Friday, May 4, 2012

Printed Matter: Clifford Coffin

There aren't a lot of photographs from the 40's and 50's that I relate to - it's just not an era that I generally connect with personally. So I was surprised when I discovered how much I love Clifford Coffin's work. He was one of the major Vogue photographers of his time, and his work is wonderfully detail oriented with tons of graphic consideration and personal style. His work resonates as strongly today as it did at the time. 

Since when has it been cool to be matchy matchy? Not for a long while, right? For years and years, its been considered overly put-together, too uptown, too ladylike to match your shoes to your handbag, but how can you not love matching your red french manicure (!) to your red lipstick, or your emerald dress to your emerald ring to your emerald eyeshadow to your emerald fan??? Or in a more laid back way - your striped straw hat to your striped straw beach back - double chic! I vote for bringing matching back.

I remember being astounded by the composition of these photographs - it must have seemed audacious to crop these photos in such an irreverent way in the 50's. Miuccia Prada must have liked these photos too, as her 2001 ad campaign was clearly inspired by them.

 I LOVE a luxe bohemian. I guess Countess Uberto Corti was the Mary Kate Olsen of her day.

This photo of Mrs Stanley Grafton Mortimer, Jr (before she was divorced, remarried, and better known as Babe Paley) is one of my favorites ever. I love the contrast of the mink jacket with the men's tailored pants and the feminine hair worn with no jewelry and only subtle make up. Don't you want to know what shoes she was wearing?


  1. I've always liked a bit of matching. Not for complete outfits, but pieces of outfits here and there. Really cool images, great post.

  2. I absolutely agree with you! Matchy-matchy is just a cruel way to notice someone is pulled together. why wouldn't anyone want to look pulled together? Wonderful photos. I am enjoying your blog!