Category Archives: Holidays

December in Review

For those of you who think I do nothing but shop for vintage treasures, I’m showing a bit of my Instagram photos from December.  Instagram has turned out to be the surprise of the internet for me.  I love these little glimpses into the lives of people around the world.  It’s the only social media that I use without a direct connection to this blog, so it is more like play.  You can get a sneak peek by clicking the link at the right.  You don’t even have to set up an account to view photos.

I showed the progress on my French couture jacket.  Here is the collar and the fringe.  This was the last component in the construction of the jacket.

I share a lot of my Scottie dog collection on Instagram.  There are lots of Scottie lovers there.

I’m in the process of reading the memoir of Stanley Marcus, a book I found at the Goodwill Outlet.  Marcus was the CEO of Neiman-Marcus for many years.  So much fashion history…

And more of the Holiday decorations.

This is a project I’ll be showing here in a few days.  It’s a Harris Tweed / cashmere sweater mash-up.

Christmas dinner with my family was celebrated at a local restaurant.  That’s my little great-nephew and his daddy, nephew #2.

Carolina Boulevard in Clyde, NC.

Today I visited a museum in Asheville, and took a few photos of some of the great architecture.  This is the S&W Cafeteria, an Art Deco masterpiece.

I want to thank all of you who take the time to read The Vintage Traveler.  Having this blog and the conversations and friendship here have helped me deal with the loss of my sister.  I’m so pleased that over the past year the readership has almost doubled.  I look forward to more of our discussions of fashion past.

 

15 Comments

Filed under Holidays

Season’s Greetings

I sat down to compile The Vintage Miscellany, but soon realized that there was not much of note to share.  I’m guessing people were too busy celebrating Christmas to be spend much time on the internet.  So instead of the regular feature, I hope you enjoy this fun video card from Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum.

My thanks to Jonathan and Kenn of the Fashion History Museum for sending it my way.

7 Comments

Filed under Holidays, Museums

A Christmas Satchel

Here’s the perfect Vintage Traveler Christmas card, a little satchel with Christmas travel stickers.  I’ve had this 1920s card for probably 30 years, long before I imagined I’d be spending part of my retirement writing about fashion and textile history.

I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas.  Thanks for taking the time to read The Vintage Traveler, and for all the nice words of encouragement.  Slow down, relax, and enjoy the Holiday!

Click to enlarge

Click

12 Comments

Filed under Holidays

Vintage Christmas Fabric

If you haven’t been into a fabric store recently, especially one that carries mainly printed cottons, you might be really surprised at the huge selection of prints.  There are novelty prints for every hobby and cartoon character and animal.  There are prints for baby, for John Deere drivers, and football fans.  There are hundreds of “retro” prints, some that could easily pass for real vintage.

I actually have a few pieces in my fabric stash that I honestly can’t say what the ages of them are.  Sometimes the width is a clue.  The above pink and red (and awesome) print is 35 inches wide.  The width is a hint, but not a guarantee that the fabric is older than last week.  I do know that this piece is vintage because it came with an original label.

Isn’t the detailing something?

This piece is also vintage.  It is a border print, and it may look like one side of a tablecloth, but it is cotton broadcloth, and was perfect for aprons, gathered skirts, and dresses for little girls.

This is a piece of cotton flannel that I bought from etsy several years ago.  It was sold as vintage, and the fabric is 35 inches wide, but I’ve never been 100% sure that it is vintage.  I’d like to think it is from 1960 or so.  I adore that script font.

I’d like to add that none of these fabrics have information printed on the selvage.  Most modern prints that I’ve looked at in the past five years or so do have a printed selvage.  “Designer” fabrics are a very big deal in the quilting and crafting world, and many have the designer’s name and even the name of the print.

Don’t miss the enlarged version.

And finally, here’s another mystery fabric to ponder.  I have two eighteen inch squares of this print that I bought at my not so secret shopping place about five years ago.  They are edged by an overlock stitch, which might lead one to think they were meant to be napkins.  However, the thread is an ugly grey.

