Trying to put my thoughts & ideas down somewhere and give another outlet to my creativity. It's all connected, so I can't say it's a blog about just this or just that. Dolls. Fashion. Art. A little bit on travel, whatever... let's take it wherever it goes...


Meyer's Modeblatt 1946 - No. 12, 23rd March

Because... it's a weekend that I'm actually home, and anyway... here's another issue of Meyers, this time chock-full with great ads and a special fashion addition!

On the cover today... a cute little girl in her handknitted jumper - and yes, the pattern is inside.

The Fashion
First up, a project that'll keep you occupied for long - a hand-embroidered tablecloth!
In the spirit of "Make do and mend" - how to make a new dress out of your old one by taking off the sleeves for example, and adding new ones made from fabric remains too small to make a whole dress. I like the second from left - cute!
And here are the knitting patterns! A sophisticated looking shortsleeved jumper for mom, and the cute stripy one made from wool remains for her girl.

And now...
This issue included a special insert, printed in color, to advetise the newest patterns. None of these are included in any of the pattern sheets that came with the mags of course - these could only be ordered, and this insert would certainly whet anyone's appetite! Just look at the little coat on the left - there's so much fabric in there, it seems to foreshadow the New Look already!

This little blurb says "From the sheep to the knitting needle" - I think it doesn't need much explanation. The sheep are shorn in spring, and girls like Theresina spin the wool, and then use it themselves to knit. It says that the photos are from the Julier area, a mountainous area not far from the Italian border in eastern Switzerland

Meyer's hat to talk about Hollywood too, of course. Here it claims that this is the first post-war movie premiere in Hollywood, at the Carthay Circle Theater. I doubt a little that this would only have been in early 1946, but they don't say which movie premiered here actually, and so far I haven't been able to find out more. But the Carthay was certainly an important cinema for big premieres, as Wikipedia tells us here: - I admit I hadn't heard the name before though!
But now I'm sure you'll want to know who's in the photos! So, from left to right: Johnny Sands and Joan Leslie, Alfred Hitchcock with "a female companion" (I'd love to know who she was - love her outfit and hairstyle!), Rhonda Fleming, Henry Fonda (not dressed in black!) and his wife, Sabu and Miss America, and finally, Lana Turner, Roy Calhoun and a radio reporter.

Around the world
An article about people who live on canal boats in England, titled "Watergipsies in England". Reminds me of the canal houseboats you see on "Lewis" sometimes!
Dog sled tours in northern Sweden - for tourists! Who would have thought about that then...
The usual mixed-news page.
Quick-build houses that should go up within 24 hours to cater to American soldiers returned from the war. Admiral Louis Mountbatten visiting the young king of Thailand (then still called Siam). French wives of GIs leaving for the US. A Swiss diplomat and his family finally returning home after being held back by the Russians. Apparently five Swiss diplomats in all had been held back and prohibited from returning home by the Russians. A big bunny at a pet show, and Swiss ski champions. Plus a small blurb/ad for Pro Infirmis, an organisation that still exists today.

For the thrifty housewife
Recipes, of course! What to do with cheese, herbs and oat flakes - things that anyone would have knocking around their kitchen at the time.

Meyer's also published a household book - I'm guessing that was some kind of accounts book, because it says that with that you could show your husband how much money you were spending and that it wouldhelp you with saving money. Knorr's sauce cubes als "help and save" and a "new kind of apron", ppre-shrunk and all covering, that you could embroider yourself.

The "big discussion"
What's an independent girl to do? Pay for her own coffee or let the man pay? This was a big point of discussion it seems, and they promise more opinions further on. These two readers whose letters are printed here basically say that while it's ok that women are getting more independent, have their own money, pay for their own things etc., where's would romance and chivalry be left if you didn't let your man pay for coffee or a dinner if he takes you out...

Lotsa great ads in this issue too!
 Science in the service of the housewife - a washing poweder ad by Steinfels (whom I talked about before here).

Another page full of fun ads. Note the Elna sewing machine ad, the one advetising a book by Neil Shute... and of course, shampoo - for blondes or brunettes (so you see, John Frieda's idea isn't exactly new) and of course all those wonder cures - face creams, pills for your period and... Rondoform. But more about that further on.

