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...


Exhibitions at the Textile Museum in St.Gallen

Earlier this month I visited the excellent Textile Museum in St. Gallen again.

The reason for that was the exhibition about one of St. Gallens famous textile companies, Schläpfer. From the 1960s, they introduced many innovations and were responsible for some of the most amazing fabrics you've ever seen - anything to do with sequin or crystal embroideries and other such things - they did it. Many of their designs were inspired by artists, and their fabrics were bought by all the great designers in Paris. You can see some images and info in German and French here: (you can click on the images to enlarge them). It was just one room on the lower exhibition floor, so not very big. There were endless sample swatches of the most amazing fabrics on show, plus images from fashion shows and magazines that were meticulously collected in big scrapbooks. Also there were garments made from the fabrics by their inhouse seamstress, to show their clients the fabrics to their best advantage. The clothes were beautiful, but of course the fabrics were the real "stars" here! One of the best designs was one of their earliest, which helped them establish their reputation. These fabrics used the ornaments on gold backgound that are typical of the painter Gustav Klimts best-known art works in small repeats. There were differnt designs and different colorways, but they all were with gold and brilliant colors embroidered on finest tulle. The italian designer Mila Schön made simple, straight shift dresses out of this in the mid-1960s which showed these fabrics to their very best advantage. There were images of them on show, but unfortunately, I can't find any online...

On the second exhibition floor, there was another amazing exibition to be discovered:
This was all about the collectors who have over the decades contributed to the museum by donating their personal collections. Displayed in several rooms in big "cardboard" boxes, grouped by collection, was anything you could imagine: fine embroideries from India, Pakistan and Central Asia, historial dresses (like an Alençon lace dress worn by empress Eugenie of France), countless books filled with fabric samples, centuries-old lace and fabric samples (some of them going back to medieval times - the mind boggles!), embroidery samples, 18th century men's suits and waistcoats with their brilliant embroideries - both full garments and uncut fabrics - old etchings of typical outfits of the many people inhabiting the Austro-Hungarian empire... and then, in the last room: costumes from St. Gallen's city theatre, and items from a vintage clothing collector! Whilst the first rooms had been dimly lit so as not to damage the delicate old fabrics, this room was all white and nicely lit, and since there was no one else about, I took some images with my phone (don't worry - no flash)!
Amazing ca. early 1960s accessories in midnight blue, embroidered in iridescent blue-green sequins - gloves, clutch bag, mask and shoes. The shoes are by Bally, with a "Bally Vogue" label. Someone must have had these all made to go together. Just imagine the party - and the outfit - this must have been worn to!
 More amazing shoes, the glittery ones are Bally too, the satin platforms are Charles Jourdan by Löw.
The vintage dresses. There was a lot of YSL amongst those on the mannequins, like the ensemble on the left.
I adore the white dress with the coat! Dress on the left is YSL as well.
 Dramatic black YSL evening coat.
 More amazing 50s/60s accessories!
 Isn't this just gorgeous? Maybe the silk is by Abraham...
Costumes from St. Gallen's theatre. The dress in the middle is an authentic 1860s dress and not a made-for-theatre costume like the others.

Baby, it's cold outside...

... so get  a warm coat, a scarf and a hat!


Meyer's Modeblatt 1946 - No. 14, 6th April

So, here we go - another issue! On the cover - a little girl in a classic girl's dress, the pattern for which of course was available through Meyer's.

The fashion

White summer dresses for hot days! As it says - nothing looks as great against tanned skin, and nothing keeps you as cool.
Summer things for the kids too...
And some things you can knit for them too...

Make it yourself
A travel case for your undies! Made of cardboard covered with fabric and with some pockets and elastic bands to keep everything in place.

Time again to introduce a movie: "Lost Angel", which according ot IMDb is already from 1943:

This'n that
Laufen an der Birs - a pretty, almost medieval-looking town.

Revolutionary - a shop giving it's employees the Wednesday afternoon off (traditionally this is the one week day here when nobody has school in the afternoon). Oh I wish...

