fashion, postcards, advertising, packaging etc.

I’ve always liked to mine vintage garments and interpret the designs into something fresh. This is especially true of athletic and sporting apparel. So when long-time cyclist Bill Humphreys published “The Jersey Project” I nabbed a copy for my design library.

The Jersey Project is a visual tour of bike racing in the U.S. and Europe over the past few decades through hundreds of images of club and team cycling jerseys.  Each page is filled with jerseys and bits of racing history. From page one I was hooked as I was swept back into the era when I first discovered bikes and the world of bike racing. I would never have dreamed then that the wool jerseys worn by the U.S. riders I rode hip-to-hip with on training rides would end up in a historical compilation!

I’ve been working on my own jersey design project for a client this summer and this wonderfully rich book has been a source of endless inspiration. (I’ll show my work when I get some decent photos!)

For a sneak peak of my most recent jersey design for Marczyk Wine & Spirits check out Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook here.


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A friend with a shared passion for skiing recently discovered a January 1948 Ski issue of Town & Country magazine in perfect condition in her grandmother’s attic. This delicious edition shares many of the same attributes of today’s magazine, large format pages, beautiful fashion photography, advertisements for luxury fashion, jewelry and destinations, and articles focused on the rich and famous.

The issue is rich with articles about skiing. A many-paged article by Elizabeth Woolsey, a former national ski champion, is devoted to the U.S. Women’s Ski Team  a.k.a. “The Belles of St. Moritz” and their chances for winning Olympic fame in St. Moritz later that winter.

The most exclusive North American ski areas are listed with information about vertical drop, number of trails and lifts, ticket prices etc.

An article devoted on how to get in shape for skiing suggests classes at the New School of Exercise in New York City. Tips on how to avoid injury, which salons offer the best beneficial massages, and how to prevent chapping ones hands and face.

The issue is packed with advertising – including apparel and hard goods brands and ski lodges and even a two-page spread of a painting depicting skiers arcing through untracked snow promoting Chrysler motors. The ads allow us a peak at how glamorous and exciting the sport was sixty odd years ago.

A fashion and gear guide highlights the newest innovations and there is a lovely spread of illustrated après ski styles. I will be sharing this nostalgic skiing gold mine in the weeks to come. Below is a little taste of what’s to follow. I thought it particularly appropriate timing to post these as the the skiwear and ski equipment brands will all be unveiling the latest and greatest for next winter at the  Outdoor Retailer, the SnowSports Industries America and ISPO trade shows within the next couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll see you there!

An ad for Marjorie Benedikter’s ski fashions in the January 1948 issue of Town & Country

“Designed for action, the well-tailored three-piece suit on the left is of water-repellent Forstman wool gabardine in gray, by Irving of Montreal. An added accessory is a smart belt and belt-bag made of pony. Bally Boots. At Saks Fifth Avenue Ski Shop. Marjorie Benedikter, an accomplished skier herself, designs with an eye for the practical. Right: her becoming parka of white Byrd cloth may be worn in or out, and has a convenient drawstring around the face. Navy wool gabardine pants are essentially functional with front fullness achieved by trouser pleats. Dayton Co., Minneapolis; Frederick & Nelson, Seattle”

Saks Fifth Avenue had it’s own ski shop in 1948.

For more vintage ski inspiration click here.

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Thank you all for reading, following and commenting on my blog! Wishing one and all a creative, healthy and snowy new year!

Unfortunately I don’t know the original source of this wonderful image. More vintage VW inspiration here.

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I spent a lovely and long day yesterday – 8:00 am ‘til 5:30 pm – tramping around the acres and acres of antiques, junque, architiques and vintage stuff at the Brimfield Antique Show. Billed as “the largest outdoor antique show in the world” it has 6,000 vendors and a festive flea market vibe. It is virtually impossible to see the entire thing in one day.

This was my first Brimfield experience so I hooked up with a fellow designer friend who knows the ropes. The show is divided into multiple sections, each having their own flavor and days of operation. We chose to go mid-week, even though all the shows weren’t yet open thinking it would be less crowded. Being a week day we called it “inspiration work”.

