This Kedettes ad from 1950s is interesting because of what it does not say. There is virtually no ad copy, only the styles, the prices, and a note that the shoes are washable. But read the illustration, which says that Kedettes are just right for a casual date at the soda shop.
You might have noticed that colored rubber soles are pretty hot right now. You see them quite a bit on athletic shoes, of course, but makers of street shoes, like Cole Haan have added them to oxfords and loafers. It rather nice seeing the same trend from 64 years ago. There really isn’t much new under the fashion sun.
Coming of age in the crafty late sixties and early seventies, I was always trying to learn to knit. I’d find someone to volunteer to take me on, and then we both would realize that my left-handed brain simply could not wrap around their right-handed instructions. I bought that little Learn How Book from Coats and Clark Yarns, thinking that I could teach myself, but that didn’t work either.
Finally, in her last years, my mother-in-law, who was a world-class knitter, was able to teach me the basics. I learned by facing her, observing like looking into a mirror, instead of sitting side by side. I managed to make a little neck wrap that buttons and looks cute, but that was pretty much my limit.
I used to look in vintage knitting booklets and just dream of all the wonderful designs, but eventually I just stopped looking through them, knowing I’d see something I wanted to make and knowing I couldn’t. Then several years ago I took some old things to a local vintage dealer to trade, and included was a vintage knitting booklet for baby things. The dealer began looking through it and was delighted to find in one of the photos a Bakelite baby rattle being used as a prop. She then produced an identical rattle from a display case.
She said she always looks through old needlecraft booklets because the props are so interesting. Lesson learned. That’s why I looked through the 1950 sock booklet when it turned up in a bin at my Goodwill Clearance Center.
Along with the socks were the best little illustrations of people in their sports clothes. These aren’t just generic drawings, as you can clearly see some of the sock designs on the people.
Note the plaid cuffs of the skiers’ socks. That’s almost enough to take up knitting lessons again.
Does “trew” mean “completely wonderful socks or stockings”? Because that is what these are. Just looking at the photo, would you ever have guessed 1950 as the date? They are so much like what we were wearing in the late 1960s.
After it became obvious that airplane travel was here to stay, and that a trip to Europe could be completed in 10 hours instead of five days, the cruise line companies began to shift gears from providing transportation to providing vacations. A ship voyage was already a pleasurable experience for those with the money to buy first class tickets, and so that level of luxury was easily converted to the idea of the ship as a hotel that visited different ports.
The idea really caught on after WWII, when the cruise lines got their ships back after their wartime service. Cruises to Hawaii and South America became big business. These pleasure cruises would last up to a month, in contrast to the common three and four day cruises of today.
I’m sure you have all read how the 3100 passengers on the Carnival Triumph got an unwanted four day extension of their four day Mexican cruise. This was big news in the US, and completely overshadowed what was an even worse incident on a cruise in the Canary Islands when five crew members of the Thomson Majesty were killed during a routine lifeboat drill.
I’m not qualified to comment on the safety regulations and procedures of cruise ships, but for an industry that has people talking about the accident of the Costa Concordia over a year later, it seems to me that they have some ‘splaining to do.
Does anyone beside me remember that series on The Mickey Mouse Club where Annette took a trip to Hawaii? She went on a cruise ship and I thought it was the most fun thing ever.
Several years ago a friend and I took a cruise through the Aegean as part of an educational tour of Greece. As such, we were on a small ship which held about 600 people, and I thought *that* was big. I can’t imagine being on one of those floating towns of up to 5000 people that pass for cruise ships today. Especially now.
You wouldn’t exactly expect to see the work of Salvador Dali on the cover of a fashion publication, but then American Fabrics was not your average fashion magazine. It was a trade publication – a guide to current fabrics for clothing designers and manufacturers.
I’ve written a lot about the Modern Masters fabrics of 1955, and of other 1950s fabrics that were based on works of art. American Fabrics was way ahead of the game, advocating art-based design in their very first issue in 1946. Whether the magazine was that influential, or if fabric design was headed in that direction anyway, it sure looks like a hint of things to come when they put out this stunning cover in the fall of 1950.
Having a Wonderful time on:
And all the time keeping a close watch on the competition with those sly sidewise glances!
Cool… colorful… Un-covered
I’ve spent more time than I care to admit looking at the ads in vintage fashion magazines. I’m always amazed at the cute casual shoes and sandals of the late 1940s through the mid 1960s. Of course my mind always goes to the “Why can’t they make shoes like this today?” And the next question, “Why aren’t more shoes being made in the USA?”
I actually did find a USA company that is making colorful sandals of this type for kids, with a few styles for women as well. Some how, they look a bit clunky to my eyes. Has anyone here ever tried Salt Water Sandals? According to the site they can be bought at Tops for Shoes in Asheville, so I may have to check them out in person.
Expect more summer shoe ads throughout the month of May.
There’s nothing like it… absolutely nothing.
Charcoal glowing, sirloin sizzling, Budweiser bubbling – and you pouring!
Live life, every golden minute of it.