I found several photos of this 1920s woman on a horse. She’s not in typical riding attire, as she could be dressed for almost any outdoor activity with her breeches and socks, and what looks to be a sweater or knit jacket. Click on the photo to see the details a bit clearer.
And now for the news…
- Last week I wrote about the Roddis family exhibition which is currently at the Henry Ford Museum. The New York Times included this exhibition in a piece about displaying fashion as clothing verses fashion as art. Yawn…
- US fashion production is “not a serious option,” according to at least to one “senior designer at a contemporary fashion label that produces all of its products overseas.”
- So, where does that leave Ivanka Trump’s clothing line? Caught between a rock and a hard place? Not necessarily, as her daddy’s latest twitter rant seems to target only those “business[es] that leave[s] our country for another country,” not those already doing business in Asia.
- And does US production actually guarantee ethical treatment of workers?
- What does it mean that a sewing pattern is “factory folded”?
- “The Harris Tweed Authority archive will be brought together in Stornoway for the first time…” I heard they have advertised the job of archivist.
- I try really, really hard not to be offended, but this got me.
- “To stop relying on Western hand-me-downs, African countries are importing Chinese textile companies.”
- The ultimate Punk move.
- Please, someone, buy this poor guy a tie clip!
- Hillary really is just like us.
- Someone tweeted this link to the Mount Vernon website, which shows a fragment of one of Martha Washington’s dresses. It’s so interesting because it brings to mind how “relics” of the famous were once so important. I’ve got to wonder about what happened to the dress. Was it cut apart to distribute to souvenir seekers?
I found this photo of the perfectly attired beach couple along with a few others from the same roll of film. At some point I want to show all of the photos, but for now let’s just admire them the way they are admiring each other.
And in that frame of mind, here is the news:
- And yet another clothing factory fire has killed thirteen people in India.
- The myth that buying clothing made in the USA prevents worker exploitation is just that, a myth. Whenever a buck is to be made, there are those ready and willing to exploit.
- Much has been written lately about the lack of proper pockets in much of women’s clothing. The last pair of pants I bought had pockets that were three inches deep. And these were not cheap pants, Tommy Hilfiger, retail $89.50. I did not pay that of course, but someone did. This is often pushed as a crime against women, but I’ve noticed that the pockets in my husband’s pants are also often inadequate. To me this seems to be primarily a matter of cost-cutting.
- There was an auction of Marilyn Monroe items last week, and the infamous “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress sold for $4,800,000. The fact that it was bought by Ripley’s Believe It or Not says much more about this than I ever could.
- Former ebay vintage store-turned-fashion-retailer Nasty Gal has filed for bankruptcy. That Karma can really take a deep bite.
- And here is yet another reason not to buy fast fashion (or at least to carefully inspect it before buying).
- Embroidery as art, as opposed to craft.
A few words before I post the next few links: This blog is about fashion history and fashion issues. I have never shied away from links to sites that might make those of us who are more privileged feel uncomfortable. I have posted links to articles that discuss the clothing of world leaders and the wives of leaders. I have posted about abuses within the clothing manufacturing industry, both in the past and the present. As an historian, I know that fashion and clothing are an integral part of our culture, and should not be treated as mere fluff.
In keeping with this practice, I will be posting links to articles about the president-elect that are of interest to fashion scholars. These links all will have to do with fashion, and are not meant as a political statement. Each reader must take each link as it is meant – to inform about fashion issues.
That said, I want to make it clear that I am very dismayed at the way the election played out, and at the events still occurring within the presidential transition. I will continue to ask the president-elect to bring his own family’s clothing manufacturing to the USA. You can feel free to disagree with me or with the content of any of my links, but fair warning, this blog is a place where only civil discourse will be tolerated.
And to help us all with our own personal struggles, take a listen to the Avett Brothers’ No Hard Feelings.
Photos of snow are starting to show up in my Instagram feed, so I’m not really jumping the gun by posting this wintry scene. I found this photo is a box overflowing with others, many of the same two women. Not a single one identified them, though I could tell a lot by looking at the bits of their lives they felt was important to capture on film. There were two little boys. One was a ballerina. They took skiing trips to Austria.
Of course, many other things are left to the imagination. Were they sisters, or sorority sisters, or best friends? Where did they live? Were they happy? We can only guess.
