Good morning! I say this knowing full well that it's 10:30, and many of you have probably been up for hours. In which case, I'm sorry to hear that.
Today's bit of FringePop is brought to you by the fabulous Bettie Page (RIP). The magazine"Modern Sunbathing" is one of Bettie's forays into the nudist magazine arena. I could have scanned some pictures of the "nude but not naked" Ms. Page from inside. But guess what? It's the age of Google in which you can find these images with a simple image search and that little fact combined with my tendency towards loafing led to a lethal laziness cocktail. Sure, you could probably find the front of the magazine online as well, but I do need something to post about.
What's the difference between nude and naked? Someone once told me the difference between nude, naked, and nekkid, but I was drunk and forgot the difference. So, if anyone can be of help, that would be great.
So, enjoy Bettie's bright and smiling face. And if you can't find the nudity online, I promise to provide it in a future post.
I learned how to sew about a year ago. Since then, I've gone pretty nutso. I've sewed over 30 mini-skirts and probably about 30-40 dresses. All of them are in the style of the 60's, which is my favorite era for so many things-- interior design, music, vintage sleaze sex books--I could go on and on about my love affair with the 60's.
I love the mod look and have been sewing the mod look. BUT, from a collector's standpoint, I needed some esoteric objects from the past to supplement this new found sewing hobby. Anyone who is a collector knows that collectors will find any excuse to collect something new! But what mod item should I start collecting? I could have collected vintage mod clothing, but I wouldn't really "collect" clothing--I wear the vintage stuff I find. Besides, I was already sewing clothing. What did I decide on? I decided to collect paper dresses.
Front of yellow pages paper dress
What's more pop art than the paper dress phenomenon? While I doubt most producers of paper dresses were trying to make a statement, they did. And that statement was about the throwaway nature of our disposable consumer culture.
One of the most collectible paper dresses from the era is the yellow pages paper dress. Manufactured in 1966 by "Waste Basket Boutique" (Mars of Asheville, NC), the yellow pages paper dress was valued by Antiques Roadshow at a whopping $1800. My husband and I purchased the yellow pages paper dress for our collection, but we bought it on eBay, so we didn't pay anywhere near the $1800 roadshow price (whew!).
Back of yellow pages paper dress (ABOVE)
But, we don't yet have in our collection, the most sensational paper dress of them all: the "Souper Dress."
What's the Souper Dress you ask? Starting in 1962, the most famous pop artist of them all, Andy Warhol, began creating his famous Campbell's soup can works. The incorporation of mundane commercial objects as "fine art" at first offended the art establishment, but now the cans have come to be an important part of art history and an easily recognizable symbol in our culture. Warhol himself said that, "a group of painters have come to the common conclusion that the most banal and even vulgar trappings of modern civilization can, when transposed to canvas, become Art."
So, whatever your thoughts about Warhol's work, it certainly provoked discussion and continues to be debated to this day.
But, back to the Souper Dress. In 1966-67, Campbell's soup decided to capitalize on Warhol's inclusion of their product in his art and on the whole paper dress movement by selling a paper dress with their soup cans as the design. Campbell's marketed their paper dress as "The Souper Dress" (nice play on words there Campbell's). If you sent in two Campbell's soup labels plus $1.00, you too could own the Souper Dress, which by the way now sells on eBay for anywhere from $700 to $1800 depending on the condition. Yep, the Souper Dress has become quite the cultural icon.
So, in this post, I'm going to share some pictures of an original "yellow pages" paper dress and myself wearing the dress. The dress is pretty sack-like and not all that flattering, but it wasn't quite as dowdy as I expected. There's something charming about it.
I hope in the future to have added the Souper Dress to our collection as well-- but in the meantime, I've included a picture of the Souper Dress from a museum collection.
When I saw this vintage men's adventure magazine, I almost peed myself. How in the hell did the illustrator come up with this cover? I mean, for real? It's soooooooooo accurate. Every single time I've meet a hippie, they've tried to skewer me with a hook and brand my ass with a peace sign.
FringePop is a showcase for uncommon and esoteric cultural artifacts. The focus is on unusual items from both popular and fringe culture, with an emphasis on subversive pieces. The items shown are from the author's personal collection, unless otherwise noted.
I am a pop culture buff and collector, who focuses on the odd, subversive, and fringe elements of Western culture. In 2005, I edited a book for Feral House called "Sin-A-Rama: Sleaze Sex Paperbacks of the Sixties." The vintage oddities in my collection include victoriana, sideshow, medical, and kitsch. I am also an amateur sewer, making clothing from vintage mod patterns.