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The boys of Paris: The trailblazing transgender performers of Madame Arthur’s


The great cabaret performer, “Coccinelle.”
 
After yesterday’s utterly vile offerings from our Shithead-in-Grief, I was determined to pull together a post on a favorite topic of mine—shining a bright, warm light on notable and obscure transgender and drag performers. I’ve done several such posts on this very topic while on active duty here at Dangerous Minds, and so have my colleagues. It seems like every time we do, there is a positive reaction from our readers. To me, this is an affirmation that the hateful, racist rhetoric coming from our nation’s capital is not collectively who we are as human beings or else not many of our good-looking high IQ readers are Trump fans. I was fortunate to have been raised by two incredible people who embraced the LGBT community at a time when there wasn’t a lot of support for people who chose “non-traditional” relationships and gender roles. Thanks to them, I’ve simply never thought of someone who doesn’t look or swing like me as anything but another person. Unless of course, you are the type that is prone to behaving in a way that physically hurts or openly discriminates against another person. If you happen to be one of those flatulent assholes that shits bricks full of hate, then please, PLEASE feel free to leap off a goddamn cliff. Now, if you’ll once again forgive my affinity to digress from the topic at hand—let’s all take a much-needed look back at one of Paris’ most famous cabaret nightclubs, Madame Arthur’s.
 

An article on Madame Arthur’s from the men’s picture magazine SHE, 1957.
 
A magazine article published in 1957 by SHE (pictured above) referred to Madame Arthur’s as “The Sodom of the Seine.” This lascivious-sounding description is reflective of the article itself which laments “Les Boys” takeover of the Paris nightclub scene and the disappearance of the beloved “decorative” showgirl. Madame Arthur’s would open its doors in 1946. The club’s name comes from a song originally written back in 1850 by Michael Feingold, which was later translated to French by author Paul de Kock. The song was then popularized by French cabaret performer and actress, Yvette Guilbert. Here are some of the cheeky lyrics from the song:

Madame Arthur is quite the lady
They chatter and chatter about her all over Paris
She may be mature and slightly shady
But each man is her lover-to-be!

Oui, Oui! The club and its sister establishment Le Carrousel were playgrounds of sorts for famous transvestite performers such as Coccinelle who debuted her act at Madame Arthur’s in 1953. According to historians, an artist would be hired first by Madame Arthur’s and the cream of the crop would then be given the opportunity to take the stage at Le Carrousel. Occasionally exceptions were made for international acts that had credibility or notoriety worldly enough to bypass Madame Arthur’s, and allowing them to go straight to Le Carrousel. Incredible images of the Parisian trans trailblazers below. Some of the photos are NSFW.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.27.2017
12:20 pm
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Vintage violence and the ‘dance of death’: Wild images of the ‘Apache’ dancers of Paris
05.11.2017
11:03 am
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Two ‘Apache’ dancers hanging out in a cafe in Paris in 1938.
 
I’m going to roll the clock back to my earliest recollection of seeing what was essentially a version of the “Apache” dance that was featured on, of all things one of the original installments of the Popeye the Sailor cartoon series that I saw on TV as a child during the 1970s. The short in question was the seventeenth ever produced, in 1934, called “The Dance Contest.” In it Popeye and his gangly girlfriend Olive Oyl enter a dance contest which of course Popeye’s nemesis Bluto attempts to disrupt. When Bluto finally gets his chance dance with Olive he recklessly and abusively hurls her around—much in the style of an Apache dance. Naturally, Popeye is having none of that and after downing a can of his famous spinach, he takes over the lead dancer role with Bluto who he then essentially beats to a pulp while his famous theme plays out in the background. The cartoon itself, as you may recall, was already notoriously violent so it made perfect sense to incorporate one of the most popular and viciously aggressive dance crazes of the time into its storyline. But all of that would have gone over the head of pretty much any kid watching the show several decades later and it wasn’t until I was conducting my very important “research” for this post that I actually realized that the old-timey cartoon was riffing on what some referred to as the “Dance of Death” or the “Dance of the Underworld,” aka, “the Apache dance.”

