Real Life

The 1920s International Pageant of Pulchritude & Annual Bathing Girl Review

The 1920s International Pageant of Pulchritude & Annual Bathing Girl Review

Now there’s a title which just rolls off the tongue! Apparently ‘Pulchritude‘ is a really ungainly way of saying ‘beauty’ which (unsurprisingly) has fallen out of fashion. These photos were all taken at the International Pageant of Pulchritude & Annual Bathing Girl Review between 1926 and 1928. I adore these long old-fashioned photos. They remind(…)

Gallery: 1930s wedding photos

Gallery: 1930s wedding photos

The 1930s was such an elegant decade, and nothing shows this more than the beautiful wedding dresses people wore. Here’s a gallery of a few of my favourites. I particularly love that little flowergirl’s striped dress, which is your favourite? Image sources: 1, 2,  3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and copyright:

1920s Wedding Dress Gallery

1920s Wedding Dress Gallery

I thought I’d indulge in a little wedding nostalgia from the 1920s today, partly because I was wondering when the next series of Downton Abbey is due to start. (I’m guessing in the Autumn once the weather has turned and the summer of sport is over!) I love the styles of the 1920, these wedding(…)

Photos of Monet with His Water Lilies

Photos of Monet with His Water Lilies

French Impressionist painter Monet, photographed in his gardens in Giverny, the inspiration for his famous Water Lilies series of paintings. Monet painted more than 200 paintings of water lilies during the last 30 years of his life, many of which were painted whilst he had cataracts. I’ve seen the paintings so many times, and it’s(…)

Gallery: 1930s Beach Acrobatics

Gallery: 1930s Beach Acrobatics

Apparently some people prefer taking exercise on the beach rather than just lounging with a Margarita. I don’t understand it myself. It’s all very impressive but I’d be hanging out with that handsome guy in the bottom photo chilling out and getting a tan.

The Tragic Love Story of Double Agent Dagmar Lahlum

The Tragic Love Story of Double Agent Dagmar Lahlum

After watching Triple Cross earlier in the week, I couldn’t resist looking into the story behind the movie and finding out more about notorious double agent Eddie Chapman. It sounds like he was every bit as charming in real-life as portrayed by Christopher Plummer, only with perhaps even fewer scruples. After reading up on his(…)

Gallery: Day in the Life of a Wartime Housewife (Part 2)

Gallery: Day in the Life of a Wartime Housewife (Part 2)

This is part 2 of the photo feature I ran yesterday released by the War Office in 1941 and show some of the grim realities of living in wartime Britain. Part 2 has a much happier ending though (scroll to the end!) Above: Mrs Day separates cardboard and tin from her household rubbish, ready for(…)

Gallery: Day in the Life of a Wartime Housewife (Part 1)

Gallery: Day in the Life of a Wartime Housewife (Part 1)

This series of photos were released by the War Office in 1941 and show some of the grim realities of living in wartime Britain. The lovely Mrs Day admittedly lives in a 4 storey town-house in South Kensington, so her life is probably a lot smarter than most people actually experienced in wartime London. However,(…)

The Changing Face (and Outfits) of Cheerleaders

The Changing Face (and Outfits) of Cheerleaders

Cheerleaders didn’t always look and dress they way they do today. Far from athletic girls in crop tops Cheerleaders of the 1920s looked very different (and they weren’t just women), and in the 1950s it was the band girls dressed in the sexy outfits, the cheerleaders looked very different! Here are some vintage cheerleading photos(…)

The Stories of the Male Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

The Stories of the Male Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

After discovering the stories of the Nazi female concentration camp guards last week, I wanted to share the stories of their male counterparts. It’s interesting to see how all of them tried to worm their way out of any responsibility in the war crimes trial. All the guards who herded the unfortunate people into the(…)

The Backstories of the Female SS Camp Guards

The Backstories of the Female SS Camp Guards

I’ve had a lot of interest in the photographs I posted yesterday of the female Nazi concentration camp guards of Bergen-Belsen* and the sentences they all received. *Bergen-Belsen is the concentration camp where Anne Frank died – I didn’t realize that until today. A few of you wondered about the back-stories of these women and(…)

The Faces of Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

The Faces of Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

These are photos of the female prison camp guards which were taken after the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp.while they were awaiting trail in 1945. Their sentences ranged from a few short years imprisonment to the death sentence. Here’s an interesting challenge, see if you can guess just by looking at the photos(…)

Ernest Hemingway’s Passport Photo

Ernest Hemingway’s Passport Photo

This very serious young man is Ernest Hemingway photographed in 1923 from his passport. To be fair we all look ridiculous in passport photos, why on earth don’t they let you smile in them? (or is that just in the UK?) Source and copyright: This work is in the public domain in the United States(…)

How Hitler Influenced 1940s Fashion

How Hitler Influenced 1940s Fashion

When you think of 1940s fashion, you probably think of tailored looks, tea dresses, victory rolls and red lipstick (even after makeup the had run out), but fashions were very different in Nazi Germany. Hitler had a very specific idea of how women should look. He even created a German Fashion Board, the Deutsches Modeamt(…)

10 Moving Crime Scene Photos from the 1940s

10 Moving Crime Scene Photos from the 1940s

I hope you don’t think these photos are too macabre, but there’s something terribly poignant about seeing these ordinary domestic scenes which have been turned upside down by a tragedy or a moment of rage. Somehow the fact that the pictures are in black and white makes them more interesting, perhaps it gives them a(…)

Theodore Roosevelt’s Grief

Theodore Roosevelt’s Grief

A touching page from American President Theodore Roosevelt’s diary  on Thursday February 14th 1884. The day his wife died 2 days after giving birth. And just to make sure you don’t suddenly think he was a sentimental kind of chap here’s a picture of him proudly standing over a dead bull-elephant he’s just shot. Make of that(…)

An Amazing 17th Century Pantone Colour Book

An Amazing 17th Century Pantone Colour Book

I had to share this with you today. It’s a bit different to my usual posts in that it’s not about 20th century fashion, cinema or cake, but I found this book was fascinating and I thought you might too. Anyone who’s a designer out there will know about Pantone and their colour guides. I(…)

When Paris Was a Very Different Place

When Paris Was a Very Different Place

It’s spring, and so of course my thoughts have returned to Paris, the beautiful city of blossom and boulevards, baguettes and bicyclette *sigh*. But Paris has always had a certain charm it was a very different place when Zeppelins were in the sky or there were German soldiers on the streets. Take a look at(…)