Saturday, March 27, 2010

Belle, Vintage Photo Contest

this photo is of my grandma when she was twentyeight, in 1937. She was walking through the streets of Ostia, a little town by the sea near Rome. I was amazed discovering her simple, perfect and sophisticated style. She had a great class in style as well as in manners. Loook at the shoes!!! And the way she carried her bag. I was deeply moved by this image because I remember her having great difficulties in walking in her last years. So this is my omage to nonna Rosina who could have been a fashion icon
This is my beautiful mother, Valeria Perojo Frias, born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba on March 23, 1926. This photograph was taken sometime in the mid to late 1940′s. I believe she was at a christening of a friend’s child in Havana. She was an amazing and inspirational woman – making her way to the US with my father by way of Miami in late 1959, and ending up in New York City two years later, where I was born and raised. She was always a fashionista and had that amazing aura that exuded beauty, charm and grace. And boy could she pose for a picture, eh? She always will be my very own personal style icon


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  1. ryder

    March 27, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    You could start a second blog with all these wonderful vintage images. I am enjoying them tremendously.

  2. Diogenes

    March 27, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    How will you ever pick a winner?

    All these women and men look wonderfully chic.

    You almost have to wonder if the 20s and 30s were just more stylish.

  3. kbd

    March 27, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I don't think these ladies could have been style icons, they ARE style icons :)

  4. Emom

    March 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Two most beautiful women! Thank you for sharing this with us. It speaks volumes about their ability to put together fabulous outfits, even though availability was not what it is now…..smiles.

  5. Jack Daniel

    March 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    These pictures are just beautiful.

  6. sil

    March 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Just great! Style is a family habitus.

  7. Deika Elmi

    March 27, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    So chic, sweet,classy and innocent, I find all these pictures so moving. In addition to the pictures, its the words of the authors, you can feel the love and I find it very moving, it salutes that part of the human spirt I like so much, a sweetness, a gentleness. This lovely lady exudes that. Class, beauty, elegance but above all a sweetness,thank you for sharing :) Dea

  8. Out of Order

    March 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    oh wow, these are just lovely and breathtaking. I just watched Nights Of Cabiria and Ostia is mentioned many times! I love the elegance and manners of those days.

    Thank you for sharing.

  9. Raqcolt

    March 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    This beautiful pictures are the proof that no matter the fashion moment, style is eternal…

  10. Ania

    March 27, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I continue to be blown away by these retro photos :)

    and just look at their tiny waists!


  11. Nedda Ebo

    March 27, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    These are so beautiful. It's always nice seeing fashionable women from the past. x

  12. greybreaks

    March 27, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    beautiful stories, and gorgeous photos.

    looking forward to more from this contest.

    thanks for sharing.

  13. Fly

    March 27, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    nice to read your grandma was from italy (a great mix with your beautiful mom)
    Now I can undestand why you have this particular appeal!

  14. katharine

    March 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    It is a cliche but true: style is timeless.

  15. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    can we vote too? I love nonna Rosina. very avantgarde, also the tan on the body. at those times in Italy, also wearing short sleeves like that was a rebellion. brava!

  16. Pretty Shiny Sparkly

    March 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Phenomenal. I see where you get your amazing eye for beauty & fashion from!

  17. Pretty Shiny Sparkly

    March 27, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Ooops, didn't see the contest part. Lovely shot anyway! (smacks forehead)


    March 27, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Both of these ladies had great taste in shoes and the second one is a great poser. Her hair is gorgeous. I love the skirt length as well. I love seeing these old photos! Keep 'em coming. xo

  19. stacey kelly

    March 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    i've always loved looking at old photographs… all of these posts are so inspiring!

    stacey kelly

  20. enrique

    March 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I appreciate the narratives accompanying the photos. The stories give an extra depth to the images, beyond the subjects' style.

  21. Fashion, Art and other fancies

    March 27, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    I love the photograph of Valeria Perojo. Such elegance and poise!

  22. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    It's hard to believe how old these photos are–the classic style and beauty of the women would turn heads even today.

    • Rocky Mantle

      March 26, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      Well said.

  23. zzarazza

    March 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Both are absolutely gorgeous, graceful and so-o tiny!

