Vintage Miscellany – November 17, 2013

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How many college freshmen does it take to pull the firewood from the forest?  That question seems to be answered by these students from Middlebury College in Vermont.  The young women are interestingly dressed.  The one in front is wearing beads with her knickers.  Only two of the women are wearing pants, even though it is a cold and snowy day outside.  Of course the photo is staged, and that might explain the odd dress.

Note the sweater on the first young man.  Nifty!

*  For fans of the film Bill Cunningham New York, I’m sad to say that the wonderful Editta Sherman has died.   She had a most interesting life.

*   The Pendleton blog has a great post on their classic Turnabout skirt, explaining how it was developed, and the difficulties in bringing the skirt back into production.   

*   Karl Lagerfeld is being sued over comments he made about people being fat.

*  And speaking of Chanel, T Magazine has an article on how the company has bought the small ateliers that make products and provide services such as Lesage and Maison Michel.  It insures that these couture level services will continue, but at the same time the process seems so sterile.  (I’m still waiting for my invite to this year’s  Métiers d’Art.  Do you think they’ve gone out yet?)

*   A small yarn spinning company in Pennsylvania got a surprising call.  They are producing the yarn for sweaters for the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony uniforms.  It’s good seeing that Ralph Lauren is not only making the Olympic items in the USA; the materials are being sourced here as well.

*   Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore, opens at Somerset House this week.  The Financial Times has an interesting look at Blow and “Street Style.”

*  Has there ever been a more famous suit than the pink Chanel copy (made by Chez Ninon) worn by Jackie Kennedy on November, 22, 1963?  The New York Times tells us why we will never see it.

*  If you missed Secrets of Selfridges , the story of Harry Selfridge and his famous London department store, when it aired last week, the entire program is available online.  

*   The Toronto Star tells us that sewing is back in fashion.

*  The Fashion History Museum has just opened a new exhibition:  MODe: Fashion in the Sixties.

*   Now filming in Los Angeles, Under the Gunn , a new fashion reality show starring Tim Gunn.  It premeires January 16, 2014, on Lifetime.

*  And if you are in the mood for Christmas already, Vintage Traveler reader Rose Gabriel Smith sent me the link to her latest collection of songs, some of them traditional Australian Christmas songs.  Enjoy!


Filed under Vintage Miscellany

11 responses to “Vintage Miscellany – November 17, 2013

  1. Although I was much into fashion back in the early fifties…I do not remember a Pendelton reversible skirt. Perhaps it is because I ignored pleats… thinking pleats were not slenderizing. However, I know of no one in high school (Milwaukee) who wore one.

    Liz…will you let us know if you find news that Pendelton’s re-introduction of a reversable skirt is being successful?

    Do you think this skirt was a regional fashion? However, it is very clever …. AND an interesting article. Thanks


    • By the 1950s Pendleton was marketing their products nation-wide, with a very active ad department. Chances are that the reason none of the girls at your school had one is because they were expensive. Look closely at the ads and you see that they were $29.95 in 1953. That’s $254 in today’s dollar!

      As for the success, I’d say it is probably doing alright, as they re-released the skirt in 2003, and it is still in their line.


  2. Teresa

    Great collection of links (as always) Lizzie! Thanks for sharing.


  3. Interesting read on the turnabout!


  4. Lizzie – these Vintage Miscellany wrapups you “curate” are just great! Even though I really don’t consider myself a fashion-hound, I find that the topics you select are so interesting I’ve always got a handful of links to check out after reading one of these. Maybe I’m more into fashion than I realize!


  5. When I was a student at the Interlochen Arts Academy (in northern Michigan, now Interlochen Center for the Arts) in the 1970s, the girls wore navy blue corduroy knickers like the girl on the far left of the picture. The uniform was designed in the 1920s for the summer camp, and hadn’t changed in 50 years. We actually loved wearing them, because they were funky and comfortable, befitting the creative students there. We were issued several pairs at the beginning of the year, and some of the ones from the 50s still had big snaps down the side. They were worn with light blue button-down oxford shirts and light blue knee socks. The school employed a number of women who would sew them for students and staff. (Though my mother, a stylish English teacher, refused to wear them.)


  6. I went to Middlebury, so I adore that photo! As always, these round-up links are amazing.

    (Actually… could I ask your permission to use the photo on my site, with full accreditation, of course?)


  7. The inadequate clothing may be because it was posed … or it may be because they were just teenagers. I remember being at snowy Vassar in the late ’80s, in a short wool coat, my above-knee straight skirts, pantyhose (!) and those kitten-heeled pumps, walking IN THE SNOW across campus to my morning classes. Never underestimate the force of a teen metabolism combined with a teen desire to look good!


  8. The Pendleton reversible skirt reminded me of another patented skirt: Sportrite, “Genuine Reversible Skirt”, patent no. 458893, and I wondered if you had any info on that version because the seem to much like the Pendleton style (to me). Thanks for the great reading this week too!


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