Category Archives: Rest of the Story

The Rest of the Story – Collection Updates

It probably does not surprise any reader here that I keep a detailed list of things I hope to find. Most of these are items that would fill a gap in my collection, such as an important bathing suit style of which I have no example. For this type of thing I keep a close eye on sellers on Instagram, and I do regular web shop searches.

But much more often I find things through serendipity, in other words, I pull an item from the Goodwill bins. This scarf is an example. Scarves are a good find at my bins. I’ll never have to buy another wool scarf, as I have so many I’ve bought for my own use. Still, I can’t help but look at any that turn up in the bins.

Back in August I wrote about our trip to Berea and seeing the student weaving operation there. So yes, I was pretty happy to find this vintage Berea College Student Industries scarf in the bins last week. Wool scarves can be difficult to date, but something about this one points to the 1940s.

Some time ago I wrote about my desire to own a Catalina bathing suit made from California Hand Print fabric. These come on the market quite rarely, and they are never cheap, so I’ve been biding my time, waiting for the perfect suit.

Catalina did a great job of advertising these suits, and so most of the designs are well documented. At the top of my wishlist was this suit from 1951, and I jumped into action when Cheshire Vintage posted one on Instagram. So, another gap filled, much to my delight. Now to located the men’s matching set!

 

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The Rest of the Story: Vionnet Style Dress

Yes, I did just post this photo of a catalog page from 1926, but we need to take a closer look at the dress on the right. In the Filene’s catalog the dress was described as “the Vionnet style of tennis dress”. Elsewhere in the catalog the same style bodice with a square neck and a line of fagotting across the top of the bust appears.

As you must know by reading this blog, haute couture is interesting to me, but it’s not what I collect or study. I was intrigued by the repeated reference to Vionnet, so I did spend some time looking through all my books that might have a picture of Vionnet dresses to see if I could spot this neckline.

Interestingly, a photo of the style turned up on Instagram, posted by @jupeculotte, Caroline Rennolds Milbank.

This is Miss Diana Dalziel, whom you may recognize as Diana Vreeland.  The photo was taken aboard the S.S.  Cameronia in 1923. Milbank stated that she had always suspected this dress was by Vionnet (or was a copy) but was able to confirm this until she saw my catalog page.

It seems impossible that the internet has brought about such a change in the way historical information is shared. Before the www one could buy a few catalog reprints like those from Dover (still an excellent resource) and if one was lucky one might pick up some old catalogs from antique stores and thrift shops. Today, a simple google or Pinterest search brings up dozens of pages of catalogs from decades past.

At times I get really frustrated with the internet with all it’s ugliness and dark places. But then I remember how it really has opened up the ability to research almost any topic from the remotest corner of the earth.

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Update: 1920s Gingham Romper

I posted my thoughts about this 1920s romper back in June. One of the things I wrote was this:

So rompers definitely were a thing for women, at least in the 1920s and 1930s. Still, I don’t agree with calling a gym suit a romper, no matter how much the garment is similar.

But then last week I found a real shocker in a 1926 high school yearbook.

These are the girls of the Gainesville Athletic Club at Gainesville High School in Florida. Could it be these were the actual basketball uniforms? It is hot in Florida, so maybe they adapted the usual bloomer suit into a light cotton garment.

I do need to make sure you notice that the suits are not identical, though they do seem to be made from the same fabric. And what’s with those belts?

It does pay to keep an open mind when it comes to the past. The minute we start saying “never” and “always” we run into trouble.

I also want to give a big thank you to all the kids over the past one hundred years who worked tirelessly on the yearbook committee. I don’t collect yearbooks, but anytime I run across an older one I always thumb through it to see if I can spot anything interesting. This time I was really rewarded.  Along with several yearbooks dating from the 1920s through the 40s, someone donated a series of photograph albums from the same years to Goodwill. It all ended up in the bins, and while I didn’t buy any of it, the guy who put them in his cart kindly let me photograph some really great photos.