  24. Daniimagens

    March 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Both were so beautiful and classy, I really love your grandma outfit!!!

  25. Chez POPI

    March 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I'm from Brasil and i reallt love this pictures and your love for this beautifull womans
    Thank you!

  26. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    great women.
    such a style !

  27. Daphne

    March 27, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    WOW! Both SOO beautiful. It's tear-inducing!

  28. MELISSA Z.

    March 27, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    These vintage pics are simply wonderful!

  29. JocaBrazil

    March 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Oh,God,I think both are so beautiful and stylish,Amazing!

  30. SabinePsynopsis

    March 27, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Such elegant pictures! These lovely contributions make me feel sad that I'm so far away from our family photo albums.

  31. Berlin Flatline

    March 27, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing these, makes the whole Sartorialist thing much more real.

  32. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm

  33. Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl

    March 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    What beautiful women and stories!

  34. Zepequeña

    March 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Great women!!!


  35. Nagore de Garamendi (Colette)

    March 27, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Incredible! They are seen as current …


  36. Marie

    March 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Your mother and grand-mother have both style, class and beauty. It's no wonder you turned into such a fashion icon… It's in the genes! I love turning to your blog for inspiration…

  37. TussahSilk

    March 27, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Two beautiful, elegant women. I'm loving these old photos.

  38. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Thank u for share with us so personal & wonderfull photos ! They are so beautifull. After my look at the photos I read about them & after they are much more than 'only' beautifull… Best regards.

  39. Déborah

    March 27, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Both of them so simply beautiful and elegant!

  40. ODD imagination

    March 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    You are so right. Both of these beautiful women in your life were rocking their style! I love the photos. My mom was born on March 23, 1940 I think you would have loved her style as well.

  41. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    She was really a very elegant woman, seemed to be also delicate. Congratulations on your charming mother.
    Lilly Bastos, Brasil

  42. Meg

    March 27, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Lovely, truly lovely. A very striking woman and photograph. Thank you for sharing.

  43. Emily Rose

    March 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    that second photo gave me the chills!!!

    i love this contest!

  44. CrayFiSH

    March 27, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    that is really really inspirational.

    thanks for posting!

    xxx from

  45. joanny

    March 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Beauty by any other name is still a beauty — or Gertrude Stein said "A Rose is a Rose is a Rose is a Rose"

    Timeless beauties,


  46. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Wonderful! Thank you so much. It's very inspiring and moving at the same time to look at these pictures. So good to look back, as everyone's rushing forward and often seem to be missing something. Not only nostalgia this is. We've got a lot to learn from the past. And when it comes in such wonderful pictures, it's even nicer.


  47. chesley

    March 27, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    I am loving these pictures and the bits of history with them! What a great addition to The Sartorialist.

  48. Ena Frias

    March 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    True-blue Cuban beauty. Love that she's holding a hanky with her purse – and her shoes are exquisite…

  49. hotwetnun

    March 27, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Eeverytime I try to shop for vintage clothes i bump into the size issue. People really were smaller back then. Just look at that lean, elegant waist!!!

  50. beths

    March 27, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    I love these vintage photos! How they have enriched an already rich photo archive in The Sartorialist. Please keep posting them for a long time.
    I have some in our family albums that could compete, but clearly there is a wealth of images out there that deserve an audience!

    thank you, merci, gracias!

  51. ILL-Rated Bastard

    March 27, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    WOW! you came from a beautiful family who knew style. Magnificent!

  52. entasis

    March 27, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    During the 'vintage' days everyone had a certain panache that we now look for as on this blog. But even in poor places like Cuba you had even people dressing as best as they could. I rummage through my Dad's photos in Habana of the 50's and early 60's and you see him dressed in linen and his whites though he probably didn't have a peso to his name. My mom tells me that should would exchange things to get an extra large men's shirt linen shirt so she could make 2 kids shirts for my brother and me.

  53. Teresa @ good-grace

    March 27, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    LOVing these vintage images and the stories behind them!! (genius!!)

  54. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    How very, very lovely. Demure, relaxed, gracious and beautiful.

  55. Tina aka Beanie

    March 27, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    I am so loving these vintage style photos!! Keep them coming!!

