Vintage Iran| A Pictorial Time Travel

Iranian airline stewardesses wearing mini skirts in hues of pastel posing front of Persian airplane melli Iran

Vintage Iran Air & Iranian Airline Stewardesses circa 60’s | SOURCE

A Friday post calls for a fun post. So I thought I’d round up for you some images of Iran that have caught my eye while perusing the Internet. The theme: vintage Iran of the 60′s and the 70′s. Let’s travel back in time. Berim!

This first picture is of 4 Iranian airline stewardesses (flight attendants) posing with varying degrees of levity in front of a plane that bears the words: “هواپیمای ملی‌ ایران” which means: Iran’s National Airline. In English lettering to the left of the plane we have “Persia” except that the “P” is cropped out of the shot, leaving us with just “ersia.”

Judging by the outfits, this is the Mad Men era. And judging by the length (or lack thereof) of the skirts, it is Mad Men circa Don Draper’s second (Megan Draper) and not first (Betty Draper) wife. In Iran, mini skirts were known as “mini jupe” — the French term for the said style of garment.

By the way, going back to the airplane, do you see the 10th window-portal of from the right? Those were usually the reserved row of seats where the rolled up flying magic carpets would be stored for use in case of an emergency.

I kid! I kid.

Iranian movie star heartthrob vintage collage

Behrooz Vossoghi Iranian movie star & heartthrob | SOURCE

This rather handsome man, Behrooz Vossoghi, was the biggest matinee idol (think Brad Pitt or George Clooney) of my parents’ epoch. I don’t believe I ever saw even one of his films as my parents were rather picky and strict about the type of movies we could watch. Pity, but such are the cards we are dealt in life. Do you see the movie poster in the top middle that reads: Arrivederchi Tehran? Oh, I would so like to see it! Netflix … are you listening?

B&W photo Gooogoosh Behrooz Vossoghi embracing iranian pop stars movie stars Persian vintage

Googoosh & Behroos Vosooghi – The Iranian Brangelina of Yore | SOURCE

Like any sex symbol movie star worth his salt, Behrooz Vossoghi was romantically linked to a number of stars and starlets. None however piqued the interest of people more than his pairing off with Googoosh. Ah, Googoosh, Googoosh! Googoosh was a huge pop star, an icon, and someone I would like to feature at length. But for now, let’s just note how pretty the two look together and leave it at that. Behrooz Vossoghi and Googoosh married, divorced, and made a few (not good but popular) movies together.

 Royal Guests Arrive--President and Mrs. Kennedy welcome the Shah and Empress of Iran as the royal couple arrive the White House tonight for a state dinner in their honor. Tags :

Persian Royal guests greeted by President and Mrs. Kennedy at the White House. 1962

Speaking of vintage and times gone by, you can’t get more vintage than this: Jacki O, the Shah of Iran, Farah Diba the former Empress of Iran, and JFK – all dressed to the nines – on the occasion of what I presume can be nothing other than a formal White House visit circa Camelot. I do like how they all seem sincerely interested and engaged.

Iran's Miss World Contestant posing in front of a Paykan car vintage Persian photos

Iran’s Miss World Contestant posing in front of a Paykan car | SOURCE

So many things to note about this picture! It is the cover of what was a very popular women’s magazine named “Zan ‘eh Rooz’ which means “Today’s Woman.” My mom would bring issues to the house but I was strictly forbidden from reading it. However, I will confess that I considered it a dare and managed to read every issue, front to back and back to front, on the sly. This particular cover is apparently of that year’s “Dokhtareh Shayesteh” which literally means “glorious girl” (or something like that) and which was Iran’s title given to the winner of a beauty pageant who would go on to compete in the Miss World competition. This cover announces the excitment of Iran’s contestant’s impending trip to partake in the international beauty pageant competition.

Most interestingly: she’s posing in front a Paykan car.

Tehran highway exit sign Persian English bilingual reads 1 kilometer to exit Tehran Iran vintage old photo

You will exit Tehran in 1 Kilometer. | Source

The bilingual highway sign is sufficient commentary for this photo I found online, don’t you think? I can look at this photograph for a long long time.

This truly is a moment frozen in time. On the verge of exiting Tehran.

While I dream of seeing the sign on the other side of the highway:

“ENTER. TEHRAN. 1 Kilometer.”

heart black white graphic thumbnail illustration digital

68 thoughts on “Vintage Iran| A Pictorial Time Travel

  1. Wow, thats incredible. It would be really cool to see before and after, those lovely women dressed in contemporary clothing a stark contrast to how the women of Iran look today wearing the birka (sp?) So interesting Azita, loved this post. Look at Miss World in her mini dress!! I am assuming there is still Iran Air, how do the stewardesses dress today?

    • I agree – that kind of juxtaposition would be quite interesting. I may do a follow up with contemporary images. Women in Iran now wear some degree or other of hijab (covering of hair and the more religious women wear a flowing loose cloth called chadoor) but women do not wear the birka in Iran. That’s a custom of some of the Arabian nations. Thank you for giving me some inspiring feedback 🙂

      • I had a different idea for the Friday post, but seriously, you inspired me to do a before and after type of post!

    • Why is it that “vintage” fills us with … I don’t even know what to name that feeling but agree, there’s something very special about it. I guess, the quality of being irrevocably gone maybe …. ?

