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

Picasso

inspired by this post by lauren about francoise gilot i decided to do some vintage picasso hunting – and of course the life archives delivered. picasso lived in the town of vallauris on the french riviera for 7 years where he created ceramics at the madoura workshop (amongst other things of course – the man was nothing if not prolific). francoise is pictured in this series of photographs taken in 1949 by gjon mili, though she eventually left picasso after a myriad of infidelities.

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

Celebrity Archives

always enjoy finding pics of celebrities in the LIFE archives. how great are the baldwins!

edit: i had “woody allen” in here – but he’s actually a look-a-like. totally fooled. thanks for pointing this out Abby!

Cowgirls Redux

you may remember this post i did on vintage cowgirls. well, i occasionally delve into the LIFE archives in search of more cowgirl related paraphernalia (if for no other reason than to amuse myself) and i’ve recently found some total gems.

Cats

this article about cats made my day. from life magazine, 1946. some of my favourite bits:

perhaps half of all the cats, have semipermanent homes in barns, stables, factories, office buildings, restaurants, stores, prisons, churches and ships. the submerged remainder, the unorganized and unorganizable proletariat of the cat world, roam the back alleys, woods and deserts and do the best they can.

cats had an especially good press during the war, in which many of them took a helpful part … a few gifted cats wore uniforms and sold war bonds or bought bonds from their own bank accounts.

some cats, to paraphrase thoreau, lead lives of quiet desparation, but many others have a thoroughly good time and take a lively part in human affairs.

… favorable publicity like this is important to cats, which prefer to live on good terms with human beings whenever possible.

… “only relatively well-to-do cats have these”

Female Short Pants

these gals look like they’re having a good time, hanging out in their female short pants – which is the only description life magazine could give me for this set of photos. date unknown… mid-fifties i’m guessing?

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?

Princeton, 1969

It was in 1969 that Princeton University first admitted women as undergraduates. 148 women, consisting of 100 freshwomen and transfer students of other years, entered Princeton on September 6, 1969 amidst a frenzy of media ogling and ribbing. Scores of women’s papers and magazines, like Woman’s Wear Daily, featured articles on what the stylish Princeton freshwoman wore on campus, and practically every woman student was featured in her hometown newspaper.

These photographs were taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life Magazine . Story here.