Vintage Iran| A Pictorial Time Travel

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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Comments (68)

  • apuginthekitchen 10 years ago Reply

    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?

    Azita 10 years ago Reply

    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 🙂

    apuginthekitchen 10 years ago

    I didn’t know the names of the garb used in Iran. It
    s really such a drastic difference from the 60’s to now it would be fascinating.

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago

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

  • Liz 10 years ago Reply

    I have enjoyed browsing through “Vintage Iran” Anything vintage is always special. The stewardesses look very colourful. Thanks for sharing!

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    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 …. ?

  • talkavino 10 years ago Reply

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

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    Oh indeed, indeed. A strange game.

  • tinywhitecottage 10 years ago Reply

    A lovely post Azita. What beauty and culture you have presented. Love the photograph circa 1962 with Mr. President and Mrs. Kennedy. The expressions are priceless.

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    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! 😉

  • tableofcolors 10 years ago Reply

    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!

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    I know exactly what you mean! Thank you so much for visiting. Always love hearing from you!

  • Tina 10 years ago Reply

    Love this, will share with Persian friends!!

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    Mersi Tina jan! How’s the Persian cooking going? 😉

    Tina 10 years ago

    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.

  • Azita, Beautiful photos and a lovely post. So interesting, historical and important. Best, Shanna

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    Thank you dear Shanna!

  • Ganga108 10 years ago Reply

    Wonderful! Love that first pic…. And the men look so dreamy 🙂

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    It’s the same guy and I must say, looking at his pix I concur that he is smooooooking!

  • Wow! Beautiful post.

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    Thank you Liz jan! 🙂

  • tastytreats13 10 years ago Reply

    What a great post!

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    I tried, so thank you! 😀

  • spicebox travels 10 years ago Reply

    Beautiful and do interesting! Happy weekend!

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    thank you! hope you had a lovely weekend as well!

  • Gather and Graze 10 years ago Reply

    A fabulous selection of vintage photos Azita – wonderful to see some of the Persian styles of the 60’s and 70’s… and to be introduced to Behrooz and Googoosh! Gorgeous!

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    Margot: I’m so happy that now you know about Googoosh and Behrooz!

  • Fae's Twist & Tango 10 years ago Reply

    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! 😀 )))

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    dear Fae, yadeh roozhayeh gozashteh … na? xoxo

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    ps hanooz ham fan googoosh hastid?

  • 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.

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    I haven’t seen The Past yet but keep hearing wonderful things about it. Must go check it out. The daughter of one of the famous filmmakers is also a respected film maker but can’t think of another one. I’m sure there are some but I just have to educate myself about the subject.
    You remind me that I really should read about Shirin Ebadi …
    Thank you so much for visiting!

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    minutes after replying to you, I saw link on Twitter about Iranian art community with a photo of a female film maker! How about that?

    Oh thank you so much Azita, for that link, very educational, love it. Meanwhile, one female film maker came to my mind, Maryam Keshavarz, I went to the opening of her last movie, and she gave interview.

  • Interesting post. I had a couple of friends who lived in Teheran at that time…they had a wonderful life:)

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    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!

  • Calorielicious 10 years ago Reply

    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! 🙂

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    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.

    Calorielicious 10 years ago

    There were in the 90s!! I was still in school then, lived there for about 4 years!

  • The Novice Gardener 10 years ago Reply

    Now this is utterly fascinating. What a great country with such rich history! I think you’re giving us a clue, hmm…

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    😉 uh maybe more like wishful thinking my astute friend xoxo

  • gypsymoonsilverspoon 10 years ago Reply

    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!

  • diary of a tomato 10 years ago Reply

    We inherited a photo album that documents my husband’s uncle’s trip to meet the Shah of Iran, now I have to see if I can find it again… Thanks for this wonderful interlude!

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    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!!

  • Fabulous and fun post, Azita! I remember seeing photos in old magazines of Jackie O, JFK and the Shah – such glamorous times!

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

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

  • The Healthy Epicurean 10 years ago Reply

    Thank you for the eye candy! That apart, fascinating post (particularly the magic carpets 😉 )

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    A+ for magic carpet reference! you made my day 🙂
    And: you’re welcome re eye candy! ha ha

  • polianthus 10 years ago Reply

    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.

  • Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    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! 😉

    Polianthus 10 years ago Reply

    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

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago

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

  • Amanda 10 years ago Reply

    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.

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    She didn’t want me to be corrupted, ha ha!

  • thehungrymum 10 years ago Reply

    Fabulous photos! I love seeing pix from another time – so interesting.

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    Cool! Because I want to share some more! thank you for visiting 🙂

  • Francesca 10 years ago Reply

    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!

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    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! 🙂

  • az reen 10 years ago Reply

    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

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    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! 🙂

  • laurasmess 10 years ago Reply

    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

    Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    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?

  • […] start with the national Iranian airline again. In contrast with the swinging 60′s mini skirt touting flight attendants of the last Friday post, here are some pix I found of a modern day Iran Air crew: pilot , co-pilot […]

  • Love this post!!!

  • Fig & Quince 10 years ago Reply

    Thank you Farnaz jan! Keshvaremoon …

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  • PaprikaVeronica 10 years ago Reply

    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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