If you are not familiar with this style of dance then it’s important to note that female dancers played a pivotal part in creating the savage scenarios in the dance by helping to develop its complicated choreography. The word “Apache” was derived from a name given to members of Parisian street gangs who were formerly known as “no goods.” After a particularly heinous crime involving the murder of a man who was found with his face, nose, and neck pierced with several women’s hat pins, the news reported the story with the headline “Crime Committed by the Apaches of Belleville.” From that point forward, the dance, its dancers, as well as teenage hooligans (who were often one and the same) became synonymous with the name. The earliest known appearance of the Apache was in the 1900s, perhaps as early as 1902. Like many dances, it is thematic in nature with storylines involving arguments between two lovers or perhaps a prostitute and a john. There were full-fledged stage productions involving complexly choreographed dance numbers. Dancers, especially amateurs, would often break bones and sustain other injuries during the heated and violent routines. Some routines were so egregious looking it was difficult to tell if something wasn’t actually going very fucking wrong while everyone sat back swilling booze, smoking cigarettes and watched. The craze dominated Paris for nearly 30 years and would also be featured in several films including one from the wildly popular Charlie Chan series, 1935’s Charlie Chan In Paris.

LIFE magazine wrote a rather extensive piece on the Apache dance craze/culture in 1946, and interviewed female dancers regarding their feelings about the dance. They said they “liked being thrown around,” which at face value appears to describe an act of domestic violence, only set to a jazz soundtrack. Which brings me to another important distinction about the Apache—it’s not just the ladies who get roughed up. No. In the Apache, the female dancers also get to gracefully kick the shit out of their male counterparts. So you see, everyone wins when they do the Apache dance at one point or another.

I’ve posted some gorgeous images of Apache dancers hanging out around Paris as well as some incredible footage from Charlie Chan in Paris featuring an Apache dance scene with actress Dorothy Appleby that you just have to see. I’ve also posted that Popeye the Sailor short I referenced at the beginning of this post because, well, why not?
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.11.2017
11:03 am
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Territorial Pissing: The 19th century public urinals of Paris
02.10.2017
09:14 am
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A man entering a public urinal or ‘pissoir’ at Place Saint Germain l’Auxerrois, Paris, 1875.
 
The photos in this post were taken by one of the most notable and gifted photographers of the nineteenth century, Charles Marville. So revered was Marville in his native France that he was chosen by the city of Paris to document the changing city, especially landmarks that were built by Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann who had been tasked with the job of giving Paris a makeover of sorts. According to details found in Haussmann’s biography, he was also responsible for the introduction of new and improved water supply and drainage for the overcrowded city in an effort to remove “foul odors” from the streets. Which brings me back to Marville’s fascinating photos of public urinals—or as they were called during this time period pissiors—that were located all around Paris during the late 1800s and well into the turn-of-the-century.

The pissoirs were conceived in 1834 by Claude-Philibert Barthelot, Comte de Rambuteau—a French official who pioneered and implemented improvements to the existing sewer system in Paris. Barthelot was convinced that the poor, unhealthy conditions of the streets were directly correlated to a massive cholera outbreak in 1832. However, it would be Haussmann that would be instrumental in helping install pissoirs of varying styles and sizes all around Paris, which helped confine the stench of urine that before their arrival was overwhelming the city. Thanks to Marville’s camera lens, this transformative time in Paris was beautifully chronicled in his photographs.

Most of the pissoirs that Marville photographed are quite beautiful despite their lowly utilitarian purpose, while others are not much more than a slab of carved concrete for Parisian men to relieve themselves on instead of a wall. At one time approximately 1,200 pissoirs stood around Paris and according to some the more private varieties were also used during WWII as places to discuss private matters without worrying if a Nazi was eavesdropping on you (or perhaps this was just what the men who frequented them told their wives?) By the time the 60s arrived, the city of lights had begun the process of removing its pissoirs, and only one still stands in the city on Boulevard Arago near the intersection of Rue de la Santé. Photos of Paris’ elegant pissoirs follow.
 

Boulevard Sébastopol 1875.
 

A large, elegant pissoir located at Champs-Élysées 1874.
 
More period pissoirs of Paris after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.10.2017
09:14 am
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Meet Dorothée: The French Olivia Newton-John look-a-like who sang about Ewoks and Dungeons & Dragons


 
Dorothée is the stage name of Frédérique Hoschedé, the TV host whose hit children’s show Club Dorothée ran in France for ten years. With an insane daily schedule which included a before-school show, an after-school show, and all day long broadcasts on holidays… thousands of kids spent nearly 20 hours a week watching Dorothée on their television sets. Despite the show’s extreme popularity with children, Club Dorothée‘s tight shooting schedule made it nearly impossible for the writers and producers to turnaround any sort of quality, and many teachers, parents, and intellectuals attacked Club Dorothée for being violent, lazy, and even racist programming.

