Sunday, May 20, 2012

Vintage Photo

This is a photo of my grandmother Irene and my grandfather Dmytro. It was taken in Kalush, Ukraine sometime in the late 1930′s or early 1940′s. My grandmother cared a lot about fashion and bragged more than once that she was the first woman in her village to wear pants.


- Anya


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  1. Natasha Fatah

    May 20, 2012 at 9:53 am

    This is so awesome!
    They look like a pair of movie stars Anya.
    And I’m impressed by your grandmother’s daring, boundary pushing style! :)


  2. Costanza Saglio

    May 20, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I’m a great fan of your grandma. She looks amazing and smart just like Audrey and so on. She should have been a great and strong woman, I think. She gave you inspiration that you share with us. Thank you.

  3. Miss K

    May 20, 2012 at 9:55 am

    A very beautiful shot. You can tell that both cared about style. It seems to be a coincidence that my grandmother was also called Irene. She was born in the 1920s – same generation.

  4. Costanza Saglio

    May 20, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Your grand father too is so elegant and he has a funny and interesting face. You must be lucky.

  5. Rosemarie Torem

    May 20, 2012 at 10:11 am

    This picture evokes sartorial pride on a beautiful day in a past world.

  6. Roxanne

    May 20, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Wow how incredibly awesome! Those poses, the beautiful light coming through the trees, and those outfits <3

  7. Ayrton

    May 20, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Impressive, really.

  8. Martin

    May 20, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Yeah! I really like those vintage shots. This outfit is really gorgeous!
    Martin (

  9. Martin

    May 20, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Yeah! I really love these vintage shots. Her outfit is really gorgeous. Can you imagine something like that today? I haven’t seen it yet…
    Martin (

  10. Bayana

    May 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Nice, the top reminds some mushketeer look =)

  11. Aurélie & Angelo

    May 20, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Your grandparents were elegant and stylish! Beautiful photo!

  12. dorylyn

    May 20, 2012 at 10:37 am


  13. Ivanka

    May 20, 2012 at 10:51 am

    They look so great!
    Thanks for showing this photo – my family comes from that region.

    All those ornaments look so cool. Though they are very poorly used by contemporary designers.

  14. Top Moumoute

    May 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Beautiful! Such great style..

  15. The Guilty Hyena

    May 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Ooh Wow, what a precious photo! your grandparents have charisma oozing out of this cherished vintage photo.

    A timeless era and style :)

  16. Karen

    May 20, 2012 at 11:12 am

    So many things to love about this photo. The style the heritage vintage but most of all your celebration of your family.

  17. Serdane

    May 20, 2012 at 11:22 am

    This picture is very poetic !

  18. Three Angles

    May 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

    A real vintage photo.
    Your grandma looks fabulous (:

    Three Angles

  19. Becky Bedbug

    May 20, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Wow, what a fabulous photo! The embroidery on that dress is stunning. What a trendsetter!


  20. Jackie

    May 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Beautiful, such a handsome & stylish couple. I love that it looks like grandmother is sitting on grandfather’s hankerchief, what a gentleman !


    May 20, 2012 at 11:43 am

  22. giulia

    May 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    I’m really impressed by your grandma’s beauty.
    cool pic!
    Thanks for sharing!

  23. Alessandra Frega

    May 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I love vintage photos!!!!

  24. Peter

    May 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    It’s funny how she’s sitting on a piece of paper in order to not get her outfit dirty. I don’t know about her outfit – it looks very starchy to me! But the grandpa is killing it in that suit with that pose. Very fly.

    x Peter @ http://low–

  25. Gerry

    May 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    My Grandmothers name was Irene as well. I love looking at pictures of her and her family from the early 1900″s. They were always dressed beautifully.

  26. Sevan

    May 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    This is why I love black and white photos/movies for the light and shadows, style, poise, elegance, charisma, etc…..
    Beautiful couple.

  27. The Casual

    May 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    It is a beautiful picture!
    And I can see the Fashionista… ;)


  28. lena

    May 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    i am ukrainian and so glad to see an example of a such stylish, feminin and beautiful woman:) specialy taking into consideration that 30th were not that easy!

