I’m noticing an alarming trend on social media, and that is the insistence of many that autumn is in the air. Personally, I refuse to believe this nonsense, as I’m pretty sure that last week it as the beginning of June. So, enough with the winter’s coming talk!
And now for some news…
- The Worthing Museum of Brighton University has a great feature called Objects Unwrapped, in which objects from the collection are researched and written about.
- The ongoing problem with preserving items made of synthetic materials extends to bathing suits. Thanks to Betts for the link.
- The archive at Italian brand Max Mara is simply amazing.
- If nothing else, Paul Manafort is guilty of crimes against fashion and of good taste.
- Bihor Couture, not Dior couture.
- If you can’t get to New York to see Fashion Unraveled at the Museum at FIT, you can still explore the concepts on their website.
- The importance of the artifact is made clear with one little girl’s sweater. This article also effectively highlights the evils of Nazism.
- The American Civil War meant hard times for textile workers in Britain.
- The Imperial War Museum site is showing art made by women artists during WWI depicting women at work.
There are times when I run across on old photo and I just wish the people could actually speak to me. This picture was probably taken around 1915 on the occasion of a school or church play. And while none of the girls looks particularly enthusiastic about her budding acting career, the girl in the middle front seems to be a bit more annoyed than most. Did she resent being a bee, when some girls were picked to be flowers? Did labeling her thus lead to issues of self esteem? We can only wonder.
And now for the news…
- Here’s a nice article about the clothing of Marie Curie , even though the title is a bit misleading.
- Some of Marie-Antoinette’s jewelry will be coming up at auction.
- Jonathan Walford has written a nice history of the Breton shirt.
- Burberry burned millions of dollars of merchandise in order to keep the brand from being “devalued”. My favorite part of this article is their claim that the items were burned in an environmentally safe manner.
- An article claiming Queen Elizabeth was trolling her guest Trump with the wearing of her pins was, unfortunately, quickly debunked.
- When Lilly Pulitzer closed shop in 1984, it was thought that her entire archive had been destroyed. But the fabrics were designed by Suzie Zuzek at Key West Fabrics, whose archive was preserved.
- It appears that the poor sales of the made-in-China Ivanka Trump clothing line was not limited to Canada. The brand has now been shelved.
- When was the last time you read or heard an historian being credited in a news story?
- The history and science behind the stiletto heel, revealed.
- You can buy a tacky souvenir New York tote bag all over the city for less than $20, but if you want the $2000 Balenciaga version, hurry before the law suit forces them off the shelves.
I’m having a hard time realizing that it is actually July. Summer needs to slow itself down! If you have had enough of the heat (or the cold, if you are in the Southern Hemisphere) then a museum trip may be what you need. There hasn’t been much in the line of fashion history news in the past two weeks, so this special edition of Vintage Miscellany will focus on current exhibitions. Hopefully there will be one in your area. And feel free to add any I missed in the comments.
- On view at SCADFASH in Atlanta is Pierre Cardin: Pursuit of the Future. That’s me above with some great Cardin pieces. Photo by Liza of Better Dresses Vintage. And if you are a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale, costumes from that program are also on exhibit.
- Hurry to the Brooklyn Museum if you are a David Bowie fan. David Bowie Is closes July 15.
- At the Met in New York is Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. It looks beautiful.
- Also at the Met, and sounding more interesting to me at least, is Visitors to Versailles.
- The Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario, is exhibiting 101 Tales of Fashion.
- Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen is back home at the Kent State University Museum in Kent, Ohio.
- Also at Kent State are Fringe Elements and Fashion Timeline.
- The Museum at FIT in New York is currently showing Fashion Unraveled.
- Musee Yves Saint Laurent Paris, has two exhibitions about the designer currently on view.
- Margiela, The Hermes Years is at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.
- The Victoria & Albert in London has Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up.
- Also at the V&A is Fashioned from Nature.
- Kensington Palace in London continues to show many of Princess Diana’s clothes.
- At the Fashion Museum in Bath, UK, you can see A History of Fashion in 100 Objects, and Royal Women.
- Opening on July 28 in Edinburgh’s Dovecote Tapestry Studio will be Liberty Art Fashion and Fabrics.
- The Mint Museum in Charlotte is hosting The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta. There is also some good news for fashion lovers in the US Southeast. The Mint is adding galleries to be specifically dedicated to fashion and textiles.
That’s all I have, but be sure to check out your own local museums. Even if there is not a “fashion” exhibition, you might be lucky to encounter clothing, textiles, jewelry, and other fashionable objects anyway.
