Thursday, June 28, 2007

Let's Talk About Libraries

So it's summer. You're kind of bored. Nothing holds much interest for you. What do you do? Well, what you should do is utilize your local library [don't worry, this isn't a Reading is Fun plug]. What's not to love? The aircon, the stories, the extreme the tags I've gotten to put up like I said I would! (you can see the label categories on the sidebar)

What I mean is, you can draw inspiration from and come up with new ideas through poring over gorgeous fashion photography books. Big, thick books which normally cost a fortune-- well, at least $50 a pop. It's quite enriching to look at how fashion has evolved, how it keeps getting recycled, and especially, vintage fashion photography. And even for people who describe fashion as a combination of the words empty, vain, and materialistic, photography is a universal art medium, and so that point can't be argued.

From our library I borrowed:

Unseen Vogue
The Art of Vogue Photographic Covers
Louise Dahl Wolfe
Richard Avedon's Woman in the Mirror

all of which are amazing. And Unseen Vogue gives you a look into photos that never made their way into the magazines because they were too experimental, they had too much of a certain emotion a pose evoked, etc. And each photo has a whole story behind it, written out for your dissection.

I know they're only four titles but these books are HEAVY. I weighed them too: 16 lbs.

A few things I've learned is that:

+No, nothing will change my opinion of the 1980's and early 90's as the worst time in fashion. I found that I placed my little pageholders less and less as the years progressed.

+Women really did only wear crayon red lipstick in the olden days. Every old photo had a woman's lips coated in red lipstick, regardless of whether it fit in with the outfit or not. And always a reddish nailpolish.

+Fur still disgusts me and I still find it distasteful, even if it's 60 years old.

And I've also learned the names of quite a lot of models that used to be en vogue during their time.

Now, I have loads of favorite photos that I bookmarked, but I don't want to drown and inundate you with them, so I'm just going to have each book have it's own seperate post.

My 12 Favorite Photographs from The Art of Vogue Photographic Covers

[These are Not my photos, if it wasn't clear already. These photos belong to Vogue and their respective photographers.]

Bert Stern 1969

I love largeness, yet lightness, of this outfit, popped with splashes of color. It also comes off a little japanese to me for some reason.

Hirsch 1939

This might be my favorite of favorites. It's interesting how this photograph of this outfit appeals to me even more than 60 years later. And I love the bag! I wonder if there really was a mirror in there...


The way these 3 different circular prints mesh together is really eyecatching, and the way the red just adds that oomph. I really love how they used to play with the type, "VOGUE" to incorporate it into the photo. I kind of wish they didn't stop.

Horst 1942

Just really love the uniqueness and the color scheme.

Blumenfeld 1950

Blumenfeld is considered maybe "the most inventive Vogue cover photographer of the past two decades" (book) and it's easy to see why in this picture. It's absolutely bold and striking.

Doisneu [French Vogue]

It's gorgeoussss. The color scheme, the scene of Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the background. I want that dress.


Captivating and cute.


I like this one. I can't really explain it. You can't expect me to explain every one to you anyway, now, can you?

Bailey - Model, Jean Shrimpton

Love how such a delicate looking girl, resembling a bit of Audrey Hepburn from the side, is matched with big yet subtle colored pieces. And I'm in love with that hat's color for the fall.


It looks a bit "Kate Spade in the 60's" if it ever existed. I like how well the sleekness of the whole photo complements that bright 60's print.

Bailey 1967

Lategan 1974

It's a Italian Vogue's Japanese issue. Enough said.

And true to my word, my favorite outfits and photographs stop in the 70's.


Another thing I've found increasingly wonderful about the library is that once in a while they have big book sales. Despite sounding like Tony the Tiger, I have to say, they're GREAT. I mean, I see children's books that I had used to read when I was a little girl and it's interesting to actually buy them, since, we used to heavily borrow all the time. And I think I've found a new semi-hobby-- collecting vintage, gorgeously illustrated, children's books. Plus, some of them are kind of cute and it never takes too long to breeze through a children's book to see whether or not you'll be satisified with it- unlike novels where I start 1/4 of the way through hoping something will pull me into the story and since I already started, I HAVE to finish reading a crappy story.

My total was around $6 when I went to the recent book sale. Plus, some of them are just very whimsical and funny to have laying around in your dorm room as reading material. (In reference, to the below photograph: No, I am not Jewish)

Because, hey, sometimes, you've gotta judge a book by it's cover.

PS. I got my matt & nat Wright bag that I had been lusting after a while ago. Finally got the chance to put it up. :) !! Not the best photograph, but hey.

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Anonymous molisa said...

hey, Lovely post. Thanks for sharing it with your viewers. Keep up the good job.

12:32 AM  
Blogger dianabobar said...

Thanks for sharing indeed! It would be great if you'd post more images from that book:) Love them!

2:40 AM  
Blogger Gloria said...

thanks for the supportive comments guys! I didn't know this post would receive such positive feedback.

11:47 AM  

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