Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Saks Ad - 1970

Here's something I just don't get.  This is a full page ad placed by Saks Fifth Avenue in a 1970 issue of Vogue magazine.  You and I both know how wild and colorful the prints used in clothing were at this time. The ad copy even states, "Liberated spirit. Coloring around-and-around, deep-beaded and braided on pure silk surah."

Why, then, did Saks chose to print this ad in black and white instead of full color?  Yes, the advertising cost would have been higher, but this ad just doesn't convey the dress as it should.  Perhaps 1970 was a time of belt-tightening and cutting costs. I find this a lot in the pages of most fashion magazines from this time period.  Clothing that should be shown in all its colorful glory is disappointingly printed in black and white.  OK, rant over.

I love the way the elaborate beading and braid at the neckline complements the wild print.  There is no designer mentioned, so this is likely by Saks' custom design department. Sophie Gimbel had just retired the year before, so I don't know who designed this beauty. I can tell you that the dress was $130 in 1970 (about $787 in today's dollar) and was worth every penny.

Photo from a Saks ad appearing in Vogue 1970.


fabriquefantastique said...

terrific dress and photo. Colour ads were about 6xs the cost of b/w.

Rebecca Grace said...

You know what immediately caught my eye about this add? The smile lines at the models eyes and the corner of her mouth, and the obviously unretouched hands, neck and throat. It's so refreshing to see a beautiful model in a fashion ad who still bears some resemblance to an actual HUMAN!

Sarah Palmer said...

I just went and looked at the Vogue Archive for 1970 for Saks ads and I looked at a few months and they were ALL black and white. So, yes, a cost saving message that they carried throughout 1970. Some of the clothes look very striking in Black and White but I agree, I would love to see this dress in full color.

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