And now for the news:
- The Smithsonian Institution easily raised $300,000 on Kickstarter to be used to conserve the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. The campaign is on-going, with additional funds raised going toward fixing up Ray Bolger’s Scarecrow costume.
- In another case of the increasingly blurred lines between public and private, a private museum opened with public artifacts on display.
- Delta Airlines employees are getting new uniforms designed by Zac Posen. I wonder if that in 50 years they will be as collectible as the Braniff Airlines uniforms designed by Pucci?
- “This is mutton-shaming, ladies, and it has to stop.”
- And also this.
- The great James Galanos has died at age 92.
- Even brands who want to manufacture in the US are having a hard time of it.
- As more tourists and money flow into Cuba, a fashion industry is developing.
- It turns out that the rumors that next year’s Costume Institute “blockbuster” show will be a show featuring Rei Kawakubo is true. All the reporters are declaring how bold and risky the choice is, but I see it as just one more move in Andrew Bolton’s crusade to convince the world that fashion is art. Best of all, there will be “a store that acts as an extension of the exhibition.”
- Jonathan Walford of the Fashion History Museum posted on his blog about issues concerning museum acquisitions, with a focus on fakes. As prices for vintage couture rise, the temptation to make a fast buck takes hold. And it’s not just couture. This past week I saw an online sales listing for a modern “Edwardian” bathing costume that had a 1950s Jantzen label sewn in. And of course there were all those questionable punk items purchased by the Met several years ago. Buyer beware!
- What happens to our brains when we view art?
One of the most interesting things about this photo from the 1930s is that the original is only 1.25 inches square. The edges are blurred, but enlarging this digitally opened up a world of detail that went undetected when viewing the original. Still, there are so many unanswered questions. What is the woman on the left holding? What is the bracelet the other woman is wearing? And most importantly, what is going on with those hats?
- Where do your Goodwill donations actually end up? There’s really not much new in this article, but I was glad they mentioned the outlets, which often get over-looked.
- Landmark fabric store Britex is being forced to move from their San Francisco Union Square location. Hopefully the store’s owners will find a new location.
- I feel like we’ve watched Christian Siriano grow up, but then even as a 22-year-old on Project Runway he showed an awful lot of maturity.
- An original 1927 Vogue cover artwork sold at auction on September 29, 2016 for $52,500. The estimate was £6,000 to $9,000.
- I think I need an Instagram Husband.
- A shortage of black clothing in Thailand due to the death of King Bhumibol has the government scrambling to stop price gougers.
- I love these photos of department store workers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, mid to late 1890s.
- 421 Ancient Roman shoes have been uncovered at Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland.
- A cautionary tale: fashion brand Tibi has been sued by photographer Matilde Gattoni when she discovered that Tibi had taken one of her photos, cropped it, and put it on Instagram as their own.
With images all over the internet, it is tempting to just help oneself to the goodies, but before using any image, be certain that you have the right to it. There are so many sites today where the images are free of copyright that it is a shame that people resort to (alleged) theft.
The whole point of Instagram is to post one’s own photos, but I’m noticing more and more people are treating Instagram like Tumblr or even Pinterest, posting photos from museum sites and fashion runway shows. The pictures are nice, and there is often great commentary, but I prefer seeing what people have going on in their own lives. I want to see your collection, and your vacation pictures, and your dog.
In this month leading up to the election of the next president of the United States, I want to remind all eligible voters of the long struggle to obtain voting rights for all Americans. Voting is a right and a privilege, and I want to encourage all of us to take part in an activity that was denied to women and minorities for many years.
The photo above was a very lucky find. Could this be a mother and daughter in solidarity, holding a Votes for Women pennant circa 1912? The small print on the pennant reads “Woman Suffrage Party”, which was a New York organization. Unlike some other women’s rights groups, WSP was racially inclusive and recruited women of all economic classes. The two women in my photo certainly seem to be from a lower income group, judging by the clothes and hair. They want you to vote!
I’ve had a not-so-great automotive week involving a lost set of keys and a frustrating two hour trip that ended up being twice as long. And now my precious supply of gasoline is disrupted right before I need it to get to the Liberty Antique Fair. I’m thinking of getting a horse. These ladies seem pretty proud of their little guy, but I’m more interested in the one photobombing from the window on the left. I love a horse with a sense of humor.
