Wednesday, 27 February 2008


In the old days glamour was a serious business... It was a definite no-no to go out without the proper attire, which included wardrobe, jewellery, handbag, shoes, perfect makeup, and a lot of poise.
A world away from mass-production, everything was handmade and cherished for years to come, and although most people didn't have much of everything, they had the proper items.
American Vogue was published twice a month (on the 1st and 15th), and amongst its contributors was the talented Cecil Beaton, who portrayed society women both through illustration and the photographic lens. House and Garden widely displayed the idea of the perfect home, and Vanity Fair dwelled on the international scene of the time and the faces who made it.
When WII came, women's lives, in Britain for example, transformed dramatically as they had to play their part in order to change the course of history. Even voteless, they worked as nurses, ambulance drivers, munition workers, tram conductors, and land girls.
In publications such as Vogue, women were told to support the country's morale by looking as lovely as ever, which with rationing meant modifying existing clothes, or making new ones from whatever fabrics were available using Vogue Pattern Book.

It's lovely to look at images from the past, and thankfully Condé Nast has an online store on which one can purchase, or simply browse, high quality prints from their magazines' archives, including Vogue, Vanity Fair, House & Garden, GQ, Goumet and Living.
Other great photographic archives are the ones from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London - V&A Prints (also available to purchase) and V&A Images, which are obviously rather complete and filled with beautiful images.

( Written by Lola )

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