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Visualize Vintage Fashion with tFS Member justaguy’s Archival Magazine Scans

Designers, stylists, bloggers, models, photographers, industry insiders – many members of The Fashion Spot Forums are well-known personalities in the fashion world. And then there are the dedicated fashionistas that contribute daily with their opinions, scans, and knowledge that are making a name for themselves thanks to being outstanding forum contributors. In our new series, we will profile some of the most interesting members of this invitation-only community to give you a peek inside the tFS forums.

If you frequent the magazine sections on the tFS forums, you have most likely come across at least some of Cesar’s (justaguy) wonderful scans. Cesar, who lives in Naples, California, has been a member for only two years and only recently posted his first scans, but the number of his quality contributions has been truly remarkable. He has scanned an impressive amount of editorials from old issues of US Vogue from the 70s, 80s, and 90s and in just a few weeks made the Vintage Magazines forums one of the most lively and exciting areas on tFS. The increasing interest in those vintage threads, thanks to Cesar's scans, has led the forum moderators to decide to create a new forum for Vintage Ads as part of the new section dedicated to "All Things Vintage".

Although he does not currently work in the fashion industry, Cesar has been lucky to work in an environment of creative people and also had three models working for him when he was a store manager for Nordstrom in the mid-80s. He enjoyed hearing their stories about working with famous photographers, such as Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts, and was inspired by their creativity when doing the styling for his departments. Cesar now still works in Advertising and Marketing and also manages the Facebook page supermodelsofthe70s-80s.org which was founded by former top model Eva Voorhees, who also runs supermodelicons.com together with other model and photographer friends. Cesar admits he finds it surreal to be friends with her and Nancy Donahue and other people whose work he has been admiring for decades and he enjoys working with them on building up an online archive of their work.

I was curious about the origin of his fascination with vintage fashion magazines and talked to Cesar about his magazine collections and fashion obsessions for the interview of this second Member Spotlight.

The Fashion Spot: Cesar, how many issues of Vogue do you own and when did you start collecting fashion magazines and Vogue issues in particular?

Cesar: In 2009, I was browsing online for the September 1974 issue in hopes of finding scans in one of the countless fashion blogs. To my surprise, I came across an issue on eBay, bid and won. Ever since, I’ve been collecting them. Originally, I was just interested in the 70s but then started collecting 80s and some 90s issues. I have some from the 00s and 10s, but those are only September issues (another major obsession!).

Currently, I have about 200 issues of US Vogue. Most of which are from the 70s and 80s. Unfortunately, when I first started collecting Vogue, once I thoroughly reviewed each issue and they started piling up, I would toss them… MAJOR MISTAKE!

tFS: I see you commenting on many current issues of various magazines, too, so I assume you take a general interest in fashion magazines, not just vintage ones. Do you prefer magazines from the 70s, 80s, or 90s over the newer ones? 

C: I can certainly appreciate many of the current editorials and ads. With all the new digital technology and exhausting options of magazines, there’s an incredible amount of creativity out there. One of my newest favorites is Sølve Sundsbø. His work is hands down some of the most creative and freshest out there! And newer magazines like AnOther Magazine, Dazed & Confused, Numéro have the most exciting editorials.

But, I’m a sucker for B&W studio shots and no one captured them as beautifully as Francesco Scavullo and Richard Avedon. I also loved the richness and decadence of Irving PennDenis Piel, and Arthur Elgort’s editorials. And the sexuality of Bruce Weber's and Herbert Ritts’ work.

There were also the women; Sara MoonDeborah Turbeville, Andrea Blanch and Sheila Metzner. Each one’s work had its own unique signature that will never be duplicated.

tFS: What about the models, do you follow the careers of any current top models? Do you think there are any newer models that are comparable to the supermodels of the 80s and 90s?

C: Personally, I don’t think I can compare today’s models to the past because the industry has changed so much and what I perceived as aesthetically beautiful from yesteryear doesn’t seem to fit the mold of what’s “in” today. I don’t think there will ever be another Lauren Hutton, Karen Graham, Rosie Vela, and so on. These women, among many many others, were the quintessential classic beauties.

