Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cheating at Shop Hound

This week:  peering down at the fly-over pages; we meet some Vogue personnel, Vogue's Eye View of December 1959; a cheerful Ohayo! from Japan.  

Here we come to the crossroads:  it's been 96 pages of advertising, with as little binding editorial protein possible.  Ninety-six pages of hand-to-hand combat outside the moat of the editorial castle.   (This issue has 190 pages, not including covers; there will be slum-dwelling ads on the other side of the articles.)  Ad placement, ad sales, each ad its own struggle - what to showcase?  How much to spend?  It's been loud.  Seems a good time to meet another member of the mast head: Advertising Director Harold B. Holtz.

Potted bio from various NYT bits:

Died in 1964, at age of 67.  Joined Conde Nast in 1933.  Wounded in France in World War I; received Cross de Verdun.  (We're in Mad Man territory, so will note that I don't remember the old guys in that show talking about the trenches. But that's where they would have been; and then they would have served in Washington in World War II on the Advertising Council.)  In 1940, Mr. Holtz bought a co-op at 757 Park Avenue:

In May 2012, a two-bedroom apartment was valued at more than $2,000,000.00.  No mention of what the apartment cost in 1940, or what the amount would have been in relation to prices elsewhere.  In 1955, Mr. Holtz became advertising director of Vogue.  The obit mentioned that he was active in the early days of the New York Giants as a sports announcer.   Only other mention of "Harold B. Holtz" in the NYT archives is from 1911: someone of that name gave $5.00 to the Triangle Fire relief fund.  Very fitting, if that is our same Mr. Holtz.  (Would have been about $115.00 in today's money, according to official inflation calculator.)  

This pointless research does me good after a week of the theory and practice of motivational management pseudoscience, life in extended stay, and driving lost down streets named Enterprise, Leisure, and Feature.  Why not Item Avenue?  Anyway - back.  Not entirely unscathed, but getting better.

Let's wade into the Moat of Minutia:

Hmmm - rather blurry.  We will have a "Gossipy Memo on Travel" later.  Here we learn a bit about "Spas in America."

At a good spa, two of the vacation charms are a green, untroubled quiet, and that gratifying apple-a-day sense of taking care of oneself.  Spa hotels often pipe spring waters directly into bathtubs, usually have masseurs on the staff.  Because exercise, for those who like it, is part of the plan, there are apt to be golf courses, tennis courts, places to ride, fish, and walk.   

I was surprised at the number of ads for ranches in Arizona.  Most of them still exist.  I would happily spend a week at the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson.  Charmingly downmarket from today's Vogue travel.  

On to Shop Hound . . . in pursuit of Christmas.  

Oddly enough, I think I've found the Shop Hound editor:  Helen Robinson, now Helen Robinson, OBE.  An English import to American Vogue.  Here's the public Debrett's blurb: 

fashion asstfashion ed and latterly exec ed Vogue Magazine London andNew York 1960-75Debenhams plcjoined 1975dir Dept Storemktgand design mgmnt dir (Main Bd1981-86mktg dir Condé NastPublications Ltd 1986-88gp md Thomas Goode & Co Ltd 1988-93(resigned upon sale of co), special projects and mktg full-time consultancyAsprey Gp 1996-98business consultancy MIA Pty Aust 1998-2000chiefexec New West End Co Ltd 2000-05non-exec dirBritish AirportsAuthy 1978-95 (memb Chm's Design Ctee 1988-95), London Transport1984-95London Electricity 1989-94Churchill China plc 1996-98;vice-chm Cncl and chm Staff Ctee RCA 1982-2000membDesignMgmnt Advsy Gp London Business Sch 1985-95Cncl The CottageHomes (retail trade charity1995-96govr and tstee Cwlth Inst1994-2007tstee Cwlth Educn Tst 2007-; WWFtstee 1988-95chmWWF UK Ltd 1988-95memb Cncl of Ambassadors 1999-2006fell2006-; Sr FRCAHon FCSDFRSA

I can't make out much of that.  It's clear, though, that we see her here at the very beginning of a big-deal career.  She's cited as a mentor for various British bigwigs today.  She was 19 as a very young Shop Hound Editor.  I would love to know what she wore to work at Vogue.  

Some choice blurbage:  For holiday at-homing . . . after-six sweatering . . .   The contrast between the Shop Hound presents and the hodge-podge ads rather amusing.   (Debretts has taken over my text.  Can't change it.)

For Shop Hound, we have brass letters from Austria, cuff links for him and for her, a knitted dress from Paris, a child's frock from France, baby dishes from Finland, and morocco-bound classics for children.  In the ads, we have shiny nose fixer, fake eyebrows, smoked meats, charms, and the "Heavenly New Bleumette Bra."  You somehow just prop them up without straps, wires or bones.  Glue?  Fascinating. Held in place with painful adhesives, apparently.  Unpatented, unfortutenately.  

Scariest ad:  Health Tan Sun Lamp CAN'T BURN!  Sleep under it.  DuPont polyester film blocks out harmful burning rays . . . Stay Brown the Year Round. . . This one was patented.  

Well, the Battle Creek Roller seems a bit out of place.

The Battle Creek Equipment Company is still around, but they don't make this anymore.  

And here is the ubiquitous Mr. Bernstein in Jamaica again.  I've seen several versions of this campaign.  

O.K.  The good stuff at last.  

Rather wack ad for utterly obscure Germane Monteil fragrance.  Points for silliness.

