Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Non-centrefold Venus of the Month 7: Mary, March 1983

A new source for this month's non-centrefold of the month and a typically stylish pictorial from the pages of the French Lui magazine's March 1983 issue.  The photos of the girl, who is only known as "Mary", are by Raoul Ahoup who not only shot a fair few pictorials for Lui (many of which also appeared in Oui) but also photographed for Penthouse a couple of times in the mid eighties. 

The very French Lui magazine was founded by Daniel Filipacchi (b.1928) in the early sixties.  Although France had a long history of girly magazines, Filipacchi wanted a magazine that would be more like Playboy, with its wider lifestyle interests, than the dozens of girly magazines then being published in the country at the time. The most popular men's magazines in France at this time were the digest sized Paris-Hollywood, first published in 1946 and La Vie Parisienne which had been published since the eighteen nineties!  France, which had invented the girly magazine, was finding that Playboy and the new American magazines arriving in its wake, as well as European competitors from Scandinavia, were making its men's magazines look very dull and old fashioned indeed.

Filipacchi was originally a fashion photographer and had then moved into radio broadcasting, music production and  a publisher of music magazines.  He set up Lui with his friend Frank Ténot and Jacques Lanzmann.  The first edition came out in November 1963 and was an immediate success.  Filipacchi's strong visual sense led to the employment of some of the top photographers in the world to produce the magazine's images.

Mixing unknown, but usually stunningly beautiful models with up and coming, and even established, French actresses, in its hey day it arguably had the most beautiful pictures of the most beautiful women of any men's magazine.  They often looked like (and indeed were) slim, leggy fashion model types rather than the curvy, busty models of Playboy and the American magazines. Many of Lui's pictorials would later appear in Oui magazine in America, which was a co-operative venture between Filipacchi and Playboy's Hugh Hefner.

By the mid-eighties Lui was in something of a decline.  Filipacchi relaunched the magazine in 1987 but by 1993 circulation had dropped to 70,000 compared with 350,000 in 1980.  The final issue under Filipacchi's control was June 1994. The magazine was sold and the current quarterly magazine, published under the same name, bears no resemblance to the original.

As regards levels of explicitness, Lui followed Playboy closely with slightly more explicit labia shots appearing in the late seventies. By the early eighties this rather more assertive, but still tasteful, style of shots was starting to appear.  

We like the simplicity of this set with its high contrast lighting, limited colour palette and the almost abstracted style of some of the pictures.  It really does epitomise the sexy elegance of many of the Lui pictorials from the seventies and early eighties.

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