Wednesday, November 5, 2014


The eighties are an unending font of joy, incredulity and mirth, but I, alas, am out of scans. I know! Calamity! Nick Rhodes here is clearly very worried about it, too. Nick feels things very deeply. So we're taking a break here for a smidge until I get things sorted out.

Until then, maybe visit here or here to get your fix of eighties awesomeness.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mastey Home Maintenance Hair Care System

Her hair probably does look terrific. Can't really tell, though. They're all so blurry! Look, photographer, you've got a gaggle of young, pretty models. They probably all have really nice skin. There's no need to fuzz them out into nonexistence.

Also, as near as I can tell, the Mastey Home Maintenance Hair Care System just seems to be shampoo, conditioner, and a creme rinse.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Maybelline Kissing Glosses

Yeah, "Kissing Potion" is pretty much flavored mineral oil. Doesn't matter. That model is so fresh-faced and charming I would buy anything she was hawking.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent

I love her. Do you know how rare it is to find a model who actually looks like a fully-grown, sophisticated adult in fragrance ads these days? She looks like she didn't need to use a fake ID to buy that wine. And she is working that scarf.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Joanie Char

That's a whole lot of blouse she's wearing. Still, I kind of love her gleeful expression: "Yeah, I just found a pearl in my hors d'oeuvres. This sort of thing happens to me a lot. It is not at all tough being me."

Friday, October 31, 2014

New Man

"Casual dressing for those who don't take dressing casually."

Wait... we're supposed to believe these two take dressing seriously? In those outfits?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mystere by Rochas

I think this ad campaign needs to bolster its definition of "sorcery". A little neon paint squiggle across the face doesn't really say "most magical" to me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Maybelline Rodeo Lip Colors

About the most aggressively literal interpretation of the popular lipstick-as-a-weapon motif I've ever seen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Maybelline Smokeys

I admire Maybelline's confidence in launching an eyeliner by drawing a direct correlation to a cartoon bear mascot.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Beauty for All Seasons

Well, she's smiling a bit more in the second photo, but other than that? I can't actually tell that she's wearing more flattering shades of makeup in the "After" shot, or that solid red works better for her than plaid. She looks fine in both pictures.

This is probably why I'm not a highly-trained professional color consultant.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


It is not immediately obvious that this is an advertisement for lingerie. Until I saw the Woolite bottle in the corner, I assumed Berlei was hawking beige eyeshadow.

Her mullet is pretty fierce, though.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Calvin Klein

I adore hand-sketched fashion advertisements, like this one. The only disadvantage -- and, in a case like this, it's kind of a big one -- is that sometimes it's impossible to tell what the outfit looks like in real life. As near as I can tell, she's draped in a billowy down comforter.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Claude Montana

She looks like the cool, sinister, glamorous lovechild of Denise Crosby and Nick Rhodes, and she can wear head-to-toe purple and green without looking like a bunch of grapes. Well done, lady.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Elizabeth Arden Color Plays

I have a pretty good eye for color, and even so, the differences betwixt Arden Blush, Arden Red, and Arden Pink Pink are not staggering.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Neil Leonard

Love it. Love her boxy, mannish suit paired with her short, awesome haircut, love his unkempt shaggy mane. There's a healthy dollop of gender-bending going on, and the results are sexy and fabulous.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Katharine Hamnett

Those urchins in their oversize socially-conscious t-shirts ("STOP ACID RAIN") are pretty damn special, Katharine.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oil of Olay

Another ludicrously chatty advertisement from Oil of Olay. Come on, gang! Cut down on the words! More egregiously, there's zero difference between the main photo of the model and the little insert photos pointing out her wrinkles and lines. As in, it's the same exact photograph. If Oil of Olay does anything to improve skin, you wouldn't know it from whatever this ad thinks it's demonstrating.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Raul Blanco

Oh, I love her! She looks like she's the scheming, duplicitous villainess on a particularly wrenching Miami Vice episode. She'll steal Crockett's heart and blow up his boat, then she'll bribe a shady judge and get off scot-free.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Rodier Paris

Hmm. Charlie's not the only one who's "such a bore." And good luck with that 200 calorie lunch! Enjoy that cottage cheese and celery!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Calvin Klein Jeans

Included for no reason other than this blog has been sorely lacking in beefcake.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

L'eggs Sheer Energy and, uh, Kix

So the eighties were bizarrely obsessed with pantyhose. Fashion magazines from the era were jam-packed with pantyhose ads. And there were all these incongruous promotional tie-ins: Buy cigarettes, get free pantyhose! Buy breakfast cereal, get free pantyhose!

Hence this creepy, sexed-up advertisement for Kix.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I love how in the eighties, wearing strands of pearls with a sweatshirt was a Thing. A sassy thing, according to this advertisement.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Halston III

I'm pretty sure this is made out of that quilted heat-resistant fabric they use to make potholders and insulated totes.

It is, of course, fabulous. Shiny!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Charlie by Revlon

We've got another Charlie Girl! This one is original Charlie Girl Shelley Hack, who would, fittingly, later go on to become one of Charlie's Angels; she played Tiffany, the cool, brainy Angel, for one short season before being unceremoniously fired, purportedly for failing to click with viewers. As Johnny Carson once put it, "It's supposed to be a T&A show. When Hack's A is put where her T should be, it still doesn't jiggle."

