Judging by the length of the skirts, this is probably 1926 or 27. That mid-knee length on the younger woman is about as short as it got in the Twenties. Her whole outfit is great, but I especially love the rolled stockings. Or maybe it’s the polka dot headband that I love best. It’s hard to decide.
There’s lots of news, so let’s move on to it.
- As a teacher, my colleagues and I often said our jobs were making us crazy. We might have been exaggerating a bit, but in the 1930s it was discovered that workers making rayon were experiencing high instances of mental disorders.
- Today, the dangers of manufacturing rayon continue.
- As so many companies out-source the manufacturing of goods, the companies themselves often don’t have a clue as to conditions in the factories that make their goods. That’s a pretty valid reason for reshoring clothing and shoe manufacturing, especially when it allows companies like American Giant to keep a close eye on the entire process. And yes, this does come at a price to consumers.
- Remember Dexter shoes? They were made in Dexter, Maine until the company closed (due to foreign competition) in 2001. Now a new shoe company has opened in Dexter, and again, American-made comes at a price.
- Is there any way to reduce all the waste we are producing? Can we limit the amount of garbage in the world through the products we buy? How about these shoes?
- Here’s a true story of an eight year old girl who in 1835 was saved from a stabbing because of her corset.
- When things get political, can a clothing company stay out of politics?
- Or maybe they should just stop pretending and sell to the “resistance”.
- Leather goods maker Mark Cross has a long and interesting history. Established in 1845 as a maker of horse accessories, the company was bought by the Murphy family in 1875. The company eventually fell to Gerald Murphy who, along with his wife Sara, was part of the 1920s American ex-pats in Paris set that included Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Cole Porter. And probably best known of all Mark Cross facts is that Grace Kelly carried her nightie to James Stewart’s apartment in the 1954 film, Rear Window. Eventually the company closed, only to now be revived. Their biggest success is a bag called the Kelly, modeled after the case Grace carried in the movie.
- People keep posting photos of their visits to the Brooklyn Museum to see the Georgia O’keefe: Living Modern exhibition. I loved this article about the exhibition in The New Yorker.
For those of you wondering when I’d go on another rant about social media, the time has come. And for those of you who don’t want to come here to read anything political, then you need to stop and call it a read.
Some of you probably know that I get the great majority of my Vintage Miscellany links from my Twitter feed. For years I’ve found Twitter to be the best source of fashion history and fashion issues articles. But lately (since the election, to be honest) I’ve found myself really hating Twitter. Part of it is my own fault. I started following organizations with which I agree. That led to checking the trending hashtags to see what Trump was shouting from his bully megaphone. That led to reading the comments, which led to a lots of despair about the current status of the human race.
Then, last week, Damon Linker spelled it all out for me in an articled titled “Twitter is Destroying America.” One line in particular made sense, “Twitter is a place, finally, that all-too-often transforms otherwise thoughtful people into a furious mob.”
It is, actually, more than just twitter, as a commenter pointed out. Facebook is no better, and have you ever read the comments of practically any newspaper article? The idea of being able to say anything we want, in a manner that confronts anyone who does not agree with us is now taken as one of our fundamental rights. It’s the First Amendment on amphetamines.
I’ve done a lot of thinking (not a good thing, actually) about our current situation in the USA, and I know why it produces so much anxiety in me. I had a very anxious youth, with the Vietnam War hanging over our heads, and not knowing which of the young men in my high school class would end up there, perhaps as casualties. When I met my husband in 1972, he was still mourning the loss of a childhood friend who had died in Vietnam. And then when it looked like the war was finally going to end, the whole Watergate mess became public. It dragged on while the country’s business was put on hold. No wonder I have this déjà vu feeling whenever I open my Twitter feed.
But what is really disappointing is how many of my own generation seem to have forgotten what the 1960s and early 70s were really like. When you chant “Make America Great Again” are you thinking about Watergate, or Kent State, or Mỹ Lai, or Medgar Evers?
As Stephen Sills put it, “Nobody’s right, if everybody’s wrong.” It’s time to rethink all the online shouting, of “Hooray for our side.”