If this is a contemporary print, then the designer got a lot of things right.  The font looks vintage, as do the colors.  The use of the harlequin type diamond print on the packages looks vintage.  The stylized Christmas trees with the atomic shapes look vintage.  I could go on, but you get the point.  It’s almost like every vintage Christmas cliche in thrown into one print.  Too good to be true?  It won’t hurt my feelings if you think it is new.

 

 

26 Comments

Filed under Holidays, Novelty Prints, Southern Textiles

Charm – December 1952

Could a Christmas look be any more festive?  Here’s proof that one does not have to be wearing a big gaudy red sweater decorated with Santa’s sleigh complete with reindeer, including Rudolph with light-up nose.

No, all it takes is a softly structured coat in a soft dove grey, sparkly earrings, bright red lipstick, and a gloved hand full of carefully chosen and wrapped gifts.

16 Comments

Filed under Holidays, Too Marvelous for Words

Christmas Windows, Asheville NC

I went to Asheville today to see what was “new” in my favorite vintage places, and also to check out the Christmas windows.   It had never occurred to me that Asheville might have great holiday windows, but I saw in the newspaper that there had been a design contest on the theme “A Star is Born,” and I felt I owed it to myself to see them.  I had no illusions that the Saks and Bergdorf’s and Macy’s windows were facing stiff competition, but for a small city like Asheville I thought the display was pretty impressive.

Over the past twenty years, the civic leaders in Asheville have worked hard to revitalize downtown.  After most of the stores and restaurants abandoned the area and relocated at the mall, downtown Asheville was a rather scary place.  Only a few stores were able to hold on.  But they did, and slowly they were joined by other urban pioneers.  Today downtown Asheville is a wonderful place to shop and eat.  Best of all, almost all the businesses are locally owned.

But enough bragging on my little city.  Here is a tour of some of my favorite windows.

Click

This window was made entirely of layers of cut paper.  It really was a showstopper.  Note that there is no product to be found!  This was one of the windows at
Sensibilities Day Spa.

Click

This sock monkey carolers window was at the yarn shop, Purl’s Yarn Emporium.

Windows are really hard to photograph, so I’m sorry about the quality of this one at clothing store, Caravans.

I cannot resist polar bears.

This is one of the windows at Spiritex, which is a clothing store.  All the clothing is made here in Western North Carolina.

This is one of four star windows at the Chevron Trading Post.   These stars are made of paper and they are stunning.

This is the window at Mountain Lights, which is a seller of locally made candles and crafts.

Hip Replacements had a retro theme and won the Judges’ Favorite prize.  They sell retro and vintage clothing.

I couldn’t help but notice that some of the most effective windows I saw today were the ones that featured only a few, or even one product.  Some of the windows that I did not photograph looked like windows from the turn of the 20th century where shopkeepers piled the windows high with as much merchandise as possible.  I think people are attracted to visual clutter (like the star windows) but the clutter has to make sense.   Trying to show everything in the shop is just confusing.

So, what are the holiday windows like in your corner of the world?

7 Comments

Filed under Curiosities, Holidays, North Carolina, Shopping

Mid Century Christmas in Aqua and Pink

This vintage apron is made from what I think to be the best Christmas novelty print ever.   Not only are the 1950s colors fantastic, just look at those reindeer.

Several years ago I decided to forego the traditional red and green decorations, and instead began searching out vintage blue and aqua things.  While finding vintage ball ornaments in blue is pretty easy, I  was stymied when it came to finding textiles such as tablecloths.  I do know there was an aqua Christmas tablecloth made in the 1950s, because I’ve seen it and its hefty pricetag on etsy and ebay.

But I was lucky to find this apron.  I’ve seen a lot of Christmas textiles, but I’ve never seen any other this whimsical with these colors.  I know some of you readers are mid century collectors, and I’d be interested to know if you have ever encountered any textile items that are similar.

The apron goes nicely with my snowflake glasses, even though my photos make the apron look too blue.

I don’t collect, nor do I wear, aprons.  I bought this purely for the textile design, just like I bought the other five aprons in my possession for their textiles.

7 Comments

Filed under Holidays, Vintage Clothing