Advantage In Vintage: My post this month comes in the form of a book review. But before I go on, first what was the Ambassador Magazine? For many the Ambassador Magazine is not one instantly known, it was not a fashion magazine in the ilk of Vogue and Vanity Fair but rather a trade publication. The Ambassador was described as “Probably the most daring and enterprising magazine ever conceived”. The magazine was designed to promote British manufacture to the export market but had “adventurous” editorial too.

Now, onto the book itself.  Promoting post-war British textiles and fashion is a V & A book, giving it clout to begin with. Written by Christopher Breward and Claire Wilcox, it is both informative and enjoyable. The book is divided into sections on Hans and Elisabeth Juda, the founders of the magazine, art work in the magazine and then the promotion of textiles for furnishing and fashion. The book gives you not only a great impression of the magazine itself, but the products which were promoted by it too.

If you are a fashion photography addict like me, then you are in for an absolute TREAT. I had probably seen no more than ten pictures of the magazine before. There are some particularly gorgeous pictures of model Barbara Goalen throughout, who also appears on the front cover.

The book weighs in at 240 pages and is absolutely packed. This is a real coffee table book, and I think you could buy it for the pictures alone! Not only an interesting book for those with a passion for fashion and textiles, but those interested in graphics, art and photography too.

The book left me wanting to take a visit to the Victoria and Albert museum archives to view the copies of the Ambassador and the original negatives that are held there!

If you want to find out more about the magazine there is a talk at the Victoria and Albert Museum on the 23rd November where there will be the opportunity to see examples of the magazine too.

Advantage In Vintage is Liz Tregenza, a vintage collector and fashion historian.
Not only does Liz love vintage but also the social history connected to the clothes.
Liz primarily collects garments from the Forties and Fifties and has a passion for novelty print textiles.

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