I’ve had this vintage magazine advertisement saved for a while. It’s a Bergdorf Goodman promotion for an “autumn afternoon dress” by Townley, available in Bergdorf’s “Country & Casual Shop” for $110. The illustrator showed his elegant female figure (wearing not only the Townley frock, but also heels, hat, gloves, and earrings) enjoying several works of art.
The work on the left is clearly Matisse’s Icarus, one of the images in his illustrated portfolio Jazz (1947). The illustrator seemed to be drawing a parallel between the strong, graphic curves of the Townley dress and the bold contours of Matisse’s paper cut-outs.
The larger picture-within-a-picture is based on Matisse’s Interior in Venetian Red (1946), from the collections of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels.
I love the fact that this illustrator took the time to include actual works of art, and to imagine his model visiting a museum or gallery. There’s plenty of lip-service nowadays to the interplay of fashion and fine art, but we rarely see anything this specific in today’s advertisements.
(You can read an earlier post touching on the related issue of museum-as-backdrop here.)
Bergdorf Goodman advertisement (1964) via Vintage Ad Browser.
Image: Bergdorf Goodman, December 2013, photo by Tinsel Creation.
I took this photo on Christmas Day, when Mr. TC and I were taking a quick tour of the store windows on Fifth Avenue. Bergdorf Goodman’s theme for the 2013 holiday season is “Holidays on Ice,” and this window is “Valentine’s Day.” You’re just seeing a detail of it here: the overall scene is complex and magical, and hard to capture on film. But even so, can you spot the pastries and confectionary, and the love letters on the woman’s desk, and the carnations spilling off her gown, and her pink fur stole?!
You can read more about these windows and view official photos at the Bergdorf blog.
My husband and I recently re-watched “The Muppets Take Manhattan” (1984). Neither of us had seen it in years and years, but we both found it as entertaining as we remembered, even if we were watching it through slightly different eyes. I got one of my biggest laughs from the sequence that begins with Kermit the Frog chatting with his friend Jenny, a waitress who’s an aspiring costume designer (such a New York occupation/aspiration!). As a child, I wouldn’t have been too concerned with the actual location of their conversation…
Even Bergdorf’s fantastical window displays begin with the most basic of elements!
Photograph by Tinsel Creation.