  2. These picture sure can bring up lots of memories… it almost look like someone played a strange time game and reversed “then” and “now”…

    • Thank you so much! That pic was such a find! I was quite excited when I first saw the picture! I’m learning about Iran’s history through the Internet! 😉

  3. What an interesting post of times past! Reminds me of times when I would look through my Gramma’s old Life magazines full of vintage photos. There is something so inspiring in them. Thanks for a great read full of interesting photos!

      • Thanks Azita. My cooking is coming along slowly. I have a good grip on simple boiled, then steamed rice (our new rental stove cooks a little hot) but I get a nice colored tahdig. Our white fish, marinaded with saffron, egg, and salt and pepper, then lightly breaded was delicious! (served with green rice). and of course, lubia polo (this must be every beginner’s meal). I am working my way to fesenjoon and the KooKoo’s!! I am paying attention to how the meal is presented (half the fun). I will check out where to send some pictures.

  4. Thank you, Azita-jan. It surely brought back lots of memories. I left Iran when I was 5, and when I returned to Tehran, lived there for 5 years only in late the 60s before I came to the USA. I think the photo of Shah & Farah with the Kennedy’s is in 1961. I was fan of Googoosh and my mother used to subscribe to Zane Ruz too! 😀 )))

  5. Thank you so much for posting that, Azita. I have read so many books about the Persian culture and especially about women’s lives back than, for example Shirin Ebadi,the nobel prize winner and many others. Have you seen the latest Iranian movie, “The Past”, Iranians are most excellent movie makers, but haven’t seen any women movie makers yet???? Salam for now.

    • Life was … different. I wish I’d experienced it as a grown up. If you are still in touch with your friends, please tell them I’d love it if they’d share either stories or pix of their time. Would truly love it!

  6. Incredible post!! I can only imagine what a glorious time that might have been!!! I was in Tehran in the 90s, and although it was rather different from these pictures, I can still relate to the Peykan cars and the beautiful people! 🙂

    • So there are still Peykan cars around? I’ve heard traffic & driving is crazy! Wonder what took you to Iran? Anyhow, very happy to meet you and thank you for sharing your story about Iran.

  7. Oh man, I have such a soft spot for old photos. These are glorious. I think my favourite is the last one of the two girls on the highway outside Tehran, and yes, very fascinating that it is bilingual. I would be really neat to go back to that spot and see what it looks like today!

    • How interesting! Thank you for telling me! I’m trying hard not to be nosey and ask re the circumstances of yours husband’s uncle to meet the Shah of Iran. Oh please oh please: I hope you find and once you find it I hope you’ll share the photos!!

    • Agree, such glamorous times! I wonder if people will look at images from these days, years from now, and find them impossibly glamorous.

  8. It’s a fascinating country – with a lot of tragedy in the past 100 years, and some of the most beautiful and interesting people I’ve ever met. Just reading “things Ive been silent about?” and wishing I’d visited Iran when I’d had the chance.

  9. I had to stop reading “Things I’ve been silent about” 3/4th into it. For reasons I can’t entirely wax eloquent here but I definitely read (the parts that I read) with avid interest and it was also interesting because she described a life I didn’t get to experience and could only glean through her writing. When was it that you got a chance to visit Iran?

    Let’s go together! 😉

    • Funnily enough I am now also 3/4 into it and am starting to struggle with the book too, not sure why it is though. I used to be very close to an Iranian family but we’ve lost touch over the years, however that would have presented an opportunity to go over under the family wing so to speak! Were you born there – have you been back?
      Yes, Let’s go together on a magic carpet 🙂 ! Happy weekend

      • Born there never been back since we left and I so want to get on that magic carpet! Let’s!

  10. What a cool post. I really like hearing your stories about growing up. So funny that your mom wouldn’t let you read her mags. These images are great and your commentary paints a picture. It really helps to me to understand your perspective on food to sort of hear the background.

  11. Am I detecting a Mad Men fan? That show is fantastic! Don’t you think the picture of the two celebrities are the Persian version of Brigitte Bardot and Roger Vadim? I love the pictures with the Royals. So chic!

    • You are correct in your detection! Do I in turn detect another fan? So much to talk about! 😉

      I see what you mean about the Bardot and Vadim comparison. Googoosh in this picture for sure is channeling that type of “who me?” sex kitten vibe but I don’t know … I think good ol’ Behrooz is zexier than Vadim.

      Most importantly: it always brightens up my day to hear from you! 🙂

  12. oh! now i know that googoosh and behrooz were a couple in real. i watched hamsafar movie and that’s the first movie before revolution that i watched. it was a little bit awkward at first to watch scenes like romance, holding hands and drinking alcohol as i always watched iranian films after revolution. 🙂

    by the way, nice post! keep posting

    • Oh yeah, that’s one of the most famous films they made together. I only heard the soundtrack, ha ha! Thanks for reading and commenting and visiting! 🙂

  13. Wow. This is so, so fascinating Azita! You’ve taught me so much about Persian culture just by reading your blog. Love it. The vintage pictures are awesome… it’s amazing just how much fashion and pop culture has transformed over the years. Haha, I wonder if every culture has its own ‘Brangelina’? Googoosh and Behrooz are definitely a fine pair!! xx

    • Laura, did you change you favicon? I love it! Is it an oven or is it an alarm clock? either way it looks adorable! & also: thank you darling! So who’s the Brangelina in Australia?

  14. Pingback: Contemporary Iran | A Pictorial Internet Odyssey | Fig & Quince

  15. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you
    relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just
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  16. Stunning Iran, still one of the most beautiful countries in the world (despite its changes and some contemporary issues). I really appreciate its beauty.Thanks for the photos, they are truly beautiful and nostalgic.

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