May 1, 2014

En Vogue

I can't believe I haven't shown you this yet: a couple of weeks ago, I bought this in an internet auction.

A book containing half a year of Vogue magazine. From 1915.
Based on the pictures and information in the ad, I expected it to be French (very beautiful but quite hard to read for me) but it's American (so, easy to read and a first in my vintage magazine collection). 
I think the magazine was published twice a month back then, but not all issues are there. For today, I'll give you a bit of a taste by showing you a part of the issue from 15 May. These magazines were quite thick, so even when I just focus on fashion and a bit of atmosphere, there are still too many images for one post.

 First of all: the covers are all amazing colour drawings like these.

There is a lot advertising inside, but I really don't mind, because a lot of it is showing the elegant ladies the readers, supposedly, aspired to be.
I love these kimono's which are still quite clearly related to their oriental inspiration.

And of course, famous department stores try to draw in the customers as well. Here, Bonwit Teller is showing it's new selection of bathing suits.

May is when polite society is preparing for the summer holiday, so there is an extensive feature about traveling and the travel wardrobe. Clearly, Vogue was targeting a well-to-do reader who could afford to travel regularly and in comfort and style.

There are also features about holiday destinations. Because of the war in Europe, all of those are in the America's (ranging from California, to Panama, to Buenos Aires).

And then, there is the fashion report: Paris serves two masters. Fashion and war, I suppose.

Apparently, even in 1915, designers in Paris were already courting audiences in the US. 

 Of the names in this, Lanvin is the only fashion house which is still in business today. Vintage fashion fans may also recognize the name Paquin, which was still around in the 1950's.

There are lovely designs there. Some more, some less radical in their shapes. I like how the original owner marked some designs with pencil. Did she plan on buying those? Or was she going to show them to her seamstress and ask for a copy? (you were actually not allowed to do that, but I guess people still did sometimes)

I think this post is long enough like this but there are still more bits of fashion report to show you... That will have to wait till another time.


  1. WOW! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. That looks like the bound volumes I used to check out at the New York Public Library when I was living in NYC! Great find.

  3. So amazing! What a find! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Lovely! Thank you for sharing this with us. I'm sure you'll get hours of enjoyment from it, if what you've shown us anything to go by. I love ads in old magazines - they shoe you the preoccupations of the time (slimming or building up, keeping regular or wearing makeup, etc).

  5. This is so amazing! this book is almost 100 years old, that's so cool!

  6. Thank you for sharing. It is so inspiring to see what the styles were. And the ads! Those are most telling. I haven couple of old ladies magazines from the twenties or thirties, I don't remember off hand because I keep them stored where small people (my kids) cannot get them and turn them into collages. I can spend hours going through the magazine's over and over.