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The Sartorialist


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cool Girls on Motorcycles, Vintage Photo Contest

This is a photo of my Great-uncle Frank's former girlfriend taken in the early 1930s on my Great grandfather's ranch in Sun Valley, CA. I "borrowed" this photo from my Grandpa about 5 years ago so I could take it to my hair stylist for inspiration for a new haircut. I don't know anything about this woman other than she dated a family member and she liked to ride motorcycles, my Grandpa was only about 7 around this time so he doesn't remember much about her. Still I love this picture and everything the girl on the bike embodies.
I’m used to walk in the small markets of antique dealers and I found this pictures.
I paid attention to it as I liked the woman personality, riding the bike in an unusual or not so femenin way for the times it was done, but at the same time because she appears kind of “daring” style.

Why Don't You?... by Diana Vreeland

Rinse your blond child's hair in dead champagne to keep its gold as they do in France?

On the Street.....The Cut, Paris

Contest Update

Thanks to everyone that submitted a photo for the contest!

I thought we might get a few hundred entries but we ended up with over 2,200 submissions.

We've all enjoyed the images and related stories. No matter who gets the book I think we were all winners.

If you like, continue to send vintage photos to this email address (and only to that email address)

I still have quite a few images that I will be posting occasionally over the next few weeks.

Because of the huge response to the contest it will take me a week or so to sort through all of emails myself. I plan to announce a winner next week.

Can you guess what the next contest will be?

In The Workroom....Luca R., Milano

On the Street.....Ada, Paris

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Family Portraits, Vintage Photo Contest

The date is January 3, 1954. Pictured in the center is my grandfather Yukio (known to me as Ji-chan, Japanese for Grandpa). My dad (pictured on left) is 9 here, his brother a couple years older. The three of them are getting ready to leave Japan for the first time and emigrate to California. My Japanese-American grandmother (born/raised in Calif.) had earlier left her family in Japan in order to find a job, a place to live, and get settled here. Then she sent over for her husband and kids to come and join her in the States.

This photo of Ji-chan reminds me of a Japanese Indiana Jones with the leather jacket and fedora, ready to go on an adventure in a far-off land. He always looked sharp when he went out.

Ji-chan was always a bit of a mystery to me as there was a language barrier (he spoke only Japanese) and he was a quiet man. But I really loved him. He would sneak behind my grandmother's back and smoke cigarettes in the garage or in the car. I'd always laugh at him becuase it was so obvious. He would awe me with his yo-yo tricks. When I was little I'd hold his hands and he would let me step on his toes while he'd walk around the house. And he was a highly regarded gardener in the Japanese community and won awards for his amazing bonsai plants. He was in his backyard garden, sitting at a chair next to a little table tending to one of his mini-tress when he passed away when I was 14. When my grandmother discovered him she thought that he was simply taking a nap because he looked so peaceful.

When I saw the pictures of my graceful compatriot on your site, I felt the urge to send some of my most cherished family photos too, those of my paternal grandmother Theresa Moreira Reis. She was born in 1903 in Recife, Northern Brazil, daughter to the city's most sought-after tailor. Politicians and other affluent people were part of his clientele, and her father's work influenced her sense of style throughout her life. Grandma Theresa was congenitally chic, and unpretentiously glamorous before fashion was in fashion. Her European taste in dressing must have made her stand out there and then.

Why Don't You... by Diana Vreeland

Paint a map of the world on all four walls of your boys' nursery so they won't grow up with a provincial point of view?

On the Street.....Little Leopard, Lotta Yellow, Paris

For me, this shot is all about wearing color in a bland colorless city.

Look how she explodes out of the background griege of it all.

Again I don't really think this is about these specific clothes but about the idea of color in a black and white world.

