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.