Tag Archives: 1940s

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

Calendar Girls @ What Katie Did

What Katie DidI 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.

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!

hurrelljessicalange

Jessica Lange

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

1930s

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!

Igetakickoutofyou 10 Best Books for Christmas

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!

20121204-205053.jpg

Dressed to Kill, Jazz Age Fashion by Virginia & Daisy Bates

Decades, A Century of Fashion by Cameron Silver20121204-205145.jpg

Hollywood Sketchbook by Deborah Nadoolman Landis

Sieff Fashion 1960 – 2000

20121204-205227.jpgThe Essential Cecil Beaton 1920 – 1970

Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast

20121204-205249.jpgMaster Photographers

Muses, Women Who Inspire

Happy Shopping! Cx

All I Want For Christmas Is You

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!

The reason?

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.

20121204-092908.jpg, The Pushettes, Carolyn Everitt, Amanda Botterill, Linda Davidson

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………

Christmas pin up

Christmas pin up

Christmas Pin Up

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:

The Vintage Pinks

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.

Vogue 1996, Yvonne Spore, Plum Sykes

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.
Nicole, Zara Wood, Woody, fashion illustration

Dusty pink fur collar vintage coat

Pin Up Dusty pink fairy

1920s lampshade, dusty pink

vintage edwardian rose print fabric

Vintage pink 1940s style

So if you find anything which says to you vintage pink, send it my way! I’m building an empire.

Vintage Ballet by Serge Lido Part 1

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:

Serge Lido, Annual ballet magazine, photographer, vintage dance photographs

Serge Lido, Annual ballet magazine, photographer, vintage dance photographs

Serge Lido, Annual ballet magazine, photographer, vintage dance photographs

Serge Lido, Annual ballet magazine, photographer, vintage dance photographs

Serge Lido, Annual ballet magazine, photographer, vintage dance photographs

Serge Lido, Annual ballet magazine, photographer, vintage dance photographs

Serge Lido, Annual ballet magazine, photographer, vintage dance photographs

Serge Lido, Annual ballet magazine, photographer, vintage dance photographs

Serge Lido, Annual ballet magazine, photographer, vintage dance photographs

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.

How can you look so naughty and feel so nice?

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.

Lillian Bassman, Black basque, LingerieHarpers Bazaar, March 1954

Lillian Bassman, Carmen Dell'Orefice, white basque

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 Bassman, Merry Widow 1954, Venetian masks, black basque

Lillian Bassman, Merry Widow, Venetian Masks, Black Basque, white tulle skirt

Lillian would often take her models out of the studios, preferring a room with abundant natural light and a more reportage style of work.

Lillian Bassman, woman looking in the mirror, white basque

Corselet by Perma-lift 1956Lillian Bassman, black basque

Betty Biehn 1955Lillian Bassman, bra and pants, lady doing hair

Margie Cato late 1940’sLillian Bassman, smoking on the train, pyjamas

Pyjamas by Kicknernick 1951Lillian Bassman, Under the sheet, white basque

Advertisement for La Roche early 1950’s (my favourite!)Lillian Bassman, Suzy Parker, Nightgown, lingerie

Suzy Parker 1951Lillian Bassman, painting toes, Lingerie

Maidenform 1956Lillian Bassman, white basque, wallpaper, Lingerie

Warner’s advertisement 1957
Lillian Bassman, white basque, Lingerie

Barbara Vaughn early 1950’sLillian Bassman, Gossard Ultrabra 1997

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.

Lililan Bassman in the studio

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!