Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Stroll Through Harper's Bazaar 1938

I really enjoy strolling through the pages of vintage fashion magazines from the 30's to the early 50's.

I think right now the late 30's are my favorite.  My eyes light up at all the beautiful clothing and accessories of this period.  It's like I want to go directly to the shop and buy some of these things.  I picked up a couple of Harper's Bazaar magazines from 1938 recently and I find them to be a small slice of heaven in fashion.  I love the angles, remnants of art deco styling, and artistic photographs that were taken in this period.  Looking through these magazines is very much like looking through art books.  I'd much rather buy one of these vintage gems than a bunch of recent fashion magazines.

The early fashion magazines (especially Harper's Bazaar) can be quite expensive.  Try buying one with Erte on the cover!  I haven't yet been able to score a decent priced one of these.  I was able to get this Bazaar issue (illustrations shown below) through an auction, where I feel like I am indeed getting the best price.  The buy it now's on these magazines can be a lot so it's so nice and I feel so rewarded when I get a really nice vintage copy for under $50.  They normally sell around the $100 dollar mark.  If you haven't had a chance to thumb through one of these old fashion magazines, they are really well made in terms of paper stock and actually quite large in size.  My scanner is regular size and I would need a larger scanner to scan full images of these vintage fashion magazines.   It really is amazing when you think of it that this magazine I am sharing images of is over 70 years old!!

I mainly have Vogue's in my collection as these are easier to get so it was quite a joy that I was able to get two 1938 Harper's Bazaar magazines.  As I've mentioned in other posts, Vogue does seem to go cheaper but I'm really digging these older Harper's Bazaar.  I'd love to see digital copies since the very beginning!

I didn't want to scan this magazine since it is in really great shape so I took some photographs.

Schiaparelli Gown:

Yes, you may head to Saks and purchase it off the rack:)  Wouldn't it be great to see this actual gown against the artist rendition?  I googled Schiaparelli 1938 and this is the year of her infamous circus collection and skeleton dress too.  There was a lot going on with design and Schiaparelli in 1938.

Love the ruffled design in these creations.  Ahh, the glamour <sigh>.  Look at how perfect their hair is. I must remember that this is also a fashion magazine and just like today, they are made to look perfect:)


Love to find this matching combination today! Gold button accent with small red centers perfect!  The designer isn't mentioned, which wasn't uncommon back then just that you can find the outfit at Bonwit Teller.  I'd skip the mink as I can't quite see wearing the head and feet of the poor little guy, although I appreciate the lush feeling of the fur.  I think I would wear a vintage fur if it was just the fur part but I still have hesitancy in buying a fur coat.  It would be nice to maybe just borrow one.  I do see how fur is making kind of a come back lately.   I just watched a 1930's movie with Carole Lombard and it was so funny to see these women flipping these minks over their shoulders with the heads and feet flopping around lol.

How avant garde is this hat?

 I thought this was so funny.  Double click to see what different types of men thought of this dress.  I guess American men haven't changed so much in 70 years.  But, then again, my husband would probably have the same amount of words to say about the dress and he's Dutch.

I should pin this hairstyle into fantasy hairstyles, so perfect.

Love the hair style to the left!

Nice leopard print

How tiny are these shoes?  

Love this spread:  My favorite is the gown to the far right.  Do you have a favorite?  Gowns by Balenciaga.

These gloves are really interesting.  I wonder if women actually wore them?  I'm sure it was for shock value.  The gloves look like they would be Schiaparelli.  But if you read the description: "But instead, a typical Schiaparelli-ism, long gold claws on black antelope gloves.  Hattie Carnegie"  So I wonder Schiaparelli or Carnegie?  It seems more Schiaparelli than Carnegie.  I've seen that these gloves have been attributed to Schiaparelli (see an image below). The dress is Schiaparelli.

Vionnet Dress.  This dress sold at auction through Doyle New York in 2001 for $11,500.  I bet it would go near $20,000 today.  Isn't it nice to see the black and white original showcased against what it looks like in full color?  

Please sign me up for this dress.  It's amazing!!!!  Below is an image for a Vionnet dress showcased in Bazaar (of course price is not mentioned:) also below is the actual dress at the MMA.  I'd love to see this dress in person.


  1. I need it all, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  2. Be still my heart, there is an indescribable volume of vintage marvelousness at work in this resplendent post. I've scrolled through the photos three times already, and would go back for a fourth, but I fear I might swoon my way right off of the sofa! :) Everything is utterly and completely heavenly (and covetable!), but I think that my very favourite might be the dark crimson ensemble.

    This post was a true joy, Joanna, thank you very, very much for sharing these amazing late 30s magazines with us.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. You know this is all from just one magazine:))

  3. oh, what an amazing post. thanks for sharing!