Polyvore Outfits: Vintage Ladies of Yore

If any of you pal around on Polyvore, you’ve probably noticed that all the “cool” Polyvore users (well, I assume they’re cool, because they’re the ones winning contests to style models in NYC for fashion week) copy images from Vogue, et. al., use them as backgrounds, and add products to recreate the style of the models in the photographs.

So last night I was like, “Hmmm, how shall I bastardize this idea so it will be interesting to our readers? Do they really want a cobbled together copy of Sienna Miller’s latest camel-colored ensemble? Or my take on the perennial tunic-leggings-boots combo?” Maybe you all do, in which case I will start making those things.

But I figured it’s always more fun to dabble in the olden times, so I decided to do essentially the same magazine-model-as-inspiration thing, but with vintage images! You never know what crazy stuff you’ll come across when you start digging back in time:

So, why is this not around anymore? Did someone decide putting plastic in a toaster was a bad idea? Hmmm? I demand answers for why I no longer have toasted bacon at my immediate disposal!

1. She Sells Seashells Down By the Seashore

Confession: I did not figure out how to properly insert backgrounds until sometime around 11:00 pm last night, when I was about to punch Polyvore because it was giving me all this mottled gobbledygoop instead of pretty, full-color images. I figure I was expending about 5x the energy actually needed to make these collages, so I’m both glad I figured it out and mournful for all the hours I lost looking for a headshot of Sarah Michelle Gellar that wouldn’t be rendered all ghostly transparent!

Anyway, this set (and the next one) are pre-epiphany. You’ll notice that there’s a Ladies Home Journal theme running through these collages–LHJ consistently features beautiful cover illustrations. Clothing-wise, it’s hard to find good quality images of vintage-looking clothes for sale, but that’s essentially what Modcloth is for now–see green dress ($116).

Down by the Seashore

Down by the Seashore by meghanlenora featuring kitten shoes

2. Rain, Rain, Go Away (Ok, I’m bad at thinking up original set titles, ok? If I had a band I would probably call it “Meghan and the Music” or something similarly inane).

For some reason, I think the photo in the top left of this collage is just beautiful–I love the bright colors of the model’s dress in the middle of all that drab, and how (despite the fact that this shot was undoubtedly staged) it looks like the photographer caught her and dude-model in the middle of an intimate conversation.

Oh, and I just realized that the ad beneath it is super-sexist. The copy is selling boot polish, not umbrellas or raincoats or anything else that would require a model to be nude under a shiny raincoat! If I knew anything about Mad Men I’d say something like, “This must be Don Draper’s doing!,” but I don’t, so you all will have to insert the quips for me.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Rain, Rain, Go Away by meghanlenora featuring a wooden umbrella

3. Here Comes the Bride!

I am marginally embarrassed that I even made this collage, but once again, I was enticed by the Ladies Home Journal cover, and when I subsequently stumbled across the “Wedding Peasant” ad, there was no turning back. For your reading pleasure, the copy from that ad:

You never even thought of marrying in heavy laces, satin and ten-foot trains. You find a single rosebud more beautiful than a big bouquet. And your favorite cathedral is a tree somewhere. You won’t find your gown on a rack. ‘Cause you want it to be you. Try sewing it. Maybe in the most modest fabric of all … unbleached muslin. From Singer at $.50 a yard. Set off with old lace and new trims you dip in tea until the color is right. It’s easy, with some fitting remarks from Mother and some help from your friend Singer. And all for almost no money! Like this dress took only 4 yards, $2.36 worth. And you’ll look exactly like you always wanted to look on your wedding day: like your true self!

And that, ladies and gentleman, is how you convince someone to get married in bleached burlap sack.
vintage wedding

vintage wedding by meghanlenora featuring ball wedding gowns

4. Women Athletes FTW

If you look at the three Ladies Home Journal covers below, they all feature the same blonde mother/daughter duo–it seems like they were a recurring, athletic motif, what with their figure skating, extreme skiing, and leave-raking! Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure the poster in the top left, “Female Athletes,” is not nearly so wholesome. While it conveys my collage theme most literally, it’s actually an advertisement for some type of B movie.

Isn’t that Anthropologie bathing suit cute? It’s $166 but the top converts into a bandeau so it’s a twofer! (Heh, for that price, the bottoms should convert rocks into gold). Searching for “vintage athletic wear” was unfruitful, so finally I capitulated and put that contemporary tennis dress up (LP.BG, $405). But finding the vintage can of Coppertone balanced it all out.

Women Athletes

Women Athletes by meghanlenora featuring summer dresses

That’s all for this week–let me know if you have any suggestions/requests for themes! Now that I know what I’m doing with backgrounds, it’s like a whole new world of collage-making has been opened to me.

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