Dorothée received her first break in 1973 when she was asked to host a short children’s program called Dorothée and Blablatus. Blablatus was a skinny, pink, Charles Dickens looking muppet who wore polka dot bow tie and a top hat. Program manager Eliane Victor declared that Dorothée was incompetent for the hosting job and fired her, she then spent the next several years working as a secretary in a plumbing fixture factory, as a waitress, and as a sandwich maker in a supermarket. In 1977 at the age of 24, Dorothée got a second chance at fame when she was hired to host the program Dorothée and her Friends. The show was co-presented by famous French cartoonist Cabu (who sadly became a victim of the January 2015 shootings at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices).
 
In March 1980, Dorothée released her first album Dorothée in the Land of Songs which sold 70,000 copies. She then proceeded to record one album a year from 1982 to 1997. Among her many hits were “Les Schtroumpfs” (a theme for The Smurfs), “Les petits Ewoks,” written for the Star Wars made-for-TV film movie Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, and “Donjons et dragons” (for the animated television series Dungeons & Dragons based on the role-playing game). “Allo allo monsieur l’ordinateur” (“Hello Hello Mister Computer”) was a tongue in cheek song about asking love advice from a machine and in “La valise” she sang about the items she put in her luggage, and released a new version of the song on every album. For her live concert performances, Dorothée would be joined on stage by actors wearing Ewok costumes.
 

 
In 1987, Dorothée and her producers were contacted by rival channel TF1 who offer her a higher budget, attractive salary, and a bigger studio. Club Dorothée immediately became an institution with its wild cartoons, sketches, and games. Children who were members of the studio audience could win a variety of prizes: everything from expensive gifts to series pins and subscriptions to Dorothée magazine. Dorothée presented several music episodes where she sang along with guest stars like Chuck Berry, Percy Sledge, Cliff Richard, and Ray Charles. “I have very good memories, it was non-stop craziness,” she said in an August 2012 interview. 
 
Adults were highly critical of Club Dorothée, they thought games and the sketches were ridiculous, stupid, and noneducational. Channel TF1 purchased a high volume of Japanese cartoons to help fill out the length of each program. These cartoons were poorly dubbed and broadcast without first being reviewed. Many parents found them to be too violent for children, and many complaints were filed to the CSA (the french equivalent of the FCC) after one particular cartoon featured a character wearing a Nazi-like symbol. Viewers also complained about the blatant lack of diversity in the show, pointing out that the only black people ever to have appeared on Club Dorothée were represented by the most archaically outdated stereotypes imaginable, such as a “comedic” dance sequence for a song called “Banania.”
 

 
In addition, the actors often complained about the bad sketches and dialogue that were presented to them on a daily basis. “We do not talk like that, the endless sentences that don’t mean anything, the tirades that have nothing to do with anything… we have been legally bound to go along with these scripts that don’t make any sense” said actor Philippe Vasseur. Terrible rumors about Dorothée began spreading in the early days of the internet: that she hated children, had previously acted in pornographic films, and was only interested in making money. As audience viewership and album sales declined, Club Dorothée was finally canceled in August 1997 after a ten-year run. When the show ended, Dorothée disappeared from the spotlight and immediately fell into the “Where are they now?” file. 
 

 

 

 

Posted by Doug Jones
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01.31.2017
12:23 pm
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Fierce vintage fetish wear from the 1920s and 1930s
07.21.2016
09:56 am
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A metal bra and chastity belt by Yva Richard (modeled by Nativia Richard), 1920s.
 
My DM colleague Tara McGinley recently posted some fantastic vintage images of kinky boots—and as I share her admiration for rule-breaking women and fashion I thought many of you would enjoy seeing some more provocative images from the 1920s and very early 1930s taken in Paris of models donning the latest in French fetish wear.
 

Animal print panties with a tail by Diana Slip, 1920s.
 
