Happy Halloween! Vintage 1971 Styx-The Magical Fragrance

Happy Halloween!

This is a great mystically spooky ad from the October 1971 issue of Seventeen magazine. It is for Styx fragrances, and features a black-cloaked model saying, “I’ll be his magician. Let me touch him with my magical Styx.”

In the late ’60s/early ’70s, there was a certain fascination with all things mysterious. Ouija boards, tarot cards, Dark Shadows, vampires, monsters, and fortune-telling were big. This Styx ad was going along with the trendy zeitgeist of the times.

Styx is named for the mysterious underground river know for centuries as “The River of the Unbroken Oath”. So when you used Styx, its powers were not to be taken lightly as the effect was not a fleeting one. There were seven different, hauntingly fragrant potions, each with its own spell. Commit them to memory and use as needed…

Eau de Mischief: “Styx river, Styx water, mystery double, Turn him my way or give him trouble!”

Creme Fatale: “Blood run hot, heart beat fast, Warm his love and make it last.”

Quicksilver Powder: “Lightshine, quickshine, blind his eyes to any other girl but me.”

Triple-Ripple Bath Brew: “Stir his heart as I stir these waters. Disturb him with my image.”

Spell-Spinning Spray: I summon the spirits, the powers that be, whisper my message, enchant him for me.”

Destiny Drops: “Take his will away, I say, make (his name) the slave of my charms.”

Now get out there and stir up some vintage magic potions for Halloween. BOO! 😀


Chanel No. 5 Perfume For 1970s Hippies

Chanel was apparently going with the hippie boho flow in the ’70s.

This 1972 ad for Chanel No. 5 perfume shows the iconic glass Chanel perfume bottle superimposed over an embracing couple. The pair is dressed in a gauzy white cotton tunic and dress, and appear to be standing out in a field.

This was the time when “natural” scents like musk, civet, and patchouli reigned supreme, so it seemed incongruous to me that hippies would want to wear a fancy French scent. As much of a Chanel freak I am today, I don’t remember wearing Chanel scents in the 1970s (that came later, in the 1980s, after Karl Lagerfeld took over as designer).

In keeping with Coco Chanel’s modern vision, Chanel’s branding has always tried to keep up with the trends. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t. Even today there are some misses – the Brad Pitt “Inevitable” Chanel No. 5 commercial a few years ago, anyone? 😀


The Groovy 1972 Purple and Gold AMC Gremlin Car

This is a cool ad for American Motors’ 1972 Gremlin car. I think it turned out to be a total lemon, if I remember correctly, but it was a pretty sharp looking car for early ’70s standards. It was denoted as a “great little economy car that’s fun to drive”. Most American cars at that time were HUGE, so it was rather novel to see a sporty little made-in-USA car.

This particular Gremlin model in the ad is a really pretty shade of purple, with gold trim. I happen to love this color scheme as they are the school colors of the University of Washington – GO DAWGS! I like the clean lines of the car and the hatchback, which was a new concept.

American car makers were trying to introduce more economical, smaller models in the early 1970s (Ford Pinto, anyone?). But due to producing so many lemons, they were soon eclipsed by the Japanese car makers of Honda and Toyota. They came out with wildly popular finely-engineered small cars that the American car makers just couldn’t compete with.


Americana Levi’s for Gals – 1972

“Have you ever had a bad time in Levi’s?”, begs the question. Well, no, as a matter of fact! Levi’s were a mainstay in my wardrobe in the ’60s and ’70s. I remember having to buy men’s Levi jeans and have my mom sew darts in the waistline to make them fit better.

In 1968, Levi Strauss created a separate division for womenswear, and called it Levi’s for Gals. This clothing line was made to fit junior-sized girls, and was hip, trendy and attune with the times. There were cool styles like hip-huggers, flares and bell-bottoms.

This ad, from the March 1972 issue of Glamour magazine, was requested by a reader. Luckily I happened to have the magazine (and the ad). It has an Americana vibe to it, with the flag, Cracker Jack, and red, white and blue colors. It features a fun-loving model wearing low-cut button-thru flares in 100% cotton brushed denim ($10), and a knit top in polyester and cotton blend ($8).

I would have totally worn this outfit in 1972 (my junior year in high school), and perhaps did!


Vintage Mod 60s POP FASHIONS Knitted Sweaters

I recently snapped up this beauty of a catalog at a thrift store. “POP Fashions to knit and crochet in Bear Brand and Fleisher Yarns”, dated 1965. This was the height of the Mod era, where the Beatles and mini skirts were taking center stage. Fun young fashion was really beginning to take off, with sleek lines, bright colors and bold patterns.  This cover photo shows a mod take on an argyle sweater, with matching stockings!


< An argyle vest, and a striped mohair shell top.




A zippered cape, and a granny square shell top. >




Here we have that ’60s favorite, the “Poor Boy” sweater, with its vertical ribbing. Matching socks too!

Bright striped pullovers to share a soda in!


< Nubby yarn shell top, and pom-pom neckline sweater.



Nubby yarn vest, and sleek long-sleeved tunic (worn with leggings and booties – très chic!) >





Chunky knit striped sweater with collar, and bright color-block cowl neck sweater.

A mod take on the classic his-and-hers tennis sweaters.


My Love of Mexican Handcrafted Textiles

Ever since the 1970s – where the boho peasant look reigned supreme – I’ve been in love with Mexican embroidery and textiles. On trips to Mexico, I stocked up on colorful hand-embroidered dresses that were sold by vendors everywhere. Even on the beach! I’ve found a lot of vintage pieces in thrift stores over the years too. There is just something so positive about these garments, and I always feel happy wearing them. The hippie in me will never die!

Last month, I became aware of a group called La Blouse Roumaine. This movement grew organically around the image and meaning of the hand-embroidered Romanian blouse. The blouse is a symbol that communicates the identity of its wearer, both as an individual and as a member of a tribe. It also represents a global tribe, seeking the essential through art and beauty.

La Blouse Roumaine joined forces with Viernes Tradicional, a community that promotes Mexican textile heritage by using and sharing photos of garments made by artisans. Since I happen to hoard, er, have some beautiful Mexican pieces, I submitted this photo of me in one of my favorites. It is a vintage 1970s piece in white cotton gauze that is lavishly hand-embroidered both front and back. It’s rather voluminous, but it is exquisite.

I really love that there are communities that are promoting their artistic heritage. There is blatant stealing of these designs in the fashion world, ranging from haute couture to cheap Chinese knockoffs. It’s a beautiful thing when authentic cultural fashions can be appreciated and preserved.