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Filed under Curiosities, Gymnasium, Proper Clothing, Rest of the Story, Sportswear

Nashville: The Rest of the Story

Nashville is one of those cities that changes depending on where you are standing.  You can be on one corner and it is a completely different city two blocks over.  This is Honky Tonk Row, and I pretty much bet that anyone who has never been to Nashville would think this is what the city is all about.  Actually, this is only a little over two city blocks.  One block past this area is a park on the Cumberland River, and three blocks up the hill to the left and you are in the middle of the Tennessee state government.  A couple of miles to the southwest and you are at Vanderbilt University.

That said, this is what tourists go to Nashville for.  By late afternoon this area was bumper to bumper tourists.  Because the three sites we wanted to visit were in this area, we had to take in a honky tonk or two.

Every restaurant/bar/honky tonk had a live band, and the place was noisy.  It was also a lot of fun.

Besides the Tennessee State Museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame, we wanted to see the Johnny Cash Museum.  As you might imagine there was a lot of black suits, though many of them were far from plain, as you can see above.  Most of the stage costumes from Cash and his wife June Carter were from the 1970s , during the time he had a TV variety show.  As such, Carter’s costumes were, frankly a bit too polyester for my taste.

Interestingly, there were no clothing items from early in June Carter’s career.  The dress above is vintage early 1960s, but it was worn not by Carter, but by actress Reece Witherspoon when she portrayed Carter in the 2005 movie of the relationship of Cash and Carter, I Walk the Line.

I’ve been meaning to rewatch that film because of an interesting mend on the arms of the dress.  Can you tell that there are multiple rows of machine stitching?  I suppose a supporting fabric was put beneath and then the dress stitched to it.  There was no attempt to hide the mend, and I’ve got to wonder if the dress was damaged while filming.  Or perhaps, the film was cleverly edited to hide the mends.

Even Cash’s boots were black.  These were custom made boots from Acme Boots.  He was pictured in Acme ads in the early 1980s.

Between the Honky Tonks and cowboy boot stores, there are a few gift shops. When traveling to a new place I have to always go into at least one so I can find the “gift” that is unique to that city.  These cowboy boot socks might just be that unique item.

Or maybe these Elvis pajamas are the thing, but I’m betting you can also pick these up in Memphis.

But back to the real purpose of the trip – vintage clothing shopping.  I didn’t take many photos of the big sale I attended because I was too busy looking, and I have no idea how I got a photo without other buyers in it.  This was a tiny, tiny bit of this massive sale.  It had been a very long day (and wait) and so by the end of it I was exhausted.  I did find enough wonderful things to have made the trip worthwhile, and I’ll be sharing them from time to time.

There are some places we’ve traveled to that we return to again and again.  Nashville is not going to be one of them, that is unless another big sale comes along.

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The Rest of the Story, Glamour, 1944

Some time ago I posted this Glamour cover from 1944 and I asked the question, what are these two young women discussing?  It seems as if they were wearing the same coat design.  I’m still not completely sure about the conversation, but I now know the identity of the woman on the right.  Last week I got an email from her grandson who is working on a family project.  I asked if he could tell me a little about his grandmother, and his answer was a bit of a surprise.

Thank you! I would be happy to.  My grandmother’s name is Dina Merrill.  She is 93 years old now.  She is a well known actress and you could learn much more on google than I could tell you.  After she graduated from the University of Wisconsin, she moved to New York in 1941 (despite her parents’ objections) and insisted she paid her way through acting school (Academy of Dramatic Arts) by modeling for Conde Nast, even though her parents (Marjorie Merriweather Post  and  E.F. Hutton) were extremely wealthy. Anyway, she put her acting on hold when she met, fell in love and married my grandfather, Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr. in 1946 and started a family. They had three  children (the oldest is my dad) and once she felt they were old enough, decided to pursue her career.  So, she changed her name to Dina Merrill from Nedenia Hutton and landed her first movie, Desk Set with Katherine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy. Then the rest is history.
You just never know who is going to show up in old fashion magazines.  Here’s another photo of Nedenia/Dina modeling a hat in Glamour.

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Updates – The Rest of the Story

It’s time to update a few old stories.  I wrote about the above golf set almost a year ago.  It is from Serbin of Florida, had had a Marianne by Serbin label.

As I’d hoped, I have heard from Marianne Serbin Friedman, and she is in the process of answering some questions about her family’s company.  Stay tuned!

