting composition this; it reminds Triple P of the framing of some of the shots in The Ipcress File (1965) where the director, Sidney J Furie, often put random objects in the foreground whilst the action took place in the background.
Franca was blessed with a 39-24-37 figure but we only get to see her in her naked entirity once, in what is the nicest photograph of the shoot, as she sits astride a chair..
Franca has a lusciouly full pair of lips; something which Triple P particularly appreciates!
Finally, Franca becomes only the sixth Penthouse centrefold (seventh for the UK edition) to flash her fur, in this one picture.
Frankly (!) all you really take in, though, is that amazing psychedelic top!