Monday, August 8, 2011

Timeless Sex Appeal: Vanity Fair Leopard!

What gal doesn't love lingerie? Even the tommiest of tom boys flip their lid for some nice underthings. Well, the focus of this post is on the queen mama of vintage lingerie, Vanity Fair!

The stunning couture-esque picture above is from 1953. What I find fascinating about this shot and ensemble is how modern it looks. Right down to the killer strappy leopard print sandals. Now, wouldn't we die for THOSE, ladies?

So, a little history...
Vanity Fair actually started out back in 1899 as Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company in Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1913 the company changed it's name to Schuylkill Silk Mills and by 1914 their main focus was the manufacturing of silk lingerie. In 1917, through a contest, "Vanity Fair" is selected as a brand name for the line of lingerie, and in 1919 the company changes its name to Vanity Fair Silk Mills, Inc. In 1942, with World War II leading to an embargo on silk, the company drops the word "Silk" from the corporate name and becomes the Vanity Fair that we know today. They started using nylon tricot for many of their designs, and they became known for this. In 1951 the company went public, and well, the rest is history! They've been crankin' out fabulous frillies ever since!

Wild about animal prints!
Around 1952 or 1953, Vanity Fair introduced their famous leopard print into the lingerie world. Rawr! Along with leopard, they also dabbled into zebra prints. In 1958/59, Lycra (Spandex) was starting to be used in foundations along with rubber which was still being used at this point. In 1961, the company announces the discontinuted use of rubber, and uses purely Lycra Spandex with their nylon. Many of their rarer styles in the leopard print (jumpsuits, rompers, etc.) are made with this lycra blend, such as the one pictured below:

Yours truly in a 1960's "Vanity Fair" nylon lycra blend leopard zip-front jumpsuit, available for sale RIGHT NOW(!!) at Butch Wax Vintage!

Here are a few vintage styles that I especially love:

An adorable pair of 1950's V.F. panties, available for sale here.

Killer 1950's V.F. bullet bra.

1960's V.F. bathing suit, available for sale here.

I constantly keep my eye out for vintage Vanity Fair leopard pieces. Here are 2 killer pieces below that I've sold in the past on Butch Wax Vintage. The 1960's robe was a soft flannel and super cozy. The 1950's lycra blend jumpsuit was especially rare, I kiiiinda regret selling it. Whoops!


And here's a 1950's V.F. leopard blouse with peplum design that's for sale by Butch Wax Vintage here:

And lastly, some great vintage Vanity Fair ads for their leopard items. I own the dressing robe pictured below in my personal collection:


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