French Magazine Advertisements from 1949


I was thumbing through an old issue of France-Illustration today and was enchanted by the graphic design of many of the advertisements. It was a Christmas issue from 1949 but the few visual references to the holiday were discreet, as I’d expect a French magazine to be.

I’ve posted advertisements from this magazine in a earlier post, which included advertisements from perfumes, writing implements, and fancy combs. Perfume ads seem to be ubiquitous – very French!

Which of these ads do you like the best? I like the Hermes typewriter ad and the woman in the beautiful purple dress. I need to do more research on what company or “thing” the ad was selling.











Vintage French magazine ads

My partner-in-crime and I found ourselves at a book sale last weekend, as book people tend to do. I saw a few ragged looking copies of the French magazine, France-Illustration, from the late 1940s. What a treasure trove of wonderful advertisements!

France-Illustration was published from 1945-1957; its precedent was L’Illustration, a famous French weekly published from 1843-1944 until it was forced to close during Liberation because the magazine’s owners were Nazi sympathizers who used it to publish Nazi propaganda. The new owners published France-Illustration until the company went bankrupt in 1957.

My favorite of those shown below is the surrealist ad for Parfum Lubin; it reminds me of Man Ray’s work. I also think the Educato Christmas ad for writing implements is well done. Which of these do you like best?

Parfum Lubin advertisement, 1947

Advertisement for Pretty Combs, 1947

Mais Oui Bourjois perfume ad, 1947

Edacoto Stylo, 1947

Plexigraf Mallat, 1947

Elegance Scandal

Les Parfums Worth, 1947 advertisement

Wikipedia entry on L’Illustration
L’Illustration website (in French)

Books, Wonderful Books

It’s been a long time since I devoted a whole post to books. What kind of librarian am I? Oh, a law librarian whose workaday book reading isn’t too exciting – statutes, regulations, and caselaw. But I do love books, particularly non-fiction. My cookbook collection gets most of my attention but I also like to buy books on travel, language, photography, and fashion. For novels, I use my local library.

Today my sweetie and I went to a book sale in our neighborhood. I was very restrained and only came home with one book, Méthode Boscher ou La journée des tout petits. It’s a French elementary school book that takes a child through the steps of learning letters and their sounds, and then syllables, and finally words. The illustrations are wonderful, with animals, fruits, and everyday objects scattered across the page. I’m sure this little treasure will help me in my neverending quest to actually learn French.

Continuing my fascination with all things French, I used a birthday gift to buy Jean Leymarie’s Chanel, the 2011 edition. It’s a biography of Mademoiselle Chanel, but so much more. The author explores the historical context of the fashion industry in Chanel’s time, and includes photographs and illustrations of not only her work, but relevant art and design. I’m enjoying reading about fashion history as much as the biography of this iconic designer.

My last new book is Penelope Rowland’s A Dash of Daring: Carmel Snow and Her Life In Fashion, Art, and Letters, also a birthday gift. Carmel Snow was the editor of Harper’s Bazaar from 1934 through 1958 and was influential in the careers of Lauren Bacall and Diana Vreeland, among many others. I know very little about Ms. Snow, so I’m looking forward to reading more.

And coming up this week – fashions for Spring 2012. Art shoes, white clothes, and fancy dresses.