Tag Archives: Glamour

The Rest of the Story, Glamour, 1944

Some time ago I posted this Glamour cover from 1944 and I asked the question, what are these two young women discussing?  It seems as if they were wearing the same coat design.  I’m still not completely sure about the conversation, but I now know the identity of the woman on the right.  Last week I got an email from her grandson who is working on a family project.  I asked if he could tell me a little about his grandmother, and his answer was a bit of a surprise.

Thank you! I would be happy to.  My grandmother’s name is Dina Merrill.  She is 93 years old now.  She is a well known actress and you could learn much more on google than I could tell you.  After she graduated from the University of Wisconsin, she moved to New York in 1941 (despite her parents’ objections) and insisted she paid her way through acting school (Academy of Dramatic Arts) by modeling for Conde Nast, even though her parents (Marjorie Merriweather Post  and  E.F. Hutton) were extremely wealthy. Anyway, she put her acting on hold when she met, fell in love and married my grandfather, Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr. in 1946 and started a family. They had three  children (the oldest is my dad) and once she felt they were old enough, decided to pursue her career.  So, she changed her name to Dina Merrill from Nedenia Hutton and landed her first movie, Desk Set with Katherine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy. Then the rest is history.
You just never know who is going to show up in old fashion magazines.  Here’s another photo of Nedenia/Dina modeling a hat in Glamour.


Filed under Rest of the Story

Glamour, December, 1953

Let’s focus on the dress.

And who wouldn’t whisper compliments to the girl in the holly-berry red dress? Heavily textured lace overlays satin for a party dress that’s bare of shoulder  but covered of arm.  By Suzy Perette in Liberty cotton lace over acetate satin.  About $35.  Shoes by Herbert Levine.  

Suzy Perette was not an actual person.  It was the name of one of the labels owned by Lombardy Frocks, which was located in the Garment District of New York City.  The owner of Lombardy, Max Blauner, would buy the rights to reproduce dresses from Paris designers.  Dior was a favorite, and you can see Dior’s influence in this lovely dress.

Suzy Perette was considered to be a moderately priced line, and it was marketed toward young career women.  The $35 price tag does seem to be moderate, but in the 2013 dollar, the price is closer to $300.

By looking at the photo, even the original cover, I would never have guessed the dress was lace.  Thank goodness for the “On the cover’ feature.

Photographer:  Leonibruno-Bodi

Models: Not credited

Copyright: Condé Nast



Filed under Fashion Magazines

Ad Campaign – Sea Nymph Glamour Suit, 1953

by the sea, by the beautiful sea nymph glamour suit

When each wave comes rollin’ in… you’re the most alluring picture by the sea in your Sea Nymph glamour suit!

When was the last time you heard the word glamour being associated with a swimsuit?  Can you imagine a time when glamour was being used to sell instead of sexy?   Is this suit any less appealing because it is glamorous rather than sexy?  And when did this shift to become all encompassing?

For me, I’d take being glamorous over being sexy any day of the week.  Not that I am particularly glamorous, of course, but it just seems to be a more fun alternative.   Sexy implies that it is all about the body, but glamour is about the woman, the personality, the persona.  And which is more important?

Just thinking “out loud.”


Filed under Advertisements

Glamour, May, 1943

From the cover notes:

In previous years, necks this low were usually seen on evening dresses.  Now they come right out in broad daylight and, combined with the briefest of sleeves, signal a new type of day-or-date dress that is this summer’s favorite.

In 1943 it was becoming increasingly necessary for the clothing budget ( and ration coupons) to be stretched as far as possible.  Clothing was often advertised as being multi-purpose, much like this “day-or-date” dress.  And while not exactly office-appropriate, it does seem like just the thing for an afternoon out shopping  or for a  casual dinner date.

This issue of Glamour was full of wardrobe stretching ideas:

* To save wear on your work clothes, change into slacks or hardy cottons when you arrive at home after work.

*  Keep your clothes repaired and clean.  “A stitch in time saves nine.”

*  Cover up the moth holes in your old wool swimsuit with flower appliques cut from colorful cotton.

*  Make a sturdy housedress by adding a skirt to the bottom of an old shirt.

