Monday, 31 January 2011

Harpers - A fashion History

How a about a trip down history lane?
I found this magazine tucked in amongst some old books whilst moving classrooms. This was in the classroom that I was moving into and the previous owner would not have been old enough to buy it so I guess it was given.
It is the September issue of Harpers in 1950.
I have picked out a few pages that I thought might of interest and it shall be a two post offering.

This does not look too comfortable to wear!
It is described as...

"Sleek at the waist, smooth at the midriff, and a flawless follow through is your new figure line. To wear beneath the latest slender lines. Berlei present this light and lovely Controlette......"

Hmmm! flawless follow through? Sounds like a golf term but this was the figure shape desired in the 1950's. I do not know anyone to ask if they ever owned one of these. There is not a price stated either.

This advert is showing coats for those 5 feet 4 and under (Glad our height is recognised as all coats look long on me even if they are not supposed to be!)

Phantom Wallaby has been used which is meant to resemble real Beaver fur. Price £37.15.6.

Not PC at all today, but this is a different era. I love the drawings in this magazine and I seem to remember that there were more "drawn" elements to magazines in the 1980's too.

I used to use Max factor when I was younger and worked in a chemist, I used to get discount you see. The advert is promoted with a picture of Ava Gardner and MGM star! It is for hand and body cream.....
"This Unique Max Factor Hollywood preparation- based on an entirely new formula- brings you today and everyday the heavenly fragrant year round Hand and Body skin loveliness you've always dreamed of."

Price 2'11.

Max Factor- "Cosmetics of the Stars"

This is a lovely drawn advert using what looks like pastels. Great colours. I do have to say that a vast proportion of the magazine is made up of adverts like these shown above. There is a story, some information about new fabrics and colours so not much has changed really if you consider what is in a current issue of Vogue.

I would love to try on a genuine 1950's dress, I might need to be shoe horned into it as my figure is possibly not quite the right shape. I think I would need a re-enforced version of the Berlei.

Paris designs are also featured, such as the above by Balenciaga, Schiaparellis and Dior. Again the drawings are lovely, suggestion lines for the skirt and legs. The features are hinted with a few careful lines and no colour.

As regular readers will know, I collect powder compacts so this advert is one of my favourites. Made by Yardley (I have a couple in my collection) for feather pressed powder will available refills. Again, a lovely 2"drawn" advert with a gold tone appearance.

I have really enjoyed looking through this snippet of fashion history and I shall post some more pictures and follow it up with a modern take on the concept of women's fashion magazines.



Gone to Earth said...

Fascinating! I love the gloves and the little hats. I am so relieved that we're not expected to be quite so hour-glass in shape these days.

Toffeeapple said...

Hello, I've been reading your work for several months and enjoying it too, but this post has made me want to comment since it takes me back to my childhood, I would have been four years old. I remember adverts like those so well and I'm pretty sure it was what made me go to Art College, I loved copying the adverts. I hope you'll share more of the magazine, you have a piece of social history there.

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