Vogue's Eye View of Santa Claus, 1959 - this is the best they could do?  Veddy tasteful.  Here's the blurbage:

Saint-Nicolas-de-Port, once part of Lorraine, is a small industrial town in the Vosges region of France, not particularly memorable except for this -- at its heart is the great church of Saint Nicholas, a marvel of the Flamboyant Gothic architecture of the Middle Ages and, at that time, the object of many pilgrimages.  This sculpture of Saint Nicholas and the three little boys stands high on the right wall of the church, and shows the saint as the people of Lorraine love him best:  in the role of special protector of small children.  (The boys, according to Lorraine legend, had been pickled, chopped, and stuffed into sausages:  Saint Nicholas restored them to life by slipping them out through the sausage skins.) The rest is general stuff about Saint Nicholas.  Avoid the quiche.

I am not inspired.  Let's go to Saint-Nicolas-de-Port.

Gorgeous.  Why the black and white photo of a bas relief?   No clue.  Seems very poor choice.  Meanwhile, what's going on in Saint-Nicolas-de-Porte?  A free dance party this week!

Here's Helmut Fritz in Fecamp, a place I've actually been to.  

O.K.  Let's go to the movies!

* Daily life in a drab Tokyo suburb.  Lots of farting jokes.

* Cute little kid.  

*  First of two films this year from director Yasujiro Ozu.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Swiss Connection

This week:  Religious fanaticism and an unintended result; how to clean a chinchilla, very high society; John Wayne muscles in.

A not-terribly effective ad from The Watchmakers of Switzerland that reminds us that  "A jeweler is a girl's best friend. . . Only he can show you a fine watch in which quality and style go hand in had.  A watch with classic elegance . . . timeless beauty . . . a fetish for accuracy . . . So make sure the man in your life knows what time it is.  Send him to his favorite jeweler . . . Start hinting today . . . it's worth every minute of it!"

I have two vintage Swiss watches - both Swatch, both damaged, but I can't bring myself to shed them.  Yet I would never buy another.  Those days are far behind me.  

The Swiss Federation of Watch Manufacturers is still going strong; in fact they were recently in the news.    Have you ever wondered - why Swiss watches?  Religion fanaticism.  Calvinism forbid the wearing of jewelry.  Jewelers and goldsmiths turned to watchmaking, et voila!   

Chinchilla - "The Precious Fur for the Precious Few."  Joseph Bernham, who had his own fur salon in the early 1950s, and Mr. Leon (?) get the credit here.   Oh, Empress chinchilla, not just any chinchilla.  What is this precious woman doing?  Is she stepping into a little boat in a Japanese tea garden? There seems to be a koi kite to the right of the Naval officer.  Why is she dressed like this?  Bit much for the time and place.

Here is a chinchilla demonstrating how to clean a chinchilla coat still on a chinchilla.  A helpful hint for Woman of the Precious Few when times get tough!

Sobering to think how many chinchillas went into that coat.  Still - chinchilla coats are very nice.  

Ah - I have missed this blog.   I was going to fly over the next many pages.  I mean, look at this.  It would be a sign of insanity to look all this up.  Just one category, and then we'll move on.

  Which school would be right for my imaginary daughter?  These are the two schools abroad.

First, from a now-defunct website  of Old Girl memories:

I was at La Chatelainie summer 1960 to 1962. Mostly in Saint Blaise, a few months in Gstaad. Was the first external student the last year,as my parents moved to Neuchatel for awhile.That was the year Mr. Jobin committed suicide. We were all in shock! Nice to find this site!

Bingo.   Why I Do This.  Brilliant mash-up of Sandra Dee, Bonjour Tristesse and Nabokov.  Poor Dr. Jobin!

I don't think La Chat is quite the right environment.   Imaginary daughter - Imogen? - Imogen Oliphant?  Perfect.  Imogen would be very fortunate to land at Le Fleuron in 1959.  She'd be starting school with Charlotte Ford, daughter of Henry Ford II.  (Somehow, the entire September 17, 1959 of the Grosse Pointe News got bundled in that link.  Miss Ford's announcement appears on page 13, under Society News, naturally.  Interesting to browse the ads.)  I hope the Countess G. de Germiny can provide a bit more parental support than the suicidal Dr. A. Jobin.  Who was she?  Hard to tell - here is a related Countess de Germiny:  

"The Countess Amadee de Germiny, who is so well known to many of those who have lived in the American colony in Paris, recently fell down the highly waxed staircase in the chateau  of her cousin,  the Marquis de Seyve, at Saint Germain, and fractured her leg.  The Countess of Germiny is somewhat aged, and her injuries are reported as very serious.  Her son, Count Charles de Germiny, was a great favorite in American and French society, and he led one of the cotillions given by Mrs. Whitelaw Reid at the Embassy in Paris, dancing with Mrs. Ogden Mills."   New York Times, 1901.

If I had the time, I'd link these ladies to our earlier society ladies.  I bet I could.  Onward.  Googling the aged Countess's son, Charles, we find a present-day Charles de Germiny, who will be happy to answer your questions about Swiss banking.  He has Masters from the Bay Area's Golden Gate University - rather a democratic choice of education.   

Here's the "Handsome Ancient Mansion," the Villa Torre di Gattaia, still a school, but not that one.

An amazing haul for two small ads.  

Now, let's go to the movies!

*  Cavalry officer from humble background, a surgeon, a captured plantation owner and her slave sneak deep into Mississippi and raid some Confederate ammunition.  Supposedly based on a true story.  Not as bad as the trailer would suggest, but not great, either.  

*  John Ford directed.  The cavalry troop itself is by far the best part of the movie.  Hundreds of horses melt into the forest and thread their way through a bayou.   

*  John Wayne almost good when not being John Wayne.  William Holden o.k.  The two women characters utterly inexplicable.  Constance Towers awful as the feisty Rebel who dutifully falls in love with her captor;  Althea Gibson - first black female tennis star in her only movie - not a bad actress, but motivation of her character in fighting the Yankees hard to fathom.  

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...