Monday, May 16, 2011

Your Passport to International #$%@ Pleasure

Growing up in essentially a one horse town in outback Australia in the early seventies I had a constant stream of magazines and other sources which would fire my imagination. Glamorous far off locales and the jet-set was something that always inspired me, and I was very lucky that my family were great travellers.

Long before tobacco advertisements were banned from magazines one company’s ads always inspired me with their wonderful graphics and the phrase “your passport to International smoking pleasure”. Peter Stuyvesant ads had the most wonderful graphics that were entirely evocative of the era and the jet-set lifestyle.

I have no idea of who the artists were, however with their bold colours and images of airports and airliners they promised a lifestyle of savoir faire and sophistication. Promising Paris in the morning and New York in the afternoon the highly stylized images of airlines and airports pressed all my buttons.

Having never been a smoker, I would imagine that if was I would be smoking Peter Stuyvesant, just for the lifestyle.

Savoir Fact (Or Fiction)

Ah! Madame Rubinstein, how much did we really know about her? Everything we practically knew about her was either invented or embellished by Madame, so that it was hard to know where fact left off and fiction began. Read her autobiography and you would be forgiven for thinking that she was well born, well educated, and a genius where it came to the formulation of new skin care preparations. One thing was certain, however that she gave the illusion of all these things with savoir faire, as seen below in the series of photos of Madame, playing the role of chemist, in her laboratory and factory, or as he called them her ‘kitchens’.

Story goes according to Madame that she was born (we know that much, but when is under debate) in Cracow Poland (Fact) to a wealthy wholesale food broker (Fiction?). Her mother supposedly had a strong interest in feminine beauty and again taught her young daughter the important lessons of looking after one’s skin. Even more critical was the 12 jars of moisturizing cream from a chemist Jacob Lykusky (no records have been found for his existence) that she packed in her luggage when venturing forth to Australia in the later half of the 19th century. Supposedly after making her fortune in Australia she was able to ‘study’ with the best dermatologists and chemists that Europe had to offer. Whether she did or not the photographs below gives one the impression that Madame knew what she was doing and took a hands on approach that gave her company and advertising copy the personal touch. Women were more than happy to buy her products after seeing Madame at work.

Fact of fiction, she knew what she was doing when posing for photographs like these. She was selling an image and sell it she did!
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