*  Fasten a bunch of fresh flowers to a plain hat.  It’s like a new hat every time you wear it!

Photographer:  Lemus

Model: Not credited

Copyright: Condé Nast


Filed under Fashion Magazines, World War II

Glamour, August 1968

In 1968 Glamour became the first mainstream American fashion magazine to have a Black covergirl.  Her name was Katiti Kironde, and she was not a fashion model.  She was one of Glamour’s “10 Best Dressed College Girls” for 1968.

It might seem odd to us today that it was Glamour, and not the more high fashion Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar that first put a photo of a Black woman on its cover (It would be another five years before American Vogue put a Black woman on the cover – model Beverly Johnson).  And I knew just who to ask for the backstory – Michelle Braverman, writer of All Ways in Fashion, who was working at Glamour at the time.

I’m happy to tell you what I recall about that cover.  Amazingly enough, we did not treat it as a BIG DEAL.  There were never any heated debates about “should we” or “shouldn’t we” and no bragging— internally or otherwise— that we were the first magazine etc., etc.
Hers was the August 1968 issue of Glamour which for years had been home to The 10 Best Dressed College Girls.  That idea meant a lot more in the late ’50s  and mid ’60s than it did by 1968.  FYI if you ever find it, Martha Stewart (then Martha Kostyra) was one of the Top Ten in 1961.  She wasn’t the cover image, but she did make it to the top of the flagpole in the group photo!
Ruth Whitney had taken over as editor-in-chief from Kathleen Aston Casey in 1967.  Mrs. Casey loved fashion, Ruth Whitney less so, but Ruth believed in the new roles women were assuming and very shortly thereafter “10 Best Dressed College Girls” became “Top 10 College Women”.
Back to 1968— as I remember it was more a question of which cropping of the cover would get the nod, not who would be on it.  Undoubtedly any serious decision making had taken place behind closed doors, but from my vantage point in the art department, it was “business as usual”.   I remember Ruth Whitney, Miki Denhof (Glamour’s Art Director) and Alexander Liberman (Creative Director of Conde Nast) looking at a lineup of about half a dozen (black and white) mockups of the Katiti cover and unanimously picking that one.
I also never remember any discussion ever of “we must use a black model” or “we should use a black model”.  If the model was wonderful it made no difference.  Beverly Johnson, who became the first Black Supermodel, was a favorite.  We also loved using Whitney Houston during her brief modeling career.
I hope this is helpful in its own “was not a big deal” way.  Over the years, I know Glamour was proud to have earned that distinction…

At the time Katiti Kironde was a student at Harvard.  She went on to work in fashion at Laura Ashley and TJ Maxx,  and to teach at Harvard and Fisher College in Boston.   She also designs a line of white shirts for women, in a nod to the white shirt she wore in the photo that broke ground for Black women.


Filed under Fashion Magazines

Glamour, March, 1946

I love this cover from March, 1946, though I’ll admit it does confuse me a bit.  By March most people are tired of brown, even if it is this pretty soft dark taupe.  Where are the pastels, the pink?  Why such dark gloves (even though they do match her eyes) and hat?

No matter, I love the strong makeup, the gold earrings and the up-swept hair.  I’m not too crazy about the shoes, and I’m sure that by 1946 most women had had it with such sensible shoes.  And those are shoulders that simply cannot be ignored.

So, should they have saved this one for September?

Photographer: Constantin Joffé
Model: Not credited
Copyright: Condé Nast


Filed under Fashion Magazines

Glamour, January 1958

Last week I was a bit hard on the Glamour cover that I chose to feature, so this week I thought I’d go with one that is a lot more to my liking.  I know it is matchy-matchy, but isn’t that what this era was about to some degree?

Carnations must have been THE flower of the late 1950s, because we see one yet again.  How about the clever way it is pinned on her coat through the brooch?  And I really love the grey eyeshadow which is  French Grey from Elizabeth Arden.

The cloche hat is from Emme, and the price in 1958 was $49.  That’s almost $384 in 2012 dollars!

Photographer:  Diane and Allan Arbus
Model: Christa Vogel
Copyright: Condé Nast


Filed under Fashion Magazines