Gil Elvgren is generally recognised as the greatest ever pin-up artist - he was certainly among the most prolific, active from the 1930s through the late 70s!
Having graduated high school, the young Gillette A. Elvgren had initially wanted to be an architect - an ambition which his parents encouraged - and went to the University of Minnesota to study architecture and design. He also took art courses at the Minneapolis Art Institute, and it was there, in 1933, that he decided to pursue a career as an artist rather than architect.
He graduated at the age of 22 and was hired as an artist by Stevens and Gross, Chicago's most prestigious advertising agency, where he was taught by senior resident artist Haddon Sundblom (famous for his artwork for Coca Cola advertising campaigns).
In 1937, Gil began painting calendar pin-ups, and his career as a pin-up artist flourished from there. Elvgren's artist's eye bestowed his pin-ups with a great sense of colour and style, making them perfect vintage fashion study material. So for this week's Style Inspiration Sunday I thought I'd share some some of Gil Elvgren's best dressed gals.
Gorgeous lemon and burgundy colour scheme (and check out those shoes!), 1943
c. mid-1940s plaid jerkin and matching hat
1947 - little black dress (with the padded square shoulders of the pre- New Look period), big red hat.
1948 - classic gypsy blouse, full skirt and sash - clearly a favourite of Elvgren's, and a recurrent theme in his pin-up art. And again, the shooooes!
Go ahead and wear purple and red if you're an Elvgren pin-up! 1951
1953 - a faux V-neck or a V-neck layered over a round? Either way, I love it!
1959 prim pin-up in stripe blouse and red neckerchief.
1962 - sexy secretary style in button-down blouse (note the shape of the collar), red pencil skirt and matching red and white spectator pumps.
Classic nautical style - 1967
Resources: thepinupfiles.com, gilelvgren.com.