I have no idea what that means.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Antaeus pour homme by Chanel

Per the National Gallery (UK):

In Greek mythology, Antaeus was a giant who challenged others to wrestling matches in order to kill them and collect their skulls. Antaeus was eventually overcome during a fight with the hero Heracles; Heracles discovered that Antaeus’s strength lay in his contact with the ground, so he held Antaeus aloft and crushed him in a bearhug.

The power and poetry of modern man, indeed.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Not a fashion ad, but I'm including it anyway, just for the invaluable glimpse into what Playgirl imagined was their target demographic, circa 1985: beautiful, big-haired, book-reading cellists in flouncy lace dresses. I like how "men" is pretty far down there on the list of interests ("Me? Oh, I read Playgirl for the fashion and fitness tips. You know, just something to pass the time while I'm waiting around for my cello recital to start. Naked men? I hadn't even noticed.").

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Paketa watches

This advertisement, modeled upon vintage Soviet propaganda posters, is for wristwatches. It ran in US magazines in the late 1980s at the height of glasnost.

The eighties, man, am I right? Crazy times.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Compagnie Internationale Express

First, there was The Limited. Then there was the Limited Express. Then, at some point in the eighties, Limited Express became Compagnie Internationale Express, which was all ersatz French and awesome. This ad describes it as "a dynamic and whimsically French shopping environment", which is accurate enough as far as it goes. Still, I vastly prefer this description from an old Los Angeles Times article, which describes the store decor as "a Robert Palmer video shot at the court of Versailles."

Express dropped the "Compagnie Internationale" part of their name years ago. They no longer play French pop songs whilst you shop. They make perfectly nice clothes, but it's just not the same.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Jones New York

Kim Alexis, you are a vision and a goddess, even whilst wearing a blue plaid suit.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lee Nails

I'm not at all sure about "elegant", but at least this ad has the good sense not to make any claims about "natural-looking."

She looks like she's a step away from clawing his throat open with those talons.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Georges Marciano Guess?

Fantastic. No era pulled off androgyny as well as the early/mid-eighties. The only element that tips this photo more into the "female" category are the earrings (and possibly the gloss), but other than that, everything--her hair, her face, her clothes--hits right smack on the gender divide. And she's gorgeous. Like, a stone-cold knockout. Were she a boy, she'd be no less gorgeous.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Esprit Kids

Where "Great Attitude!" means "smiling tolerantly while waiting for the adults who dressed you in this godawful unflattering combination of bulky layers and whimsical accessories to take the damn photo already".

Hang in there, kiddo. You're adorable; I'm just sorry those adults did this to you.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dep styling products

Both of their hairstyles look pretty much like ass--maybe ease up the gel just a skosh, kids--which you'd think would be the mark of death for an advertisement for styling products. However, they both look so sleazy and tawdry and fun that the state of their hair is kind of beside the point. And I love her shiny blue coat dress.

The ad copy. Is weirdly punctuated, though. Sentences. Shouldn't be broken up like that.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Quorum Cologne

This looks for all the world like the poster for an early-eighties sex romp starring Steve Guttenberg and, I dunno, Joyce Hyser. Or maybe a nubile young Demi Moore in her big-screen debut. Steve would play a nebbish Manhattan stockbroker who makes a deal with the Devil to become irresistible to babes. There'd be lots of exposed breasts and zany misunderstandings, all set to a synth-heavy Tangerine Dream soundtrack.

It'd be terrible, but I would watch the hell out of it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Commes des Garcons

I mean, she's wearing a burlap sack, obviously. Or, to be specific, multiple burlap sacks stitched together into a "voluminous dress." So that's ridiculous, of course.

All the same... there's something about the thought processes behind the clothes of this era that I really grok, about how dresses weren't intended to be figure-flattering by default. Same reason why I grok all those awesome short haircuts from this time frame: The endgame of 1980s high fashion wasn't to look pleasing to members of the opposite sex by emphasizing stereotypically "female" attributes--long hair, a well-defined figure--but to make some kind of fiercely individual artistic statement through your appearance. This perspective seems healthier, mentally, and damn it all, it's vastly more interesting.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

L'Envie Parfum Shampoo

Shampoo that: a) smells like designer perfume, and b) contains shimmery sparkles.

Why does this product not currently exist? I would buy up every bleeding last bottle.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

LoShi BK Sour Gold

Exfoliate your skin with bits of pure gold! Achieve "mysterious" and "exotic" "Oriental beauty", as embodied in this advertisement by Whitey McWhiteperson.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Oh, this blasted "Gentlemen Prefer Hanes" ad campaign again. Where the highest compliment a woman can receive is to have some rando perv on her legs while she's just trying to have a nice day out with her gentleman friend.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hanes Alive Support Pantyhose

Hey, lady, you know why no one knows you're wearing support pantyhose? Because you're not wearing support pantyhose. Or if you are, you shouldn't be. Look at you -- you're like eight feet tall and rail-thin to the point of gauntness, and there's nothing on your body that could possibly be in need of any support.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

La Femme by Vanity Fair

It's a "short, sensuous chemise, seductively detailed in body-revealing lace." Which they are recommending you purchase as a gift for your mom.

Friday, September 19, 2014


I am widely considered ridiculously vain and neurotic about my appearance.

I've got nothing on this guy. Sir, I tip my hat to you.