Thursday, July 31, 2008

Calendar girls

Angela Villalba's book examines the Mexican practice in the mid-20th century of printing gorgeous full-color calendars celebrating the culture of Mexico.

And what better method to use to celebrate culture than to print cheesecake images of women?

Of course, it helped to tweak the image of Mexico by making the women look like Delores del Rio and Rita Hayworth, instead of showing women of Indio ethnicity and color....

Villalba's book shows us what these colorful calendars meant to the people who hung them on their kitchen walls. She discusses how these images of women fit with the idealized view of women as seen in the pin-up girls of the 40s, and also how it fits with Mexican folklore female figures, from the Virgen de Guadalupe, the soldaderas of the Revolution, to the treacherous vamp La Malinche. She also provides biographies of the artists who created these images, crediting them for their work.


But enough of the critique and analysis! Look at these gorgeous images! Go visit Villalba's website and check out what she's into. You can get notecards with the Mexican calendar girls images on them. She also deals in festive papel picados for parties and festivals. For Day of the Dead, get your decorated sugar skulls here.

These images are from Alexander Henry cotton yard goods. What should I make with it?

4 comments:

Vallen said...

Oh my gosh! I've never seen such beautiful fabric. I don't know if I could take the scissors to it. I love most anything Mexican but this is breathtaking. If I was a skinnier, younger woman, I'd make a big full skirt out of that loveliness and twirl it around as I walked. But maybe at my age I would make a bag or pillows. You scored on this purchase.

KathyR said...

Vallen beat me to pillow covers. They'd be great on a deck or patio.

Liz said...

I'd be afraid to cut this fabric up, it's so beautiful!

Anonymous said...

That's Rita Hayworth! The designer should at least be honest about whose face he is using.