Louise Brooks with her sharply bobbed hair is one of the most iconic figures of 1920s cinema and epitomized the rebellious modern woman of the time. She started off her career as a chorus girl and dancer in 1922, and by 1925 was a dancer for Ziegfeld’s Follies. It was as a Follies girl that(…)
Flappers with sleek bobs, cupid blow lips, long strings of pearls and lots and lots of sass, the roaring twenties were the place to be!
Silent Movie Icons: Norma Talmadge
One of three sisters, Norma Talmadge was one of the most popular actresses of silent movies in the 1920s. She had a difficult childhood; her father was an unemployed alcoholic who abandoned his family when they children were still young, leaving Norma’s mother to try and make ends meet. At 14 Norma began modelling, and(…)
How The World Looked When Airships Filled The Sky
The airship industry effectively died with the Hindenburg disaster of 1937, but for 80 or so years previously the dream of lighter-than-air travel had gradually been becoming a reality. The sight of airships were becoming less of a novelty and were seen in the sky’s across Europe and North America. In truth though, by the(…)
A Rather Intriguing (and Ghoulish) Photograph
I stumbled across this photograph this morning and I’m ghoulishly intrigued by it. The only information I have about it is that it’s captioned ‘Air Suicide Attempt‘, 1929.
Back When Everybody Smoked…
More and more smokers are becoming social pariahs. They have to stand on the street in the rain outside restaurants, bars, pubs and even their own cars (if their kids are inside). And while I don’t mind this, being a non-smoker, it does strike me as strange that in years gone by smoking was seen(…)
Happy Vintage New Year!
What better way to start off the new year by seeing how they celebrated in years gone by! These are some of my favourite vintage new year pin ups from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. I love the Myrna Loy one – I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles to stay up till(…)
Fashion Snapshots: 1928
1928 was an interesting turning point in 1920s fashion. The boyish figure of the mid 1920s was starting to become more feminine again with female curves starting to re-emerge from androgyny. The tubular flattening underwear of earlier in the decade was becoming more forgiving (or at least more womanly in shape), and once again women(…)
The forecast heatwave seems to have arrived in full force today and it’s far too hot to actually dance, so here are some vintage photos of people dancing their socks off to keep us all entertained. Thinking about doing exercise is almost as good as doing it, right? Oh, and I’d like to know your(…)
Snapshot: Paris in 1926
I love the idea of collating images which give a real flavour of what a place was like at a point in time. All of the photos below were taken in Paris in 1926. They range from Josephine Baker dancing at the Folies-Bergère, to photos of buildings, shop windows, fashions and bridges along with some(…)
Amazing Costumes from the Folies Bergère in the 1920s and 30s
I should probably point out that this might not be suitable for viewing at work. It’s not terribly risque, but there are some photos of 1920s topless showgirls, so I guess it depends on what you classify for NSFW, and I don’t want to get anyone into trouble! The Folies Bergère opened in Paris in(…)
Pre-Code Hollywood Movies Which Shocked the Censors
The Hays Code was introduced in 1930 to regulate the morals of the US motion picture industry and influenced film production up until 1968. Before it was introduced censors were independent in each State, meaning that different films could be banned, cut or shown to differing degrees in different parts of the country. This caused(…)
How Did Edwardian Ladies become Frivolous Flappers in Just 1 Decade?
How did women go from the straight laced Edwardian era to free and easy fashions of 1920s flapper in just 1 decade? The catalyst was the same that changed not only fashion, but society and many aspects of everyday life: war. The Edwardian Era Just in case you’re not sure what Edwardian ladies looked like,(…)
The Downton Abbey Wedding Dresses: Did They Get It Wrong?
I don’t profess to be any kind of historical costume expert, but I do have an interest in vintage fashions and I love a good wedding dress. Because of this I’ve spent hours both looking at old wedding photos and watching Downton Abbey, and it strikes me that they don’t seem to tally at all!(…)
The Tragic Downfall of Olga Spessivtseva: From Great Ballerina to Electric Shock Therapy
Olga Spessivtseva was one of the foremost Russian ballerinas of the early 20th Century. She traveled the world to rave reviews in a career which spanned from 1913 to 1939 before succumbing to mental illness and becoming an inmate of the Hudson River Asylum for the Insane. Often billed as Olga Spessiva (her name was(…)
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Mary Pickford
Even if you’re not a silent movie buff you’ve probably heard of ‘America’s Sweetheart‘ Mary Pickford. Here are some interesting facts you might not have known about the famous Blondilocks: She co-founded the movie studio United Artists with Charlie Chaplin, husband Douglas Fairbanks Sr and D.W. Griffith in response to the restrictive and controlling ‘Star(…)
Pin Up Girls: A Brief History
Pin up girls have been around for a lot longer than you think. Since as early as the 1890s girls have been drawn, painted and photographed and presented to the world as the ideal of beauty and sexuality. Like fashions in beauty and body shape, the pin up has changed enormously over the last century.(…)
Pin Up Pioneers: Miss Fernande (NSFW)
Miss Fernande was arguably the very first photographic pin up star. Born during the 1890s in Paris, the lovely Fernande was a model and prostitute who posed for nude and semi-nude photographs for photographer Jean Agelou during the 1910s and 20s. Her exact identity remains a mystery. Only ever known by the moniker ‘Miss Fernande’(…)
Hollywood Heart Throbs of the Silent Era: John Gilbert
John Gilbert ‘The Great Lover’ was one of the few stars of the silent movie era who could rival Rudolph Valentino, and you can see why, handsome devil wasn’t he? Like Valentino his life ended tragically young (although not quite as young as Valentino) aged just 38. During this time he made in excess of(…)