This experience was an absolute delight, and I felt so lucky to be able to view them. Again after a complex online booking and registration process in person, I spent two days looking through pretty much every Harper’s Bazaar of the 1930s, bar one or two bound collections.
The design of the magazines significantly felt a lot more ‘modern’ in layout, composition and content than the Vogue magazines from the same decade. This was perhaps as less e were produced per year than Vogue. Again, unfortunately due to signing a copyright form I cannot share images of the insides of the magazines but they were just beautiful objects. I have used for images, some slightly similar front covers from US editions that are widely available online.
The front covers especially were incredibly crafted works of art, predominantly created from hand drawn and printed imagery, very bold with colours and form, presumably designed to create impact on a newsstand. In many of the editions throughout the year, there are colour and black and white hand drawn illustrations of fashion for liners, beach, ‘outdoor days’ and summer sports, all the while encouraged to looking floating and glamorous. Women’s hair was kept short and stylised.
As the decade moved on, the layout of the illustration became even more experimental. New fabrics for home or fashion were presented in cut out shapes creating an abstract scene. Fonts used are open and thin, synonymous with thirties graphics. Cruise or ocean liner wear is also featured in photo shoots set on deck, ranging from bathing wear to more formal dress. Up market department stores such as Fortnum and Mason and Jenner’s are commonplace and these often feature clothes for wearing on liners. The healthy, idealised, streamlined body is often featured in other illustrations, whether playing tennis, diving or exercising, and articles on keeping fit are featured often. There are also some wonderful articles with images of real homes with modernist interiors with soft furnishings. Additionally some photo shoots are shot in black and white in created environments with steps, archways and doorways, how I would love to view these in real life! I would love to create my own environments and photography shoots with objects, perhaps using sculptural and printed fabrics. The titles of the articles are also interesting and something I would like to work with, as well as the collage style approach to layout and making. So may ideas percolating!