At the time there were only a small number of companies that were actually making the clothing that catered to the robust bondage loving, whip and chains-wearing fans that enjoying living out their fantasies in the clubs of Paris and in the privacy of their own home. If people were getting their freak on in an iron bra and matching chastity belt (pictured at the top of this post) it probably came from France. Two of the pioneering companies that were feeding the fetish community with their playthings were Yva Richard and Diana Slip.

Yva Richard was the husband and wife duo of L. Richard and Nativa Richard. Getting their start sometime in the early 1920s, Nativia was not only the talented seamstress making Yva Richard’s signature risque lingerie, but she also modeled much of the companies cheeky creations and would routinely appeared in Yva Richard’s popular mail-order catalog from which the kinky couple sold everything from masks to iron restraints. The Richards’ biggest competition back in the 20s was Diana Slip—a fetish wear company run by Léon Vidal. Vidal’s collection while very much marketed to purveyors of kink had a slightly more sophisticated air and was not as overtly deviant as Yva Richard’s designs.

The arrival of WWII and the subsequent occupation of France in the early 40s pretty much put the kibosh on the booming fetish business and both companies as well as others closed up shop. I’ve included some incredible examples of what both Yva Richard and Diana Slip were designing for their fetish loving French fans that I’m sure will get your blood pumping. If they don’t, you might want to get that checked out.

If this kind of thing is your thing (I don’t judge and neither should you) the French book Yva Richard: L’âge d’or du fétichisme features a large collection of photographs that chronicle the history of the French fetish wear pioneers. That said, some of the images that follow are NSFW.
 

Diana Slip, 1920s.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.21.2016
09:56 am
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Freaky French comic from the 70s that tells the far-out story of Frank Zappa’s ‘Stink-Foot’
06.20.2016
11:13 am
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Frank Zappa ‘Stink-Foot’ illustration.
 
The strange French comic featured in this post based on Frank Zappa’s song “Stink-Foot” from his 1974 album, Apostrophe (’) was done by French illustrator Jean Solé back in 1975 when appeared in the French satire magazine Fluide Glacial in a special comic layout called Pop & Rock & Colegram.
 

An illustration from ‘Pop & Rock & Colegram’ riffing on the RCA Victor (among others) canine spokesperson ‘Nipper’ featuring Jean Solé, Gotlieb, and Alain Dister.
 
In the comics (that were published in Fluide Glacial from 1975-1978) by French illustrators Marcel Gotlieb (known as “Gotlib”) and Jean Solé the task was to create parody-style illustrations based on popular songs from bands like the Beatles, Roxy Music, Pink Floyd and in this case Solé‘s fantastic four-page take on Zappa’s “Stink-Foot.” Translated by renowned French music journalist Alain Dister, Solé‘s illustrations of Zappa’s jazzy six-minute jam about stinky feet is pretty spot on right down to an illustration of Zappa struggling to get his smelly python boots off. Here’s a samplings of the funky lyrics from “Stink-Foot:

You know
My python boot is too tight
I couldn’t get it off last night
A week went by
And now it’s July
I finally got it off
And my girlfriend cried, YOU GOT STINK-FOOT!
Stink-foot, darlin’

Your Stink-foot
Puts a hurt on my nose
Stink-foot, stink-foot, I ain’t lyin’
Can you rinse it off, do you suppose?

Though it’s rather difficult to find, the magazine has been reprinted since 1975 and if you dig what you are about to see, it’s well worth trying to track down.
 

 
More “Stink-Foot” after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.20.2016
11:13 am
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Groove-tastic French playing cards from the 1960s
06.07.2016
01:51 pm
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I love everything about this great deck of incredible playing cards that I found at Flickr, they were put up by a user named taffeta whose real name is apparently Patricia M.

They were made by a company called Stemm in France, or maybe S.L.C. Atlanta was the company and Stemm was the product line? I don’t know. The deck seems heavily influenced by Peter Max and the geniuses responsible for the movie Yellow Submarine but it’s impossible to know.
 

 
In France the terms club, heart, spade, and diamond translate to trèfle, coeur, pique, and carreau. Meanwhile King, Queen, and Jack are represented as Roi, Dame, et Valet.

The faces are on the cards are French pop stars including Françoise Hardy, France Gall, Johnny Hallyday, Eddy Mitchell, Sylvie Vartan, Sheila, and so on. I’m pretty hopeless at matching the Google pics of those folks with these pics, so I’ll take their word for it. (Feel free to solve the puzzle in comments.)

