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vintage vogue

July 29, 2011

Vintage styles are so fun to look at. If you were alive when the fashion was current, it’s a nice nostalgic trip to the past. If the syles are really before your time, you get a little hint of what it was like to live back then, imagining yourself moving around in the clothes. The styles also give you an idea of what characteristics were valued at the time….sweetness? sophistication? rebelliousness?

I could not believe my eyes when I found three old Vogue pattern magazines on the vintage rack at Half Price Books – and I guess the staff figured no one would be interested in pattern magazines, because they were priced way lower than the Good Housekeepings, Lifes, and Looks. Goody for me!

The oldest one is the April-May issue from 1960. Back then, they billed themselves as Vogue Pattern Book. The cover style, a loose belted dolman-sleeved dress, would be current enough today. But check out the waist-to-hip ratio. That foundational shape plus the make up and the hair really peg this as a development of the styles of the 50s.

One of the overarching mannerisms that really struck me was the prevalance of a certain posture adopted by many of the models. This hips-forward slouch appeared throughout the magazine.

In photographs…

In the illustrations…

And evidently the younguns were in training, too. “That’s right, darling. Always lead with your pelvis, and keep your eyes down.”

I was never trained this way, but then Vogue did not figure into our household in any form. Besides, we were a military family, and standing up straight was encouraged. I also find it amusing that teenagers are supposed to enjoy mother-daughter outfits. I suspect that’s why this particular feature was illustrated. They could not find actual live teenagers that would consent to be photographed as clones of “mother”. Here’s another example with young girls in that pelvic-thrust pose that just looks inappropriate to me. Girls #1 and #4…

It strikes me that the girls in this magazine are dressed as youthful versions of mature women, while today it at least seems like clothes for women are adaptations of the styles of the young.

I am told I am running late…more later…

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