After WWII, DuPont delved into making ‘Modern-Living Fibers’ such as Nylon, Orlon, Dacron, Rayon and Acetate. Their theme was BETTER THINGS FOR BETTER LIVING…THROUGH CHEMISTRY.
Now dresses could not only be rich and beautiful, but practical too. The fabric blends lent themselves to be drapable and packable. It’s interesting to note that only natural fibers were used up to this point, so it really must have been quite revolutionary.
This two-page full-spread ad is from the August 15, 1953 issue of Vogue magazine. The dress on the left is designed by Philip Hulitar and is a lacy tweed blended or nylon, rayon and acetate. The dress on the right is designed by Ceil Chapman. It is in a rich, clinging crepe of Orlon in wonderful after-dark colors.
We take all these fabrics for granted now – but I am glad that we still have options, along with the natural classics of cotton, wool and silk.
In the early 1950s, Vogue obtained the pattern-rights to original designs of the great Paris couture houses. Wrapped up in tissue paper for the home seamstress, these eight beautiful designs – from the August 15, 1953 issue of Vogue magazine – came to America to be made into Vogue Patterns. The French designers are: Desses, Jacques Fath, Heim, Schiaparelli, Griffe, Paquin, Patou, and Lanvin-Castillo.If you ever have the good fortune to run across one of these vintage patterns, GRAB IT (and send it to me – hee hee). They are highly collectible and fetch top-dollar on auction sites. It pays to save ephemera!
Olivia Hussey, star of the Franco Zeffirelli production of Romeo and Juliet, was also a Yardley of London model in 1969. Her flawless English Rose beauty was a perfect fit for Yardley to advertise all the fab mod makeup products that they were producing at the time. It was an excellent opportunity to parlay her beautiful Juliet performance into the advertising world. Now that I think about it, she went from actress to model. Now it’s the other way around; that models want to be actresses.
This ad is for Next to Nothing Makeup, which was touted as an ‘invisible’ makeup by Yardley. So fine and sheer, all he ever sees is your own pretty face, looking flawless. I don’t know about you, but my teenage skin was far from flawless. More like covered in acne, which is why I never used an ‘invisible’ makeup. In fact Olivia Hussey, with her perfect skin, was probably the only person who could wear this makeup and look good. I doubt she spent any time using Phisohex and Clearasil like I did. The Next to Nothing makeup set is cool though – fantastic Biba-esque graphics and a fluffy powder puff – but a bit too unrealistic for a normal teenager like me.
Seventeen magazine was the fashion bible for my teenage years, and I’m glad I saved a big stack of them for my vintage research now. Perhaps I had the foresight as a teen that I would one day need them! The November 1972 issue of Seventeen featured the gorgeous model Joyce Walker as cover girl. What I appreciated about Seventeen is that, while they had their share of blonde, blue-eyed models, they also went for a more diverse look at times. Black models did show up on their covers and editorial pages with regularity. This seemed pretty normal to me at the time, and no one made any waves about it. 44 years later, what surprises me is that it seems to be a bigger deal in 2016 when a black model is on the cover of a fashion magazine. Probably the social media effect.
Joyce was also featured in the fashion editorial pages of the same issue. Wearing fantastic floral print wide-leg pants and a back-sashed smock by Jane Irwill, she is simply glorious!
Tall and slim, Joyce is modeling Jane Irwill floral pants, silver-sparkle halter top and a black-sparked cardigan. The stack-heeled patent leather shoes are by Capezio. Makeup by Mary Quant. Bracelet by Michael Moraux for Dubaux. I would totally wear this look today!
Here we go with one of the wackier 1972 fashions – yes folks, a full-on angora pant suit from Sears.
From their Junior Bazaar ‘Holiday Knits’ collection, you could choose a baby blue tunic and pants, or a raspberry pink knit smock top with cap sleeves and pants. Either way, you would be sporting head-to-toe angora. It would be soft and cozy in any event.
I would wear these items separately; the angora sweater with jeans, or the angora pants with a cotton or silk top. But not together. Pastel pant suits are just not my style. 🙂
I thought I had exhausted all the Yardley of London ads from my personal stash of fashion magazines from 1968 to 1975. But, no. While flipping once again through the November 1972 issue of Seventeen magazine, I found one that I’ve been overlooking. This one, for Next to Nature Make-up, is so subtly beautiful that it didn’t stand out like the other more splashy Yardley product lines of the time.
Always on-trend, Yardley seemed to be onto the ‘back to nature’ zeitgeist of the early 1970s. This makeup promised that it would make you look naturally beautiful, because it was made with natural colorings, the purest of waters, and Vitamin A to moisturize for a wholesome dewy glow. Who knew if any of this was true, given that there was not much emphasis put on ingredient labeling at the time.
The ‘Natural Beauty’ model is posing in field, wearing a plaid shirt and holding wildflowers; looking about as natural as one can get having set and blown-out hair and a face full of makeup. I love it though, as I do all the Yardley ads of my teenage years.