Monday, June 13, 2011

Ethel’s Beauty Salon

Everything about this card (from the ephemera section of a used-book store) is to like: the aromatic exchange name, the vague and sophisticated evenings, the suggestions of art and science (offsetting the dowdy Ethel, at least in my mind), the helpful over, the union print-shop label beneath the calendar. The hairstyle would have been familiar to any early-1940s American: it suggests, no question about it, the actress Veronica Lake, whose celebrated over-the-eye style was even the subject of a Life magazine article (November 24, 1941), “Veronica Lake’s Hair: It Is a Cinematic Property of World Influence”:
Veronica Lake’s hair has been acclaimed by men, copied by girls, cursed by their mothers and viewed with alarm by moralists. It is called the “strip-tease style,” “the sheep-dog style” and the “bad-girl style” (though few except nice girls wear it), but to most moviegoers it is simply “the Veronica Lake style.”

It still is. But the Montrose address today seems to be home to a travel agency, Quizhpi Express.

[A movie recommendation: Veronica Lake shines as The Girl in Sullivan’s Travels (dir. Preston Sturges, 1941).]

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