Setting Sail in the Flickr Ocean: My Vintage Vogue

It’s time for another tribute to the greatest photo-sharing experience the Web has to offer, Flickr. This installment does not showcase one of the many talented photographers and artists decking Flickr’s halls with their creations, but a different breed of flickr-er [flickree? flickroo?] – the curator. Flickr user MyVintageVogue uploads hundreds of incredible scans from vintage fashion magazines. These images, dating between the 1920s and 60s, fill me with daily awe of the elegance of old-school photography.

The immaculate make-up and hair, jaw-dropping composition and strict tailoring not only hold up but are excellent examples of Doing It Right. Some of these actually remind me of Nadya’s work, which brings me to another observation: fetish themes. My opinion is colored by years of admiring fetish photography, but just look at this image from Vogue Magazine, 1957!

And how about this Horst P. Horst shoe revelry from 1941?

And there is so much more! Between the impossible silhouettes, futuristic elements and avant-garde designs you’re guaranteed to slip into a trance while browsing this photo-stream. Tread with caution before you click the jump – a bounty of MyVintageVogue eye candy awaits!

14 Responses to “Setting Sail in the Flickr Ocean: My Vintage Vogue”

  1. Samantha Says:

    It is amazing how many current fashion shoots I come across that mimic these exactly, with the only difference being the smooth digital spreads.

    Everything awesome has already been done, eh?

  2. Zoetica Says:

    Fortunately there are some groundbreaking photographers out there today, so not all hope is lost!

  3. Ana Droid Says:

    Yey, one of my favourite streams featured on my favourite blog :D

  4. Nadya Says:

    Man, Horst P. Horst – what a pervert! I love him!!!

    I love how realistic the faces look. I recently came across this image on Sociological Images that came to mind when I saw this post:

    Leontine G. sent in this iconic image (found at Empire) of Spock and Captain Kirk from the original Star Trek series, next to the actors who play those characters in the new version (a movie by J.J. Abrams). Leontine says, “I have a vague feeling that actors and musicians are getting smoother and more plasticky looking,” and this image shows some of that. The Spock and Captain Kirk on the right are supposed to be younger than the ones on the left (the movie is a prequel, more or less), but it’s not just that the actors are younger. There’s clearly also irbrushing and make-up used to erase any lines, blemishes or other “imperfections” on their faces (and either New Spock’s shirt fits perfectly, or they airbrushed out most of the wrinkles).”

    In these pictures, they weren’t afraid to show you that there are sometimes bags under the eyes, some wrinkles around the mouth. I really appreciate that.

    I don’t know if the new Kirk/Spock picture is just some fan-made Photoshop bullshit, but I definitely feel what they’re saying about how people are just getting waxier.

  5. Tequila Says:

    The style…the women…the clothes…the women…the design!…THE WOMEN!…oh many MANY thanks for this.

    As far as realistic…I dunno. The lighting may be less “harsh” so to speak but the stylized reality is still pretty strong. Real people & fashion photography rarely seem to mix…if ever.

    The Star Trek image more than likely looked much better in its original state. If it’s a fan image then much can be ignored…but given how many studios hand off photos to retouch artists…things can get heavy handed.

    I think it’s less to do with waxy than it is pretty…too much prettiness even in the “dark” stuff these days. The new Star Trek looks fun but look at em…they’ve about as much character to their faces as a mannequin. It’s gotten to the point that even ugly isn’t ugly anymore…and I like ugly!

  6. BlueAnchorNatasha Says:

    Wonderful post Zoe, its refreshing to see these images after sifting through hundreds of photos of the SAME BORING THING. “Modern” photography may have the ‘advantage’ of technology, but boy, there sure arent many people taking full advantage of it. These photos are original, unique, fresh and classy. We really need MORE of that these days.

  7. Allie Says:

    YOWZA. I literally dream about these kinds of mid-century styles, although I am so glad I actually have a nice butt and don’t have to wear a girdle. I do love the pointy bras and thick stylized eyebrows– I’m working on mine. Very interesting tie in to the StarTrek-plastic people imagery– but look at how heavily made up and stiffly posed the fashion models of yore are! Not that fashion photography is any less of a fantasy now. I’m still waiting to see actual hair follicles, and god forbid some cellulite! Thanks for more pictures to distract me from actually designing clothes… ;)

  8. Chernobyl Red Says:

    Oh. Thank You.

  9. Erin Says:

    These are absolutely gorgeous! I especially love the 1957 Vogue shoe shot.

    I find it interesting that most of these photos seem to be of/geared towards slightly older women. Certainly not ancient by any means, but slightly more refined and mature-looking than a lot of the pixie-esque, dewey-eyed nymphet models of today. I wonder what that might connote?

    Perhaps not more realistic me thinks, but lovely all the same!

  10. Erin Says:

    Also: Commissioning a replica of this dress has just become a new priority in my life:

  11. rainer Says:

    oh! thanks for posting this. This makes me so happy!!!!!!!!!

  12. Jessica Says:

    Amazing! Thank you SO much! It’s like Christmas, almost…but oh so much more saucy! heh
    I can certainly see how some of these images remind you of Nadya’s work…absurdly, deliciously, elegant, but NOT waxy!

  13. Jessica myvintagevogue Says:

    thanks for blogging about my vintage collection

  14. Prahmajankaya Says:

    interesting stuff!