Nose art on airplanes first became popular during WW1 when German airmen (or rather their ground-crews) started painting a mouth and teeth onto nose cones, rather like Moby Dick below. In fact a shark-face design is still painted on nose-cones of military aircraft today. During World War II the military didn’t allow nose-art, but was(…)
Pin up girls
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(…)
It was the lovely Armi Kuusela from Finland who won the first ever Miss Universe contest in 1952*, with Miss Hawaii, Miss Greece, Miss Hong Kong and Miss Germany in the runner up positions. Interestingly Miss United Kingdom, Aileen P. Chase, who was a runner up in Miss World the previous year didn’t even make(…)
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.(…)
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’(…)
Alfred Cheney Johnston is most well-known for his photographs of the girls who performed in the Ziegfeld Follies in the 1910s and 20s. Here are some of his more risqué photos of the girls, including one of Gloria Swanson. They probably aren’t particularly suitable for viewing at work, depending on how open-minded your boss is(…)
Whatever your personal feelings about beauty pageants, they serve as a great reminder that fashion dictates what each generation considers to be beautiful. These 1920s title-holders, many of whom won the coveted Miss America crown probably wouldn’t have thought to even enter the competition today. I’m guessing unless you have pneumatic breasts, perfect teeth and(…)
During World War 2, the American Magazine for GI’s (called YANK would you believe?) featured a number of fabulous pin-ups to help boost morale of the troops. Many were big cinema stars like Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable and Ingrid Bergman (waving below) but, however famous, all of them were fabulous.
Adrian Adolph Greenberg, better known as just ‘Adrian’ was one of the most amazing costume designers ever seen in Hollywood. He was MGM’s head costume designer from 1928 and 1941 and designed the costumes for over 250 movies during the 1930s and 40s. Remember Dorothy’s iconic glittering ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz? Well(…)
There were some great movie actors around in the 1940s, it truly was the golden age of cinema! Here are my top 10 leading men of that decade – have I missed anyone crucial out? 1. Humphrey Bogart Bogart was ranked the greatest male movie star in history by the American Film Institute, and he(…)
Ziegfeld girls were the cheesecake pinups of the 1920s. Beautiful and talented they were the chorus girls of the spectacular Ziegfeld Follies which ran from 1907 to 1931. Many Ziegfeld girls went on to fame and fortune in the cinema and stars including Barabara Stanwyck (below), Louise Brooks and Joan Blondell all launched their careers(…)
I never kept up with the fashions. I believed in wearing what I thought looked good on me – Bettie Page I watched the movie The Notorious Bettie Page last night. I didn’t know much about Bettie Page’s life before watching it, and it was very interesting to learn a bit more about America in(…)
Ziegfeld Follies girl Doris Eaton Travis photographed somewhere around 1918-1920. I love the fancy top she’s wearing – I wonder whether it’s a costume? It seems a bit spangly and skimpy to be a regular dress. What do you think?
Fanny Brice – c. 1915-1925 – Ziegfeld girl photographed by Alfred Cheney Johnston.
Ziegfeld Follies girl Doris Eaton Travis (1904-2010) in her youth (somewhere around 1922).
Famous singer and actress Fanny Brice from the time she was a Ziegfeld Follies girl, c. 1915
Kathleen Rose, aka “Rose Dolores”, a Ziegfeld Girl in peacock plume dress. c.1917-1923 Isn’t this the most wonderful costume? I’d love to know what kind of show it was a part of, whether she just moved slowly around the stage and posed in the costume or whether it was part of some kind of routine. I’m(…)
Marion Davies, Ziegfeld girl, Hollywood actress, self-described “silly, giggly idiot” and mistress to William Randolph Hearst, half length, seated, facing left; in Yolanda. Photograph by Alfred Cheney Johnston, 1924.