The photo above was sent to me by Pam of Glamoursurf.  Two years ago I posted an ad for fabric that Vera Neumann designed for Schumacher in the 1950s.  In my post I stated that Vera signed a licensing agreement with Schumacher in 1947 and that it lasted for ten years.  Evidently, Vera did a later project with Schumacher, as Pam found an ad for a similar fabric to the one above that was dated 1979.

It always pays to keep an open mind when reading anything about history.  There are no absolutes that I know of.

And finally, I wrote about Lou Pollock’s Asheville shoe store last year.  It was a real treat hearing from his daughter.

I am the youngest daughter of Lou Pollock and you brought tears to my eyes.I was raised in that store and learned when I was very young – how to give to the community. My father not only gave away shoes to children in need on Christmas day – but to care for them 364 days during the rest of the year.  I learned.
Later in years my husband and I were in the children’s wear business in Michigan and the 1st Christmas came along – our thoughts turned to the children and (without details) we carried on the lessons given by my father.  He was also one of the founders of the cemetery in West Asheville in 1916 and made a dream come true to create hallowed ground for our ancestors.  The Cemetery honored him while he was still living – by re-naming it in his honor. The Lou Pollock Memorial Park  where he and the rest of my family are all buried.
 
As for the Haywood Street Pollock’s Store. It was actually called the Cinderella Store and sold ladies’ shoes only.  Whereas the store on Patton Avenue sold Men’s, Ladies’
and Children’s. There were 2 floors. 
 
Did you see the SHADOW of the letters POLLOCK’S on the wall where the letters were removed when remodeled?  They still remain.
 
Thanks for remembering my Father in such a special way, I have many memories still alive on Patton Avenue and Haywood Street. 
That is from Betty Pollock Golden, who is 89 years old.

 

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Updates – The Rest of the Story

I never imagined that I’d buy a magazine called Western Horseman, but the price was cheap and there were those magic words: “Western Wear”.  So I picked it up, and when I got home I began to really look through it.  I’ve stated before that I really don’t know much about riding attire, but I am willing to learn, and this magazine from 1966 seemed like a good place to start.

My reward for taking a chance on this magazine was swift.  A while back I asked for opinions about the age of a Miller & Co.  western shirt and Karman pants I had found.  The blouse is very much like the one in the middle in the above photo.  I’m happy to say that several readers identified it as mid 1960s, and they were right.

The copy reads, ” Candy… magic comes to western sportswear in the form of Miller & Co.’s new ice cream colored, matching ladies’ and girls’ sets.”

As for the pants, I did not get an exact match, but there were similar styles all through the magazine.  What looked to be bell-bottom legs, are in fact described in the volume as “the new bell bottom style.”

Some time ago (2010!) I wrote a post about one of the theories of why young women in the 1920s were called flappers.  One of the theories is that the name came from the hair bows that preteens  and younger teens were wearing in the decade of the 1910s, as seen in the girl on the right.

flapper

This weekend I came across the above ad from 1915, advertising clothing for the hard-to-fit girl of 12 – 16.  It is obvious that the term “flapper” is describing a girl, not a crazy, Charleston-dancing, cigarette-smoking twenty-something woman.

Last week I heard from a woman who had worked for the Vera Company.

I worked at The Vera Companies, first as an intern starting in 1983 and left in in 1990 …Manhattan Industries was bought by Salant Corp (Perry Ellis International) but The Vera Companies stayed intact until after her death in 1993…it is sometime after that The Tog Shop bought the company.

This information changes the way the Vera story is often told, with the company essentially closing in 1988.  I appreciate this important correction.

And finally, here is my semi-regularly scheduled mention of social media.  Every week I get several invitations to be friends on Linked-in.  I did join Linked-in for a very short time, and then I deleted my registration because I could not see how I could use the network.  For some reason, it still has me a a potential contact for people, but I cannot respond to all the requests because I’m not a member and I cannot log in.  So, the short of it is, if you have contacted me through Linked-in, I’m not ignoring your request; I simply cannot reply to it.

On the other hand, Instagram continues to be a constant source of interesting things and fascinating people.  There is a growing community of fashion history people there, and if you want to join us, I’ll be happy to send you a list of my favorite accounts.  I’m using it more and more as a mini-blog, posting things that are interesting, but don’t somehow deserve a post here.

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