Vintage Miscellany – March 29, 2015

L for Lizzie perhaps?  I need that sweater.

*   This photo essay has been all over the WWW for the past week or so, but I still must share it here:  The twenty-one Callot Soeurs dresses of Hortense Mitchell Acton.

*  Less publicized, but no less interesting was this discovery of a trunk of clothes and costumes belonging to silent film actress Alla Nazimova.

*   Here’s a rare look inside the NBC/Universal Archives and Collections, which houses relics from Universal Studios’  past and present,including, props,costumes, and historic documents dating back over 100 years.

*   Chanel is well-known for its use of Linton tweed, but the latest collection also featured Harris Tweeds.

*   A look inside the Levi’s archive reveals a pair of 136-year-old jeans.

*   Watch this short and interesting video about Elizabeth Keckly, seamstress and friend of Mary Todd Lincoln, and former slave.

*   This one is only marginally about fashion, but it is another reason why I love Instagram so much.

*   I may have posted this one before, but the Metropolitan continues to add titles to their online archive of publications, many of which are out of print.  I’m linking to the thirty-three books from the Costume Institute, but there are over 1200 in all.

*   Celia Birtwell, textile designer for her former husband Ossie Clark, is selling her personal collection of Clark’s designs.

*   A  Selkirk First Nation elder was touring the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa and spotted a bag that had been made by her mother over forty years ago.  Be sure to listen to the interview, as it is much clearer in meaning than is the article.   The episode brings up a lot of issues, the most obvious of which is, “To whom do these objects belong?” In the US, many objects in museums have been returned to Native groups under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.  This does not apply to the items in this story, as it took place in Canada, and the objects in question are not “sacred.”  Still, there is a lot to think about.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Vintage Miscellany – March 29, 2015

  1. And the Lauren Bacall collection will be auctioned at Bonham’s in NYC on Tues. March 31 and Wed. April 1 — http://observer.com/2015/03/lauren-bacall/ — for those in need of the odd bangle bracelet or ring.

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  2. Instagram–so much to love!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. you found some great reads in this week’s list, thanks!

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  4. Jessamyn

    Great links as always! I had to laugh at this part of the Levi’s story, though. “One of the two people who has unfettered access to the 136-year-old pair is Tracey Panek, the Levi Strauss & Co. historian. ‘I like to think of them as the very first early sustainable garment … you could wear them out, you could pass them on, you could patch them up,’ she said…”

    Er, yeah. As if that weren’t what everyone was doing with absolutely every garment in the 19th century and back to time immemorial! We’re talking about an era when even middle-class women expected to “turn” a silk or wool dress – that is, when it started to look worn, you would take it entirely apart at the seams, remove the lining, flip the pieces inside-out so that the fresh, unworn side was exposed, and stitch it all back together. When that wouldn’t do any more, you’d cut the best areas down to make your child clothing and sell the scraps to the rag-man, or if there was still life in it as-is you’d sell it to the teeming second-hand market, where it would move down the social scale and live on with any necessary refitting, refashioning, mending, and darning.

    Now that’s sustainability!

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