A few of my favorites are Saskia de Brauw — she reminds me of Lynne Koester, Daphne Groeneveld — a modern Cordula Reyer, and Lara Stone — the closest I would try to compare to a 90s supermodel. Lara’s definitely beautiful but also has the amazing glamazon figure of the 80s/90s models. My absolute favorite model right now is Guinevere Van Seenus. She’s a true chameleon and in a league of her own. I never tire of seeing her.

tFS: Do you have a special favorite issue of any magazine or an all-time favorite ad campaign or editorial? And what fascinates you most about it? 

C: My all-time favorite issue is US Vogue May 1975. There are two editorials in particular from this issue that actually caused quite a lot of controversy: “The Story of Ohhh…” shot by Helmut Newton and “There's More To a Bathing Suit Than Meets the Eye…” by Deborah Turbeville. This first editorial includes a picture of Lisa Taylor sitting on a sofa wearing a dress and seductively looking at the man in front of her. The horror was based on the fact they her legs were suggestively “spread” in the shot!

“There's More To a Bathing Suit Than Meets the Eye...” by Deborah Turbeville, scanned by justaguy

"The Story of Ohh…" by Helmut Newton; “There's More To a Bathing Suit Than Meets the Eye…” by Deborah Turbeville, scanned by justaguy

The second editorial takes place in a bathhouse. Many suggestive poses, etc. And since they were all female models, readers wrote in accusing Vogue of promoting lesbianism. This is actually my favorite of the two and Turbeville beautifully captured Chris Royer and cast. 

tFS: It’s very generous of you to scan all those old magazines and share them with us! It must be a lot of work. What motivates you to share them with fellow tFSers?

C: I’ve always been interested in the arts and in particular, photography. My interest in Albert Watson led me to supermodelicons.com, which is Eva Voorhees’ website. After exchanging emails and telephone calls about the industry, I started helping out with her Facebook page, supermodelsofthe70s-80s. The positive response was immediate so I took over editing the page for her. At the time, I was basically downloading editorials directly from tFS and other fashion sites, so it was only natural once I started scanning my own issues that I share them on tFS.

I’m not the most tech savvy person and as much as I wanted to share my scans with others on tFS, I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Fortunately, Selfportraitgrl was kind enough to screen capture step-by-step instructions. Little did she know she was creating a monster! As anyone that scans from old magazines knows, it’s a lot of work. I actually take each issue apart. I keep only the editorials and some of the ads that I want to scan. Magazines were taking over my house so I finally had to toss them once they were scanned. The only bummer is with the old size format of US Vogue, my scanner doesn’t quite capture the entire page so anything prior to 1977 is a challenge!

But it’s all worth it. I love seeing the editorials online and sharing them with other tFSers that love and have an appreciation for these old issues, like myself. Some of the comments and emails I have received have been incredibly kind and I really appreciate that.

tFS: Apart from the Magazines and Ad Campaigns forums, which forums or threads on tFS do you enjoy reading?

C: Well, I’m obviously a huge fan of the Vintage Magazines forum. I really love the interaction between other fans and always look forward to what new items will be posted and their responses. A couple of favorites are kelles and cottonmouth13. They not only post vintage Vogue but also have a great collection of Elle, W, and other wonderful vintage magazines that they frequently share with all of us. It’s really cool seeing the mix just as in the current Magazine forum.

Behind the Lens is another favorite forum. As a fan of photography and editors'/stylists' work, it’s incredibly exciting to look through Behind the Lens forum and reminisce and sometimes see an issue that I had completely forgotten. It’s also introduced me to some “new” talent that I wasn’t aware of previously; Sølve Sundsbø, Koray BirandLachlan BaileyRuven Afanador, and many others.

I’m obsessed with Vogue Cover Challenge. The creativity and vision of tFSers is sick! It’s so amazing how talented these folks are and how quickly some of them create their covers. Again, it’s just an impressive forum showcasing many talented folks. Some of the Vogue EIC’s should take notice!

Another favorite section is Supporting Cast. As with Behind the Lens, this has introduced me to a lot of the newer models and it’s pretty cool being able to watch their runway work, commercials, etc. What I like best actually are the candid street shots of them.

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