Vintage Fashion Video on Tumblr

The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (S&V)  is one of the largest audio-visual archives in Europe. The collection totals over 800.000 hours of television, radio, music and film and continues to grow every day. For the Europeana Fashion Tumblr, S&V curated fashion newsreels from the 1920s until the 1970s.

ANP sound vision nederlands instituut beeld geluid mode europeana fahsion

1 January 1967. Photo: ANP Foundation. Collection ANP Foundation. CC-BY-NC-ND.

The newsreels come from S&V’s Polygoon collection. Founded in 1919, Polygoon produced bi-weekly and later on, weekly newsreels to be shown in Dutch cinemas. The emphasis in these newsreels was always on objectivity and reliability of the news, but at the same time Polygoon was careful not to alienate the cinema going audience. Therefore, Polygoon tried to focus on subjects that yielded attractive images and  that were not too difficult to understand.

Cameramen employed by Polygoon had to fill their reels, no matter what. This led to a very varied collection of newsreels with more important and serious news events, but also reels showing common everyday life. At its glory days after World War II, Polygoon newsreels were shown in more then 400 cinemas in the Netherlands, but the introduction of television in the fifties led to its decline.

The news programs on television were much more up to date and topical then Polygoon and in 1989 Polygoon finally ended its activities leaving an enormous archive of material; the pre-war period alone covers over 191 kilometers of film.

S&V has made part of the Polygoon archive available through their Youtube channel and through portals like For the Europeana Fashion Tumblr,  S&V curated a collection of fashion related newsreels that show what fashionable men and women were wearing in the 20th century.

The curation covers fashion from the 1920s until the 1970s and explores a variety of subjects and designers. Dutch designers like Frank Govers and Dick Holthaus present their collections in their own unique ways. In Paris, French designers like Pierre Cardin and Marc Bohan (Christian Dior) show their respective collections on the runway. Mary Quant and her revolutionary London fashion opposed Parisian fashion rules  and German designers predicted what we would be wearing in the year 2000.

See the curation on our Tumblr.

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