Fashion Magazine

Vintage Chic and French ~~ Elegance

By Vintagefrenchchic

I love vintage compacts…LOVE them.  I don’t collect them but I think I should.  But to me, nothing says chic and elegant more than a beautiful compact carried in one’s fabulous handbag.  I have seen this image over and over whenever I watch a vintage film or see old fashion photos:

vintage chic and french ~~ elegance


I think it is so elegant and one of the many lost graces of our modern society.  I want to bring it back.  Let’s bring back the compact!  (My next post will show you how I have done just that!)

If you do a simple search on Etsy (or Ebay or Google “images of compacts”), your eyes will dance at what turns up.  Just look at some of these beauties:

Vintage Evans Compact Silver Mesh Compact Enamel Compact Powder Compact Mirror Compact Lovebirds Compact


Vintage Compact Powder Compact Rouge Compact Mirror Compact Evans 1930s Art Deco Excellent Condition


1950s Opulent Art Deco Snakeskin Diminutive Compact / Cigarette Case by Evans


1920's DANCE PURSE by EVANS - never used - price tag still on - pristine condition - gold - jeweled


Aren’t they gorgeous????  I never tire of looking at them.  You will note that I featured only Evans compacts and that is simply because they are my favorite.  Other companies such as Estee Lauder and Volupte have made many a lovely compact through the decades.   But I came to love the Evans brand when I found my first vintage Evans Elegance handbag.  It was a brown leather box bag that contained all of a woman’s needed accessories; lipstick holder, cigarette case (now could be used for business cards), comb  and compact mirror.  It was a work of beauty.  The quality and workmanship that went into the handbag and all the little accoutrements was breathtaking.  I (sadly) sold that bag and instantly regretted it.  But not long after I found a replacement:

vintage chic and french ~~ elegance


vintage chic and french ~~ elegance

Bakelite accents.

vintage chic and french ~~ elegance

All needed accessories for a proper lady (which is probably why I don’t carry it often).

vintage chic and french ~~ elegance

All accessories properly stowed away while in transit.

Isn’t she great?  Do I use her?  No, not really–maybe once in a blue moon.  But she is a permanent part of my vintage handbag collection, which has been culled many times and significantly reduced in its size.

Another super cool thing I have learned about Evans (Elegance) is that they partnered with Dodge in the mid-1950s to provide the ultimate car package for the woman driver–the Dodge La Femme.  I SO would’ve had bought this car:


Bonjour, bebe!!  And notice what came with the car according to Wikipedia:

“The interior of the car also received attention and features. 1955 La Femme interiors were upholstered in a special tapestry material featuring pink rosebuds on a pale silver-pink background and pale pink vinyl trim. The La Femme came with a keystone-shaped, pink calfskin purse that coordinated with the interior of the car. The purse could be stowed in a compartment in the back of the passenger seat,[2] and its gold-plated medallion faced outward. This brushed-metal medallion was large enough to have the owner’s name engraved on it.

Each purse was outfitted with a coordinated set of accessories inside, which included a face-powder compact, lipstick case, cigarette case, comb, cigarette lighter and change purse, all made of either faux-tortoiseshell plastic and gold-tone metal, or pink calfskin and gold-tone metal, and all were designed and made by “Evans”, a maker of women’s fine garments and accessories in Chicago.

On the back of the drivers seat was a compartment that contained a raincoat, rain bonnet and umbrella, all made from a vinyl patterned to match the rosebud interior fabric. Marketing brochures stated that the car was made “By Special Appointment to Her Majesty… the American Woman.” “

I would’ve done the super swoon if I had been a woman shopping for a car in 1955.  Goodness.  If one of the car makers of today could get it done oh so right.

In other “elegance” news I watched the French film “The  Hedgehog” over the weekend.

vintage chic and french ~~ elegance

(via amazon)

 I must say, it was very charming.  I read the book (Elegance of the Hedgehog) a few years ago but I really didn’t remember it all that well.  It was very thought-provoking as it examined the different ways in which people choose to live their lives…sometimes convincing oneself  ”it really doesn’t matter what I do” or “it’s my life, I can do what I want”.  While in essence that is true (due to free will), when it is done in a way that shuts out opportunity, or more importantly positive relationships,  it can be a very self-damaging thing to do/way to live.  If you watch it have a BOX of tissues.  I was not prepared for the ending…I was floating on cloud of happiness with some tears mingled in and then…


P.S.  I am not the only one gaga over compacts.  In doing some searching for this post here are some other interesting things I saw:

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