- Tim Gunn addressed the problem of clothing sizes in an opinion piece in The Washington Post.
- Prince Charles is doing a science fair type experiment to show why wool is superior to synthetics. I love the photo of him shoveling.
- Investors in Nashville-based denim company Imogene + Willie have accused the company’s founders of fraud and mismanagement of company money to fund their lavish lifestyle.
- Rebecca at the Documenting Fashion blog had an interesting conversation with Gavrik Losey, the son of designer Elizabeth Hawes.
- Here’s a great little video showing the workings of the Woolrich Woolen Mill. (Thanks so much, Beth!)
- A disturbing trend in New York City’s Garment District is the closing of fabric shops, with their former spaces being converted to restaurant use.
- There has been a lot of discussion about dreadlocks recently, due to a video showing a confrontation between a black woman and a white man wearing dreads went crazy on Youtube, the brief wearing of dreadlocks by Justin Beiber, and most recently, the wearing of dreadlock wigs by models in the Marc Jacobs fashion show last week. Dazed has two beautifully written essays that look at both sides of the issue.
- We all see how others dress, and we all have opinions. But sometimes (and by that I mean usually) it is best to keep one’s opinion to oneself.
- What can I say about Kanye West? For those of you who do not follow the craziness of Fashion Week, you probably need a bit of background. On the day before the day before New York Fashion Week, West sent out invitations to his fourth “Yeezy” collection which was to take place the next day. The chosen ones invited to the show were directed to get on special buses on the Upper West Side, with a destination of Roosevelt Island. This meant a crosstown ride that was actually quite short, but not in New York traffic. Many spent an hour on the bus, only to get to the venue and be left standing in the heat for another hour or so before being admitted to the outdoor seating.
Once there, another wait ensued, and so by the time the “show” actually started, models who were standing in a formation of sorts were starting to pass out from the heat. Angry tweets from the waiting crowd showed the frustration of people who were starting one of the busiest weeks of their year, and yet were sitting waiting for the Kardashian clan to arrive so the show could start.
Not surprisingly, the reviews were brutal, but not just because of the wait and the heat. Robin Givhan called the show “boring.” So did Cathy Horyn. But my favorite statement came from Women’s Wear Daily’s Jessica Iredale who called the relationship between Kanye and the fashion press, “abusive.”
I’ve got to agree. If this disregard for other people was being practiced by anyone other than a big celebrity like Kanye West, do you think anyone in the fashion press would give a care? Of course not, so I really had a hard time feeling sympathy for people who know better, but who could not say no to such a big star. Besides, Anna Wintour would be there, but she certainly did not come in on a bus.
The icing on the cake came in the form of one of Kanye’s famous rants, in which he whined about and threatened the fashion industry. He needs to learn that in order to get respect, one must also give it.
Please, keep comments about Kanye and the Kardashians civil.
“This is Nellie on the beach, Fla. 1941”
I can sympathize with Nellie. Labor Day is the symbolic end to summer, and I’m not happy about it. She may be taking it lying down, but I am up and squeezing every bit of warmth out of these cool-ish days. I love fall, but why does winter have to follow so closely?
While I’m trying to figure it all out, here are some stories from the past two weeks.
* Major clothing companies continue in their refusal to learn more about the people making clothes for them.
* Urban Outfitters had more than $3.4 billion in sales in 2015, but still asked employees to give up their weekends to volunteer at the company’s fulfillment center. The CEO is worth $1.3 billion but salaried employees often work 16 hour days. And so on…
* “Jayne Shrimpton explains how photographs of our ancestors at leisure can give us an insight into their lives.”
* After being “lost” for 250 years, Clones Castle was found – “behind a Georgian terrace known as Castle Street, which contains a building called Castle House.”
* Here’s proof that bad human behavior does not happen only in museums.
* Clothing sales are suffering because people are beginning to recognize that the quality is bad.
* Are any of you watching The Collection on Amazon? I am waiting for a rainy day.
* “Charred tatters that were part of one of Britain’s greatest tapestry collections are to be publicly displayed for the first time…”
* The conservation labs at the National Scottish Museums show the conservation of a rare dye laboratory book.
* When a clothing exhibition focuses on the wearers rather than the clothing.
* Fast fashion is bad for us, article number 974.