Thursday, 17 December 2009

Lend me your elephant's ear - and I'll make a bag out of it

My last post was a complete failure as a viable Christmas gift idea for all kinds of reasons - let alone the fact that the fishtank was from a catalogue that was about 50 years old - so I've decided to make amends with some more promising prospects for the lady in your life.

Sadly most of these are from more or less the same date or even earlier so you've the same chance (exactly none, unless you are a very accomplished vintage buyer) of finding them.

If you've read any of the previous posts you will know that I am an ardent fan of the British Pathé film archive, so I'm happy to present a few more gems that I have gathered from their amazingly extensive collection.

First up is a delightful film from 1946 about what the narrator cheerfully refers to as "junk" jewellery, which would probably be classed as "costume" jewellery these days.

Apologies for not being able to embed these films but, trust me, they are all worth the bother of opening a new tab or window to view (you can complain in the comments if they're not!):

EAR-RINGS [sic] (aka JUNK JEWELLERY)




And continuing on the earrings theme is this film from 1955 (in glorious Technicolour!) which showcases the stock of a Soho shop called "Going Gay" and is essential viewing for anyone who appreciates 50s kitsch jewellery:

PARTY EARRINGS



There's some very dubious parallels drawn with ancient civilisations and ethnic cultures by the narrator, but they're easy to ignore with all those marvellous baubles to enjoy.

Another potential gift idea is a handbag, an item that most women can't have too many of.

In the following 1955 film you are first presented with a pink handbag made out of elephants' ears. Control your nausea - and please don't worry, there's nothing distressing shown - because this is a terrific film with some prize examples that really shouldn't be missed, including something for the dipsomaniac gentleman:

LEATHER FAIR




Spectacles might not be your first thought for a gift, but bear with me here because this is a fantastic 1955 film with some extraordinary examples of eye-wear.

Its hard not to be distracted by the flying hands of the optician who seems to swoop over every woman featured with dramatic and energetic gestures - I'm sure he's making some interesting and informative points, only we can't hear them:

SPECTACLES




Finally, if you've ever wondered what spectacles might be suitable for motoring and the beach you have your answer in the last few seconds of this film:

MODELS LEARN SPEC BEAUTY (aka SPECTACLE FASHION)



Lucie Clayton's was a finishing/modelling school in London for very posh 'gels' (Joanna Lumley among them) which has recently been amalgamated with two secretarial colleges to form Quest Business Training. I'm pretty sure classes in "Spec Beauty" aren't part of the current curriculum.

2 comments:

Past Perfect Vintage Clothing said...

great little films - thank you !

Sarah said...

Thanks for calling round! I'm so pleased you enjoyed them, and I'll be featuring plenty more very soon.