Old Magazine Articles
old magazine article typewriter
Old Magazine Article Search:

"Old Magazine Articles"



Broadway Costume Design for the Fall  <br />(Stage Magazine, 1933)Broadway Costume Design for the Fall
(Stage Magazine, 1933)
In his review of contemporary Broadway costume design for the Autumn of 1933, the fashion journalist asked the pressing question:

"What is the well-dressed play wearing these days?"

There was much talk of Chanel, Schiaparelli and the House of (Elizabeth) Hawes as he heaped the praises high and deep for the the rag-pickers who clothed the ungrateful actresses for such productions as "Men in White", "Undesirable Lady", "Her Master's Voice" and "Heat Lightning".

"The fashions in the plays are vivid, authentic, and wearable. They have sprung from the gifted brains and fingers of the cream of the crop of designers, Schiaparelli and Chanel in Paris, and our own industrious Americans who, themselves, are becoming hardy annuals. The silhouette is lengthening into slim height but even in sports clothes corners are rounded and curves are accentuated..."

The Invention of Rayon <br />(Literary Digest, 1937)The Invention of Rayon
(Literary Digest, 1937)
This magazine article reported on the Miracle Fabric of the 1930s: rayon - and rayon cannot be deleted from any study dealing with Thirties fashion any more than the word "polyester" can be separated from a discussion of 1970s fashion. The article presents a history of the fabric but makes it quite clear that the fabric was immediately embraced by all the fashion houses at that time.

Read about the 1930s revival of velvet.

Click here to read about feminine conversations overheard in the best New York bathrooms of 1937.

Edith Head  on  Paris Frocks <br />(Photoplay Magazine, 1938)Edith Head on Paris Frocks
(Photoplay Magazine, 1938)
A telegraph from Hollywood costume designer Edith Head (1897 – 1981) to the editorial offices of PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE listing various highlights of the 1938 Paris fashion scene. Not surprisingly, it reads like a telegram:

"Paris says:

• Long waistlines, short flared skirts, fitted bodices, tweeds combines with velvet, warm colors...
• Hair up in pompadours piles of curls and fringe bangs.
• Braid and embroidery galore lace and ribbon trimmings loads of jewelry mostly massive.
• Skirts here short and not too many pleats more slim skirts with slight flare."

The great Hollywood modiste wrote in this odd, Tarzan-english for half a page, but by the end one is able to envision the feminine Paris of the late Thirties.

Recommended Reading: Edith Head: The Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood's Greatest Costume Designer.

Click here to read about physical perfection during the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Fashion Journalism Goes Legit <br />(Art Digest, 1936)Fashion Journalism Goes Legit
(Art Digest, 1936)
"Keeping abreast with current need, the Traphagan School (New York) offers for the first time a course in fashion journalism, which prepares students for positions on magazines and newspapers in advertising departments and agencies where they will interpret in words what they themselves or some other designer relates. The course is conducted by Marie Stark, formerly associate editor of Vogue..."

Summer Fashions <br />(Stage Magazine, 1934)Summer Fashions
(Stage Magazine, 1934)
Illustrated with three nifty black and white fashion illustrations, this critic lays it all on the line as to what the most exciting part of ladies fashions will be for the summer of 1934 - there is much talk of the Paris offerings from Marcelle Dormoy, hats by Tappe and smocks by Muriel King. However, no other fashionable bauble attracts her attention more than the concept of the net dress:

"The thing that everyone is going for now is net and, when you see that new net dresses, it is pretty hard to understand why this frivolous fabric was forgotten so long. It is being made into dresses and jacket dresses which are called cafe clothes; street-length skirts and crisp, starchy necklines and usually, short sleeves, each with its individual brand of ingenuity."

Click here to read an article about the nature of adultery.

Elsa Schiaparelli Recommends...<br />(Photoplay Magazine, 1936)Elsa Schiaparelli Recommends...
(Photoplay Magazine, 1936)
"Elsa Schiaparelli (1890 – 1973), Paris' leading fashion authority of the 1930s tells how to dress inexpensively and yet look smart as a star.":

"Cheap jewelery should never be worn unless it happens to be something that you positively know suits you. Pearls, including cheap ones, are always in good taste."

"Women can learn from men and improve their 'chic'. A man wouldn't think of wearing a tight shoe or one that didn't harmonize with his suit."

Linen and Cotton and the Summer of 1933 <br />(Delineator Magazine, 1933)Linen and Cotton and the Summer of 1933
(Delineator Magazine, 1933)
Attached is printable fashion editorial by a "lifer" in the world of 20th Century American fashion, Marian Corey who stood firm on her belief that the Summer of '33 would stand out as the first season in which the swankiest threads in fashion's offering would be linen and cotton rather than silk:

"Cotton and linen have gone chic on us. Yes we know that you've heard this before. Every year for the last three, stylists have become very sentimental, along about March first, on this subject and each year practically everyone has gone right on wearing silk and more silk, just the same. This time, however, things will be different; this is the summer to believe the stylists."

The article is illustrated by six photographs picturing various assorted well-fed loafers of the Palm Beach set.

Learn about the color trends in men's 1930 suits...