On the Street.....Right Bank, Paris

On the Street.....Jumper & Topper, London

On the Street.....Mr. Cortina, Paris

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Fellas, Vintage Photo Contest

The man to the second right is my great uncle Bernard - the one holding an old-fashioned megaphone. Our family photo album is full of photographs of him with his friends horsing around. He was evidently a popular and outgoing man in his youth. We estimate this picture was taken in the 1930s, before he joined the Air Force and fought in World War 2. He travelled widely and even on holiday his signature style was present: a striped polo shirt and blazer with pocket square, and baggy trousers tucked into socks. I especially love that Bernard and his friend are wearing mary-jane sandals since it is a typically feminine style, but looking at this photo I can imagine them coming back as a menswear trend.
The photo I´m sending is a family photo from the 1960´s, back when my grandparents lived in Venezuela (Caracas) and runned a hotel called "Hotel Portugal" (so much for originality :P)
The man on the further right corner is actually my late grandfather when he was about 30 years old! The other men are probably guests staying at his hotel, he loved to show them around town!
I find interesting their attire while riding their bikes and their overall look, which contains elements which are returning to mainstream fashion such as the pocket squares, hats and pins.

PS: I believe the 2nd man from the right is truly squint-eyed and not doing it for fun :
Recently i inherited around 50 albums full of photos from my grandparents, one of which had this photo.
On the far right of this photo is my great grandad, Frederick A Rowley, and some of his friends.
I never knew him, but i think this photo just sums up the kind of man i picture him as.
Sadly i have no idea what time era this photo comes from, i would guess around 20's, as he married my great grandmother in 1919.
I don't know if he had a sense of style, but i think this picture just sums up the time, and the fashion.
I love this photo, and all the others i have of him.
He was a working man, but had such grace.
I'm very attached to my past, and i think this just shows why.
I hope you love it as much as i do.

On the Street.....Giovanna's Back!, Paris

On the Street.....Mr. Armani, Milano

Celine Book Contest #1

Thanks for your input about the Celine inspiration book contest and for so many good ideas!

Luckily I picked up several books so at least 2 will be auctioned off for charity. The rest we can use for our contest winners.

Here is the first contest:

Remember when I posted those vintage photos that I bought at the flea market last January?
I think we all loved those images.

I want you to email me an old (nothing later than the 80's) original photo that you feel conveys an inspirational sense of style. It could be from your own family archive or one that you found somewhere like a flea market, garage sale or swap meet. If it is from your family I would love to hear a little about the people in it.

Garance and I will pick a few and post them and then we will collectively name a winner.

I love this idea because it does not cost a lot of money (flea market photos are relatively cheap and family photos are free) and I love looking at great old photos! I hope to see some amazing shots from the 20's, 30's 50's 70's or whatever period inspires you.

This part is IMPORTANT please read before sending me images!

- The subject line of the email should read "Vintage Photo Contest"

- The contest will run from March 24th to March 30th

- Only 1 image per email, please EDIT

- The photos will only be posted here on the blog, so the file size can be very small (no bigger than 700kb). I DO NOT need hi-res images. It takes too long to download them.

- Send your photos to:

- Writing a little something about the image you send will make your entry much more interesting for all of us.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Outerwear! , Vintage Photo Contest

There was no real story included with either of these photos....but they are still fantastic!!

The Jeans, Vintage Photo Contest

In the picture is captured my father, it dates 1978. The shot was done in St. Petersburg (Russia). A few years ago, while looking through
family photo albums i found this picture of my father and asked him to tell me something about it. He told me a little story about the jeans
he is pictured in. As it was a Soviet Union (USSR) times a lot of things were banned and jeans were not an exception. My father told me
that jeans were shipped from outside the USSR countries by marines and sold on the ‘Black Market’. The price of the jeans my father is
wearing in the picture was $250, when his salary, during that period, was $280 a month. I always feel excited listening to my parent's
memories about this non-repeatable period of time, and it really amazes me how people with such a modest resources managed to be

The Friends, Vintage Photo Contest

Please find attached a photo of my grandfather and a friend from 1939. My grandfather, Sidney Foulkes, is in the dark polo neck on the left.
He sent this image to my grandmother just after they had begun courting and they had to wait till the end of the war till they were married
Here you can find my grandfather and some friends. He was born in 1908 ! in Valencia, Spain and later come to live in Barcelona.

