To celebrate the first snow for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, I thought a bit of a sledding party was in order. I love how the mother and children are all dressed alike, right down to the half-belts on the backs of their coats. And such an effective use of red, seen only on the caps and in their cheeks (and Mom’s lips).
How does an illustrator say “autumn” without drawing leaves and pumpkins? One way is to do it with color. The orange and browns, along with the deep blue (for the October sky) says “autumn” quite effectively.
I don’t know who the artist is, and I don’t have the magazine with me, but it looks like the work of Edward Penfield. Penfield was best known for his Harper’s covers, but he also illustrated other magazines like Metropolitan.
Metropolitan was not a fashion publication. As the name suggests, it was a magazine for New Yorkers. Established in 1895, in the early years it focused on the New York theater scene, but soon branched off into other facets of city life. The magazine became increasingly political as the country moved toward involvement in World War I, and was highly critical of President Wilson. Some of the articles were written by Teddy Roosevelt who was an editor at the magazine.
After the war the magazine focused on publishing stories and serialized novels, and included writers like Jack London, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Edna Ferber. The last issue was published in 1925.
Navy takes a turn at fall, thanks to the addition of a fur collar. I love navy all year long, even though it is not exactly a “fall” color. It looks especially great with the red stairs.
The blue suit is by designer Anne Klein. In 1957 she was a young designer and was working at Junior Sophisticates. In this issue other young American designers were featured, some of which are familiar names to fashion history lovers: Donald Brooks, Rudi Gernreich, and Anne Fogarty. The photographer took all the shots of the young designer feature in his studio, where the spiral stairs were located.
The “Paris Extra” was interesting, because fall 1957 saw the spread of the infamous “Sack Dress” which had seen its debut in the spring of that year. You can see the influence in a lot of the clothes in this issue, with a less fitted silhouette and that awkward just-above-the-calf length.
Really shocking are the prices of the suit and the accessories. The suit was $125 and both the handbag and the hat were $15 each. That sounds pretty good until the prices are adjusted for inflation. In the 2013 dollar, the suit would be $1005, and the accessories would be $121 each.
Photographer: George Barkentin
Model: Not credited
Copyright: Condé Nast
I suppose I should have posted this lovely cover last month, but to be honest I’m not sure where August went. It certainly was a fast-moving month. And even though this is a beautiful summer frock, why can’t one wear it in September?
The truth is, I no longer care about the idea of changing clothes with the changing seasons. I’ve known for a long time that I was moving toward a year-round wardrobe, but when I went to pull out a light sweater from my off-season storage, I opened the trunk to find it practically empty except for one Pendleton plaid shirt bought on clearance at the outlet this spring and woolen gloves, hats and scarves. All my sweaters were already in my closet.
It helps that I wear the same colors – blue, white, black, red – pretty much all the year. For winter I add plaid and cashmere. For summer it is shorts and sandals. Of course it helps that I lead a very casual lifestyle where work clothes are not required.
And even though it is after Labor Day, my white jeans are still in my closet, and will remain there indefinitely.
I love old film footage of people going to baseball games in the past. The crowd is overwhelmingly male, and even into the 1960s many of the men are dressed as if they had sneaked off from work early. Of course, people just dressed more formally, even for an event like a baseball game.
I can’t help but love the two women who are dressed more like a day shopping than at the ball park. And I can’t imagine a more delightful pair with their gloves, hats and pocketbooks.
Going to a Yankees game was on our short list for this week. I’ll let you know if I was as lucky as the lady in red.
The artist of this Post cover was Dick Sargent, not to be confused with the actor who took the same name. Not only did Sargent illustrate 47 Post covers (including Point Lookout that I posted last week), he did print ads and movie posters.
Today’s post is a bit off topic, but I’ll be bringing it around to fashion before it ends.
In 1953 the two kids are all consumed by their books (I’m betting there’s at least one comic book hidden behind the “legitimate” books) and today’s kids are consumed by their smart phones and other gadgets. But the result is the same. Dad is lecturing about how they could read at home, and mom is taking photos to share with her friends. In today’s world she’d at least make the kids stand in front of the pretty view so she could post the photos on her blog and write about how much fun they had.
I tried to pinpoint Point Lookout. I wasn’t even sure it was a depiction of an actual place. And while there are Point Lookouts all over the country, this one looks like it was taken in my part of the country. There was a Point Lookout on Highway 70 between Asheville and Old Fort, and it very well could have been the spot. Today, Hwy 70 has been replaced by I-40, but there is still a trail up to Point Lookout that people can hike or bike.
And now for the fashion. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the mom and the daughter are both wearing dresses. I can remember taking rides on the Blue Ridge Parkway, or through the Smokies, and my great aunt and my grandmother would be wearing casual dresses, but thank goodness that by the early 1960s, little girls were allowed to wear shorts for a day in the mountains.
In 1967 I turned twelve, and though I was not quite a teen, this was my magazine of choice. Though ‘Teen included features on fashion, it was a lot more than a fashion magazine, with features on the cutest boy celebrities, beauty, relationships – all the things I was beginning to be interested in.
What made ‘Teen so great was that it did not seem like it originated from adults. There were lots of user-generated features including lots of letters about what readers did and did not like, and there were columns that were seemingly written by actual teens. By comparison, Seventeen seemed very slick and professional.
And in case you were not a boy-crazy nut like me in 1967, the David in the April issue is David McCallum, of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and the Peter in the June issue is Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits.