Friday, August 22, 2014

Miss Europe postcards

The 1930 French film, Prix de beauté (also known as Miss Europa), tells the story of a typist named  Lucienne (played by Louise Brooks) stuck in a dull job whose life changes when she wins a beauty contest. The film was based on a screenplay by Augusto Genina, René Clair, Bernard Zimmer, and Alessandro de Stefani from an original story idea by René Clair and G.W. Pabst.

The story plays out against the backdrop of a "Miss Europe" beauty contest, an actual event just beginning to take hold in the European consciousness. According to its Wikipedia entry, "Miss Europe" was a beauty pageant among female contestants from European nations established in February 1929 by Maurice de Waleffe. It was first held at the Paris Opera where delegates from 18 countries participated. Here is another page about the history of the contest. And this page has a lot of images of vintage postcards. More images will show up on a Google image search.

For many years, "Miss Europe" proved a popular event. And picture postcards depicting the various participants were issued on annual basis. (A handful of cards from around the time of Prix de beauté are shown below). RadioLulu even features a Polish song from the 1930's celebrating "Miss Polonia" (Miss Poland).

Miss Denmark, 1929
Miss Poland, 1929
Miss Greece, 1930
also Miss Europe, 1930

Miss France, 1931
also Miss Europe, 1931

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