Category Archives: Vintage Miscellany

Vintage Miscellany – September 3, 2017

Cooler weather here in the middle South has me thinking of sweaters, and great boots, and knickers, and even a beret. But I have a feeling that 70* highs are not going to last.

So on with the news…

I’ve written before about how fashion historians and museum curators are still having to defend the wearing of clothing as a valid area of study. If you paid attention to the news last week, you saw first hand the large role fashion plays in our perceptions of people as they try to use fashion to serve their own ends. First up:

  • #stilettogate The First Lady’s choice of footwear was roundly criticized as being inappropriate for a flood zone. But seeing as how she was headed, not for floodwater, but for yet another photo opp and pep rally, seems to me both the heels and the pristine-right-out-of-the-box sneakers (and the president’s khaki pants and what look to be suede boots) fit the purpose quite well.
  •  #hatgate is a bit more troublesome. And if you don’t have $40 for an official 45 USA hat, the Flotus hat the First Lady wore has already been ripped off and is selling all over the internet for $16. Now we can all be first lady, or at least wear the hat.

4 Comments

Filed under Vintage Miscellany

Vintage Miscellany – August 19, 2017

My latest project is tracing the path pajamas took from the bedroom to the beach. It helps when I find photos like this one, happily dated to 1929. If only this were in color!

And now for some news…

5 Comments

Filed under Vintage Miscellany

Vintage Miscellany – August 6, 2017

I found a set of photos showing early 1940s women modeling sportswear. There is no indication of the company that made the garments, but they are all top-notch. This playsuit and skirt, with the bias cut fabric is one of my favorites.  The stripes work so well with the pleated shorts. No wonder these sets are currently highly sought out by the vintage-wearing set.

And now for the news…

 

9 Comments

Filed under Vintage Miscellany

Vintage Miscellany – July 23, 2017

That’s Snow Ball and me in back and Rachel is rowing and the girl lying down is Claudia. Rachel’s sister took the picture.

There’s no date, but the all-girl group might indicate that it was taken during WWII. It could be a few years later, and they just left the guys at home. At any rate, it looks like a relaxing afternoon.

And now, on to the news…

15 Comments

Filed under Vintage Miscellany

Vintage Miscellany – July 9, 2017

Here’s a rare example of an older photograph with the kind of information one wishes came with all old pictures. Written on the reverse:

Margaret Graham & Bessie Roher (?) about 1897 or ’98 on the tennis (grass) court at Wood Lawn. R. Niles Graham – Pease collection.

Woodlawn had been the estate of Texas governor Elisha Marshall Pease, the grandfather of Margaret Graham and her brother Niles Graham. Niles was a prominent businessman in Austin, Texas, and after he died his papers along with those of his grandfather were donated to the Texas State Library and Archive. I’m not sure why this photo was not included. How did it end up in the vast market of used stuff?

And now for some more modern news…

Here’s the reverse of the photo. Maybe you can help decipher Bessie’s surname. And if the Texas Archive wants this photo, it’s yours.

10 Comments

Filed under Vintage Miscellany, Vintage Photographs

Vintage Miscellany – June 25, 2017

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.

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.”

 

19 Comments

Filed under Vintage Miscellany

Vintage Miscellany – June 4, 2017

In case you think “fat shaming” is a new thing, here’s proof that it’s over 100 years old.

The interesting thing about this photo is the woman on the left.  Yes, I think she looks like a man too, but I’m sure that is due to the low quality of this print.  In any case, she is not wearing stockings, which at the time this photo was taken, the late nineteenth century, was a big no-no, at least in the USA. Such a rebel!

And now for some news. Since I was gone most of the past two weeks, I’m most grateful to reader Nann for supplying me with quite a few very interesting articles.

3 Comments

Filed under Vintage Miscellany