Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat Butterick Patterns 1972

Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat designs were hot, hot, HOT in the early 1970s. The problem, for most of us teenage girls, was that her fashions were on the expensive side. Oh, how I drooled over her fab wool print sweater dresses. Since most of us sewed (Home Economics classes were mandatory), we all cheered when Betsey made her designs available exclusively as Butterick patterns. I was a horrible seamstress, but I got my mom to sew me quite a few of the Alley Cat designs in my high school years. I loved them so much!

This four-page ad was in the January 1972 issue of Seventeen magazine. It featured Betsey in all her braided Boho glory, along with her darling fashions that you could now sew. The patterns designs were 100% pure Betsey, and the fabric choice was too. She chose the colors. And she liked them all in the fresh, washable, down-home goodness of cotton.

Butterick Patterns 6530, 6536, 6532, 6529

Butterick Patterns 6534, 6535

Butterick Patterns 6531, 6533

Betsey sure made fashion fun in 1972. She made us look super cute too. Thank you Betsey! 🙂


Walk Pretty in Vintage 1970 Scholl Shape-up Sandals!

Dr. Scholl’s Exercise Sandals have been around for a long time. At least 47 years if you go by this June 1970 ad from Seventeen Magazine! I am struck with how current the model in the short pink dress, tattoos, and crocheted hat looks. She would look right in style today, without looking particularly vintage-y.

These original Shape-up sandals were made out of sculpted wood, with leather straps. The defining feature was the toe grip, which caused you to grip mightily onto the sandals. This gripping action was supposed to exercise and put more shape in your legs. They came in flat or raised heel, and in red or bone colors.

Of course I had a pair in the 1970s. I wore them occasionally but found the solid wood very heavy, the strap inadequate, and they were very hard to walk in. Which, I guess, was the whole point of the sandal. It was more Walk Clunky than Walk Pretty. I much preferred regular sandals, or regular clogs if I wanted a wooden base. At least there was some stability with those!


The Bulletin Board Bag AKA Vintage 1970 Pinterest

I ran across this unusual ad in the August 1970 issue of Seventeen magazine. It advertised the Bulletin Board Bag – a $9 wood purse with rope handle – that had a four-sided cork bulletin board. You could ‘design it with love’ by decorating it with snaps of special people, signs, flowers, team heroes, school colors and happenings. Change it to fit your mood or the season. It’s your bag.

The first thing I thought of was that it was a 1970s tactile version of Pinterest! You had to physically put things on your ‘board’, and then carry it with you and share with your ‘followers’. You could change things around according to your whim. We didn’t have the internet or social media in the ’70s, but we had our ways to express our personal style.


The 1971 Yardley Pot o’ Glossapalooza!

Being the vintage Yardley of London freak that I am, I thought I had exhausted all the Seventeen magazine Yardley advertising from my personal collection. But, no; I just found an amazing two-page ad in the March 1971 issue. And it’s for my absolute favorite, Pot o’ Gloss!

The cool thing is that there were a variety of Pot o’ Glosses back then; Tinted Lip Gloss, Cheek Gloss, Eye Gloss, and Skin Inscents. You could be glossed all over! I adored the lip gloss so much that I never paid much attention to the other Pot o’ Gloss items, I guess. The divine scent, the tacky feel, and the pretty look of the lip gloss is burned into my memory forever.

Was is striking about this Yardley ad, however, is the deep suntans of the models. 1971 was not about porcelain English Rose beauty; more like how dark your tan could get. The pale British Mod movement of the 1960s was taken over by suntanned American Bohemians in the 1970s.


The 1971 Ukrainian Folkloric Bohemian Look

I ran across these fabulous Slavic/Ukrainian fashions in my February 1971 issue of Seventeen magazine. This folkloric style was extremely popular in the 1970s, and is experiencing a resurgence with the Neo-Folk embroidered designer dresses of Vita Kin and Ulla Johnson in 2017. Needless to say, my love of this style is just as strong today as when I wore it in the 70s!

The prints were designed especially for Seventeen by Aquarius Fabrics. They had authentic cross-stitch motifs on Natural muslin and canvas. Models Olga and Anya are wearing frilled midi dresses by Ruth Norman for Gay Gibson.

Nadya is wearing a swingy peasant frock, Natalya is wearing a skirt, blouse and lace-up waist, and Irina is wearing a skirt and blouse. All by Collegetown.

The prints are based on traditional Slavic handcrafted embroidery. Culottes and midriff-airing shirt worn along with a babushka. Slim midi-sleeved tunic top keeps peace with runaway pants. All by Stuffed Shirt.

A maxi-romanticist might inspire the poet Yevtushenko, also charm Yuri, the boy next door! Maxi and mini dresses in cotton muslin by Denise Are Here. Beady belt by William Rand.

May this fab style live on forever!


Christie Brinkley – Wrapped Up In 1975

It was really cool to see the photos of Christie Brinkley (63) modeling for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, along with her daughters Alexa Ray Joel (31) and Sailor Brinkley Cook (18). I thought they all looked happy, healthy and gorgeous. Christie is a little older than I am, and I’ve followed her career since she first started out modeling in the 1970s. From my teetering stash of vintage fashion magazines, I found the September 1975 issue of Glamour magazine with Christie on the cover. I’m pretty sure that this is one of her first modeling ventures, and it was the start of the All-American Blond California models that epitomized a good part of the 1970s fashion scene.

In Glamour’s editorial pages Christie modeled chunky sweater wrap-ups that had a handmade look, or could be knitted or crocheted by you. A different look from SI’s Swimsuit Issue (that came about 4 years later), but I think she looks fantastic here too.

Christie also made her way into the beauty pages, modeling a pretty hairstyle. The finished look of soft waves and curls was accomplished in 12 minutes using Clairol’s Kindness electric rollers (a 70s beauty staple).