Category Archives: 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.

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Vintage Miscellany – May 21, 2017

Here’s a little something for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. It looks like these little flag-wavers are off to a patriotic parade or party, but they don’t look too happy about it, do they? I’m guessing they are too hot with the stockings, and on the older girl, long sleeves. Still, how could one not be happy with a fantastic hat like that?

And now for some news…

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Vintage Miscellany – May 8, 2017

April, 1946, Lansing, Michigan. Sailor boyfriend/brother/husband’s cap duly appropriated. Fun ensues.

And now for the news…

  •   There were two overwhelming themes in the past two weeks in fashion news.  One was the opening of Rei Kawakubo: Art of the In-Between at the Met.  The best of the dozens of articles: The Atlantic, Freize.com, and for a look at the work behind the exhibition, Vogue.
  •  Another common theme was the complexity of the manufacturing system, and how it allows all kinds of problems to be masked.  First, we need to completely lay to rest the idea that production in the USA means that workers are safe. Yes, we do have laws and protections, but this article at Racked shows just how easily these laws are circumvented.
  • “How can brand-name clothing companies, highly valued in the market for their ability to control all manner of production challenges, not know where their products are being made?” The problems intensify as the sewing factories are further removed from the brand.
  •  And if there are marketing problems with a brand, the parent company merely replaces labels with something less problematic, as in the case of Ivanka Trump clothing being relabeled as Adrienne Vittadini.
  • The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has opened an exhibition on Yves Saint Laurent.
  •  Tim Gunn talks Disco.
  •   Is nostalgia dangerous?
  •  This last article has nothing to do with clothing, but as a collector, I found the story of this looter and destroyer of history to be highly disturbing.

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Vintage Miscellany – April 23, 2017

The woman in today’s photograph is not identified, but I can tell you the photo was developed in Keokuk, Iowa. It’s the early 1930s, and she is dressed in a slender dress, possibly knit.  Her gauntlets, handbag, and hat are all white, and while we can’t see them, I’d be willing to bet her shoes are as well. The only contrast is the dark bit on her wrist. I can’t tell if it is a handbag strap or a bracelet. She quite matchy, but I think she is quite chic.

And now for the news…

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Vintage Miscellany – April 9, 2017

I love Mary Fritschi’s shoes, but I love her little dog even more. My guess on the date is 1939 or 1940, but it could be earlier, or later.  My thanks to Lynn at American Age Fashion for the photo.  We have a little transcontinental photo exchange going that really makes me happy.

And now, for the news…

This is not exactly a rare occurrence.  Not too long ago Vogue.com pulled a quote from an interview on my blog without citation. This is why I really do not like to link to big “fashion” sites. The articles on fashion history are rarely written by historians, and seem to be mined from the work of others.  To make the mess even worse, the leading image in the article is of a circa 1870 dress, and the caption has it labeled as 1778.  Quite a few people have pointed out the error in the comments and on Twitter, but the editor obviously trusts Getty Images more than the historians trying to set the record straight.

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Vintage miscellany – March 26, 2017

Meet my new favorite couple, Hortense Ledogan and Frank McDonough, with photo-bomber Eleanor Ledogan in the foreground.  The year is 1940, the place is unknown.  But, a google search for Hortense McDonough seems to imply the couple was later married, and she is still alive and is 102 years old.

The photo gives an excellent look at how young women dressed for their casual outings.  Hortense is wearing cotton overalls with a print shirt.  This was to become almost a uniform for women who did outdoors and factory work during the impending war.

And now for some news…

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Vintage Miscellany – March 12, 2017

Yes, it did snow here in the mountains last night.  After weeks of very warm and springlike weather, winter, it seems, has returned.

All I know for sure about today’s vintage photo is that it was developed in 1956.  It must have been a bit of a warm day, with the man’s sleeves rolled, and the woman’s having unzipped hers.  I think my favorite thing about this photo is the man seen between the pair, waiting his turn to slide while the camera hogs pose.

And now for some news…

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