Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sear Catalog Fall / Winter 1972

The year 1972 was a turbulent one.  Tricky Dick was elected to his second term in office.  The Watergate scandal hadn't broken out as big news yet.  Negotiations were underway in Paris to end the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.  The news of that day was dominated by every twist, turn and rumor of the goings on in Paris.  The treaty would be signed in just a few months in January 1973 to get us out of that tar pit.  Nixon had just closed the gold window the year before, and for the first time in human history, the world economy ran on 100% pure fiat money - the final verdict of that experiment is still out.

In the midst of all this chaos the big book catalogs (weighing in at over 5 pounds each!) could be counted on to arrive in the mail twice a year from the major retailers bringing perfect fashions on perfect bodies with perfect poses  - tranquility in the midst of storm.  And on top of the list was Sears.  While some companies targeted the upper or lower ends of the economic spectrum, Sears targeted the big middle.  So everyone got the Sears catalogs - rich, poor, urban, rural, etc.  It truly represented the fashions of the day.

And the year 1972 was in the peak of Kathy's career as a catalog model.  Here are some classic picks from the Sears Fall / Winter catalog of that year.

Yes Sweater Knits do give you that "young and lively" look  perfect for a night out rocking the club scene!  The sweater cap (hat?) on Karen is classic.  What girl would actually wear that and mess up her hair?  Of course perhaps you put it on to cover up the fact that you hadn't done your hair.  Kathy's pose is pretty odd.  I guess they are trying to show off those awesome clog shoes.  And why is her hand behind her head?  Perhaps it is to show prospective buyers that the sweater doesn't show underarm stains?!?

I love the girl on the left.  Is she running at the same time she has her arm under Kathy's arm?  Those photographers must of had something on their minds there.  Another sweater cap on Karen - they must have been trying to push those.

One thing they did a lot in these shots is to have on model look at the another while that model is looking away.  In this case Kathy is looking at the girl to her left (and laughing) while that girl is looking down laughing.  What are they laughing at?  I guess the idea is to create a shot so that the buyer can fill in the details.  So the message is buy these wildly colorful dresses and life will be all happy and full of laughs - clothes will make all your anxiety and problems go away! 

Other than the colors, these dresses seem pretty conventional.  Oh wait, I almost missed the weird collars on the dress on the right.  Are those supposed to be seagull wings?  More awesome clog shoes on Colleen.


  1. Great pics! Love the red tights! Kathy is so pretty!

  2. Replies
    1. No, Kathy is the blond on the far left in the first pic. She is the middle blond in the second pic. Colleen Corby is the brunette. Colleen was a popular model in magazines and catalogs back then.

    2. Woops, make that the far right on the first pic. Karen Bruun is the blonde with teh red knit cap in the first pic.

  3. What is the name of the brunette?

    1. That is Colleen Corby. She was a popular model back then and she shows up in lots of pics on this site (along with Karen Bruun and Kay Campbell). I call those four The K Club because all their names begin with K, or in Colleen's case, a hard C sound. I plan on doing posts featuring individual models in the future and Colleen will be featured on some of those. Hope you enjoy the site!