Earlier this week I made comments about re-blogging/sourcing images and my frustrations with the lack of internet manners. I was glad to hear from many of you who feel the same. Not surprising of course there were also negative comments and questions. So I thought I’d write a little about my process.
As most of you know myvintagevogue.com is a fashion photography and advertising archive, the digital images are a fraction of the growing collection. The website is resource for teachers, students and designers, as well as fashion and advertising enthusiast. I am very passionate about the importance of these images not just for the history of the industries they represent, but also the personal histories of these designers, photographers and models. These hard to find images are collected from all over the county (thank you ebay) as well as swap meets and estate sales. I also search through forgotten spider and vermin infested places where I worry a little bit for my health but the treasure is worth the risk. Needless to say a lot of time and money goes into finding these gems and I literally search every day for new things. Once they’re found they are organized and stored to later scan and Photoshop. Many of the magazines and photos are in bad shape and require quite a bit of restoration which I do personally. The name myvintagevogue has noting to do with Vogue Magazine it’s from the dictionary definition of the word vogue.
When I first started this project I was amazed to find that few publishers, advertisers, manufactures and photographers have archives, in fact it seems to be a prevailing mid-century view that these things were not important and so in the 60’s & 70’s dumpsters were filled with the histories of the publications. Sadly in some cases these advertisements and images are all that is left of our 20th century fashion manufacturing legacy. Due to this loss I have been hired by some of the families of models, photographers and manufactures to help them find their lost history. Most of what I use is considered “Public Domain” however due to its rarity I am paid by publishers to use images from the archive for books and magazines. As an archivist and curator I consider this to be my life’s work. For me it’s not enough to just collect, at the end of the day this material is just decaying paper that needs to be preserved and digitized. The goal of this project has always been one of preservation and education.What you see here on tumblr and on my website have not been seen in decades and are in some cases extremely rare. The reason I watermark and ask people to source is so that more people will be able to find the archive and be inspired by it. Without my archive and similar websites many of these people and their work would be forgotten.
Above are a couple images of some places I’ve had the pleasure haha of digging for materials and a before and after of what each images goes through before being posted.