Vintage Miscellany – December 7, 2014

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I could not resist this recently found photo of three sailor girls.  It’s the oldest photo I have that shows women wearing slacks.  The photo is not dated, but there are a few clues.  First, there are those odd hair styles.  In the late teens and into the twenties when brave women were bobbing their hair, their less brave sisters were  cutting their hair short in the front and on the sides, but leaving it long in the back.   They then rolled up the long part to make it look short.

Another hint is the shoes.  The young woman on the left is wearing a 1910s boot, but the other two look as if they are wearing  Keds.  I have an ad from 1919 that shows this very style.

Finally, there is the number “23” handwritten on the back of the photo.  That might possibly be the date.  At any rate, it is a great early example of women were easing into pants.

And now for the news…

*   I’ve already posted about the Chanel Metier d’art show, and the French TV show connecting the dots between Chanel and the Nazis.  The program is on youtube, but it is in French.  If anyone finds it with English subtitles, I’d sure appreciate a link.

*   Chanel replied to this program with an arrogant “So what?” and I can almost forgive them because of all the money they have invested in saving the various little ateliers in Paris that supply Chanel and the rest of the couture.  When watching these workshops at work, I  do want to forgive Chanel for their crazy cult of Mademoiselle.

*   And do not miss the making of some very remarkable tweed.

*  If you were planning to give the gift of LL Bean boots this Christmas, I hope you have bought them already, as  there is not a waitlist of over 100,000 names.

*   The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum in Stowe, Vermont, has a great-sounding exhibition underway: Slope Style: Fashion on Snow 1930-2014.

*   There’s a new Harris Tweed that gives off the aroma of whisky.  Really.

*   The Museum Association in Great Britain has reported that one in ten museums considered selling items from their collection this past year in order to get needed revenue.

*   “When Forever 21 settles a dispute over copying — which, again, the company has done more than 50 times in its 27 years of existence — it typically includes a non-admission of guilt, financial compensation to the designer whose work was copied, and a confidentiality agreement.”  Article at Jezebel.

*   After being closed for what seems like forever, the Cooper Hewitt in New York City will reopen on December 12 with several interesting sounding exhibitions.

*   A look at the making of Brahams Mount blankets, located in Maine.


Filed under Vintage Miscellany

6 responses to “Vintage Miscellany – December 7, 2014

  1. Those early Keds flats are always astonishing — flats just like them were a big deal, worn with capri pants in the late 1950s! (My father wanted me to wear oxfords because flats “would ruin my feet.” We compromised: lace-up shoes were part of my school uniform, so I got to wear flats on the weekends.) To me, flats = carefree youth!


  2. Christina

    The date 1923 is probably correct. The style of boot isn’t very clear but similar styles were available into the 1920’s. Some examples;
    I wonder who these women were and why they are wearing similar clothes?Women wore similar style white work trousers in factories in Britain at the end of WW1. I think they were involved in manufacturing amunitions.


  3. Susan Maresco

    Thanks for all wonderful posts. They enliven my already lively life. I lived in Scotland for several years and thought this would be of interest–a woolen mill in the north of England, right on the border with Scotland, that makes spectacular novelty tweeds:

    Linton Tweeds Visitor Centre
    Shaddon Mills, Shaddongate, Carlisle, Cumbria. CA2 5TZ. Tel: 01228 527569
    Email :


    • Christina

      My old home town 🙂 Visited Linton Tweeds with textile students. It has a historic relationship with Chanel producing wool fabric for their collections.


  4. I second the appreciation of an English subtitle version of that Chanel video!

    I had no idea there was such a museum in Vermont! And that exhibit sounds amazing!

    Ugh, Forever 21. It will never end. I swear.


  5. Leigh Ann

    Not that this means all that much probably, but I thought it was interesting: the pattern on the railing around the porch in the photo is exactly like the one on my great-grandparents house, which was built in, I think, 1920.


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