I was doing my morning internet stroll through Google books and ladies and gents, I was just bowled over by these illustrations by Jack Potter for Coca-Cola. Because it's almost summer! Because living in a cubicle farm makes me yearn for sunny, exotic locales! Because look at how breezy and beautiful 1957 looks from through the mind's eye of this extremely talented commercial artist!
The theme of the ad campaign has to do with "the social custom of Coke" being well regarded across the world, in all manner of far-flung points on the globe. "So good in taste, in such good taste" reads the cloying copy under the illustrations...but we didn't come for the copy, we came for the gorgeous, gorgeous pictures Mr. Potter paints of mid century international travel.
Here, for example, is Paris, where a fluffy white dog rates his own seat and special glass of spirits. Note the squareness of the gentleman's skinny tie, and the woman's white gloves. I wish someone would write a tutorial for vintage fashion enthusiasts about when it's appropriate to wear gloves. I can't tell you how many times I've been buying or looking at or trying on old gloves at estate sales or antique malls and someone a little older has come over to wring their own (gloveless) hands about how no nicely brought up woman would leave the house without gloves when they were a girl, or how "Mother always wore blue gloves with her Sunday suit", etc, etc. But when do you take them off? Do you reach for a watercress sandwich at Sunday tea in your gloves, or do you remove them? If you're over to the neighbors to play bridge, gloves or no gloves? The movies are unreliable because they'd have me believe Irene Dunne waking up from a coma in full-false-lashes was just her own fresh scrubbed face (this actually happened in the original version of Magnificent Obsession, with Robert Taylor, which I watched this weekend), so who do I turn to for advice on this?
More summer inspiration in the following panels:
The straw hat, the parasol, the man's one piece maillot, and the Kodak land camera on the beach blanket. Yes! A thousand times, yes!
I secretly (not so secretly?) wish I knew one person, just ONE person with a boat. It seems so Burton/Taylor to be able to hop on a skiff and pilot it out to the middle of the bay. I think that guy in the middle borrowed his outfit wholesale from the man in the last panel. Nice sneakers!
And last but not least, a self portrait? I do love this picture of one artist painting the beauty of the lake, and one artist sketching his female companion across the table from an ice cold Coca-Cola and half an apple (respectively). How about that guy on the left's charcoal knee socks and matching oxfords? I inexplicably love this. Maybe it reminds me of 1920's directors in knickerbockers, somehow still looking manly as can be with a bullhorn in one fist and the other planted defiantly on a hip, ready to whip some extras into shape for the next big crowd scene.
Which of these do you like best? Do you have any favorite midcentury summer-inspiration movies? I was just thinking of sweet Katharine Hepburn in Summertime in Italy, or The Talented Mr. Ripley for what I truly wish my midcentury vacation looked like. What are some of your favorite summer-weather-appropriate vintage get ups? Do tell!!
You can read more about illustrator Jack Potter and his work here. I gotta get back to work, but you guys have a great Tuesday, and I'll see you tomorrow!! Til then.