It was fascinating to see what people were selling (piles of rusty old faucet handles, vintage vending machines, plastic toys from the ‘70’s, old industrial lighting) and to see what people were happily toting away (taxidermy creatures, fixtures from old factories, wooden packing crates, chairs without seats). Regardless of how lowly, all this stuff had value to the buyers and the sellers. We never made it to the area selling Chippendale furniture and Chinese export porcelain, if there even was one.

There was so much stuff to look at we decided early on to focus our attention on textiles, paper, and ski related objects allowing ourselves the occasional sidetrack to check out free standing signage letters from old gas stations and super market signage. Here’s a sampling of the fruits our treasure hunting.

If you want to see it all for yourself, the show is open through Sunday.

Ribbon with skiers

Vintage silk scarf

3/4″ sterling snowflake skier pin

Lampshade made from vintage barkcloth from Lake’s Lampshades. My favorite find!

Detail from embroidered hankie

Silk scarf from the 70′s

Sweet Tyrolean themed ribbon

Vintage postcards from Snoqualmie Pass, Magic Mountain and Aspen

And here are some things that we passed on…

Vintage skis

In hindsight I should have bought this exquisite wooden flask covered in animal fur and decorated with tooled and braided leather and embroidery. The dealer had no idea of its origin or intended use. Do you? I’d love to know.

And am I crazy to have passed on an original of Lou Hechenberger’s New Hampshire ski poster for $1,200? Unfortunately the crispness of the design and clarity of color is lost in this image. It was a beauty.

An assortment of wooden skis and ski boots – various eras

Plastique. Antique?

More skis

This guy bought his Tyrolean hat for a steal minutes before we met him – darn! It was covered with beautiful souvenir pins from all over the the alps and is in mint condition.

Enjoy your weekend! (And Thank you A.N. for sharing your pix.)


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Easter is one my favorite holidays with it’s promise of re-birth. I swooned when I saw this hen-on-a-basket on the step of an antique shop in Reykjavik – so sweet! It would make a perfect Easter table decoration filled with jelly beans.

My Easter dinner table is not complete without clusters of hand painted Rômanian Easter eggs as the centerpiece. I was fortunate to meet the artisan who made them in her home and to watch her decorate them with amazing skill. Click here to see how they are made along with my photos.

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One thing always leads to another when I’m searching for something on the internet. I get side-tracked and discover things I didn’t even know I wanted to know about! Yesterday I found this amazing ski-themed blouse circa 1957-1960 on the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’s blog. It’s just too great not to share. Here’s a bit of ski fashion history cribbed right from their blog.

“Until the 1950s, ski wear consisted of baggy woolen pants and knitted sweaters, topped with a bulky wool overcoat. Though warm and functional, these clothes did nothing to flatter the figure. This changed in 1952 with the introduction of Bogner ski pants. Created by Maria Bogner, member of a German skiwear producing family, “Bogners” were a form-fitting ski pant made of wool and a newly developed nylon fiber called Helanca. By 1955, Bogners were available in a variety of bright colors. Because they displayed the muscular curves of both male and female skiers, Bogners were credited with introducing sex appeal to skiing. According to Ski magazine, “Marilyn Monroe, Ingrid Bergman and the Shah of Iran wore them. Henry Ford ordered 15 pairs. Overnight, skiing had been transformed into a sexy and very visible sport.”


“Bogners appeared at the perfect moment, just as North Americans were experiencing unprecedented economic prosperity in the wake of World War II. Many individuals with surplus income turned their attention to the serious pursuit of sporting and leisure activities, such as skiing. Widespread interest in skiing was encouraged by simplifications in ski boots, skis and ski lifts, making it easier for a novice to get both up and down the mountain. At the end of the day, skiers could relax at comfortable resort lodgings, which often included spacious rooms for dining and dancing, along with heated outdoor pools. Skiing was now a fashionable activity, no longer limited to those rugged enough to withstand a cold slog through the snow.”

