Weekly Whimsy: would you give this hitchhiker a lift?

A weirder than usual fashion photo from Queen magazine in 1960 (via).

A pale-skinned model is posed in a geometric patterned dress, wearing a cloche hat and gloves and flat shoes.  She is holding an umbrella out with her left hand while holding her thumb out with her right hand, and she is also standing balanced on a large road sign that reads DIZY on road number N51

Why isn't anybody stopping for me?

RouteRegion N51 runs between the city of Reims and the town Epernay (Dizy is 3kms from Epernay) in the Champagne district of France (where else?).

Please share any bits and pieces you have come across recently that have surprised, delighted, intrigued or otherwise positively engaged you.

Categories: arts & entertainment, Life

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31 replies

    • I find the amount of specific cultural knowledge assumed in the target audience quite fascinating – I had to google Dizy and the N51 to realise that it was in the heart of Champagne. It’s the sort of name one would see on premier cru vintage champagne bottles and almost nowhere else in the 60s.

  1. After some unflattering comparisons, in my mind, to Julie Andrews and Angela Lansbury, and a quick thought telling her to take off that hideous sweater ,I suddenly thought of all the cameras in the general vicinity and decided that, no, I would not pick up that hitchhiker.
    But tigtog, your impressive general, and esoteric, knowledge always astounds me. Thank you.

  2. Heh, I just had a vision of somebody recreating this pose for the Google Earth van as it barrelled down the N51. Too late to do it now I imagine, but wouldn’t it have been great?

  3. p.s. shucks, tsisageya: it’s mostly vague ringings of distant bells and punching keywords into search engines to check on the details. Although I was notorious for winning games of Trivial Pursuit in my 20s, to the point where many a flatmate refused to play me ever again.

  4. Unfortunately Mum finally threw away her rug that had the same pattern, otherwise they could have used that to recreate the dress *miaow*
    I was thinking that a gust of wind in the right direction could have the model unintentionally creating the Flying Nun. (originally I said re-creating, but TFN didn’t start until 1967). Maybe that gust of wind happened and that’s where the idea for TFN came from?

  5. LMMFAO, yes tigtog I suppose it would have been great. But why too late? Esoteric is esoteric, after all. lol

  6. You guys make me laugh in the best way. My cheeks hurt.

  7. Too late to catch the Google Streetview van is all I meant – that would have happened a few years ago. It would have been fun for it to pop up on Streetview when folks were looking around.
    Noodling around a bit more, it looks like the map markings confused me a bit – there is no route N51, the town of Dizy appears to be in the region N 51 (all the postcodes in that part of Champagne-Ardenne begin with 51—). So that photo could have been taken on any of a dozen roads around the town.

  8. tigtog, you prove my point about general/esoteric knowledge. The Google Streetview van has a schedule?
    There’s something called a Google Streetview van?
    Okie-dokie then. I see I have much to learn.

    • Google did a huge Streetview blitz a few years ago, where they sent their van(s) pretty much around the world and they did announce when and where the vans would be each week. So various people decided to stage tableaux on their street when it was time for the Google van to pass by.
      Apparently they are still sending the vans out, with the goal of updating every street-view every couple of years. This week apparently Fiat pranked Volkswagen by following the Google van around until it was about to go past Volkswagen HQ, then parking a bright red Fiat right outside the front entrance just as the van snapped the shot.

  9. But natch we’re not talking about that huge privacy violation?
    But I don’t see the answer because I’m a newbie?

    • What privacy violation do you mean?

      • For clarification, I don’t believe that people have any reasonable expectation of privacy while using a public street/road. By definition, they’re out and about in public.
        ETA: there’s quite a bit of disagreement online about this. Disagreeing with me doesn’t mark you as a n00b, you just have a different opinion.

  10. I can’t believe you peeps are hating the sweater/dress. I think it’s awesome!

  11. I’m sure it’s a coat. She’s even wearing gloves.

  12. Borderline poncho. The proportions of it are doing my head in.

  13. Coats close up the front surely? And ponchos don’t have sleeves!

  14. Basically an overgrown dress. That does weird things to one’s neck.
    My niece stayed in a town in Belgium called Silly. The model should have been standing on that sign.

  15. See the edge of light/dark running down the mid-right side? I thought it was a fold + shadow at first but I think it’s the opening (with concealed fastenings). From my memory of the period, the shape and fur collar also point to coat, as well as the hitch-hiking theme – in this period I don’t think a well-dressed woman would be travelling without a coat.

  16. Shall we speak of voting, then?

    Do not get me started.

  17. TigTog, it’s a relief someone else thinks it’s a coat!

  18. Tamara, I think the neck bit might be separate? Aqua looking more closely, you might be right.
    Whatever it is, I still think it’s awesome.

  19. If it is a coat, and I’m starting to agree that it might be, it is beautifully constructed so everything lines up. For some reason I’m not so violently opposed to it as a coat. As a coat if is quite awesome actually.

  20. Mindy: there’s no doubt it’s haute couture, and making sure patterns line up is a hallmark. I’m disappointed in myself that no designer names are jumping out at me.

  21. My friend’s beautiful daughter lived in Montreal for a couple of years. Recently, she was checking out Montreal streetviews and saw herself!

  22. The Tour de France is passing through the Champagne region tonight (eta: Stage 6 Epernay to Metz), which reminded me of this post.

  23. Mary Quant?

    Thank goodness they let her wear flats!

  24. If the “1960” date is a definite, it’s too early for Mary Quant – she wasn’t doing that kind of haute couture then. Also given that fashion magazine stories were more likely to make some kind of sense then, a story photographed in the Champagne region would more likely be French designers. I’m going to guess Pierre Cardin, once I finally remembered that he was an innovative designer then.

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