I happen to have two issues of Vogue magazine from April and May of 1969. This is great because Mad Men. which I am an avid fan of, is currently set in 1969. Since Vogue was a much more ‘adult’ fashion magazine than the Seventeen magazine I usually read, it portrayed women who were actually out in the world doing stuff instead of high school travails. I was 13-14 years old in 1969 and remember a great deal, but these magazines verify the world of 1969 that Mad Men portrays so well. I thought these ads were especially interesting:
No, this woman is not a model. She is Sue Vanderbilt who designs GM car interiors. Kind of the Peggy Olson of her day. Sue helped design car seats to accommodate ‘women’s smaller frames’, and keeps in mind things like ‘ladylike exits’ when designing GM’s wider-than-ever door panels. And that psychedelic fabric – WOW – that is just about the grooviest car interior I’ve ever seen! When did cars get so boring? I’d love to tool around in this thing, it would make driving so much more fun.
Here is another 1969 business woman: Eleanor Hansberry, founder and president of Hollywood Diet Bread Company. Rather Joan Harris-like, she plans future business activities with her staff of key executives. I wonder what happened to Hollywood Diet Bread? It was extremely popular with women in the 1960s. Gotta hand it to Mrs. Hansberry, she invented the “secret formula” for Hollywood Special Formula Bread; the product that started it all.
Psychedelic print knits were huge in 1969. Mr. Dino’s wide-legged pants, and tunic that’s also a mini dress, were pretty far-out, man. On Mad Men this style can be seen on Megan Draper and on Pete’s girlfriend, Bonnie. More of a west coast/California look.Can we just say a word about Emilio Pucci? Divine. 1969 was Pucci’s heyday and his wild prints were everywhere. This ad is for his sheer bodystocking that laid a foundation for his fashions, like the Pucci Butterfly Dress shown. Again, Megan and Bonnie wear a lot of Pucci prints, which is so fabulous to see.
‘Botany 500 – turns it on so your man can turn you on’. Let’s not forget the Pete Campbell’s and the Bob Benson’s of world! Both would have worn a suit like this: Shape hugs him closer, traces his waist, squares his shoulders. Colors go bang! I really dig the bold Op-Art graphics, and the naked woman clutching the male model is pretty funny.
Of course you needed to have flawless skin, or at least look like you had it. Max Factor’s Pan-Stik makeup was like putting a layer of spackle on your face. Marvelously moist and glowy. Not a freckle or flaw or fault shows through. How could it? This stuff was heavy!
Since there was a lot of bi-coastal travel in 1969, one usually went with a full set of Samsonite luggage including a travel case for cosmetics. This was when air travel was still classy, stylish, and somewhat romantic. Unfortunately those days are long gone…