18 May 2009

A Treasure of Fashion

March 1912

July 1912

September 1912

Inner pages - August 1913

Cover images via Prints
Inner pages via démodé

I recently went for a short walk to my local charity shop to browse through their collection of books. Treading softly across the carpeted floor, I walked towards the back of the shop, where the older, collectable books were situated. Kneeling down to browse through the lower shelves, I turned my head to the side. I silently read the print on the tattered spines, with the aged paper stretched over wood, cracked and matured like the very bark of the trees they had come from, or else leathers long dried and sun baked.

My eyes stopped on a beautifully bound dark red leather portfolio, the spine of which, bore remnants of a peeling golden print, forming pieces of a puzzle no longer complete. I gently slide out the portfolio from in between two tattered books, and ran my fingers slowly across the leather binding, feeling all of the small bumps and cuts. It was as if the book was a living creature and I could feel its very warmth emanating.

As I opened the stiff cover, the musty smell of aged paper and ink washed over me in a sudden wave. The thin browned pages were covered in an irregular type, proclaiming a Parisian book binder upon its incipit. I lightly peeled the pages back, afraid of bruising the powdery leaves. My careful attempts were rewarded by a beautiful single page print of the cover of a long forgotten fashion publication.

Reading the script across the top of a stunning hand illustration, I saw the title of La Mode Pratique, The Practical Fashion. As I proceeded to look through the portfolio, I realised with astonishment that it was in actuality a rebinding of a personal collection of copies. Contained within the beautiful deep red cover were several issues of the fashion magazine, long out of print, dating from the early 1900s.

I began to wonder about the various fashion publications which have gone out of print over the decades and centuries, only to be forgotten by the next generation. I felt like I had come across a treasure long lost. It was as if I had stumbled, quite accidentally, over an Egyptian crypt, yet rather than containing golds and a sarcophagus, there was a veritable trove of fashion history.

The foreign print and beautiful hand illustrations took my surprise, and I was left in pure amazement. Unfortunately the portfolio was out of my price range, however simply being able to browse through it felt like a rare privilege, and I left feeling excited and curious as to the magazine's fate. I decided to look through the internet for some images from the publication, purely to share the unexpected wonder and amazement that I felt.

Currently playing: Come Live With Me Angel - Marvin Gaye

xxxx

45 comments:

  1. What an astonishing find! No wonder you felt like you had made an archeological discovery... it's amazing what is simply discarded by others..

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  2. I love that you make a trip to a charity store sound so amazingly glamourous and nostalgic!
    That portfolio must have been amazing, imagine the history it must have!
    Also, your wonderful style gets a mention in my latest blog post :) hope you don't mind!

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  3. Oh I just love vintage fashion art! these pieces are great.

    PS: I hope all has been well! Life got in my way of blogging, but I am most definitely back :)

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  4. Wow.. I can only hope I'll find a treasure like that once..

    xx

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  5. Okey nice! If you have pages that you recommend just send me links=) I love to find new things and photos. I was eating from the plates today! They are perfect size I love it=) and the rings I just hope that I get from my boyfriend soon=)

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  6. fabulous! I just love seeing amazing antique things like this.

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  7. I love "la mode pratique " , this is so vintage I want the same !

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  8. Seriously, what a treasured find!

    Oh, and I love your blog (:

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  9. Truly an inspiring post. How wonderful that you found this book.

    Thanks for the note. I'm hoping I'll unwind a mystery of sorts. Naturally, give me a picture of inspiration and I'm ready to tale a tale..hopefully. Of course, I'd love to see Nick Hoult & Emily Browning in a movie together.

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  10. I love the way you told this ..finding the book in the charity shop. Great descriptions.

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  11. Oh, what a beautiful treasure! You must take good care of it, haha ^^ The pictures are really great, too. I love the leathers on the hats :-D

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  12. Darling! Did you buy it? Those pictures are so beautiful...

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  13. Oh, wow! What a privilege to be able to find something so amazing!
    I would so, so, so LOVED to have lived in that era ;D

    I totally loved your comment, btw! I love long comments! They make up for the lack of length in the actual posts. Hahah.
    I totally get what you mean. Even if you were not the exact same as your love, you would love and appreciate them even more for it. We all have to be open to everything and everyone, for surprises are what life is all about.