In my opinion it’s more fun not knowing who the people are—it turns the deck into a gallery of random 60s swingers…...

For a nearly full deck, check out taffeta’s page.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…....

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.07.2016
01:51 pm
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Hara Kiri: The magazine so ‘stupid and evil’ it was banned by the French government
04.27.2016
08:46 am
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The cover of Hara Kiri magazine #132
The cover of ‘Hara Kiri’ magazine #132.The text reads: ‘What young people want? Eat the old.’
 
French adult satire magazine Hara Kiri, was one of a few magazine published back in the early 1960s that helped further along the proliferation of adult-oriented satire magazines like its American counterparts MAD and National Lampoon. Since the European outlook on humor was, let’s say, much more “open-minded” than in the U.S., Hara Kiri was able to blaze a trail bound straight for the gutter when it came to its unique brand of depraved comedic imagery.
 
A page from Hara Kiri magazine depicting a BDSM equipment salesperson
A page from Hara Kiri magazine depicting mother introducing her young daughter to BDSM ‘equipment.’ The sign reads ‘The Little Whore.’

So boundary-pushing were the staff of Hara Kiri (that for a short time included an illustrator revered by Fellini, Stan Lee and Hayao Miyazaki, Jean Henri Gaston Giraud who drew cartoons for the journal under the name “Moebius”), that it was banned from being sold to minors by the French government after the magazine lampooned the death of former President of the French Republic, Charles de Gaulle in November of 1970—suggesting that the press coverage his demise was excessive compared to the news reports surrounding the deaths of 146 people (most of them just teenagers) at the infamous fire at the French disco, Club Cinq-Sept eight days earlier.

Full of sharp and demented political satire, and gleefully dark, observational humor (such as portraying a child being usefully reappropriated as a broom, or the mother introducing her young daughter to BDSM equipment, pictured above), Hara Kiri never stopped going after organized political or religious institutions in the most inexplicable ways. To this day the decades-old images still resonate the rebellious, non-conformist spirit Hara Kiri embodied during its heyday.

I’ve included many images from the strange covers of the magazine (who enjoyed referring to itself as a “Journal bête et méchant” or “Stupid and evil journal”), as well as some of Hara Kiri’s perplexing pages from the magazine. What I wasn’t able to include in this post were some of the magazine’s best known images that are simply so perverse it’s just not possible for me to show them to you here in a family publication. But that’s what Google’s for, right?
 
The cover of Hara Kiri #186
The cover of Hara Kiri #186. The text reads (in part) ‘Pope condemns hammer blows to the mouth.’
 
A page from the French magazine Hara Kiri
A page from Hara Kiri. The text when translated reads: ‘Your child is stupid? Make it a broom!’
 
The cover of Hara Kiri #17
The cover of Hara Kiri #17. Text reads: ‘Beat your wife.’
 
Much more from the deviant pages of Hara Kiri, some which might be considered NSFW, follow after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.27.2016
08:46 am
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Intimate photographs of post-war Paris
02.11.2016
10:07 am
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A young Parisian couple dancing to Bebop in the Bebop Cellar at Vieus Colombier
A young Parisian couple dancing to Bebop in the Bebop Cellar at Vieux Colombier, 1951

“I had fun throughout my lifetime, building my own small theater”
—French photographer Robert Doisneau

 
When he passed away at the age of 81 in 1994, photographer Robert Doisneau had amassed a collection of 450,000 negatives that captured Parisian and French history throughout his 50-some odd years as a photographer.

Tarot card reader and occultist, Madame Arthur, Paris, 1951
Tarot card reader and “occultist”, Madame Arthur, Paris, 1951
 
A female worker at the Ouvrière de Renault, Boulogne Billancourt (the Renault car factory)
A female worker at the “Ouvrière de Renault”, Boulogne Billancourt (the Renault car factory)
 
At the age of nineteen, Doisneau took a job as an assistant to modernist photographer André Vigneau (who spent much of the early 1930s taking photos of fashion models, surely a dream job for a young, aspiring photographer). In 1934 Doisneau accepted a position as a photographer at the Renault car factory. Due to his habitual lateness to his day job, Doisneau was fired—an event that launched his career as a freelance photographer that would last for nearly his entire life.
 
