Portrait of Fadila from Morocco

Detail of talented Moroccan fashion designer Fadila AAlouchi  holding needle and thread sewed through her "dove logo" that reads "SALAAM" (peace in Arabic) which is written in the doves face. I made the pattern on her dress the symbol of her native Morrocan "Amazign" tribe. The design of her halo is based on traditional middle eastern mosiac patterns and architectural motifs shared by both Muslim and Jewish cultures.

Vintage pin up underdog Pete Hawley

Jantzen is a swimwear company that dates back to the 1910's. They were able to stay ahead of their competition by employing  cream of the crop in pin up artists. Petty, Barclay, Whitcomb, Vargas were the masters that left their imprint on the label, however today I wanted to focus on a little known but equally talented illustrator.

I am a huge fan of the underdog, rooting for the artists of equal talent yet lacking in press and praise. Pete Hawley, who had a 17 year long relationship (mid 1940's-50's) with Jantzen, had a knack for creating compositions of bold playful beautiful women exuding innocent sexuality through their poses and expressiveness. This winning formula paved the foundations and visual cliches now used in the "modern retro" pin up scene. Pete later went to work under a different name and painted amazingly hilarious child birthday cards for Hallmark throughout the 1960's.

I am a new fan. You can see more here.


Scarce retro Mexican Pin up magazine "JA-JA" cover art

Look at what I stumble on. These are some really obscure Mexican pinup artworks. I don't have much info on them but can assume they were for the 1949 version of the Maxim magazines of it's day. It's such a shame that painted covers are no longer a common practice. I know, I know. The typical latina look is not there but keep in mind, Mexican culture, like many cultures, showcase the european/ american look rather than celebrating their country's distinct ethnicity but the white, red hared Mexicanas are just as beautiful a the brown ones. Published in Mexico 1949-1950 by Editora Excelsior. Art by Al Moore, Fritz Willis and Freyre.



VIntage Pin-up Artist Master : Art Frahm

Art Frahm (1907-1981)

Art Frahm, a Chicago area artist whose commercial art ranged from magazine cover illustration to zany "hobo" calendar paintings, excelled in (and perhaps created) the "ladies in distress" series for the Joseph C. Hoover & Sons calendar company, in which a lovely girl is literally caught with her panties down, her lacy undies slipping to her ankles while she's in the process of bowling, walking the dog or changing a tire.  Frahm was commercially successful. His falling-panties paintings are still considered too camp to be art, and too juvenile to be erotica  However this genre (which Frahm seems to have created) was in demand in the 1950s, and was later imitated by some other pin-up artists.






VIntage Pinup Artist Master : George Petty

George Petty.

All props to Olivia for making a branding sensation on pinup art. Much love and respect to her amazing work. However I have to school the new generation of pinup fans who have no clue who came before her.

George Petty was an artist who highly inspirational to her work as well as Vargas, Gil Elvgren and countless other pinup artist over the last 70 years. He help pioneer every pose, look and pinup cliche of the entire genre imitated by the new wave of retro pinup photographers to this day.

He was responsible what was known as the Petty Girl from 1933- 1956 Seen on tens of millions of calendars, magazine centerfolds, advertisements, posters, and billboards as well as a great number of pin-up ads for Pepsi Cola and Time magazine front cover of Rita Hayworth.

In Fawcett Publications' True magazine, the Petty Girl began appearing every month as either a centrefold or full-page illustration. The magazine published best-selling Petty Girl calendars in 1947 and 1948 that contained some of the artist's finest work. 

The Petty Girl had a mischievous, engaging smile and a special twinkle in her eyes. Long-limbed and well endowed, she was a slick, supple, and alluring creature. 


*Note the "betty page-esuqe" image 10 - 15 years before the real Betty Page came on the scene.