He was from a country family but he always had a special sense to dress. I remember he looking himself at the mirror always before get out of home to have a walking with my brother and me. We think that these pictures are from around 1930 or before, because after that the things changed a lot in Spain because the civil war, etc..

This image comes from a collection of old photographs that belonged to my great-grandmother. It was taken sometime in the 1920s in a small country town in Australia. The subjects were family friends, most likely farmers or labourers with very little money. I particularly enjoy the individuality in the way they wear their hats.

The Fishing Trip, Vintage Photo Contest

This picture dates back to 1937, before Vietnam was invaded by the Japonese, the beginning of a war state that would last more than 30 years.
It may have been taken in Cap Saint Jacques, a fashionable resort were a mixed society - meaning the French and the locals - fled the heat from Saigon.
Amongst his numerous children - he finally had 11 - my grandfather had picked that day my 2 years old daddy, with his nanny, for his first fishing lesson.
I never knew my Vietnamese grandfather who died in 1975, since my father, after completing his studies in France and marrying my French mother in the 50's, never went back to Vietnam.
According to my father's telling, he had a very bad temper, spoiled by the use of opium, and spent his time hunting, fishing and collecting orchids. A long gone way of living.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Swimwear, Vintage Photo Contest

I have sent you some pics of my Dad who simply embodies the essence of Southern California style. Being a 5th generation Californian, I have always been in entranced the beautiful beach boy and girl myth and I love this picture. The West Coast really does have the sunshine and a certain style of it's own, No?

To me, my grandmother, Françoise Gerondeau, is the most elegant and the funniest woman in the world.

In fact, that photo was taken during the Algerian War, in the late fifties. My Grandfather, who is French, had been mobilized. And just before his departure, he told my grandmother (they were dating for a year) that he didn’t love her and that he would never marry her.
But she’s very stubborn, and she asked her brother to take photos of her during their vacations, so that she could send them to my grandfather, and he would fall in love again.
The photo you see can testify.
Isn’t it childish? To me that story defines exactly my grandmother.
That photo must have a great power, since when my grandfather came back, they got married.
I wish I had a picture of my grandfather, he was very alluring and elegant too. I think that my aesthetic taste comes from the observation of my grandparents. Both of them really represent a model to me.

Belle, Vintage Photo Contest

this photo is of my grandma when she was twentyeight, in 1937. She was walking through the streets of Ostia, a little town by the sea near Rome. I was amazed discovering her simple, perfect and sophisticated style. She had a great class in style as well as in manners. Loook at the shoes!!! And the way she carried her bag. I was deeply moved by this image because I remember her having great difficulties in walking in her last years. So this is my omage to nonna Rosina who could have been a fashion icon
This is my beautiful mother, Valeria Perojo Frias, born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba on March 23, 1926. This photograph was taken sometime in the mid to late 1940's. I believe she was at a christening of a friend's child in Havana. She was an amazing and inspirational woman - making her way to the US with my father by way of Miami in late 1959, and ending up in New York City two years later, where I was born and raised. She was always a fashionista and had that amazing aura that exuded beauty, charm and grace. And boy could she pose for a picture, eh? She always will be my very own personal style icon

Big Man Walking, Vintage Photo Contest

Here's a photo of my boyfriend's grandfather Papa Joe, who just had his 80th birthday last month. Papa Joe is such a generous, open-minded, and most humorous person. I've known him for many years and look up to him as my second dad. Papa Joe loves golfing everyday and stays very healthy. My favorite thing he does is when he twists his huge oversized vintage red diamond ring on his finger (which he won from a poker game when he was young) when he tells us a story; and he always ends the story in an unexpected humorous way. He used to sew and he still has his sewing machine in his room. Last month I stumbled across some photos on his sewing/computer table and was surprised to see this side of him. I totally fell in love with this photo and I am so glad I could share this with my favorite fashion blog. I love how he layered simple elegant clothes with a pop of funky polka dots scarf and tie. And most of all, I love the style of the photography (I am a photographer myself!). Hope you enjoy this photo too!

