Category Archives: 1930s

Vintage Drama

Rather loving these moody, vintage pics from The Gifts of Life tumblr. I love that indian sheer top – can that really be vintage? If so please can it  make it’s way to Syd’s Vintage in Kirkdale so I can purchase it?

Vintage indian top

Feather vintage hat

VIntage indian headdress

vintage feathers and chandelier

A Brodovitch Legacy

There is a reason why I have a crush on Harper’s Bazaar España, apart from Sandra Suy’s beautiful illustrations. The attention to the layout of text, in relationship to images, is really quite something.

I confess I am a terrible magazine junkie, and it may simply be the case that I am so used to reading the same magazines, I’ve become desensitised to their layout. But the creative, contoured use of text in this publication has really hit me between the eyes and feels distinctly familiar.

Christy Turlington, Harpers Bazaar EspanaHarper Bazaar EspanaHarpers Bazaar EspanaHarpers Bazaar EspanaHarpers Bazaar EspanaHarpers Bazaar Espana

The reason it might strike you as familiar is because of Alexey Brodovitch, the art director of Harper’s Bazaar (US) who revolutionized magazine publishing with his use of double spreads and clever typography in the late 1930’s through to the late 50’s.

“Brodovitch sometimes manipulated text to comply with the constraints imposed by the photograph. He explored various typographic possibilities to see how they could work with the content of an image; he seems, for example, to have designed the contour of a block of text to harmonise with the outline of a dress photographed by George Hoyningen-Huene (15March 1938). At this time he was also performing similar experiments with the photographs of Man Ray. One or more dropped initials, in black or in colour, would harmonise the composition of the text and create a counterpoint to the image”. (Alexey Brodovitch, Gabriel Bauret)

Alexey Brodovitch, Harpers Bazaar Espana

Alexey Brodovitch, Harpers Bazaar Espana

Man Ray, Alexey Brodovitch, Harpers BazaarAll I can say is whoever is doing the España layouts, keep on doing them. Because I’m loving them, even if my spanish is a bit ropey, and I’m sure Alexey would be rather thrilled.

George Hurrell – Shadowcaster

“A Hurrell portrait is to the ordinary publicity stills what a Rolls-Royce is to a roller-skate”.          This is how George Hurrell, MGM’s main man, was described in Esquire magazine in 1936.

Weimar style ... Marlene Dietrich photography by George Hurrell in 1931.

Marlene Dietrich

George Hurrell, Veronica Lake

Veronica Lake

George swept into town with the intention of becoming a painter, only once he started photographing heiresses, with his signature dramatic spotlight, creating sculptured cheekbones and glowing skin, he never looked back.

George Hurrell, Carole Lombard

Carole Lombard

By 1929 he had a contract with MGM and became renowned as an image maker, helping to create the flowing locks of Veronica Lake and the impressive cleavage of Jane Russell.

George Hurrell, Jane Russell

Jane RussellGeorge Hurrell, Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow

I’ve even spotted some gorgeous images of Brooke Shields, Sherilyn Fenn and Jessica Lange. Oh, how comfortable would you feel to know that you were going to sculptured and veneered – no wonder they all look so serene!


Jessica Lange

Why Don’t You….watch “The Eye Has to Travel”

I watched the documentary Diana Vreeland – The Eye Has To Travel over the weekend and it is an absolute must-see. I was totally transfixed from beginning to end.

Diana Vreeland

“I was the most hideous thing in the world”, Diana Vreeland told an interviewer in 1977 and perhaps because of this, she became the champion of the eclectic woman and the unconventional beauties of the world.

I won’t spoil her story here, you must definitely watch the film, but she was well known for her “Why Don’t You…” column in Harper’s Bazaar in the late 30’s which involved bizarre suggestions like “Why don’t you twist (your child’s) pigtails round her ears like macaroons!”

As you can imagine as fashion editor for Harper’s Bizarre and then Vogue, she delighted in the extraordinary and her fashion shots are still some of the most talked about. She launched many a face and made a huge impact in developing a more cosmopolitan consciousness in the world of fashion.

So I thought I would just highlight a few of her favourite people so you can get a taste for the film. Do, do watch it – it’s total escapism and a history of fashion all in one …..

Lauren Bacall, Diana Vreeland

The lady who discovered Lauren Bacall

Irving Penn, Geisha, Diana VreelandDiana loved Geisha girls (as pictured by Irving Penn in 1970)

Barbara Steisand, Vogue, Diana Vreeland

Barbara Streisand

Mick Jagger, Diana Vreeland

Mick Jagger photographed by David Bailey 1964

Rouge et Noir, Diaghliev's Ballet Russes, Diana Vreeland 1939

Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes 1939

Maria Callas, Diana Vreeland

Maria Callas

Lauren Hutton, Diana VreelandLauren Hutton

I shall now leave you for a week, as it’s half term here and it will no doubt be chaos….Cx

Decades of Desire

I now know the best way to get the presents you desire and that’s to write a post about them. Oh yes, some of those lovely 10 Best Books found their way into my stocking this year and I am one happy gal!