An age-old discussion that has been going on over the last few issues - should the guy pay for everything when he takes a girl out - or should she be modern and pay for herself? There are all sorts of opinions coming up. Interesting to see how seemingly hotly this was discussed then. But in contrast to maybe today, there's another thing that crops up - not everybody might have been earning that much, and for some young men, their purse might have been stretched to the limit when they took a girl out and paid for everything. Some of these responses also deal with that - and how to then do it the right way and pay without making your guy feel bad.

The mixed news page - the British aircraft carrier "Indefatigable" returning home to Portsmouth, the Dutch crown princess Juliana on holiday in Switzerland, a German opera singer who had worked in Switzerland in the 30s and then moved on to the US, and Italian actress visiting Geneva, a women's ski race - and other interesting people.

For the housewife
Serve your hard-working husband his breakfast in bed on a Sunday... but don't fear, the article also suggest that those men who are always home to eat on weekdays too, do this for their wives! And what if you're a single guy? Well, treat yourself with some of those recipes! Now, these are suggestions I like - I doubt this is a mag a (single) man would read, but it's nice seeing that they suggest these things too.

This issue has all sorts of fantastic ads! Toothbrush and toothpaste ads with a scientific touch are  nothing new, as this ad shows:
The toothbrush that is shaped after the newest scientific research!

 Shoe cream ad - very stylish!

Roger & Gallet - this is a company that needs no introduction I think. This ad though doesn't refer to their famous soaps, but to a face cream for the day - crème fond de teint, the right base to matify your skin.

A princess-shaped slip made from Yala jersey fabric. This is the typical shape, as it's advertised in other late 40s brochures and mailorder catalogs I have. I even have a rayon (not jersey) slip made exactly in the same fashion.

Turitex - a frabric from the Strub fabric company. It extolls the many advantages of this fabric. It doesn't say what material it is, but it seems it was some kind of synthetic fabric that was washable (even at high temperatures!) and "always feels fresh". Sounds like every woman's dream - and makes me think of all those 1960s ads for "modern" polyester fabrics, extolling their virtues and easy care. Well, as you see, many things are older than one might think!

On the other end of the spectrum... is Grieder, Zurich's traditional high-end department store. It's still around today, carrying all the expensive big-name brands. They started more humbly, and mostly sold silk fabrics, notions and accessories at first, as this article on the company history tells us:

Another well-known brand - Bernina sewing machines! This ad talks about how great it is that their machines have the zig-zag stitch, which saves you from having to do this by hand, to keep the fabric edges from unraveling!


Orbal - of course, what else, and always the same...

Breast-enhancement ad
Yes, you guessed it, Rondoform for the n-th time! This time, their plug was that nature itself was the best proof how it works. Duh.


1930s fashions from Record - the sewing magazine from Vienna

A different kind of sewing magazine post for today... Besides my year of Meyers Modeblatt, I have been acquiring quite a few other vintage sewing magazines too lately, to add to my existing collection. So I want to share some other fab magazines with you as well.

Up for today is "Record", a magazine from Austria. This issue is, judging by the fashions, ca. mid-1930s, however, the magazine continued after the war, as I have a 1950s issue as well, which I will be showing in a separate post. This monthly magazine contains little else beyond wonderful fashion illustrations to promote the patterns, that you could then order by mail. There are a few ads, but it's not a fully-flung women's magazine like Meyers - or like Brigitte. As an added bonus, it contains a sheet with patterns though, all for outfits that are depicted in the magazine. I love the illustrations, they are beautiful and clear, showing 30s fashion at it's best. This issue is in wonderful condition, almost like new, and I will treasure this!

The cover is already gorgeous:

 The pattern sheet - looks no different than later ones.
 Promoting further seasonal issues of "Record".

  Summer dresses made from washable fabrics!
 Dresses for teenagers on the right page.
 New blouses and light summer coats.

Even better - some pages are in color!

Evening wear too!
Beach wear - playsuits, coverups, beach pajamas - and "practical garden dresses". One of them has a zip down the front - how modern!
 Larger size fashions.
 Suits, skirts, blouses - and a bevy of pretty dickeys and collars!

How fun is that - a lederhosen suit in crochet!

 And some dirndls - because you just can't do without them in Austria.