One of Robert Doisneau many photographs of the gargoyle statues of Notre-Dame
One of Robert Doisneau’s many photographs of the gargoyle statues of Notre-Dame
 
Le Pendule (The Pendulum), 1945
“Le Pendule” (The Pendulum), 1945
 
Les potins d'Elsa Maxwell (Parisian gossip queen, Elsa Maxwell) 1952
“Les potins d’Elsa Maxwell” (American gossip queen, Elsa Maxwell, pictured in the center), 1952
 
A young Parisian couple dancing at Au Saint Yves, Paris, 1948
A young Parisian couple dancing at “Au Saint Yves”, Paris, 1948
 
While Doisneau’s name may not be familiar to you, his photograph “Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Town Hall)” is one of the most popular—and romantic—photographic images of the entire 20th century. His famous photos of the gargoyle statues that adorn Notre-Dame (one of which is pictured above) should look familiar, too. Doisneau’s post-war images, taken during the 40s and 50s captured candid moments shared by the collective residents of Paris. From members of high-society at parties, to its vagabond “tramps,” street performers, elegant circus clowns, to passionate Parisian youth dancing to “Bebop” in the clubs of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés quarter.

To say that Doisneau’s photographs are stunning, would be to vastly understate the fact that his images easily rank as one of the greatest contributions to the curation of 20th century French history. Doisneau’s work has been the subject of several books such as, Robert Doisneau, by Jean Claude Gautrand and, Robert Doisneau: A Photographer’s Life, by Peter Hamilton. I’m sure you will enjoy perusing the remarkable images that follow.
 
Les Megots (
“Les Megots” (“Butts). A “tramp” harvesting tobacco from used cigarettes in an alleyway in Paris, 1956
 
Coco Chanel,
Coco Chanel “Aux Miroirs” (The Mirrors), Paris, 1953
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.11.2016
10:07 am
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The super-kinky illustrations of the mysterious French fetish artist known only as ‘Carlo’
01.26.2016
10:09 am
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A book cover for a fetish publication called “Dolly Slave” by Carlo, late 1920s/1930s

I’m sad to say that I wasn’t able to dig up much information about the artist featured in this post, a French fetish illustrator from a century ago who went by the moniker, “Carlo.” However, Carlo’s illustrations themselves are very well-known in the world of vintage fetish. His strong sadomasochistic images and bondange-themed drawings adorned erotic magazines and the covers of naughty novels. Carlo’s first illustrations may have been seen in French erotic print as far back as 1909, and he was fairly prolific from about that time, and well into the 1930s.
 

“Slave” a fetish book cover illustrated by Carlo, late 1920s/1930s
 
Here’s what I do know about the somewhat mysterious “Carlo”—he was French and he seemed to be very, very well acquainted with the world of hardcore BDSM. His style is very much in line with another French erotic illustrator who was active at the same time known as “Esbey.” Both artists’ work appeared in several publications put out by Select-Bibliothèque, one of the very first publishing houses to put out fetish-oriented material, as well as other French publishing houses that catered to the thriving fetish community in Paris back in the very early 1900s (”spanking fiction” was especially popular back in those days, mon dieu!).
 
A fetish book cover illustrated by Carlo
 

“The Dominator”
 
When I first saw Carlo’s work, it was hard to conceive that this kind of high-level kink was a thing so long ago. I mean, we’re not just talking whips, chains and stilettos here (although there is no lack of those accessories, either): Carlo’s world as he portrayed it to be in his illustrations is full of sophisticated bondage contraptions, and S&M gear and scenarios that would make Caligula blush. And if it would make Caligula blush, it’s safe to assume what you are about to see is NSFW.

If this is your kind of thing (I don’t judge and neither should you), try to track down the 1984 book Carlo, by Robert Merodack.
 
Bondage fetish illustration by Carlo
 

“The Triumphant Leather”
 
Fetish illustration by Carlo
 
More vintage BDSM smut from ‘Carlo’ after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.26.2016
10:09 am
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‘Legs & Attitudes’: Vintage French leg fetish magazine from 1930
01.14.2016
01:49 pm
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Jambes Et Attitudes or
Jambes Et Attitudes or “Legs and Attitudes” a French leg fetish magazine from that was published in Paris around 1930
 
Fetish magazines started popping up around Paris in the late 1920s and some of these very first titillating publications glorified women’s “jambes” or legs.
 
