Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vinspiration Tuesday: The Photography of Victor Keppler

For those of you who don't know me too well I have a terrible addition to vintage films and photographs so you'll be seeing a lot of those floating around the blog. This addiction was only increased when I worked for George Eastman House; International Museum of Photography and Film. GEH is home to one of the world's largest and most diverse photography collections and is the oldest photography museum in the world. They are fabulous and I had way too much fun working for them. I no longer live in the snowy world of Rochester, New York but I still like to browse the collection from time to time.

George Eastman House (or the "e" as I used to call it) has a huge collection of advertising photography. I just love looking at the sharply dressed women in those photos. They're fabulous hair, frocks, coats, and hats make me swoon. And since this is a vintage sewing/styling blog I thought I'd share some with all of you. It might provide some useful "vinspiration!" So without further ado, the photography of Victor Keppler from the 40s and 30s.

This lady looks fabulous in her red automobile and matching red coat, scarf and red gloves. She's a free spirit who loves the open road, the feel of the wind in her tightly curled hair and her smooth delicious camel cigarette.

I love the large flowers matched with the beret in this picture. This is a great reference for vintage make-up circa 1940. Look at the smooth face. One tone, very unlike our modern make-up which strives for multiple hues and a "natural finish." The lips are a deep red with a very strong line and there's just a slight highlight under the eye. Love the blond curl that sits in front of the barret (technically I think it is called a "tam" today, but I believe they were referred to as berets at the time).

How about some winter wear circa 1945? That knitted bonnet type cap and mitten are so cute and look super warm. And look at the sweet heart detail on the cap. I've seen similar bonnets in other photographs and they all tend to tie under the chin with cute little knitted ties. I'm assuming this bonnet hat has them as well. I also am completely in love with her fitted red wool coat. The black lace edging around the neck is gorgeous! I really need one of these skiing outfits for my next family ski trip.

Here's some menswear. I've always enjoyed the men's hat. I suppose that's why I've been on my bring back hats crusade for so long. Sure I like woman's hats, but how could you not want to see your man in one of these handsome chapeaus?  You'll hear more about the hat crusade in the future, so look forward to that.  Another thing to note is their thick neck ties. I want to bring those back too! There's something so manly and retro about the thick tie with the three button suit.

And here we come to my most favorite Keppler print of all time. This photo was taken in 1939 and so graciously hangs in my kitchen. It is one of my main sources of "vinspiration". I know some of you gals from Sew Retro have this exact same dress or you want it-- admit it. Those puff sleeves are so cute. They're not really something petite little me can wear without being dwarfed by my dress, but if only I could! I also love the fitted red apron. I may make one of these, it doesn't look too difficult to copy and OMG yellow cookware! Yellow is my favorite kitchen color. Still working on convincing my Beau to let me buy a yellow dish set.

The sign says "No Swimming Allowed" but who would want to swim in that cute gingham dress? This photo was shot in Aug 1946. I normally HATE gingham with a passion, but this dress does it right. I love the summery off the shoulders look with the pink print. This is definitely a great summer trip dress. Maybe I'll consider making something similar for myself. I'll add one of my oversize sun hats and call it a day.

All these prints are available from George Eastman House Photo Store, and the 8x10s sell for $25.00 so they fit in the 25.00 budget of this blog.

Hope this post gave you some fabulous Vinspiration!


Hortencia Butterscotch said...

OMG I love George Eastman House. Its been a while since I've been, I keep meaning to go when I go back to Rochester. My favorite part as a kid was the room with an Elephant head mounted on the wall...Next time I go I'll look for all the vintage pics.

Nancy said...

To see any of these images you need to call a few days ahead and set up an appointment with the museum staff. They're really great about pulling images if you ask for something specific and it is really fun to "thumb through time." Especially on a rainy afternoon.