I look at a lot of vintage photos. I love nothing more than finding a big box of them at a flea market so I can stand and shuffle through them. I even look for them online. Whenever I have a spare thirty minutes or so I’ll often go to Etsy and do some searches for sportswear-wearing vintage women.
That’s how I found the photos I’m showing today. I usually do not look for lots of more than one photo, but I found a group which contained the same people on the beach in Miami between 1938 and 1942. It was too interesting to pass up.
The set of photos were taken with several different cameras, but some of the same people kept appearing over and over. The most common factor in the group is a woman named Sophie. I’ve come up with the idea that these were her photos, and that she and her group of friends traded them for other photos taken on their days at the beach. That would explain the different types of photos, plus the fact that there are different handwritings on the various photos.
The oldest photo I have of Sophie is the one above, taken in 1938. The young man is not identified.
This is Sophie and Harry Lack.
Sophie and Harry again, with a better look at her bathing suit.
A month later, Sophie is wearing the same bathing suit, but she has a new guy to pose with, Lou Shapiro.
And then another month later, Sophie is sporting a new bathing suit, and another new guy, Herb Klein.
The photos end in April, 1942. Here Sophie has yet another new beau, Irving Saltz. It would be interesting to know what happened to Sophie. Did she end up with Harry or Lou or Herb or Irving? Maybe the great and wonderful internet will solve the mystery for us.
Such a pretty skier! And how about those sunglasses? I’m drawn to the glove, as it looks like there is a zipper at the wrist. Next week I’ll be showing a pair of vintage ski gloves that has a zipper on the back of the hand.
I haven’t read the article by Quentin Reynolds. I just don’t think I can relate.
This year marks the 145th anniversary of Harper’s Bazaar. It was founded in 1867, and is the oldest existing American fashion magazine. Today, I’m afraid that many consider Bazaar to be the also-ran fashion magazine, but it is hard to underestimate the influence the magazine has had on fashion history and culture. In the 1920s Erté was a frequent contributor, not only as an illustrator but also as a creator of original designs. And in the 1930s, editor Carmel Snow brought in the creative forces of Diana Vreeland, Irving Penn, Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Alexey Brodovitch and then in the 1940s, Richard Avedon and Diane Arbus.
I’ve read many times that the 1957 movie Funny Face, starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire was based on Vogue magazine, but the editor character was based on Diana Vreeland, who was by then the fashion editor at Bazaar, and the photographer was based on Richard Avedon, chief photographer at Bazaar.
But both Vreeland and Avedon departed for Vogue in 1962, and under the editorship of Nancy White, Bazaar became to be regarded as the less modern of the two magazines. Bazaar further lost focus in the early 1970s under the direction of James Brady. Some readers were questioning whether it was actually still a fashion magazine.
Today Bazaar still trails Vogue in both readership and prestige, but pick up a copy from the 1920s through 1950s and you’ll see why for those years Bazaar was such an industry leader.
Photographer: Louise Dahl-Wolfe
Model: Not credited
Copyright: Hearst Corporation
A vest, properly worn. Too marvelous for words…