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The VIC Pictorial: Graduation Cards with a Vintage Touch
June 15, 2012

Issue #93

Craft your own
"Congraduations" Cards!

Academic robes, 1563It is spring in Bellingham, home of Western Washington University. We know it is spring because among the bright clusters of red and purple azaleas on the hillsides are the clusters of students in black robes and mortarboards.

Do they know they are continuing a fashion trend set in medieval Europe? Today's robes, stoles, hoods and flat hats were all derived from 14th-century clerical garb. Most university scholars had some church or monestarial allegiance, and were required to wear the robes of their order. Then, as society became more mobile, secular and economically driven, a wealthy middle class began to emerge. As more students started sporting robes studded with gems and lined with ermine, the universities began trying to level the sartorial playing field (mostly so the nobility weren't left wearing the shabbier styles). Cost limits were set on student clothing, and 'dress codes' came into being.

Century by century, the dress codes became more formalized, with styles and colors being defined more or less locally for schools and disciplines. By the close of the Victorian era, these codes became more ceremonial. In 1895, the U.S. became the first country to standardize academic regalia as we know it today.

To celebrate the graduation rites of spring, we have for you two remarkable vintage illustrations. Use them to make a special card or gift for the graduates in your life!

Let's Get Crafting...

J C Lyendecker 1920 graduate

J. C. Leyendecker (1874-1951 ) was known for his illustrations of dashing young men and fashionable women. Advertisers like Arrow Collars and magazines including Collier's brought him fame and fortune.


Archie Gunn 1907 Graduation image

Archie Gunn (1863-1930) was a prolific illustrator. He was known for his images of beautiful women, which could be found on postcards, posters and magazine covers. Here, the young graduate is wearing the traditional garland of flowers.


Next Issue

Hooray! The 4th of July will soon be bursting on to the calendar. We plan to offer you a patriotic craft that will dazzle!

Martin is having the time of his life, singing and dancing in his first stage production - Annie Get Your Gun. I promise to get some pictures for you in his cowboy costume!


Scott & Martin

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