Feb 7, 2013

What Do you See in this Photo?


Look at this charming photograph of a very swish dinner party,
held in New York City in 1956.
I found it the other day,
and it stopped me in my tracks,
because it says so very much more than just a happy snap.

The guests are not young, 
for starters.
There is a grace amongst them.
They are very much arranged in couples.
And the boys are doting on the girls. Or so it would seem. 

But what else do you see?
What stands out, looking at this image with the eyes of one living in 2013?
What makes this so very different to a cocktail party now?
I would love to know your thoughts.

25 comments:

  1. I love that they're treating the party as an occasion for formality. It seems we don't have enough formality any more, doesn't it? I mean, I love feeling comfortable in jeans and t-shirt, but there's a certain beauty in escaping the daily grind to make going out a special occasion.

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    1. Yes indeed - I love my jeans too, but getting glammed up like this makes life feel like something worth celebrating.

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  2. Without even a 2nd guess, it's the beautiful cocktail attire, the men in suits. The guests are "dressed up." And, the party is in someone's home.
    Wonderful image !!

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    1. It's a rather glam home too, don't you think? Cute little sofas designed for cuddling up - and lots of little tables on which to rest a cocktail. Sounds good to me!

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  3. The formality of the attire of both men and women. I love it and I miss it!

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    1. Good point. I often think it is more sad, and more of a loss to the dressed landscape, that men do not dress as elegantly and formally as they used to. It's our collective loss!

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  4. What a delightful photograph, I love the animated expression on the gesticulating ladies face, I wonder what they were discussing. I agree with all the other commentators, they are dressed so elegantly black tie and long gowns, makes me wonder if they are also dining, cocktails before dinner? or perhaps going on somewhere noting the long evening gloves on the table, no matter sadly in 2013 we have lost the art of dressing up to go out.

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    1. I wondered if the gloves and stole were worn when they were coming to and fro from this party. They look pretty comfortable, though, as if they have settled in for the evening.

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  5. No fillers/botox/facelifts!

    I adore this picture, what a find!

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    Replies
    1. Just a celebration of age!! yeehah!

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  6. Sigh, yes, they are dressed. Gloves, jewels and a fur muff...champagne in coupes not flutes...But yes, the body language of the men curving in to the women--you would not see that today!

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    1. Fur muff... not liking that at all, but accept that it was the done thing then..as for the rest, oh yes indeed. I was also charmed by the men's body language - the 2 men at the back look very caring and attentive. The expression on the man's face at the front is really interesting!

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  7. That people are well dressed; that the champagne is served from saucers.

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    Replies
    1. And despite it being entirely impractical, losing the bubbles and all, doesn't it feel ever so much more elegant to drink it from saucers?

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  8. It's glam, love the formal attire and the classiness that exudes.Beautiful pic.

    p.s. quite observant of you to catch the similarity of the shape between my thrifted candlesticks and the table(also thrifted:-)). xx

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    Replies
    1. Oops...caught out unconsciously looking for patterns....

      And classy - yes, that's the word for the scene.

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  9. There is something calm , peaceful,quietly confident & accepting about these people that we do not see today.
    Today is busy, competitive & too hung up on image & youth.
    From Summer.

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    1. That really struck me too! This is a celebration of age: a respect for the grace of it, almost. And yes, the irony that we are hung up about image, even though these people have obviously taking a lot of time to present their own images - and yet it is somehow different. Is it because they are pursuing elegance rather than "originality"? You have expressed it well.

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  10. Charming indeed. So elegantly dressed not for the Red Carpet but for a home party. They all look so engaged and involved in conversations, not mingling and interacting in the glam crowd of self exhibiting strangers. Obviously a formal event for selected few. What was this lady so passionately describing? Beautiful jewelry btw.

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    Replies
    1. I would LOVE to know what she was talking about too! Obviously a very important subject, to show such passion.

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  11. Mel@Georgica Pond8/2/13 2:15 PM

    Yes, couples together rather than women huddled in one group and men another. The men in handsome dinner suits and women dressed to the nines with all their diamonds, jewels and gorgeous gowns. Beautifully coiffed hair and manicured nails, the elegant decor, champagne coupe glasses and to me the lady in the background looks a lot like Judi Dench!

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  12. It instantly reminded me of my parents parties. I thought when I grew up, I'd have parties like that. I did, and go to many but sadly no one dresses or looks like this anymore. What happened!

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  13. On first glance... the gowns, the hair, the jewels... the black tie on the men...
    On second glance... the fab champagne glasses... and the table...
    Most of all.... the glamour... the elegance and the grace...
    Beautiful...
    Happy weekend, xv

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  14. I miss these party style in our society so much. The elegance, the focus on their conversation, I can hear soft bar music in the back ground and feel a very sexy vibe. Nowadays women and men cluster in a corner, separated in their gender and inaudible what they say, (if they talk at all) due loud music. Let's bring the glamour back.

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  15. It is a beautiful photo and nobody is texting - they are actually talking to each other!!!!! The women's dresses are sexy but they haven't got everything on show and the men are dressed to impress.

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