Traditional post office boxes still in use in Fultonville, New York.
A feature from French Marie Claire, October 1988 shows the incredible works of art that were Guerlain’s perfume bottles. You can see the age of Art Nouveau, with its profusion of gilding and flowers, transitioning into the clean lines of Art Deco — love the golden bow that was Coque D’Or’s container.
A chignon, a bared neck and dramatic hoops are timeless. This beautifully lit photo of what looks like a young Claudia Schiffer was taken by Gilles Bensimon for Elle, October 1988.
There could not be a finer canvas for this aqua Versace Atelier gown than the beautifully sculpted back of Naomi Campbell. Photo by Mario Testino, circa 1996. See her perfect form in Ralph Lauren.
In 1963, this was the latest and best hair appliance a woman could ever own. This ‘big, salon-size dryer’ could be bought at Sears for $90, although portable versions could also be had from G.E., Sunbeam, Westinghouse and Schick. All august brands; sadly they have either given up the ghost or moved on to more profitable ventures. Floral slip and strapless yellow bra by Vanity Fair (not the magazine, but the lingerie manufacturer). Photo from Vogue, February 1963.
A 1972 ad for Houbigant’s Quelques Fleurs fragrance. What’s lost in modern life’s computer perfection is the charming irregularity of hand lettering. The kerning (spacing between the letters) in the name is off-kilter, making the entire work, not just the bottle, even more gorgeous.
The ultimate flight of fancy: Devon Aoki is ethereal in an Yves Saint Laurent organza dress embroidered with bird of paradise feathers. The bird’s legendary plumage is one of Mother Nature’s most glorious, decadent tutus. Photo from French Vogue, March 2000.
A sleek empire-waist gown with piquant puffed sleeves by Norman Norell is accented perfectly by Harry Winston diamonds. This was another photograph in the extraordinary Vogue April 1962 feature, What To Spend a Fortune On. (A lot of you loved their earlier advice about knocking back some Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1914.)
The delightful caption accompanying this picture:
"What to spend a fortune on: She collects small things — small, expensive things. She can afford to: in this household, nothing but love and money (and, by some mysterious alchemy, a windfall of all two-year-olds).
"Let everybody else run on about how it won’t buy happiness, she knows in her bones — and a handsome set of bones they are, too — that money is the honey that defrays the cost.
"Where Gesell hems, where Ilg haws, where Spock fears to tread, our girl moves boldly: she has the wit and wherewithal to grasp the fact that what babies really cry for is a mother who looks like a million bucks.” Amen. Photo by Bert Stern.
I’m with the band: Karolina Kurkova in a Dolce & Gabbana leather jacket, Veronique Branquinho top and Alexander McQueen cap. Instruments are extra. Photo from French Vogue, August 2001.