  29. roula

    May 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

  30. AccidentallyBlogger

    May 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    she looks stunning :)

  31. This is Belgium

    May 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    what a great picture
    can you imagine the preparation for this one shot
    I can see what your grandma is thinking
    and I can imagine what hour grandpa is feeling !

  32. Robert Hill

    May 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    A stylish couple whose love and beauty transcend their clothes.

  33. McKenzie

    May 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I love seeing old photos like these! The fashion is especially interesting, and she definitely looks like she was up with it at the time :)

  34. carola

    May 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    great phots, love vintage pics

  35. Sunny Side

    May 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Waooh your grand mother is such a beauty ! The dress so chic !

  36. Eva

    May 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    What a beautiful picture! So authentic! Love it!

  37. noreen

    May 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    THIS is where you get your fashion sense. I think someone bought your uncle the fur-collared coat.

  38. Martine

    May 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Look at those gloves! And those great cheekbones! She looks amazing. They both look amazing. What a perfect couple. You have gorgeous grandparents!!!

  39. duckalicious

    May 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    really impressive! she sounds like a hell of a woman.

  40. y

    May 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    funny….I was lookin for the like button.

  41. Ría

    May 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm

  42. bicocacolors

    May 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    que elegantes!!!!

  43. Mica

    May 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    What a beautiful picture. I love the prints on her dress, cape and bag.

  44. Sophie Mhabille

    May 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Amazing, i love her cape. Her clutch would be so trendy this season

  45. Chahrazad

    May 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Nice picture. Love the details! And gosh, what a lovely dress she is wearing. Love the fact that is covered.


  46. Clara Turbay

    May 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I love her outfit!

  47. MolDiva

    May 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    best times, i would love to go back in time

  48. haapi

    May 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    True style—touché !

  49. haapi

    May 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    PS: I just love how your grandmother embroidered a wallet/wristlet to match her outfit!!

  50. John

    May 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I’d say its the late 30′s. The Germans were creating havoc across Ukraine in the early 40′s.

  51. Monsieur Marcel

    May 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Anya, your grandmother’s claim to fame is one of the coolest that I’ve ever heard.

  52. Julian

    May 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    amazing how stylish the whole family is. stunning photos.

  53. Susie

    May 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    So elegant … the attention to detail is beautiful.

  54. monalisa

    May 20, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Great style, but I find the picture eerie. If it is from the late 30s, early 40s in the Ukraine, in just a couple of years their lives would be torn apart as the second world war descended on them. Calm before the storm…

  55. Johnny

    May 21, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Love it!

  56. Tamera

    May 21, 2012 at 4:38 am

    I love it when you post vintage photos. This is such a great looking couple!

  57. Alice

    May 21, 2012 at 7:40 am

    I love how you still have so many old photos!

    Please take a look at my fashion illustrations and art:

  58. Marina

    May 21, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Wow! What an amazing photo! People were so stylish back then – despite all the hardships. Here’s a photo of my grandfather, Vladimir from the mid thirties. This is most likely in Kyiv. Look at those pants!


  59. Daria

    May 21, 2012 at 8:19 am

    A very beautiful photo, indeed – but I doubt it was taken in the early 1940 (this look seems shocking for World War II and the many ethnocides and deportations of these years)!

  60. BetteOh

    May 21, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Super cool, how wonderful if we could hang out with our grandparents today.

  61. proletarian Great Gatsby

    May 21, 2012 at 10:33 am

    The embroidery gives her elegance an etnical touch.PERFECT and UNIQUE

  62. Dave LeBlanc

    May 21, 2012 at 10:42 am

    The woman’s dress references Balenciaga very well. It’s beautiful.

  63. Valentine

    May 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    This is so fabulous. Love the dress, the pose, everything,

  64. jolie

    May 22, 2012 at 5:34 am

    <3 <3 <3 in una foto così c'è tanto amore <3 <3 <3

    in this photo much love


  65. berta

    May 22, 2012 at 7:21 am

    she looks georgeous!! what a wonderful dress

  66. Vanessa

    May 22, 2012 at 11:43 am

    very chic couple

  67. Tracy

    May 23, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Beautiful shot. Everything about it.

  68. Masha

    May 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I am also from the Ukraine. During the early 30s Ukraine was stricken by “Holodomor”, or famine. The fact that they are dressed so nicely either says they were well off, the timestamp of the picture is off or that they found salvation in dressing up.
    Love Irene’s ensemble! The embroidery looks very much like the ukrainian folk costume. I bet it was designed by Irene herself and hand embroidered.

