Strike A Pose, There’s Nothing To It…


[I am actually doing the arm movements to Madonna’s song “Vogue” here. Stop laughing. Please, I’m very sensitive.]

On a recent visit to the bankrupt Borders store on Chicago’s North Avenue I won the liquidation lottery; I found these four postcards, which were originally marked $1.25 for…(omg)… $0.17 each! I know, big deal, right? But it is those rare little art-victories that sweeten life. Believe me, I go through life with the “not paying alot for this muffler” mentality when it calls for it. As I sit back in my Winston chair and arch my fingers like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons, I secretly plot to descend upon Dick Blick for their Wednesday spin-the-wheel promotion. I want that damn Dick Blick t-shirt. For free. I already have the sketchbook and — (slaps self in face) — allow me to refocus.

The one thing about fashion photos of the 60’s and 70’s is that they all look like they were tinted in the hot colors that kitchens of that era were decorated in: a hue of orange or lime or yellow. Fruit-flavored taffy colors. But the core enduring style in these vintage-seque postcards, all from British Vogue, seems to rear its head (every, what, 30-years or so?) if you buy into the school of thought that fashion is cyclical. It seems to be true.

Catch the Sun Looks, May 1966 (cover) Vogue

While gorgeous and artfully shot, this model looks a bit like Uma Thurman turned Oompa Loompa, but it still is an amazing cover. 

Latin American Flamenco Ruffles, March 1968, Vogue. Dress by Gerard Pipart at Nina Ricci

I don’t know if this flamboyant traditional Latin ensemble will ever come back into fashion, but I can say that the ballet-style strappings hint at flats that have been seen on the streets the past couple of years. The bold colors are popular for spring and summer still, but hats like this? Maybe at the Kentucky Derby. Looking at this postcard makes me happy. It makes me think of the primary color bus on “The Partridge Family”. Admittedly not a fashionista myself, I had no idea that Nina Ricci was around back then.

This postcard taught me something, so, Lesson #1 – look for bits of education in the most obscure of objects.

Silver Pink, February 1966, Vogue

 This postcard is my favorite. This could have been shot today, in 2011. And that type of visual endurance demands respect. The glasses, the scarf, the hairdo, the muted colors – they all put my closet to shame. And the use of the silver crackly surface that is matted just enough to suggest reflection is brilliant. This postcard makes me want to scour eBay for a pair of those kickin’ tinted glasses.

Jerry Hall, May 1975 (cover), Vogue

The blue theme in this postcard is lovely and what imprints this little doozy in time is the obvious landline phone and the swim cap, but the photographer did an interesting thing: he created a triangle shape within this very organic photo, having her hold the line behind her head. It wasn’t just about beauty but the design of the shot. And I have to say that something isn’t right about Jerry Hall. It isn’t right that she still looks fabulous today. Is the secret to her beauty-longevity in all the fruit-flavored colors of the 70s? I don’t know.

Lesson #2 – don’t accidentally spill your coffee on vintage-esque postcards. This is what I did following this post. (Sigh)


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