While the Bogner family might have stolen the limelight, there is historical evidence that in Megeve, a collaboration between skiier Emile Allais and the AAllard family brought about the first ski stretch pants. Armand AAllard was a skilled tailor in Megeve and made custom clothing for both on and off the slopes.  Unlike “Bogner” his was a custom not production affair which is why he likely has taken a backseat to the internationaly known ski brand.

The FIDM Museum ski-themed blouse seen here details the daily activity of a stretch pant clad skier on vacation. As you can see from the silk-screened images, actual skiing occupies only a portion of her day. Her brightly colored ski wear is typical of the late 1950s, when retailers offered ski wear in a variety of fashionable colors and patterns. Many urban department stores featured ski boutiques, and in 1959, at least one fashion writer suggested that ski wear would soon be seen both off and on the slopes. Not surprisingly, the slim silhouette of late 1950s ski wear echoed (or vice-versa) the slim pants then seen in casual sportswear.

For more vintage ski fashion click here or follow my “Vintage Winter” boards on Pinterest.

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Besides thinking it’s a little scary looking, and that it might be hard to breathe while wearing it, I’m at a loss for words regarding the aesthetic of this 1962 ski mask by Emellio Pucci. What do you think about it?

Enjoy your weekend!

For More vintage ski inspiration click here.

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I take the jumps,

And do them right,

But my heart jumps


when you are in sight!


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

For more Vintage Skiing Inspiration on my blog click here, and on Pinterest.


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Bromley, “the sun mountain”, founded by brewery mogul Fred Pabst, turns 75 years old this winter. I love this mountain because I grew up skiing there.

These postcards were old when I got them as a kid. I wasn’t born yet when they were taken, but Bromley was enough the same when I was young that they make me nostalgic. They must be from around WWII as a skier on the Sun Deck in the top postcard is in uniform.

“Flags of Skiing Nations – The flags of the United States, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Norway and other skiing nations make a colorful display on the Sun Deck at Bromley’s Wild Boar Restaurant. Located in the heart of the Green Mountains, the Manchester, Vermont ski resort is only 197 miles from New York City and 143 miles from Boston.

Most ski areas at the time hired instructors from Austria or Switzerland, many who stayed on and enriched the fabric of our communities.

When I was a kid the Wild Board lodge was jammed with taxidermy antlered beasts hung on pine paneled walls and above the stone fireplace. There was an old wooden telephone booth in the back corner where everyone ate their bagged lunches.

In this postcard season passes were $75 and a week ticket was $21. Sig Buchmayer’s Sportshop is beneath the deck. Wooden ski patrol toboggans are lined up along the front of the building. The lodge has undergone some change but it remains red, if not quite that fire engine shade.

“The Lord’s Prayer at Bromley – This popular novice slope at Bromley, Manchester, Vermont attracts thousands of skiers every winter.”

You could park your car right along rte. 11 and walk to the lift.  Metal J-bars and a surface Poma lift moved skiers uphill in those days. By the time I started skiing at Bromley, “Number 1″ chairlift had been installed at the bottom of The Lord’s Prayer slope to haul skiers to the top . Each chair was painted a different color.  Old Number 1 and all the J-bars, except the Lord’s Prayer J, have been replaced with newer chairlifts. I’ll never forget being hollered at by the lifties for bouncing on the J-bars.

Notice the sunbathers sprawled on the red adirondack chairs along then side of the lodge building. Bromley skiers always have a tan because the slopes face south.

A special exhibit of professionally enlarged black and white vintage photos from the 1950′s and 60′s are on display in the Bromley base lodge this winter. If you can’t stop in to see the show, you can view a slideshow  here . The photographers and skiers are mostly unidentified. If you know either, drop a note to the aforementioned website.

This wonderful video splices together clips of 1960′s vintage Bromley skiing antics and nightlife made by Bromley skier Bob Ellis. Does anyone recognize these swinging skiers?

For more vintage skiing inspiration click here or follow my Vintage Winter boards on Pinterest




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These photos are  jet-setty in a kind of 60′s way! I’m just as fascinated by the compositions, and the play between light and shadow as I am by the skiwear and equipment. Now, wasn’t that James Bond I saw jump out of a helicopter and schuss away?







