It's the slightly sporty/preppy clothes that get me - Lee Radziwill was effortlessly stylish in those days - and that look: the slim cropped trousers, a shell tank, sandals and a shoulder bag are exactly what I want to wear this summer.
I've also been hugely inspired by the book, Elegance, The Birth of Fashion Photography about the Seeberger brothers, (I bought it used for £20) who began photographing the beau monde at places like Biarritz and Deauville in the 1920s - and again it's the sporty looks that get me - like these two in Hermes:
And this girl, whose photo (taken again by the Seeberger brothers in 1939) has made it round all the fashion blogs due to the sheer modernism of her outfit, which wouldn't look out of place on the Celine catwalk today. Sadly, in the caption I noticed it said 'Film actress Corinne Luchaire, (1921 - 1950)' so I wondered what had happened to her. And now I will destroy all your illusions because well, she was a Nazi collaborator and died of tuberculosis at the age of 28 while serving a ten year sentence of 'degradation nationale' in France. (Oh dear, read more of the sorry tale here and here if you want to...) How do I bounce back from that into fashion inspiration? Talk about killing the dream, sorry. But if you read about her, she didn't stand much of a chance, being brought up around the Nazis. But I'm so shocked (I just looked it up as I was writing). Being pretty and having amazing taste in clothes does not excuse a lethal in her case, lack of a moral compass. When I look at the picture closely now, you can see something very mixed up in her eyes, that I might have previously mistaken for sultry allure.
I don't think I can make it back to sailor pants after that. Leave it for another post.