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?
I met the lovely Katie, from What Katie Did yesterday. Oh what joy to talk suspenders, corselettes, and knickers with one in the know!
If you’re in Portobello you must pop into the shop, it’s just…heaven!
I will write my interview up very soon but, in the meantime, take a look at this cheeky calendar-girl video. All lingerie What Katie Did – of course!
Have a good weekend.
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.
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)
“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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
Camille Clifford 1905, Gibson Girl
Gustav Klimt 1918, Portrait of Johanna Staude
1924 Dress by Chanel
Frida Kahlo by Nickolas Muray 1938
Red Scarf by Clare McCardell 1946
Grace Kelly, To Catch a Thief, 1955
Monica Vitti 1965
Bianca Jagger in Zandra Rhodes
1980’s gets edgy! Loving those canary yellow knickers!
Now you know why I was rather uncommunicative!
I’ve seen so many books I want to get for Christmas that I’ve started making a list. Which has now turned into a post!
And if your loved ones are anything like me then these are sure to please on Christmas Day.
I’ve even added them to my Amazon affiliate store, so you can buy them straight from the links below:
My problem is I want ALL of them!
Happy Shopping! Cx
Apologies for the lack of posts recently. It’s a busy time!
I’ve spent the last couple of weeks sewing marabou feathers onto corsets and making red santa capes with extra strong velcro!
We got festive this week, as The Pushettes (although this time only three) performed a burlesque gig, in Dulwich, for The Reliant Magazine Christmas Do.
Needless to say I have now developed an allergy to marabou feathers and my fingers are black and blue from driving needles through extremely tough velcro.
I must admit I was a little apprehensive about the costumes. After trawling the internet for Santa outfits all I could find were some rather trashy velour numbers and trashy was not the look we were going for. More………
So we ordered some fabulous red corsets from Corsets UK and sewed marabou feathers around the lace and I made some capes so we could do a little “reveal” when we entered the stage – hence the velcro!
Even when the tulle skirts arrived, I still thought this could go horribly wrong. However, all dressed up, I’m glad and relieved to say “cute” was definitely the adjective of the evening.
We did the routine to the Puppini sisters “All I want for Christmas is you”. So it was a sort of 1940’s cheeky number rather than one of our more risque Moulin Rouge numbers, so it all came together nicely.
As always we has a blast – I just wish we were a bit more organised in getting the routine filmed and decent photos taken.
Still, there’s always next time.
Thank you David and Donnie for asking us to participate. Hope you had a successful evening and raised loads of money for King’s College Hospital.
So, to finish, here’s the Puppini Sisters doing a live version – so you get a little taster of what it was all about:
In August 1996 Vogue ran an article entitled “Does your house suit you?” Plum Sykes interviewed women whose homes reflected their whole style ethos.
One of these women was Yvonne Spore, a stylist, whose plaster pink walls enthralled my 17-year-old mind so much so, that I still have the article.
Believe it or not there weren’t even many images in the article other than the one below. But the description blew my mind.
“What just happened was this: she knocked out the interior of a suburban house, raised the roof, left the newly plastered walls their pinkish colour, put down limed-oak floors – “They look like they’ve been washed and washed” – and moved in her two beige cats and extensive wardrobe, the colours of which range from mother of pearl and oyster to cappuccino. She complements the house and the house flatters her style; it’s a créme-caramel experience.
As Lucille Lewin of Whistles says. “Yvonne just is vanilla. Her hair, her clothes – she even smells like vanilla”.
I wanted to be vanilla. I really wanted to be vanilla!
The whole idea of a style permeating through any and every outlet was incredibly appealing – I even bought some vanilla perfume from Body Shop to be just like Yvonne.
I think I may have gone slightly overboard on the whole perfume bit because vanilla now makes me feel slightly nauseous but four houses down the line, those plaster pink walls are still with me.
I can’t actually say that I have ever gone as far as to leave my walls unpainted (although that’s only because my husband would disapprove massively) but I do realise that I have a slight colour obsession, only not with vanilla, I’m vintage pink!
I can spot that slightly dusty salmony pink from a far and I’m hooked.
I can see it in the Zara Wood illustration I just bought, a vintage coat and a slightly saucy pin up pic I found at the vintage fair this weekend, my 1920’s lampshade and my grandmother’s beautiful Edwardian quilt cover – the colour even makes it way into my boards on pinterest.
So if you find anything which says to you vintage pink, send it my way! I’m building an empire.
At the weekend I was extremely fortunate to have been given these exquisite vintage ballet books from the 1950’s. Basically two of my greatest passions rolled into one – vintage and dance.
Serge Lido was born in Moscow and became one of the greatest photographers of dance in the twentieth century. Based in Paris he and his wife Irene Lidova travelled Europe creating a magnificent record of contemporary and classical ballet.
Since there are so many images to choose from I think it would be rather rude to do just one post. So watch out for more:
I don’t know about you but the dancers don’t seem to display the fragility that modern day dancers do. Now is that because of the way they’ve been photographed, or because the style at the time leant towards a fuller figure or just a different attitude in dance itself?
I’d be interested to know your thoughts?
Personally, I find it rather refreshing. My favourites are the feathered lady in the third picture and the last one. She looks like my mum in her youth.
Thank you for the books Miranda!
All photographs by Serge Lido 1951.
I recently bought the book “Lingerie” featuring the beautiful photography of Lillan Bassman.
Bassman became a photographer in the late 1940’s. Her images of women broke the mould, emphasising a more intimate portrayal and establishing a niche in lingerie and night-wear photography.
Carmen Dell’Orefice, Merry Widow 1951
Bassman was an avid watcher of women and in the book it describes how, in the mid 1940’s, she began to study the body language of those who made a living out of their sensuousness and were not afraid to show it.
“It was too late to get served at the hotel so I decided to walk down the Avenue. I spotted my corner carefully and then proceeded. It’s strange how similar and how different French girls are (to American girls). In the majority they look like old victory girls of B’way. High pompadours, long hair over their shoulders, skirt at above knee length and heavy high-heeled shoes. It wasn’t too light and I was shy about staring too much, so all I got were quick outlines”
A few days later. she watched the prostitutes make easy pickings of American GIs: “There’s no denying a French girl once she spots you along, it’s done on the streets, in doorways, anywheres. There’s a special drape to the way her body clings to a man and she takes the initiative on all occasions.”
And from there, Bassman embarked on a special relationship with her photography, where women felt comfortable in her company and who thus photographed with an air of effortless self-possession. Warner lingerie subsequently enjoyed a huge rise in sales with their Merry Widow campaign, shot by Bassman and named after the Lana Turner movie – with the tagline “How can you look so naughty and feel so nice?”
This campaign was so successful it continued right up to the early 1960’s.
Lillian would often take her models out of the studios, preferring a room with abundant natural light and a more reportage style of work.
Gossard Ultrabra 1997
Makes you want to go and buy a corset, doesn’t it!
I know they were probably extremely uncomfortable but the corsets with the tulle skirts do look pretty. I showed my husband to get his opinion and he said “I prefer sexy lingerie to pretty lingerie”. Men eh!
I suppose that’s exactly where Bassman differed – she photographed women for women. Personally, I think pretty can be sexy and these are very sexy indeed.
Lillian died in February of this year. She was 94 and still working. The book Lingerie is a fabulous tribute to a woman who revolutionised women’s photography and the photography of the female form.
I can’t recommend it enough!