Now I’m not favouring one present over another, but I have to say Decades by Cameron Silver, which my cousin’s in law gave me, had me, (rather unfortunately for my family), totally mesmerised on Boxing Day.

The pictures are gorgeous. But the story of how this young cabaret singer who randomly started to collect vintage fashion, established a prestigious vintage store and essentially waited for the vintage trend to unfold, is totally fascinating. Needless to say Cameron Silver now dresses Oscar tipped celebrities.

So I guess you would like a sneak peek?

Decades by Cameron Silver,, Camille Clifford, Gibson Girl

Camille Clifford 1905, Gibson Girl

Decades by Cameron Silver, Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Johanna Staude

Gustav Klimt 1918, Portrait of Johanna Staude

Decades by Cameron Silver, Chanel Dress 1924

1924 Dress by Chanel

Decades by Cameron Silver, 1930


Decades by Cameron Silver, Frida Kahlo by Nickolas Muray

Frida Kahlo by Nickolas Muray 1938

Decades by Cameron Silver, Red scarf by Clare McCardell

Red Scarf by Clare McCardell 1946

Decades by Cameron Silver, Grace Kelly, To Catch a Thief

Grace Kelly, To Catch a Thief, 1955

Decades by Cameron Silver, Monica Vitti 1965

Monica Vitti 1965

Decades by Cameron Silver, Bianca Jagger, yellow kaftan, Zandra Rhodes

Bianca Jagger in Zandra Rhodes

Decades by Cameron Silver,

1980’s gets edgy! Loving those canary yellow knickers!

Now you know why I was rather uncommunicative!

Channelling Chinatown

Mrs Mulwray, Faye Dunaway, ChinatownThere are different layers of rich, and you have to choose which rich she is. She’s the heroine of the film, so you can’t choose to make her a dumpy rich person. She’s also Faye Dunaway. You can choose to make her rather chic. I’ve never seen Babe Paley wear anything but brown, gray, off-white, and black. I assume Faye does the same thing as Mrs Mulwray”.

Anthea Sylbert, Costume Designer for Chinatown 1974 (Dressed by Deborah Nadoolman Landis)

My friend, Emma, picked up this 2006 W magazine for me, on one of her home shoots, and I discovered this wonderful 30’s style photoshoot which is just so reminiscent of the uber- chic, slightly masculine style of Mrs Mulwray in Chinatown, I just had to put the two together:

Michael Thompson, Mrs Mulwray style, Chinatown, W magazine

Michael Thompson, Mrs Mulwray style, Chinatown, W magazine

Michael Thompson, Mrs Mulwray style, Chinatown, W magazine

Michael Thompson, Mrs Mulwray style, Chinatown, W magazine

Michael Thompson, Mrs Mulwray style, Chinatown, W magazine

Michael Thompson, Mrs Mulwray style, Chinatown, W magazine

Michael Thompson, Mrs Mulwray style, Chinatown, W magazine

Photos: Michael Thompson for W Magazine

Vintage Whites

Vintage Whites, Carolyn Everitt, edwardian, 1920's fashion illustration

I’m rather susceptible to white lace dresses, particularly the edwardian types with the bobble edging and crochet details.

In fact you can usually spot me at a vintage fair by the trail I lead from one white outfit to the next. Generally, followed closely by my mum, saying “yes it’s lovely but when would you wear it?”

Well the weather, for the last few days anyway, has been perfect for a white dress – this is when I would wear it ………if I had one.

So, with a little investigation, here are some rather lovely white lace dresses to drool over, introduced by a little inspiration:

Rustic Meets VintageVIntage whites, lace edwardian skirt, lace up boots

Igetakickoutofyou PinterestVintage Whites, bobble edged dress, chloe

Igetakickoutofyou Pinterest20120811-134900.jpg

Vintage Textiles

Purses at the Ready………..

Vintage Textiles  $80020120811-135101.jpg

Etsy $20020120811-135135.jpg

Etsy $37520120811-135159.jpg

Etsy $68Vintage Whites, Asos, White lace dress

Asos £100VIntage Whites, Asos, White Lace Dress

Asos £120

Personally, I think the vintage ones have the edge over the more modern versions, but I suppose at least they’re not as fragile or petite.

I absolutely love the second one at Etsy, and pretty reasonable considering the excellent condition and exquisite detail.

Hmmm … this space, I might have to make it mine …..unless you get there first!