Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The 60s Face

Some further scans from the March 1965 edition of US Vogue; these images (from photographer Bert Stern) illustrate a beauty story contrasting 'European' make-up (think Italian mid century films) and the 'new American-English' make-up (soft, illuminated transparency). There is no doubt though that, being the sixties, the eyes had it for both of these looks and that colour was the real trend on display here. Silver lashes! Luscious falsies! And blue eyeshadow (that freaks some people out, but which I've loved for years and years. My eyes are about the same colour as the model on the left of the top picture, and there is something about the contrast between baby blue and deep brown that appeals).

Anyway, these photos got me thinking about my favourite beauty trends across the decades. I've always been partial to the slick of black eyeliner so popular in the 1950s; the shiny, voluminous and effortless hair of the early supers; the vibrant, matte pink and red lips of the 40s and 50s; the strong full eyebrows of the late 70s and early 80s; the over sized lashes of the 1960s (but only on top please ... I have a paranoid fear of gluey mascara on the lower lashes) and, finally, the tanned skin from the real life sun of the 1970s (my bad, I know, but fake tan just doesn't cut it for me. I love alabaster skin too but I'm not someone who can wear it well).

What is your favourite beauty decade?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Jo Copeland Frocks

I posted a beautiful 1949 advertisement for Pattullo - Jo Copeland the other week and I thought I would follow that up with this selection of gorgeous vintage frocks from the label which you can buy right now.
The black 1940's dress above is from Shrimpton Couture and is for sale for AUD$271.72.

This unique 1950s satin cocktail dress with velvet bows is from Mercyvintagenow and is available for AUD$230.18.

This dress from Fab Gabs is Indian inspired and features a beautiful brocade. It is AUD$407.16.

And this day dress with the unusual neckline is currently up for auction at Basic Threads. With only two days to go, if you love it, you better jump on ebay now!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Frock of the Week: Vegetable Prints

I loved Kirsten Dunst in Dolce & Gabbana so much this week that I've had to resurrect Frock of the Week. From Dolce & Gabbana's latest ready-to-wear collection, the theme is Italian in the extreme, with vegetable prints (in Kirsten's case it is tomatoes) appearing on fit and flare and wiggle dresses as well as skirts and crop tops. I had to go back to the collection ... see below. Love the eggplant print!
Kirsten has really been back on form lately. A new stylist maybe, or perhaps she's just got her fashion mojo back.

Photos courtesy of Style.Com.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tzaim Luksus - Art Nouveau

In the March 1966 issue of US Vogue I came across this wonderfully colourful editorial entitled Art Nouveau - flowering again in America.

The story claims that in 1996 Art Nouveau was undergoing a spirited renaissance in contemporary design: furniture, decor and fashion. And one of the most exciting torchbearers for this renaissance was American painter turned fabric designer Tzaim Luksus. Luksus had received a COTY fashion award in 1965 for his startling prints and in the same year that this editorial would appear, he would show his own dress collection. He would keep showing into the mid 1970s, as a fan of the tent and kite silhouettes.

In this case the fabrics are Luksus' but the designs are courtesy of Geoffrey Beene and Pauline Trigere. I love the originality and modernity on display here, the models back lit beautifully by stained glass. The last dress is a particular fave.

The photographer was Gordon Parks and if you can steal a glance away from the dresses to the hairstyles, you'll discover they are completely wild? God knows how the models posed with such heavy hair pieces. So 1960s.

And doesn't Verushka look stunning in the last two pics?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Early Jean P

From the same 1948 issue of US Vogue as those photos of a 16-year-old Elizabeth I posted comes these two images of the glorious 50s top model Jean Patchett. Jean would have been only 21 or 22 when these photos were taken, and in the first year of her modelling career, which lasted until 1963. She signed with an agency in early 1948 and by the end of the year she was already a cover-girl, gracing the pages of Vogue.

The editorial that the photographs come from is called 'Fashions For A Man's Eye' and has models posing in some of Vogue's favourite recent frocks for the benefit of a panel of men who give their thoughts. It's all quite amusing really and is a concept still used in magazines today.

As the point of this issue is 'Will a man like them?' we went to four acidulous young columnists, who were part of the male rebellion against the new-born new look a year and a half ago; showed them the dresses, invited them to say exactly what they wanted to about them, pro or con.

You might like to know that the judge for Jean's first dress said men embarrass easily. This dress isn't embarrassing.
And for the second dress the male critic said I like halter-tops. They show off a good back.

When it comes to men, it seems not too much has changed. All the men declared that they detested ballet flats! (Lucky we don't care what they think).

The advertisements in this issue are just as exciting to pore over as the fashion editorials. I think my favourite frock is the gorgeous Patullo - Jo Copeland for the opening of the Opera ... for a brilliant ball. Patullo - Copeland was a shared ready-to-wear label designed by Jospehine Copeland, based in New York, that existed from the 20s through to the 60s. You can read more about her over at the Vintage Fashion Guild.

Interestingly her daughter, the novelist Lois Gould, wrote a memoir in the 1990s about her mother, from a child's perspective. Called Mommy Dressing I'm sure it would provide a fascinating insight into the world of early American high fashion.