Hand-painted flapper girl workouts

flap them wings baby

The Fashion Institute of Technology blog recently posted a series of pages from a 1920s fitness club manual:

The publication La Culture Physique de la Femme Elégante is an exquisitely rare and beautiful testament to these early days of the widespread promotion of fitness for women.  It was issued as a folio containing twelve pochoir plates on board depicting women in a variety of calisthenic poses.

The illustrations, by fashion illustration icon Germaine-Paule Joumard, are absolutely gorgeous.

Pochoir was a pre-lithography printmaking technique involving the hand-application of gouache paint in stenciled patterns. It was often used as a high-end way to reproduce (and was a perfect fit for) the bold shapes that were the hallmark of Art Deco illustration.

Check out the entire set — a full dozen of these full-color windows into a cheery, bright, pre-Pilates world — at the FIT blog or on the Slate Vault.