This week, for the first time, our blog does not centre upon instances of graphic design redolent of an avant-garde of the early twentieth century. Instead we’re catching up with a current magazine which has delighted us for years now, namely, Zelda (“The Magazine of the Vintage Nouveau”). Named, in part, for Daisy, the unattainable, lethally dangerous heroine of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Era novel, The Great Gatsby (Daisy’s problematic energies being somewhat modelled on his wife, Zelda), this inspired publication is the labor of love of two bright and heart-warming New Yorkers, Diane Naegel (taken from us at a shockingly early age) and her partner, Don Spiro. (Diane’s legacy lives on thanks to her loving friends devoted to what is involved in the sense of Zelda.)
Shown above, our ad, which we’re proud to add to the amazing contents.
Zelda’s marketing strategy has to do with a critical mass of urban Americans who thrill to an undefined excitement about the over-the-top ebullience of the Roaring Twenties (and roiling thirties). The magazine deploys a roster of free-lance writers combing through textual and photographic archives to set in relief the edgy lives of entertainers and other artists and characters of the day. Accordingly, a plethora of fashion and industrial design has made its way to its pages.
The Spring/Summer (2014) issue includes an interview with 100-year-old, Mary Carlisle who starred in three Bing Crosby film vehicles. “I was a born ham and always wanted to be an actress.” This issue also includes a reflection on alcoholic jazz musicians like Billie Holiday and Bix Beiderbecke. (A coda points out that Louis Armstrong and Hoagy Carmichael were devoted to marijuana. The latter is on record as having had an “out-of-body” experience when attending a King Oliver concert while smoking a package of “muggies.”)
In the Fall/Winter treasure of 2009, there is an article about a British photographer, Madame Yevonde, whose watchword was, “Be original, or die” and who produced an astonishing array of tinted photo portraits (in 1928-29) covered by the concept of “the Goddesses Series.”
Doesn’t she remind you of Nicole Kidman?!!
La Glace 1922 GBT;Andre Marty;9 1/2″ x 7 1/2″; A,P, matted
We can confidently bring our pochoir collection to bear upon this mysterious agitation. Their preoccupation with slippery grace (in Paris), particularly in the hands of that Proust of the pochoir, Andre Marty, dovetails perfectly with the inspired goings-on of Zelda.
La Glace: mirror; ice. Being a dazzler, but also being on a slippery trajectory of self-aggrandizement!
Le Parfum de la Rose 1920 GBT; Andre Marty; 9 1/2″ x 7 1/2″; A,P
Splendid solitude, yes. But that much aloneness can become a desert.
Esperez 1922 GBT; George Barbier; 9 5/8″x7 1/2″; A,P
George Barbier was an expert in the field of predatory ambitions.
Le Jazzoflute 1922 GBT; Georges Lepape; 9 1/4″x 6 7/8″; B+,P
Georges Lepape—so witty and so close to the spirit of Zelda!