This is one of my favorite, he's my fiance's grandfather, Dr.Vittorio Melò.
He was born in 1921, and in this picture he was only sixteen year old.
He was one of the youngest pharmacist of his hometown, Bologna, Northern Italy.He was truly a charming person, a doctor with an artistic soul. A real gentleman with an etiquette under any circumstances and always impeccable manners and style.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Shot, Vintage Photo Contest

May I introduce you to my Texas Grandma, Charlene Beck, I liken her in my mind to a cross between Rosie the Riveter and Bonnie Parker. This image of her was taken in the 1950's on a road trip from Texas to Tennessee by my Papa, Henry Beck, whom you can see in the reflection of the mirror. What is so inspirational about this image goes beyond the fabulous sense of style my grandmother had (and has still very much to this day). I mean, how cute does she look in her cuffed pants and rolled up sleeves with the scarf sweeping her shoulder?! If you look deeper you'll realize she is a woman in the 50's wearing men's jeans, something women did not do in small town USA back then. She was a style trailblazer, not letting the fact she is a woman stop her from wearing what she wants, when she wants. The outfit in present day is not shocking but I think we can still appreciate her sense of style and take inspiration in that freedom she so boldly stood for back then with what we choose to wear today. Just a side note on this photograph — if you ask my Grandma about it she likes to point out the fact that she's at least drinking milk so no one gets the impression she's as bad as she looks... I think anyone can see why she is my hero.

I found this image packed away in my grandfather's army trunk along with old valentines, pictures of Europe, his family on the farm and mementos from his life after he passed away in the 90's.

ps keep the photos comong. Almost 800 enteries now.
All weekend I will be posting more images from the contest.

On the Street.....Camelback, Paris

On the Street.....Winter is Not Over, Milano

On the Street.....BFF!, Milano

On the Street.....The Charmer, Paris

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On the Street.....Silver Fox, Milano

On the Street.....Alessandra, Milano

On the Street.....Club Collar, Milano

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Contest Update

We already have over 300 entries!
The photos and stories are fabulous...thank you!
Here is just one of the entries I loved

Hi Dear Scott,

The idea of the contest is amazing, that's why I felt encouraged to send 3 pictures (in different mails) of my father, Jorge Vargas de Andrade.
This one here is my favourite, but I think the others complement this one and the three give a whole idea of his sense of style.
He was born in 1921 and I believe this picture was taken when he was in his twenties. I am a child of his second marriage, so this image is somehow very far from the man I knew.
Despite being from a failed family from the elite of Rio de Janeiro, he has never lost his elegance. What I like most about his looks is his natural style, with a bit of an edge, very effortless and not too worried to show off. For me the way he dressed was part of the charming person he was and the bon-vivant he would become in the following years.

Yours sincerely,

On the Street.....Before Lanvin, Paris

On the Street.....Ninth Ave., New York City

On the Street.....Late Winter, Paris

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On the Street.....Lips, Paris

On the Street.....Our Friend, Milano

On the Street.....Legs & DB, Paris

Monday, March 22, 2010

Worlds Collide!

When I opened the new Italian Vogue my mouth almost dropped to the floor.

New York's own Rodeo Bar & Grill featured in an editorial shot by Steven Meisel!

You don't understand, I have been going over to 27th and 3rd Avenue regularly (almost weekly!) for 20 years. They have the best fajitas in New York, without question, and I might add, a very good frozen margarita.

Actually the first time Carine Roitfeld called and offered me an assignment I was around the corner from Rodeo so I went there to celebrate. I sat almost exactly where Agnyess is the photo below.

Garance also loves this place, it's represents real Americana to her, a bit of Texas right here in Manhattan. It also happens to be right around the corner from The Lexington Avenue Armory where Marc Jacobs fashion shows are held so we try to make it to Rodeo before or after the show, it's now become a fashion week tradition.

So do yourself a favor. The next time you want great Tex-Mex try Rodeo Bar & Grill, it is in no way fashionable, but I guarantee you will have a great time.

If you want great AND fashionable Mexican food try Rocking Horse Cafe on 8th Ave at 19th Street. It is the local restaurant I eat at the most when I'm home in New York and everything is perfect, including the margaritas.

Are We Ready To Discuss Skirt Lengths For Men?

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