Was Tobé the First Fashion Stylist? <br />(Delineator Magazine, 1937)Was Tobé the First Fashion Stylist?
(Delineator Magazine, 1937)
Here is a 1937 magazine article from the long forgotten pages of DELINEATOR MAGAZINE insisted that they found the very first fashion stylist -some lass named Tobé (born Taubé Coller, a.k.a. Mrs Herbert Davis, 1890 - 1962). They were very insistent on the matter, although they failed to explain the sources used to reach this conclusion:

"This woman is the first official stylist...Now she is head of Tobé Incorporated, through which she does for more than a hundred stores in America and some in Canada, England, Australia, Norway and Sweden."

The New Glamour of Velvet <br />(Literary Digest, 1936)The New Glamour of Velvet
(Literary Digest, 1936)
A 1930s fashion article which perfectly encapsulated some of the heady excitement that filled the air when "a new crush-resistant, non-wrinkling, packable, ultra-fashionable velvet" hit the market. The material was immediately swooped-up by the glam squad in far-off Hollywood; RKO chief costume designer Walter Plunkett pontificated:

"Velvet is the epitome and symbol of elegance."

Not one to be upstaged, Travis Banton (1894 – 1958) Plunckett's counterpart at Paramount Studios, chimed in declaring:

"The flattery and refinement of velvet is supplied by no other material."

Anticipating the Springtime coronation of Edward VIII, thousands of yards of velvet had been manufactured for the occasion.

Click here to read about the woman who dictated many of the fabric restriction rules on the American home front.

Fashion Designers Colide wth Hollywood Designers... <br />(Click Magazine, 1938)Fashion Designers Colide wth Hollywood Designers...
(Click Magazine, 1938)
This is an historic article that introduced the fashion era that we still reside in today.

The attached article from 1938 heralded a new day in the fashion industry where fashion magazines would no longer be relied upon to set the trends in clothing; henceforth, that roll would largely be played by movie actresses in far-off Hollywood:

"The greatest fashion influence in America, stylists sadly lament, is the much-photographed, much-glamorized and much-imitated Movie Queen. What she wears is news, eagerly copied, by girls all over the country who want to look like Joan Crawford and Myrna Loy."

The primary bone of contention that the East Coast fashionistas found most objectionable was the fact that movie stars are Californians, and Californians will always prefer comfort over glamor.

Sunglasses Make Their Mark in the Fashion World <br />(Click Magazine, 1939)Sunglasses Make Their Mark in the Fashion World
(Click Magazine, 1939)
Although sunglasses had slowly inched their way forward in popularity since the late Twenties, the attached article declared that by 1939 sunglasses were officially recognized as a full-fledged fashion accessory when the Hollywood stars Joan Bennet and Hedy Lamar began to sport them around town.

Like T-shirts and khaki pants, it would be W.W. II that would provide sunglasses with a guaranteed spot on fashion stage for the next sixty-five years.

Click here to read a 1961 article about Jacqueline Kennedy's influence on American fashion.

Beating the Beach Censor <br />(Click Magazine, 1939)Beating the Beach Censor
(Click Magazine, 1939)
Attached is a printable fashion editorial from a 1939 issue of CLICK MAGAZINE which beautifully illustrated (in color) one of the chic, California beach fashions of the day.

Learn about the color trends in men's 1930 suits...

Men's Fashions for the Summer of 1932 <br />(Magazine Advertisement)Men's Fashions for the Summer of 1932
(Magazine Advertisement)
These two 1932 magazine advertisements had a tremendous amount of relevance in the lives of those fellows lucky enough to still enjoy summer vacations, just two and a half years into the greatest economic down-turn in American history.

These two pages appeared in the swankiest of New York society rags during the era: STAGE, TOWN & COUNTRY and VANITY FAIR, promoting the white summer suits and linen leisurewear of the Palm Beachtailors.

Jeweler to the Stars <br />(Quick Magazine, 1954)Jeweler to the Stars
(Quick Magazine, 1954)
"The fabulous jewels worn by the stars in movies look like the real thing, but they are all paste. Most of this fake splendor is produced by Joan Castle Joseff of Hollywood (1912 - 2010) whose factory turns out 90 percent of the jewelry used in pictures. Sometimes an order must be filled in twenty-four hours, to avoid holding up a costly production."
''Fashion is Spinach'' <br />(Focus Magazine, 1938)''Fashion is Spinach''
(Focus Magazine, 1938)
Fashion philosophizer and designer Elizabeth Hawes (1903 – 1971) recognized the sham that is fashion - in the attached photo-essay she writes plainly on the matter.

The book is available at Amazon.com: Fashion is Spinach

Colorful Menswear <br />(Literary Digest, 1937)Colorful Menswear
(Literary Digest, 1937)
This 1937 fashion report let it be known that men's fashions were getting more colorful; items that we associate with the Fifties such as plaid cummerbunds made their appearance first in 1937. The first clothing item to cross the color line was, in all probability, the Hawaiian shirt - which came into vogue some five years earlier.
The Invention of Nylon <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1938)The Invention of Nylon
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1938)
"Last week, two of the nation's leading manufacturers of synthetic textiles were taking important steps to woo the feminine heart from silk to synthetic hosiery. The E.I. Dupont de Nemours & Company announced that it had laid plans for construction of a new $7,000,000 plant near Seaford, Delaware, for manufacture of a new synthetic yarn called 'Nylon,' which, used in hosiery, was expected to compete successfully with all types of silk stockings."