Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Fabric Group

Some of the most entertaining elements of the early New Yorker are its advertisements, especially from the companies who appear every week with a new "clever" variation on an established theme.

One of these companies is "Weber and Heilbroner," a successful men's clothier. Every week they present the adventures of "The Fabric Group", three identical paper cut-out figures who travel around New York (and are, as of mid-1927, travelling "abroad"). Photographed by famed advertisement photographer Anton Bruehl, the focus is always on the nifty model-work, lighting, and photography, as opposed to the somewhat lame captions (which always take the form of "Gosh, here we are in XXX!" "Everybody's looking at us!" "Must be because of our Fabric Group Suits!")

Unfortunately, due to whatever compression algorithm the New York reissues use, the Fabric Group adverts always look a bit splotchy and grotesque. But it's always a treat to come across the next one in the long-running series, and to marvel at how Bruehl set the scene.

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