    Anya, thank you for sharing such a great photo!

  69. Ms Wanda

    May 24, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Is there anyone in your family who is not effortlessly stylish? So impressed!!

  70. J...

    May 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I love how vintage pictures really capture a genuine aura of personal style!They didn’t have 1/3 of our resources for style options,yet their fashion choices were so detailed and beautiful!

  71. Angelina Bong

    May 30, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Your grandma has amazing fashion sense! Loved your collection of vintage might want to take a look at vintage photos in Asia might be pleasantly surprised ;)

  72. Anya

    May 30, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I’m the woman who submitted the photo – thanks for all the lovely comments!

    I shared the photo with my aunt, who chimed in with much more authority:

    “I figure that this set of pictures was taken around 1936-1937, shortly after they were married. Western Ukraine at that time was under Polish rule, and not part of Soviet Ukraine, where the Holodomor (famine) of 32/33 occurred. In 1939, however, the Soviets invaded, and life for Ukrainians changed under a whole new set of despotic rules. In 1941, the Germans came. More horrific chaos as the Germans and Russians fought on Ukrainian soil with Ukrainians in the crossfire; and the Poles and the Ukrainians were fighting their new occupiers and each other, sometimes in particularly brutal ways, and the Jews most specifically targeted by the Germans for annihilation.

    That photo does capture the calm before the storm, your grandfather just launching a promising career after working so hard to get there, with his lovely and independent-minded young wife…only to have to leave in the dead of night a few years later with their 3 year old son (your father) and what they could hastily throw into a horse drawn cart, in order to escape certain death. Yes, their world was totally turned upside down. They had to start again – from nothing. But they survived and remained strong and raised their family – also to be independent minded – and you know the story from there!”

  73. Margas

    May 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Love that embroidered clutch! Superb photo!

  74. Anna

    June 1, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Ukraine in the late early 1940′s? Not what I would imagine.

  75. Marta Anna

    June 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    The picture in fact has been taken in the Second Republic od Poland, ie II Rzeczpospolita, and it shows the elegance and quality of life in that state , irretrievably lost in the Second World War and the ensuing Soviet rule. Kalusz, if you please, located south-east of Lwow, near Morszyn, Dolina etc, in the foothils of the Karpathian mountains, (and the entire Ruthenia, Podolia etc, now historically incorrectly called western Ukraine), belonged to the Polish Crown since its founding by the Polish noble Sieniawski family, in the mid-16th century, then after the fall of the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania since 1772 – 1918 was under the Austrian rule, and since 1918 – in Poland…the rest is silence.

  76. Marina

    June 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    This photo is stunning in every way! The elegance, the detailing of the outfits, the lovely setting. The subsequent history provided by Anya’s aunt was very interesting and informative as well. It was a sad time, but people were not only sartorially splendid in those days, they were strong and resilient! Reminds me of my grandmother and grandfather, who also lived in Europe during the war.

    Best of all, though? No smart phones in hand!!! People engaging with the camera and each other! I must admit, with all the beautifully dressed and stylish pics on this blog site, I’d be delighted if I never had to see another otherwise chic person staring down at their phone while the world passes them by! It drives me crazy!

  77. Gabriel

    July 24, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Love, love what you creative, vibey folk are doing. Fine idea and some awsmoee designs. And why should us unique, rainbow people wear Brazilian slip slops, when we can design and make our own, huh? Happiness

  78. Uliana

    August 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Wow, the pattern on her purse immediately caught my eye because i am from Ukraine :) Amazingly stylish for that period !

  79. Irene

    February 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Your Grandmother’s gorgeous dress and caplet captured my attention, but then I read on a discovered her name is “Irene”, just like my Grandmother who I am named after =)


  80. Iryna Wilson

    February 16, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    What a stunning photograph….I too had a great aunt who was always dressed so stylishly and had absolutely golden hands that could make anything. Their stories are similar and she was lucky to escape to Canada after losing her husband and sons in the war.

  81. Desert Tour Morocco

    January 30, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Don’t know why it comes to my head Sir Charlie Chaplin’s movies when i first see this photo..!! :-)
    Lovely one

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