Friday, July 20, 2012

Designer Clothing in Modess Ads


One of my biggest frustrations as a vintage lover are the "Modess....because" ads by Johnson & Johnson.  They feature the most gorgeous clothes, but no mention or attribution is given to the designers of the over-the-top ballgowns and evening wear used in the ads.  

Young & Rubicam was the advertising agency responsible for the ads.  They contracted with well-known designers and couturiers of the time - Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, Balenciaga, Hattie Carnegie, Falkenstein, etc, etc. The clothes used in the ads were designed exclusively for Johnson & Johnson to be used in the Modess ads and were not offered for sale to the general public.

The ads were featured in all major women's magazines of the time and were always full page.

This ad from 1955 is one of my favorites.  Instead of a ball gown, we have beaded cigarette pants with attached drapes at the back.  I WANT to know who designed this ensemble, don't you?

7 comments:

Lauren M said...

I love the cigarette pants - they're very Auntie Mame!

Dora said...

How lovely to see a woman of color in a fabulous 1950s ad! Would this be an ad in a magazine targeted at women of color? Do you know where it ran?

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

Dora, that was from Ebony Magazine. There are many examples like this one!

MC said...

I had to Google "Modess" to see what the product was, and I was surprised. I'd never have guessed these were advertisements for feminine hygiene products! They're so elegant.

Renata said...

It took me a while to guess what the ads were selling. I like them even more now! It would be amazing to see ads like these today.

Sheila said...

That last picture took my breath away! I love the look of it - so timeless and yet so avant garde!

Jennifer Bleecher said...

My mother in-law Baba Bleecher designed most of the dresses featured in the Modess...Beacuse campaign. The dresses were one-of-a-kind, made exclusively for the advertisments. She told me they bought the dresses at a very cheap price. That the exposure was more important to her at the time. She also said they bought the dresses so they owned them and she doesn't know where they ended up after the photo shots. It makes me sad that she
hasn't been recognized for her hard work on these beautiful and timeless pieces of art.

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