Recently I lucked into the acquisition of real honest-to-goodness primary source material, courtesy of an old friend of mine from high school, Corinne. Her dear mother was getting rid of a large stack of old papers, mostly magazine ads and that sort, and before pitching them asked if I’d like to have them. ‘Course I was all over that like a costumer in the LA garment district, so I went to collect them, had a look through the papers, and about died for how awesome this stuff truly is.
For the most part, the stack contained one mostly in-tact magazine magazine called “The Pictorial Review,” from 1916, in addition to a “Ladies Home Journal” from 1898, and several pages from a mid-1920s magazine (loose pages).
Of all the beautiful artwork on the inside, they put THIS on the cover. Does anybody know who this lady is?
Flipping through the pages ever so carefully, I was awe-struck by this time capsule of information. The advertisements on the sidebars of the articles were as fascinating as the editorial pieces, the fictional stories, and the fashion illustrations. I had never seen a ladies magazine of the past, but had been curious for so long. The real importance of these papers is the context they maintain. When we look at source material from, say, the Sears Catalogs, often they have been taken out-of-context and are showing only one aspect, but we miss all those little nuances that attest to the life of these people in addition to their clothing.
That being said, let’s look at some of the pages! These are selections I chose – mostly fashion drawings, some interesting ads. Please use these images any way you like! (click the images for larger versions) I have watermarked them, but you are welcome to re-post them on your blogs, but please send a link back to me!
This is an illustration from a story called “Debutanting”
I’m totally in love with this gown. Must make it!
Here’s a full page. Beautiful illustrations, but look at that wall of text! Can you imagine a modern day Cosmo or Glamour looking like this?
Nighties. And also check out the ads on the side.
I dig the nurse’s dress on the left.
Ice skating and winter sports for ladies! What a delightful illustration! And all those fur muffs. Oh so cute!
Isn’t she charming? And she’s in her underwear! Looks like a modern summer dress, right?
Skirts of 1916
Cool hats and fluffy muffler for winter 1916. The other looks like she’s out for a lawn party, though 🙂
So here is my prediction: I think “Downton Abbey” has put the costuming world into a frenzy. I know I’m much more interested in 19Teens clothing now that I’ve watched the series, and I’m itching to make something slinky yet demure, glittering, and Japanese-inspired. If I was waffling about it before (which I wasn’t, but let’s just say) then these 1916 magazine pages were the nails in my proverbial costume coffin, and now I’m OBSESSED.
Would you like to see more? I have more! These are advertisements that may be of interest to you:
From the 1916 magazine – I just love her dress as well as the corset underneath.
This one is from the 1898 Ladies Home Journal. Interesting shape, right?
Not sure what this product is, but it’s a charming drawing.
This is First Lady McKinley on the cover of the 1898 Ladies Home Journal. I love her dress, and wasn’t she pretty!
An appropriate way to end this post. Ever feel this way? Yes I think so, hahaha!