Photographs by Eugene Vernier via Trunk Archive

For more vintage skiing inspiration click here.


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Summer’s winding down and the nights are cooler – perfect camping weather! I sure would love to pitch my tent in this spot. It goes without saying that I’d be stoked to drive the bug there too! Enjoy your weekend.


Via: Cool Is A Color

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Love this vintage Swiss postcard of feline bicycle racers from the 50′s. The astonished looks on the faces of the contenders and spectators at #15′s blow out, #13′s cool shades, and the mice on the course make it priceless! Have a wonderful flat-free weekend!

Sprinting Felines

For more 2-wheeled inspiration click here.


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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the things I save and why. I have drawers full of scrap fabric, boxes of photographs and slides and postcards, jars of buttons and foreign currency, a closet full of vintage sweaters and a big leather suitcase that once was my father’s, full of old tee shirts.

Rifling through my accumulated stuff brings back vivid and pleasurable memories of times that I might otherwise forget. That’s the ticket stub from my first date with my future husband, that’s the pack I used trekking in Nepal, I wore this sweater all through college etc.

I go through periodic binges of weeding out my stuff. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes I get bogged down with memories and can’t get rid of anything. Sometimes I wonder why the heck I even saved the item in the first place. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to lose my stuff to flood or fire. Would it be liberating?

Yesterday I opened that leather suitcase full of tee shirts. “Forgotten” events and places popped out at me. Even though I probably won’t wear any of those tee shirts ever again I can’t imagine turning them into dust rags. They are part of my life’s fabric.

Mountain Transport

For instance, I acquired this tee shirt in the late 80’s from bush pilot Doug Geeting in Talkeetna, Alaska. I hadn’t thought about this trip in years. He flew five of us onto the Ruth Glacier and dropped us off. We spent the next few weeks in perpetual daylight skiing, climbing and parasailing until he swept down and carried us back to civilization. The tee used to be black. I wore it so often, trying to retain the euphoria and essence of my Alaska experience that it faded to grey. How can I ever throw it away?! (Besides, I still really like the graphics.)

Do you save things to remember your past?


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Avoiding a late April snow squall we ducked into Friða Frænka, a colorful vintage shop on Vestergata in Reykjavik. We spent an enjoyable time poking through what appeared to be the worst of the worst cast-off wedding presents from the 60’s and 70’s – lighting fixtures, modern furniture, glass, plastic toys and kitchenware, mismatched cutlery, biscuit tins, buttons, suitcases, costume jewelry and textiles.

I was fascinated by how deliciously awful it all was, and wondered who in the world would want any of it? Just not my style, but I was drawn to some pretty silver coat tags that were once sewn to the linings of fur coats. And my friend Barbara almost came away with a softball-sized whale’s ear until she realized she’d miscalculated króna to dollars, and decided her eight-year-old son really didn’t need a ninety-dollar souvenir!

If you’re in the neighborhood, it’s worth popping in.

© Poppy Gall 2011

©Poppy Gall 2011

© Poppy Gall 2011

© Poppy Gall 2011

© Poppy Gall 2011

© Poppy Gall 2011

© Poppy Gall 2011

© Poppy Gall 2011

© Poppy Gall 2011

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It’s sugarin’ time in Vermont! The nights dip below freezing, the maple sap runs by day, and the maple sugarers work their alchemy in the evening by turning it into Vermont Gold.

Good sugaring weather also means good spring skiing. The snow, like the sap, warms up, starts melting and creates corn snow; that wonderful soft hero snow, that when pushed around turns into huge soft bumps that are fun to ski.

Pouring hot maple syrup, straight from the evaporator in the sugarhouse, over a mound of corn snow and serving with last fall’s pickles (to cut the sweet) is an old Vermont tradition.

I think it’s sad that most syrup is now packaged in drab brown plastic jugs. I miss the old tins with scenes of wool-clad old timers gathering sap in buckets by horse or tractor. Just call me old fashioned, but somehow I think syrup just tastes better when it’s poured from a tin that looks like this!

maple tin

For more about making maple syrup click here.

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