And more again! Pills for the nerves, concentrated milk by Stalden - nowadays, Stalden is better known for their custards in tins. It says that for 2 extra coupons you get 2 big tins of concentrated milk, which equals 2 liters of whole milk, which is a welcome addition to your family's milk consumption - doubly welcome with the tight butter rations! This is what gets me any time - on one side you have ads like this one that talk about the very real rationing of food, which would have meant that certain things that you would normally consider to be a basic item would be hard to come by, and on the other hand you have all those crazy ads for slimming products! You'd really think people had other things to worry about than their figure! 
But going back to this page, there's also an ad for Forsanose, which was kind of a similar product to Ovomaltine (better known as Ovaltine in other parts of the world, similar also to Milo if you might be more familiar with that...):
Oh yes, the GI thinks that Forsanose is "excellent indeed". The product was available coupon-free and they stress the fact that it "tastes like before the war again". The funny thing is, my newspaper here, the Tages-Anzeiger, just ran an article about this this week, which you can check out here: There's a small exhibition about the company and Forsanose in Volketswil, where it was produced. The old factory has been rebuilt into apartments. The company existed until 1972, it's owner was an inventor and man with lots of ideas. He founded the company in the 1930s and invented all kinds of "wonder cures" for rheumatism, potence and... contraception befor the pill, if his claims are to be believed. This reminds me of all the crazy ads like the Rondoform pills or Diva slimming cream that come up again and again in Meyer's! They also advetised for Forsanose with a cycling champion, or a child with a hump on his back, saying that this would make him stand up straight. The man who was used in the ad as a boy in the 50s actually contacted the paper and they featured it the other day, but isn't online. Maybe I should send them my ad too...
Lots of well-known brands here! The Juventus school (still in operation), Gold-Zack elastic bands and Mettler threads. The little article about the "Quiet happiness of Lucienne Bourdet" is an ad too... for Möbel Pfister. They really liked to put their ads into little stories, about how little their furnitur cost etc. etc. And again they stress that people had better come on weekdays or Saturday mornings, as Saturday afternoons are busy.
And more yet! "Basler Läckerli" (hmmm....!), caffeine free coffee (I'm guessing this is one of those chicoree or whatever coffee substitutes), artificial honey, cures for constipation (Tipex), rheumatism, gout etc. (sirup made from nutshells... what?!) and Albinol, which is in every other issue too, still talking about the evils of "women's complaints".

Slimming ad
Need I mention it again? Orbal, of course!

Breast enhancement ad
Yes, you already saw it - Rondoform were at it again. And it's a new ad again, of course! Now Rondoform is being called a proven means to make your bust more beautiful. And then it keeps on talking about all it's wondrous properties. Duh.


Back to the 80s

I've been on a little Barbie doll shopping spree... Yes, not everything Mattel did in the 80s was just great, but as I have hopefully been able to show with earlier posts of 80s outfits, there was some good stuff out there, and most of it is sadly undocumented in collectors' books!

First of all, a "new" doll arrived - "Feelin' Groovy" by Billy Boy, one of the first designer dolls ever, from 1986. She's a real stand-out, with the Steffie facemold, jet-black hair, purple eyes, green eyeshadow and hot red lips. Sound crazy? Well, it works, as you see:

She comes complete with glittery shoes and her own little beautycase. The coat with it's jewel tone print on metallic fabric, fur trim and extreme shoulders is fittingly extravagant. As it's a "Glamour a go-go Gift Set", there are of course a few more items included so that Barbie can change her look!

Glam evening look! And if she wants to go out partying... all she needs is a little mini dress, those cool black shades and her little camera:
If you have Billy Boy's excellent book on Barbie doll, you may have noticed that the prototype - as always with Mattel - of course looked even better:
  Glittery closed-toe pumps, a slit in that skirt and pink tights - that would certainly have been great! They did give her some panties though, which in the 80s was already a rarity... no, I won't go further into that!
That tag on the case would've been great! Looks like they put some Lady Lovelylocks streaks into her hair too!
The coat's fabric looked more colorful too. Ah well, that's Mattel... never trust their prototypes...

I've also had a little dress-up fun with two dolls I bought in the US, earlier this year. Kara and Trichelle, two more additions to the So in Style-family (of which I have talked before here), ca. 2012:
Kara wears Babyphat, Trichelle was an inexpensive edition with stiff legs and came with a little purple car. But for 10 bucks, you don't argue about a cheap purple Barbie doll car. The car found a new owner through our fleamarket stand, and I have another pretty Trichelle doll. Her face paint is exactly the same as my other Trichelle's, just her hair is different. Normal size heads, beautiful face paint, poseable bodies... now if all current playline Barbies were like this, I'd be buying 'em like mad! Okay, I'm not a fan of Babyphat per se, but Kara's outfit still looks way better than what "normal" Barbie dolls come with these days!

First, Kara got to try on the vintage 70s raincoat from "Red for Rain". I think red suits her! Trichelle got an early 90s evening outfit from one of the Haute Couture/Paris Fashions lines. That red, gold and black looks like something Christian Lacroix could have dreamed up! And the little lace and sequin hat just add that little extra touch.

As I've been buying up some wonderful 80s outfits, I had to try these on those two lovelies as well! First up, City Style fashions from ca. 1988. I think they're all fab - at least Barbie's, and I wish I had them all. Ken's is... well... rather 70s looking!
Anyway, Kara looks great in this typical power suit, which even came with a "patent" handbag:
I like her even better though in a slightly updated version of this:

I think this blouse and skirt combo is really smashing on its own!

