Archive for April, 2009

Serge Gainsbourg

Posted in dames, Francophilia, how much art can you take?, i am endlessly fascinating, playlist, showmanship, ye-ye on April 30, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

It’s a little bit difficult to square my affinity for all things all American with my love for all things 1960s France. But this is my blog and I’ll make the rules here, chief.

Serge Gainsbourg got some of the most primo tail in history, despite being a dogfaced troglodyte. He was a brilliant writer, director and all around artist who parlayed (haha) this talent into scoring with some of the hottest chicks in the world, He hooked up with Anna Karina at her height and married Jane Birkin when she was 21 and he was 40. I know he was exploitative and probably not very nice, but who is? He turned into a boorish drunken lout later in life which is also not without its merits, non? Note to self: write some exceedingly catchy music, remain mysterious and brilliant and you just might score with the hottest ladies of Mod France.

previous posts: France Gall performs “poupee de cire”
Anna Karina knows how to kiss
Anna Karina in Vivre sa Vie
Francoise Hardy

rayon restrictions (1940s)

Posted in dames, history, photography on April 28, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

insert wolf whistle here
Rayon restrictions during WWII led to popularization of nylon.

handprinted "Kilroy was here" t-shirt (1947)

Posted in Forties, history, photography, t-shirts, youth culture on April 28, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

“Coney Island, 1947” photo by Sid Grossman (look him up, awesome photographer!)

I was just checking out my buddy Jimmy’s blog over at defunk’d which features an incredible ebay find you must see- go ahead and check it out, i’ll wait- but it got me thinking about the utilitarian beauty of the handprinted t-shirt. I remembered this photo by Sid Grossman that I saw a few weeks ago. It stopped me in my tracks because I thought that handprinted t-shirts were an outgrowth of punk rather than at the very roots of nascent American teenage culture. I shall look deeper into this.
How perfect is it that this young lady took to adding the legendary post-WWII graffiti “Kilroy was here” to her t-shirt? The famous slogan is shrouded in mystery, but it somehow caught the imagination of a generation. “Kilroy was here” is akin to the modern practice of idiotically commenting “first!” to a blog entry or news story on the internet- there’s no point but there’s a certain thrill to getting there first and having everyone else who follows see that you have already staked claim to this turf. Supposedly, James Kilroy was a shipyard inspector in Quincy, MA, during World War II and would chalk “Kilroy was here” on every bulkhead he inspected. GIs were baffled by this ubiquitous slogan, but took to spreading this simple and mysterious image throughout the world. The joke is not so much what the phrase says, but where it would turn up. A perhaps apocryphal story claims that an outhouse was specially constructed for only the world leaders at Pottsdam. As Stalin emerged from christening the outhouse, he supposedly queried an aide, “Who is Kilroy?”

Not to be confused with:

The Zodiac Stereo Tape Case (1971)

Posted in collections, ephemera, history, i am endlessly fascinating, playlist, reading list, youth culture on April 25, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

” A new star is born in the age of aquarius, the zodiac stereo tap case. We already know the young people’s reaction to this new case. “It’s cool”…because it has the new look the “now” generation identifies with. Top quality case, Loaded with extras.

Covered with gleaming white, Embellished with the signs of the Zodiac in blue and gold. This case is bright and beautiful, and easy to keep clean. Holds ten 8-track tapes. Interior is fully lined to protect tapes from scratches and keep them dust free. Unique brass plated handles on the side. Top is different, too. It’s curved..

Very important news: Billboard Magazine has made all otheir back issues available on Google books.

cover of later edition of Jules Verne’s "In Search of the Castaways" (1889)

Posted in how much art can you take?, reading list, vanishing America on April 25, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

Karen Allen in National Lampoon Black Sox t-shirt (1977)

Posted in celebrity endorsers, dames, ephemera, Seventies on April 25, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

I have had a huge crush on Karen Allen since her turn as Marion in Raiders of the Lost Ark, since I was too young to see Animal House or The Wanderers before that. She just has that too-smart-and-funny-for-you but still devoted girlfriend quality about her, ya know? She especially gets me in Scrooged as well (not such much Starman, which is frigging awful).

Enlarge this cute ad to see more of what I mean. I’d LOVE that shirt in an XL!

Girl in a glass house (1942)

Posted in dames, Forties, photography, workwear on April 24, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

“This girl in a glass house is putting finishing touches on the bombardier nose section of a B-17F navy bomber, Long Beach, Calif. She’s one of many capable women workers in the Douglas Aircraft Company plant. Better known as the “Flying Fortress,” the B-17F is a later model of the B-17 which distinguished itself in action in the South Pacific, over Germany and elsewhere. It is a long range, high altitude heavy bomber, with a crew of seven to nine men, and with armament sufficient to defend itself on daylight missions”

photos by Alfred T. Palmer.

I absolutely LOVE the style of all of the Rosie the Riveters. This particular photographer, Alfred T. Palmer, was especially gifted at capturing their hardworking femininity. I love how women of that era managed to be stylish and feminine while keeping the world safe for Democracy.

previous posts: Save vs Death (my other blog) “the many faces of Rosie the Riveter”
Carpenter at work on Douglas Dam, Tennessee (1942)