The Art of Vogue Covers

i was given a wonderful gift recently from Anton’s gran, who was cleaning out her book collection and came upon an old copy of The Art of Vogue Covers. it details the illustrated covers of British Vogue from 1909 through to 1940, including the entire collection of covers between 1920-1930. i was only familiar with a few of the illustrated Vogue covers (a handful of which were turned into posters and probably hang in many a college dorm room), so i thought i’d scan in some of my favourites and share them with you.

most of the work showcased in the book are by seasoned Vogue illustrators Helen Dryden, Georges Lepap, Harriett Maserol, George Plank and Eduardo Benito amongst others. if you’d like to see more please let me know and i’ll continue adding them to the flickr collection, this is literally just the tip of the iceberg.

see them all here.

 

Take Your Pleasure Seriously

when you look at pictures of Charles and Ray Eames one of the best things about this talented and innovative couple is that they really looked like they always had so much fun together. which is why i wasn’t surprised when i stumbled upon some Life Magazine pics of a range of toys that they designed in the early fifties. the Eames’ didn’t have children of their own (Charles had a daughter with his first wife) but I could imagine that if they ever did they would have created an amazing world for them to play in.

did you know that Ray died ten years to the day after Charles did? Another lovely factoid is that they used to serve bowls of flowers to their dinner guests as a “visual dessert”. If you want to know more about them and their extraordinary body of work you should watch the PBS documentary Eames: the Architect and the Painter.

Matching Shoes

i suppose i have been kind of shoe obsessed around here lately – and this is of course because i am truly shoe obsessed in real life at the moment. at the moment? all. the.time. it’s quite difficult finding really nice (affordable) shoes in south africa, so that’s why a lot of my internet daydreaming is shoe related.

this editorial was shot by nina leen in 1946 for life magazine. as you can see the theme is matching shoes… and i mean literally matching to your outfit – not just matching your shoes to your handbag (which i find pretty ridiculous and outdated, let them clash i say). it’s a really fun and fashion-forward editorial considering this was the mid-fourties, and i wouldn’t mind snapping up the plaid booties in the second to last image… but i’d keep the hat at home.

all images courtesy of the life image archives.

Love Music Wine & Revolution

love music wine and revolution is a great source for vintage lovers and visual aesthetes alike. the author shares screencaps from her favourite old movies, which is pretty handy for those of us who need vintage film recommendations (i for one haven’t seen any of the films featured on the blog) and, you know, they’re pretty great to look at. she runs a very attractive similarly themed tumblr too.

Jackie & JFK

since i seem to be on a wedding trip today, i thought it might be cool to share some pics from the wedding of Jackie & JFK in September 1953, which was taken by Life photographer Lisa Larsen. there were 600 guests, they had 14 ushers and 10 bridesmaids and they ate pineapple salad at their reception.

Matchbook Landscapes

Matchbook Landscapes is an interesting project by Krista Charles, who has collected old matchbooks ever since she salvaged a small collection from her then 90 year old grandfather-in-law.

For each matchbook I find where the location of the business would be in Google Maps and on the inside cover of the matchbook I make a pencil sketch of whatever is now shown at this location. On average each drawing takes about two hours to complete. Sometimes the places advertised on the matchbooks are still in business even after decades have passed, some businesses have changed names and are under new ownership, and some buildings are empty or have been torn down and replaced by new buildings or parking lots or highway expansion programs and even empty fields.

The age of the matchbooks I use vary, but all are a unique view into the previous business and the dreams of its owner and how these places and by extension all places and our histories change over time. Even the story of matchbooks has evolved and what was once a common item to give out to promote a business has now become a vintage item, rarer to find except in antique stores and our own junk drawers.

you can see the entire collection on her website and buy the matchbooks from her etsy store.

Beautiful Girls in New York

street style circa 1944, photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt for a series called beautiful girls in new york for Life. i really think fourties style has to be one of my favourites, though perhaps women in new york have just always looked amazing.

Lover’s Eyes

Alison of Teenangster always discovers the most amazing jewellery, which she often shares on her blog, pinterest and twitter. so i was excited when she sent me this post about Lover’s Eyes. jewellery with a story, my favourite.


So, I’m a bit of an antique jewelry fiend. Ever since I got engaged, it’s only gotten worse; I now spend way too much time hovering on eBay and Etsy vintage, seeking out gray seed pearls, an engraved band from the 1930s, European-cut diamonds, mourning jewelry. You name it, I’m watching it.

And then I found out about lover’s eyes: hand-painted portraits on ivory which were popular in England between the 1780s and 1830s. What a game changer! My love of eyes, art and jewelry, united in one convenient, covetable form.

So, the history of this jewelry style is as juicy as the paintings are gorgeous. Since romantic love didn’t typically exist within the confines of a marriage at this point in history, affairs were pretty common. So how would you show your loyalty to your lover? By wearing a sentimental portrait of an unidentifiable part of their person, of course.

According to the Smithsonian, “One of the earliest known eye miniatures was painted in 1786 by the English artist Richard Cosway for the Prince of Wales, later King George IV. The miniature showed the eye of Mrs. Fitzherbert, the prince’s mistress.” And since just the eye of one’s lover was visible, the piece could be worn while your inamorata’s identify remained secret. It’s also been theorized that the “single eye also symbolized the watchful gaze of a jealous partner, who feared that his or her lover might stray.” Scandalous, juicy, royal and pretty: my kind of history.

I’ve found that, once you start digging, it seems as though lover’s eyes are everywhere you look. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see one in person. Philadelphia, I’m coming for you!

 

Quite Continental Charm School

Mariah is one of the guest bloggers who you can expect to see around here while i sort myself out come moving day, she is the lady behind the charming blog Quite Continental. i have really been enjoying her series that kicked off in february, the Quite Continental Charm School – where she and guest contributors provide daily tips on how to generate more class, and charm, into your everyday life. these are some of my favourites – click on them for the original posts.

Japanese Love Story

as many of you know i love browsing through the life image archives. usually i have no real goal – just sniffing around, digging until i find something great to share with you. since it’s Valentine’s Day i thought this collection of photographs called Japanese Love Story by John Dominis was fitting. i don’t know what the photographs were taken for or if there is an actual love story behind any of them… perhaps just let your imagination fill in the blanks.

I sit at home
In our room
By our bed
Gazing at your pillow.

Kakinomoto no Hitomaro















all images courtesy of the life image archives

Covers, etc

Covers etc is one of my favourite flickr streams to browse as it combines my love for vintage, design and, occasionally, salaciousness all into one. there are some seriously saucy book covers over there (admittedly my favourites, most of which i won’t post here due to the boobs factor) – but also an array of beautiful illustrative work and good ol’ mid-century design.

all images courtesy of Covers etc

Marianne Breslauer

i rediscovered this series of photographs taken between 1929 – 1934 by german photographer Marianne Breslauer thanks to lauren’s pinterest. i’m strangely envious of these women who are long gone.

Marianne was a close friend of the Swiss writer and photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, whom she photographed many times. She described Annemarie (who died at the young age of 34) as: “Neither a woman nor a man, but an angel, an archangel” * … From an early age she began to dress and act like a boy, a behaviour not discouraged by her parents, and which she retained all her life—in fact in later life she was often mistaken for a young man. *

Lisa von Cramm, Berlin, 1934

Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Zürich, 1934

Ruth von Morgen, Berlin, 1934

Ruth von Morgen

Ruth von Morgen, Berlin, 1933 & Jutta Zambona-Remarque

Annemarie Schwarzenbach

Annemarie Schwarzenbach

Annemarie Schwarzenbach

Annemarie Schwarzenbach