Jambes Et Attitudes or
A leg fetish model from Jambes Et Attitudes
 
One of these magazines was called Jambes Et Attitudes which when translated to English is the equally super-hot sounding, “Legs and Attitudes.” The magazine was published in Paris for about a year starting around 1930, and contained photos that were supposed to give you the impression that the images you were looking were candid - which they clearly are not. But they are incredible to look at (and slightly NSFW), which is what you should do right now. If this subject interests you, vintage copies of Jambes Et Attitudes can be found out there for anywhere from a hundred to a few hundred dollars a pop.
 

“Penning a Friend” from Jambes Et Attitudes
 
More legs and additional attitudes after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.14.2016
01:49 pm
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Photographs of the ‘supreme Beatnik chick’ who inspired Patti Smith (NSFW)
11.04.2015
11:19 am
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In the early 1950s, a young Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken arrived in Paris to begin his career as a photographer. By day he worked for Magnum, by night—inspired by Weegee’s photographs in Picture Post—Van der Elsken documented the emerging underground youth culture of the city’s Left Bank.

In 1954, Van der Elsken compiled a volume of photographs Love on the Left Bank that followed a young Beatnik girl “Ann” through the gangs of bohemians, musicians and vagabonds who hung around the bars, clubs and flophouses of St Germain-des-Prés. Ann was in fact “played” by Vali Myers—an Australian artist, model, muse and associate of Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet, who Patti Smith later recalled as:

...the supreme beatnik chick—thick red hair and big black eyes, black boatneck sweaters and trench coats.

As described on its first publication in 1956, Love on the Left Bank was “a story in photographs about Paris”—a freeform impressionistic tale of Ann and her life among the “young men and girls who haunt the Left bank”:

They dine on half a loaf, smoke hashish, sleep in parked cars or on benches under the plane trees, sometimes borrowing a hotel room from a luckier friend to shelter their love. Some of them write,or paint, or dance. Ed van der Elsken, a young Dutch photographer, stalked his prey for many months along the boulevards, in the cafés and under the shadow of prison walls. Whatever may happen in real life to Ann and her Mexican lover, their strange youth will be preserved ‘alive’ in this book for many years.

Ed Van der Elsken‘s photographs changed perceptions about youth culture and anticipated the changes a younger generation brought to culture during the 1960s. Love on the Left Bank is available again, having been republished by Dewi Lewis publishers.
 
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More after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.04.2015
11:19 am
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What a dick: The porniest grave in Paris’s Père Lachaise cemetery
09.22.2015
11:30 am
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The Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris receives hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, some who simply walk the beautiful grounds indiscriminately, others on single-minded pilgrimages to visit the tombs of great historical figures like Maria Callas, Marcel Proust or… Jim Morrison. Among these more internationally famous graves is a little-known political journalist, Victor Noir, who was unceremoniously shot dead in a duel by Prince Pierre Bonaparte. Noir is actually pretty well known with Parisians; as a victim of imperial swine, he became a martyr of the people, and his funeral was attended by over 100,000 people.

Oh, and he has a massive crotch bulge.

Noir’s member is so pronounced and popular, it actually has a cult following. The legend is that a little kiss and grope will bring sexual luck, which is why Noir’s groin and face are smooth and coppery, the green patina that coats the rest of the sculpture worn away by randy ladies. Maybe he was actually packing, or maybe sculptor Jules Dalou (the craftsman charged with immortalizing him) just took some artistic license with Noir’s physique. The only thing we know for sure is that this is the most famous—and beautifully rendered!—trouser snake in Père Lachaise.
 

 
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Posted by Amber Frost
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09.22.2015
11:30 am
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Vintage Paris ‘pleasure guides’ for horny tourists
08.20.2015
10:20 am
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Despite suffering so many casualties in WWI that its military-eligible population was still decimated when WWII came around, France’s economy bounced back fairly quickly in the wake of Europe’s devastation in the “War to End All Wars.” That 1920s recovery was partly based on two enduringly popular items which were made abundantly available in Paris: alcohol and women’s bodies. Americans, flush with cash in a stock bubble and weary of the prudery that led to alcohol prohibition, visited Paris for cocktails and cockteases. Paris’ sexualized entertainments ran the gamut from mere topless revues to outright sex for sale, and the publishing industry capitalized with “Pleasure Guides” for horny tourists.

