Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You've Come A Long Way Baby!

1978 Virginia Slims magazine ad. The image at the top is a photograph of a woman hanging laundry outside. The ad text reads: "Back then, every man gave his wife at least one day a week out of the house. You've come a long way, baby. Virginia Slims – Slimmer than the fat cigarettes men smoke."

I remember these ads from when I was a kid.  Though I never smoked, and never wanted to.  I always enjoyed the ads because in some cosmic way the woman on the top won, and got to be the woman in the pretty dress who apparently sent her laundry out.  Yesterday's post about Saudi Women's inability to legally drive a vehicle made me think of these ads.  There is still a ways to go, but you have to stop and look back now and again to see how far you have come.

I love looking at old publications.  Looking for the clues they give about life at that time.  Are they intentional clues, or is there a point there that the advertisers didn't even know they were making at the time?

A couple of years ago I found a stash of American Furrier publications at a rummage sale.  They are dated from 1961 - 1966 and they really appealed to me for the hand-drawn quality of the sketches.   For stating they are the "World's Oldest and Largest Fur Fashion Service", this was all I could find online.  If they are worth a lot, make me an offer, my kids are heading to university soon!

charcoal sketches reprinted on newsprint
The styles at first glance are typical, like these drawings, of what many women were buying at the time.  Judging from the number of these coats in coolers and basements all over North America.  I have restyled a couple of fur coats but don't enjoy it because it's like having a tickle fight with a large molting cat.  There is hair and dandruff everywhere, bad enough working with old clothing, but old fur coats are kinda gross.  Dean took a grey mink and made it into a giant sofa pillow with safari print fabric on the back.  Very luxurious looking.  I was glad it was done by my next day at work!

Back to the books.  More in depth study showed some differences not immediately apparent.  Such as, using furs in a more casual way such as this calfskin coat with the hair on.  And another one as an outdoorsy parka style.  Which at first I thought might be one for Poppy's retro skier collection, but on closer look I think that is a tent pole she is posing with.  I'm glad she took the time to put on her nice ear-rings when she went camping in her mink parka.  Inside the cover it says,

"Smart Mink ski jacket of lustrous Saga Mink featuring boat-neck collan and a spash of color created by braided V-front and cuffs"  

Glad Mr. Mountain Man is forward enough thinking to let Ms. Saga Mink set up camp while he sits back and enjoys his cup of tea.   Or is he St. Nick?

There is a wealth of information in these 36 pg magazines which are black and white except for the outside covers.  You know, pg 1&2, 35&36, yeah.  One article entitled, Smooth Selling, by George N. Kahn, encourages salesmen to develop new interests to add richness to your life and increase your sphere of influence.  And also states that "Nearly one in four American famililies now has an annual income of over $10,000 - compared with on in 16 in 1955 - according to a ten-year survey by Meinhard-Commercial Corporation."  So I poke around and find that the magazine is published monthly from March to December and the Yearly subscription price is $37.50 USD or ($43.50 in Canada).  Oh, and yes you may pay by personal cheque if you like.  Pricey if you are taking home less than a grand a month.  But this is obviously a to the trade publication.
I am going to continue this tomorrow because I have to find a way to thin out the photos.  They are taking more than 30 min each to upload and I don't think you need the 7megawhatsits to get the gist of these books.  I start a photo uploading and then go and sew for a while, and then check on the photo and then sew.

I have so much to show you such as the Pattern Diagrams, and Fur Fitting Articles, and lots more photos.  Please comment if you are interested!  I haven't even got to the Controversial Stuff yet!!  (meniacal laugh) 

This is the Saga of Aunt Ingrid
One more photo as a teaser for tomorrow.  Here is an ad, I will give you the caption.  Anyone want to take a stab at what the gist of the ad copy is about?  Other than selling fur coats?

1 comment:

wayner said...

Aunt Ingrid is actually the little girl and the woman is her own grandma!