life magazine archives

Colby College Mountain Day

one thing i can never resist when i am visiting someone’s home, even if it’s a stranger, is to flip through any photo albums that might be lying around. usually they’re of old photos – because, let’s face it, people don’t really put together physical photo albums anymore. everything is online, on facebook or in your instagram or flickr feed. that’s cool, i’m like that too. but i still revel in looking through photos, which i suppose is why i gravitate towards vintage photography.

this photo story taken by Yale Joel for Life Magazine in 1950 shows the ladies of Colby College on their annual Mountain Day hike – a tradition that started in the 1850s and continues to this day. the college is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire, and the mountain they climb is Mount Kearsarge. the ladies look pretty grand in their 50s denim, flannel shirts and jaunty neck-ties.

edit: Colby College is now called Colby-Sawyer College, the name was changed in 1975. i have, however kept the name of the original Life Magazine article.

















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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.

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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.

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Bathing caps with faces

why not!

speaking of bathing, it’s pretty scary that summer is around the corner. i have noticed the northern bloggers freaking out over their impending autumn and winter months – i would happily trade places with you! we have hardly had any rain, and it hasn’t been cold enough for my liking. it’s mid august and i am already wearing short sleeves and sandals. sigh.

all images from the life magazine archives photographed by ralph crane

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High school fashions, 1969

i know what you’re thinking… are these more fashion snaps from coachella? no indeed! these are high school fashions in 1969 photographed by arthur shatz for life magazine.

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lipstick

remember that scene early on in the first season of mad men where the secretaries get to try out lipstick colours and joan shows off her derrière in the two-way mirror? of course you do. god, i miss mad men. anyway – perhaps the show’s writers found inspiration from these photos. i love this stern little man – he’s either super serious about his job, or really hates lipstick. or he’s super serious about lipstick.

source: life magazine archives

i had a dream the other night that christy turlington was working at my local pharmacy and she helped me pick out a new lipstick colour. it was a really dark plum colour. i woke up thinking – what are you trying to tell me, christy?

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