Vintage Labels

The Vintage Fashion Guild website has a "label resource" at https://vintagefashionguild.org/label-resource/ . This is an alphabetical index of pages, each linking to a list of labels under its letter. Some pages have as many as 50 brands, or even more. Brands that I looked at included Frank Usher: their page showed labels from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, plus one fake, a knockoff from India.

I thought I'd list the labels I've photographed, in case it's any help in adding to such resources. I can't vouch for the dates of any of my items, but I'm sure there are experts who will be able to give good estimates. If you want to use any of the photos on your own site, please let me know via my contact form. Below, there's a photo, with label, of each item for which I had a label. The little hand to the right of the brand name links to its original blog post. The WordPress link http://www.chromophilia.uk/blog/category/labels/ also points at those posts, plus this one.

Agnes b blue and yellow cropped jacket Agnès b

Arrow top, with Vogue print Arrow

Benetti blue-purple printed shirt Benetti

Colorpoint shirt, with aliens printed Colorpoint

Eastex Liberty-print shirt Eastex

Elegance printed jacket Elegance

Falabella indigo velvet jacket
Falabella indigo velvet jacket Falabella

Fosby multicoloured cropped velvet jacket Fosby

Frank Usher pink silk top Frank Usher

Gerry Weber pink silk jacket Gerry Weber

Heather Valley printed shirt Heather Valley

His Lordship green velvet jacket His Lordship

Jacques Vert multicoloured top Jacques Vert

Jake cropped paisley-on-black velvet jacket Jake

Klaus Rheiner orange velvet jacket Klaus Rheiner

Kuku sequin-striped bolero jacket Kuku

Nina Boutique striped silk top Nina Boutique

Oakland fruit-and-flower printed velvet waistcoat Oakland

Ravi Sehgal red velvet jacket Ravi Sehgal

Tian Bao Gong peacock-printed black kimono Tian Bao Gong

Tracery bolero jacket Tracery

Wallis striped linen blazer Wallis

Wow! embroidered velvet top Wow!

Ship-Street Psychedelic

Here are some more experiments in style transfer using DeepArt, to follow Ship-Street Salvatore. I tried making my drab tourists psychedelic by using the album cover from Yellow Submarine as the styling image.

In the first attempt, I submitted the cover picture unchanged. The result is surreal, though I do like it. The walls and windows have undergone some distortion, and I can see fragments of lettering and other twiddly bits mixed in with the psyechdelised tourists. The ground has inherited some styling from the mound that the Beatles are standing on.

I then tried reducing this distortion by removing the mound, leaving only people, a few twiddly bits, and a kerb or gutter in my second styling image; and the original walls plus a more representative group of psychedelic people in the third. (I didn't really want the white gaps between walls and people, but as I complained on Friday, Gimp's "intelligent scissors" are anything but.) My results are below, arranged in the same way as before. One interesting thing is the way some tourists in the third result have gained black Beatle shoes.

Group of drab tourists in Ship Street Oxford, repainted in a psychedelic style.


Group of drab tourists in Ship Street Oxford, repainted in a psychedelic style..
Group of drab tourists in Ship Street Oxford, repainted in a psychedelic style..
Group of drab tourists in Ship Street Oxford, repainted in a psychedelic style..

Ship-Street Salvatore

In "Pages from The Oxford Book of Tourists", I wrote about the continuing lack of colour amongst Oxford's visitors:
Group of drab tourists in Ship Street, Oxford.

I'd once thought that it would be a lovely idea if some philanthropic company would do for clothing what Dulux did for buildings in their "Let's Colour" campaign, donating paint around the world in a mission to add colour to people's lives. Imagine Salvatore Ferragamo donating a design from his Milan spring/summer 2013 men's collection to every one of Oxford's 155,000 inhabitants. I mention this particular show because the vigour and purity of its colours still impresses me.