  56. slippy

    March 28, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I haven't ever commented your blog (though I've long enjoyed it), but this recent trend in vintage photos is so inspired and lovely I just have to thank you for this site! All your features are timeless and elegant and so full of personality– treasures, really. Thank you.

  57. AnastasiaC

    March 28, 2010 at 6:07 am

    oh my gosh – SO inspiring!!! loving these vintage image – hope you keep em coming!!
    why cant all woman look so amazing…why have people slackened off these days? must be all the mass produced/cheaply made clothing out there…

  58. elisabetta

    March 28, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Che grazia!!!!!!!! so chic!!!!1

  59. helen tilston

    March 28, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Truly beautiful and timeless women
    Skirts and high heels make all woman look great. Long live skirts and heels and handbags (not shoulder bags)
    Sincere thanks for sharing your personal snaps
    Helen Tilston

  60. Renata

    March 28, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I found some pictures of my grandmother and she's also so inspirational. I believe also that before the 70's people were more concerned with their image and with style. I hope people stop dressing just for comfort in this new decade!

  61. Laguna Beach Trad

    March 28, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Good Lord, how stunning! Thanks for posting, Sart. These two ladies are the ultimate in womanliness. How I wish today's women would dress and carry themselves in this way…

    Note to today's American women: Ladies, are you paying attention?

  62. Diane

    March 28, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Very beautiful images, I love them and the stories behind them!


  63. TheKiwiBex

    March 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    What a beautiful woman Valeria Perojo Frias is! Such elegance and grace…

  64. scott

    March 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm


  65. sherene

    March 28, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Ah that quiet sort of elegance that seems to have no place in today's world…both these photos exude much of such elegance

  66. Anonymous

    March 28, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I love these photos, love reading the continuity of history through fashion and the comments. Elegance takes time to acquire, I guess. This woman seems to have learned it at her mother's knee, I'm guessing.

  67. Susan

    March 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm


  68. Jeanette

    March 28, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    both very elegant, second picture reminds me of modern day Thakoon with a wide YSL belt.

  69. groovergreen

    March 29, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Blimey, look at Valeria's beautiful little WAIST! 22 inches? That's my guess.
    I love all these pictures, but they do make me feel a little sad that in decades to come no one will ever post a "vintage style and elegance" snap of me, as I look horrible in every photo.

  70. ames

    March 29, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Beautiful woman and capture!

  71. proletarian Great Gatsby

    March 29, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Lena Horne.Blues and Hope.Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk,1959).Youth and civil rights mouvement.Pride and Integrity.Elegance

  72. proletarian Great Gatsby

    March 29, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Excuse me that i use spanish words for that cuban woman.Thanks.
    Hermosa en su sencillez
    Sencilla en su elegancia
    Elegante pese a su juventud

  73. Anonymous

    March 29, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Gorgeous photos and heart felt stories!! Wow!! I'm blown away!! Thanks!!

  74. { f }

    March 29, 2010 at 2:01 pm


  75. Anonymous

    March 29, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I would kill for mama's bone structure. All beautiful ovals and warm curves.

  76. Anonymous

    March 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    your mother is stunning… just gorgeous.

  77. Susan

    March 29, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Gorgeous, both of them. I'll bet they only had about 3 outfits between them…& look at them.

  78. Ladybird

    March 29, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Gorgeous – the little white dress is perfect for a summers day in the mediterrenean. What a shame Ostia is no longer like this – there's parked cars everywhere near the beach.

  79. gretel

    March 29, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    i just knew your mother was of cuban origin when i saw her photo. beautiful! i am cuban myself!

  80. Urban Weeds

    March 31, 2010 at 3:02 am

    These are gorgeous.

  81. Betsy

    April 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm


  82. Edith Elin G.R.

    April 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    The second one iTs totally GORGEOUS (:

  83. banglesshouldjangle

    April 24, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    She is absolutely adorable! Oh, my. This photograph exemplifies my adoration of that period's style.


    April 2, 2011 at 2:12 am

    I am just without words…this is pure history and you have a very big piece of a beautiful pie. I think this is amazing.

  85. samantha

    November 13, 2011 at 7:02 am

    pure perfection…

  86. David

    December 29, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    A Very Beautiful Woman indeed.

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