Then we come to some Day-to-Night Fashions from '85. I defintely want the Dress Designer, Dancer and Business Executive outfits, they look gorgeous! It's funny how Mattel then still thought that a hat was needed with a "business suit"!
 What I got now is the romantic Teacher fashion. The "Day" outfit looks like "early Princess Diana" - romantic and fussy, with big shoulders. Unfortunately it's made of a fairly stiff fabric which doesn't help:

The "Night" look is quite cute though, even though the shades of lavender don't all match:

Could almost be a bridesmaid!

I'm waiting for one more doll and outfit to arrive, so there will be more 80s Barbie action here soon! Call me crazy, and yes, the quality wasn't always great, but they still made some really nice outfits at that time, and they certainly reflect it well. I am still hoping someone's going to write a book about those some time, but the problem is that most collectors probably discount the 80s fashions totally... I have pretty much all of the booklets etc. that one can have from the time, but I still find Barbie things from the time that I can't place...

Correction - Pinterest

Before I forget to mention it again... I've changed my Pinterest name, therefore there's a new link too:

Hope ya like it, it's just some random things like to "collect"...

Meyer's Modeblatt 1946 - No. 11, 16th March

So, back to Meyer's Modeblatt! This and the next issue are actually pretty good when it comes to the "fashion" content! And if you love the 40s, may I suggest you visit me on Pinterest, where I have started a board that pays tribute to forever modern 1940s fashions!
The ensemble on this cover was again some kind of exclusive creation, at least nothing that a sewing pattern was available for. "Elegant deux-pièces for the afternoon" by Léon Fischer, Geneva, hat by Berthe Peney, Geneva.

The fashion
First of all, an article about the renaissance of Viennese fashion. It talks about the fashion that had before the war and the "Anschluss" conquered the world with it's ladylike and amiable style, and which had after the annexation in 1938 become just an extra to Berlin and Munich, and turned all its values on its head. And now, even in the heavily bombed city, seamstresses, fashion boutiques etc. were taking business up again and trying to establish themselves again. The photos show one such workshop and one boutiques and it's new spring offerings. Note the Montblanc sign on the house!

Next up - new fashion trends from Paris. The journalist calls it "the new fashion" and talks about it's constant changes, which happen not just twice a year (sound familiar?). Then she goes on about changing beauty ideals, remembering the time when women "had to be as slim, and yes, flat, as possible" and clearly likes the new feminine ideal. "Today, women are allowed to have hips and breasts again, but your waist should be very slim. Your shoulders can be round and feminine. The nonchalant posture of the "girls" is not fashionable anymore, the Parisian woman with her perfect posture is the ideal again". Furthermore, "flowing, childlike locks are out, at least for women over 25. The new hairstyle is more feminine and lets the face and especially the profile show to advantage." And of course, with an elegant up-do or chignon, your face would really show, so "good facial care is essential, as are earrings or earclips. With clips you have a lot of choice - ceramics, metal, flowers etc., whatever goes with your dress. Fabrics feature broad, very broad stripes, and great contrasts like orange and white or royal blue and white are favoured. Of course, airy imprimés are still in favour too, with small patterns, and in soft pastel colors. Shoulders are round, the sleeves need a lot of fabric if they reach at least to the elbow. They are set in low, like kimono or batwing styles. In summer, we will see next to the normal short chemise sleeve also the barely shoulder-covering komino, or an artfully draped fichu-sleeve. New is a trapeze-shaped neckline, which again adheres to the chapter of the emphasis on the bust. The dresses are so long that the knees are not visible, the shoes come away from the plump, heavy sole, and go back to the slim, high heel (as long as they're not work or sport's shoes). Paris has won..."
Well, need I say more? I'd love to have any of the dresses, shoes or earrings shown on this page!

And then, on to the patterns! Lots of elegant, pretty day dresses for spring, and a whole collection of new suits too!
For the men, there was only the Veillon ad on the last page though - dapper suits for sure!
This'n that
Just some random stuff, as usual. The royal family of Luxemburg holidaying in Wengen, the Colombian consul who was a woman, American women making swimsuits from parachute silk, the head of the American military government in Germany making a short holiday in St. Moritz, English women asking for bigger rations, the Lauberhorn ski race in Wengen... and a pope.
Plus the usual thrifty recipes, short stories, agony aunt letters and small ads... 

This issue wasn't short of great ads though!
Lux soap, making you beautiful and glamourous ("and its popular with men too"!).
All those "wonder cures" to make you beautiful, strong, slim, cure your nerves, whatever... 

Slimming ad
Orbal, why yes, of course it had to be there!
But here's a new one - Diva! A cream that is supposed to make you thinner where you wish. And of course, it's from Paris. Oh dear...

Breast enhancement ad
Yep, Rondoform were at it again, with yet another new ad. Week after week, they found a new slogan, a new angle, whatever. You have to give it to them, they were pretty creative. I wonder who it was who wrote all these ads!