When I thought that, I tried recolouring a few photos to show how much more joyful it would make our streets. But the image processing was horrible, because I needed to cut the people to be coloured from their backgrounds. The "intelligent scissors" in my Gimp image-processing tool are as stupid as the proverbial bag of hammers, and none of the online cutting tools are any better.

But technology advances. Last year, I wrote about style transfer: re-painting one image in the style of another. The researchers who made such an advance in this work — Leon Gatys, Alexander Ecker and Matthias Bethge — have now, with their colleagues Łukasz Kidziński and Michał Warchoł, created a website at http://deepart.io. Go to the Create Your Own page, and you can upload an image to repaint, and an image to give the new style. Repainting takes only a few minutes. The site is painless to use, except that when I tried to register for my own account, it never mailed me the verification link, so the account was left in limbo, un-log-innable-to. Mailing the administrator at admin@deepart.io was no help, as he or she never replied. However, you don't seem to need to register: I presume it's just easier to keep track of your images if you do.

Here's a screenshot of some results. I found four photos of Ferragamo's Milan spring/summer 2013 men's show. I then asked DeepArt to repaint my drab-tourists image in the style of each. Here's a screenshot of its results page:
Group of drab tourists in Ship Street Oxford, recoloured with deepart.io to approximate the colours of Salvatore Ferragamo's Milan 2013 spring/summer men's collections.

And here are the results individually. Click on any one to see it enlarged.
Group of drab tourists in Ship Street Oxford, recoloured with deepart.io to approximate the colours of Salvatore Ferragamo's Milan 2013 spring/summer men's collections.
Group of drab tourists in Ship Street Oxford, recoloured with deepart.io to approximate the colours of Salvatore Ferragamo's Milan 2013 spring/summer men's collections.
Group of drab tourists in Ship Street Oxford, recoloured with deepart.io to approximate the colours of Salvatore Ferragamo's Milan 2013 spring/summer men's collections.
Group of drab tourists in Ship Street Oxford, recoloured with deepart.io to approximate the colours of Salvatore Ferragamo's Milan 2013 spring/summer men's collections.

The results aren't perfect: there is cross-coupling between style and content. This is very noticeable in the final image, where the walls show definite signs of jacket. It probably hasn't helped that in this run, the people in the styling image were much bigger than those in the content.

And there is leakage from one part of an object to another. For example, the top recoloured image has a number of spotty areas such as the legs of the person with the backpack on the left. DeepArt must have derived these from the cardigan on the right of the complete styling image, shown here. (It's from a report by Gildas Le Roux in The Times of Malta for July 1 2012.):
Screenshot of the 'Times of Malta's report on the Milan Male Spring-Summer 2013 collections, showing Salvatore Ferragamo's Milan 2013 spring/summer men's collections.

So DeepArt is a quick and fun way to recolour images, although not perfectly. But one can tweak the styling image to reduce unwanted effects on the content. More on this later.

The Security Guard’s Hand

Some cartoon clichés don't happen. There are no flying saucers with anntenaed aliens stepping thereout, no single-palmed desert islands surrounded by sharks, and no little boys with a bandage round their jaw to relieve toothache. But I know one cliché that did happen: a man putting his hand in front of my camera to stop me photographing. This is the hand:
Security guard's hand in front of my camera, obscuring Tracery bolero jacket hung on the door handle of Podarok in the Clarendon Shopping Centre, Oxford.

The hand, and presumably the keys, belong to the security guard in the Clarendon Shopping Centre in Oxford. I was photographing a jacket, and had hung it on the door to Podarok, one of the shops there. I thought its pattern went with the background formed by the door handles and shop interior. The guard didn't like this. It would be alright, he said, to photograph Podarok from outside the Clarendon Centre, but not from inside it, because Podarok was private property. Since almost every piece of land in this country is private property, the reason seemed suspect. But the guard was insistent.

This didn't seem consistent. A few days ago, a big group of English-language students — Oxford overflows with them during the summer — were sitting near Podarok taking photos of each other on their phones. No guards were stopping them. Anyway, like so many other shops in Oxford, Podarok has closed down. The Clarendon should be more welcoming.