    DK, you always get me thinking! Thank you :)

    xo,
    hk

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  14. Those fashion illustrations are so classic and elegant! Makes me feel like I'm in a different world! Old books are such fine discoveries! xxoxoxoxo

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  15. Wow, I've always loved old books and the illustrations. i have many a times spent hours browsing through old archives online. Be it fashion or otherwise, I'm most attached to books and zines, even more than clothes!

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  16. What a treasure! I'm glad you shared with us.

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  17. Thank you for your comment!
    Such elegant images!!
    x!

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  18. Oh my gosh! I found articles, advertisements, and posters of the similar matter (circa 1890 - 1920)when my best friend's father was cleaning out an antique shop he bought. I took them home; they were in great shape and had a plastic covering, presumably placed there by the previous shop owner. Real drawings of that age like that are incredible. And wierd as it is, I get really excited from the musty smell of old paper.. it feels like I'm holding a piece of history :)

    They really are treasures, aren't they?

    peace&love,
    nicole.

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  19. thanks for the comment

    love yr blog.

    -JV

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  20. thank you for the sweet comment!

    i love the way you write! you have a true talent(:
    keep writing more! because i love it.

    & these photos are beautiful, especially of September 1912!



    *dani

    linked you(:

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  21. Wow that certainly is a treasure.

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  22. Wow what a lovely find. I am wondering what other books might be out there, kind of a forgotten art now with the internet and everything.
    I love how old books smell...so much history.

    xoxo
    Liz

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  23. how awesome are these pieces..!

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  24. Don't you love when you stumble upon something so gorgeous and unique!!!

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  25. thanks for sharing these beautiful images. they certainly are inspiring.

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  26. Such a great friend. I loved the way you described it. I could imagine it with all my senses. It is neat what can be found at such places. People get rid of some of the best stuff. That's a good thing for us though.

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  27. yeah, and i'd have to take my family and move to israel (though i wouldn't really mind it). nazis and fascists should be slapped in the face until they die! fuckin' whores. gaah.

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  28. OLD BOOKS. I love your description of this. This will be a rarity in thirty years when books become obsolete (coming from an insider...)

    i wonder if someone generations from now will feel the same way about this vintage publication of my thrown around Elle? hmm....

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  29. this is a great find, you can't beat charity shopping for unearthing hidden treasures!
    (i would love to exchange links?)

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  30. Such an excellent post, love these vintage fashion draws. Thanks so much for sharing them, it's a wonderful find. (Love your blog, so you are on my blog list :-), much love: Evi

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  31. Hello again, sir! I just wanted to say that I gave you an award on my blog and that I also added your lovely blog to my links. :)

    AAAAND... I guess I didn't see your "currently playing" before but I just want to say that is probably one of my favorite Marvin Gaye songs!

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  32. I want to go to a place where I can wear crazy hats like that & be accepted!

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  33. I love your description of your bookstore trip... I feel like I was there with you!
    These old images are a real treasure... thanks for posting them!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  34. Thanks for sharing these. FABULOUS!

    XoXo

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  35. i love all of these pictures, especially the first one! =)

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

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  36. I swear I can smell old books just from your description. What a beautiful find, those illustrations you found on the internet are so gorgeous.

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  37. What a beautiful find, i adore this book you found! The pages are so beautiful and your description of how you find it was beautifully written!
    muah x
    marian.

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  38. i just love fashion from the early 1900s... it's just so feminine and proper.. what's not to love.

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  39. Oh I loveddd learning about fashions in the past in American history. I wonder if they had fashion magazines then??

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  40. This post reminds me of the movie 84 Charing Cross Road. It makes me want to run out to my nearest book store and immerse myself in that old book smell.

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  41. Oh, I could smell the mustiness as you were describing it! I love old books so much---and what an amazing one at that. The last picture is my favorite---so beautiful.

    I often get old books at antique shops, especially complete works of Shakespeare and the classics. I adore them!

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  42. MY-my...such a privilege to find something so amazzzing! I think it's quite romantic...

    ~XO*

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  43. oh, last night at about 2am I was writing an essay about changing fashions at the beginning of the XX century. What a great find!

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  44. Darling, I really felt as if I was there, in the book store with you! You have such a powerful way of describing things, and I absolutely love your posts!
    What a treat to find these amidst everything else in the little store. I'm sure it will provide so much inspiration for you - and thank you for sharing it with all of us :)

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  45. this is wonderful. I bought an antique fashion magazine a couple of weeks ago, and feel I may have to start collecting them as they are so beautiful.

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