Now, some of these were pretty much ordinary tourist guides tarted up with sexy cover art. This English-language guide below, via Archive.org, is a browser widget that lets you actually flip through the book. (The entry on page 79 for the notoriously gory Grand-Guignol is priceless, as it’s demure to the point of deceptiveness.) It picks up a bit of steam on page 121, a chapter titled “The Worst Parts of Paris.”
 

 

 

In front of the Métro Combat, a little to the right, after nº 120, stretches up towards the Buttes-Chaumont the small rue Moniol, which the rue Asselin cuts across, cutting out from the centre of said cross a block of dingy houses called the «Monjol fort», a citadel of love in which a dozen groundfloor rooms each hide in the mouldering walls three or four women, all fallen to the last degree of the vilest prostitution.

Bepainted, scarcely clad in a mere unfastened dressing-gown of oriental colours, they await, watch and call the stevedores and the «sides» who swarm at that hour in the bars around, and who prowl about and succeed one another at their half-closed doors, bespattered with a wan light from within.

You’re just crazy-horny now, aren’t you? Say what you will, that second ‘graf is poetry.

But of course, while the tamer guides were legit tourist resources with a few references to the sex trade—disguised as warnings to provide cover to both the reader and the publisher—other books were just straight-up lists of bordellos. UC Berkeley professor Mel Gordon, in his forthcoming Feral House book Horizontal Collaboration: The Erotic World of Paris, 1920-1946, writes

Paris, universally referred to as Paname by the locals because of de rigueur hats worn by male fashion plates, was back in business. By 1923, over 250,000 American tourists had made their way across the Atlantic to explore the French capital. Fleeing their country’s draconian Prohibition laws and flush with wads of hard currency, the worldly trekkers weren’t just there to inspect the landmarks and museums or ferret out its fine dining establishments. They were drawn to la Ville-Lumière for a more unconventional list of enticements, many of which were primly catalogued in the city’s official directories or featured in the voyagers’ naughty guidebooks.

The classifications of the brothels in many ways resembled those of hotels or restaurants. In general, they were broken into three categories: mammoth luxury establishments, where customers might spend the better part of an evening (masons de tolérance); intimate, more personal-sized dwellings (maisons de ren- dez-vous); and dirt-cheap lairs that mimicked the speed and efficiency of a factory assembly line (maisons d’abattage).

Annual directories and business cards advertised and updated the latest additions to the maisons closes. Smaller houses relocated with some regularity and, occasionally, the names of competing brothels — based on street addresses or landladies’ nicknames — were confusingly duplicated. So there were multiple Château d’Eaus, Chez Billys, Chez Suzys, Le Hanovres, Le Panier Fleuris, and Temples of Beauty. Guidebooks, like the ubiquitous Guide Rose or Guide-Indicateur des Maisons de Plaisirs et d’Art de Paris, were essential aids.

 

 
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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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08.20.2015
10:20 am
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Anarchy in Paris: Métal Urbain, classic French punk rock group
08.27.2014
12:39 am
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Métal Urbain were Francophone contemporaries of the Sex Pistols and The Clash. Formed in 1976 by Clode Panik, Hermann Schwartz, Pat Luger and Eric Debris, the French punk rock group’s harsh and noisy sound replaced the rhythm section with a synthesizer and drum machine. Sonically, they came across as aggressive—if not more so—as their English or American counterparts with the exception of maybe Suicide or The Screamers. Lead singer Clode Panik sounds a bit like a French version of The Fall’s Mark E. Smith.

The group’s second single, “Paris Maquis” was Rough Trade’s very first record release and John Peel showed his support on his BBC 1 Radio show, going so far as to record a “Peel Session” with them. Sadly they never really made it and broke up in 1979 as there was no appreciable French punk scene to begin with and the media in their home country just couldn’t be bothered with them. Métal Urbain’s distinctively raw guitar sound is said to have had an influence on Big Black’s Steve Albini and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Métal Urbain reformed in 2003 and toured the US. The New York-based Acute label compiled Anarchy in Paris! that year gathering up their complete output during the life of the band with a few outtakes and alternate versions. In 2006, Jello Biafra produced their album, J’irai chier dans ton vomi, in San Francisco. An EP followed in 2008.

Below, Métal Urbain lip-synching “Paris Maquis” on French TV in 1978:

 
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Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.27.2014
12:39 am
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