Finally, it really is summer, and we’ve got the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes to prove it. In this photo and the one below, extended family and friends in 1920 show us how to enjoy summer.
Things have improved on the computer front. My old one is indeed dead, but I’ve “borrowed” an old (but newer than my Ole Trusty) laptop from my husband. So far, so good, but I’ll probably need to bite the bullet and get a new one.
And now for the news…
- I’m sure you have heard about the death of accessories designer Kate Spade. Lots of things have been written about her in the past two weeks, and one of my favorite articles is this one from The Atlantic. And even though she had nothing at all to do with the current Kate Spade brand, I was at a store last week, and she was honored with a large poster in the window that reminded people that Kate was the founder of a brand that continues to bring joy to many.
- I didn’t know about the New York Public Library’s Anti-prom, nor did I know of the Chelsea’s High School of Fashion Industries, but now that I do I love them both.
- There was another fashion designer death recently, that of Michael Vollbracht. Younger readers may not recognize the name, but he was a big deal in the 1980s. Early in his career he was chosen over Issey Miyake to design Geoffrey Beene’s junior line, Beene Bag.
- If you wore Mary Quant in the 1960s and 70s, and you have photos, the clothes, or even just memories, the V & A needs you.
- I’m pretty sure I’ve dropped this hint before, but one of my holy grails is an authentic uniform worn by a player for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Read about the league here.
- The New York Historical Society has some artifacts from the life of photographer Bill Cunningham now on display. Best of all are the scrapbooks Bill kept from the time he was a milliner.
- There’s a new documentary about Andre Leon Talley, and this article makes me want to see it.
- In this podcast, Amber Butchart discusses decoding fashion in art.
- And if you need something else to listen to, here’s one about the labor movement in the clothing industry.
- This article about the new Grand Egyptian Museum shows a restored pair of sandals belonging to King Tut. I’d love to have seen them before the restoration. Thanks to Nann for the link.
- And my last link really has nothing to do with fashion, but it is interesting to anyone who loves art and old stuff.
Yesterday I was bitten by the first mosquito of the season, so it is now officially summer here in the South. Hopefully the 1950s camp above was mosquito free.
And now for the news…
The Florida Year-Round Clubs catered to the lucky few who managed to weather the storm of the Great Depression. Headquartered at the Miami Biltmore Country Club, members could fly to the club’s other Florida properties for fishing or golf or whatever. What a great hat for the Florida sun!
And now for some news…
- For Mother’s Day, here’s an interesting article about the history of mother-daughter dresses.
- This article shows how bedsheets are a reminder of home for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. thanks to Nann for the link
- Collector Ann Mahony has over 5,000 vintage hankies. thanks to RetroRoadmap
- In addition to his memoir being published, the New-York Historical Society is doing an exhibition on photographer Bill Cunningham. Opens June 8, 2018.
- Ivanka Trump continues to wear her company’s clothing even though there are federal rules “that prohibit government employees from using their public office for private gain.”
- There is a long history of textiles being used in social and political activism.
- Designer Jean-Paul Gaultier noted how similar the new Kim Kardashian body-shaped fragrance bottle is to his fragrance bottle. He didn’t mention how similar his bottle is to that of Schiaparelli, designed by her in 1937.
- Anna Wintour devoted her letter of the month to defending Georgina Chapman, there was an article in this month’s Vogue about Chapman’s life after the Harvey Weinstein story broke, and Scarlett Johensson wore a Marchesa gown to the Met Gala. It’s clear that Wintour is using her influence to help Chapman rebuild the Marchesa line. I really don’t have an opinion about Wintour, but I do think it’s really interesting that some of the same people who rightly insist on #metoo, have questioned Chapman’s own knowledge of, or complicity in, Weinstein’s behavior.
- And we have a new story or two on cultural appropriation. The first involves a Caucasian high school girl who wore a cheongsam, or qipou, to her prom. She posted photos to social media, and then the backlash began. First, it’s pretty disturbing that so many people would jump on a teen because she wore a dress style that is marketed to non-Chinese tourists in any Chinatown in the world. Second, the qipou is an interesting mix of both Chinese and Western dress, and dates only to the 1910s when Chinese women were gaining more freedom to dress the way they wished.
- The second cry of cultural appropriation concerned the Met Gala, and the theme, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Seems to me that it’s kind of hard to appropriate what is freely given by the Church.
I love old photos showing people playing croquet because I get a good look at what was thought to be appropriate for a very casual setting. By the standards of the era, (1905 ish) The women above are casually attired. And look at how the older girls are still wearing their skirts “short”. Photos are like little time capsules, and it is amazing how we can learn so much from them.
And now for some news…