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Vintage Miscellany – July 1, 2018

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.

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.

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Vintage Miscellany – June 17, 2018

lake1920

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.

 

lake1920picnic

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Vintage Miscellany – June 3, 2018

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…

 

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Vintage Miscellany – May 13, 2018

Click

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.

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Vintage Miscellany – April 22, 2018

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…

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Vintage Miscellany – March 18, 2018

I’ve posted photos of this unknown woman before, as she is featured in the small photo album of the Adirondacks that I have. This photo was not glued in the album, and I think it might be a bit later. Our sportswoman has taken to wearing her outing skirt a bit shorter than before.

And now for some news…

  •   Rita Moreno reached far back into her closet to find a dress for this year’s Oscar ceremony.
  •    FIT has started a new project, “The Fashion History Timeline is an open-access source for fashion history knowledge.”
  •    Blogger Leimomi Oakes decided to test the waters in a newly made Edwardian style wool bathing suit.
  •    “A uniform for intellectuals … Marimekko is for women whose way of wearing clothes is to forget what they have on.”
  •    DPLA (Digital Public Library of America) has a great feature on women’s impact on baseball.
  •    The story of a circa 1730 wedding dress and the girl who made it.
  •    Tim Gunn and Dr. Valerie Steele at The Museum at FIT’s 19th fashion symposium, Fashion and Physique,  which was held in February, 2018.
  •    The fashion legacy of Hubert de Givenchy.
  •     Jimmy Fallon ordered a lot of junk from the Trump store so he could see where the products were made. No surprise that most of the stuff was made in China, but two items, including a doggie bandana, had no country of origin on the product, a violation of law. Fallow has filed a complaint.
  •   Besides the obvious fact that Trump campaigned on an “America First” platform, is there any tradition that the first family should be following in regards to fashion?
  •    Last of all, let’s talk about museums. Every year the de Young Museum in San Francisco has a very popular show in which local flower arrangers display their work which is inspired by art in the museum. The show is so popular with people taking photos that the museum has set aside a period of time as “photo free.” As expected, some people love it, and others hate it, but the article does a good job of presenting both sides of the issue.
  • When I started writing this blog in 2005, it was very common for cameras to be banned in museums. That’s why I started sketching in museums. But as the camera phone became ubiquitous, and social media became increasingly visual, many museums began changing their policies. It makes sense. A good Instagram photo can be valuable publicity.  Today I use my camera a lot more, but a museum experience is not just about taking a lot of great photos to put online. It’s about what you can see and learn.

 

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Vintage Miscellany – March 4, 2018

Is it just me, or is bowling somehow usually thought to be a sport of the 1950s? This postcard (1910ish) reminded me that bowling was enjoyed way before the time of Laverne and Shirley.  Also, my recent visit to Biltmore Estate included a look of the bowling alley they had installed in the basement as part of their recreation area. And that was in 1895. It’s harder to find bowling lanes these days, but for those of you in the big freeze looking for a way to get exercise indoors, you might seek one out.

And now for the news…

  • February is over, so that also means the end of all the various fashion weeks. I don’t pay much attention to them, but the Dior show was interesting to me because of the use of the crazy quilt concept. Crazy quilts were a late Victorian craze, and have a very old fashioned feel and appeal. Also seen in the Dior show were decorative bits that look like needlepoint. Is this a trend? Be sure to click through the slideshow to see the various usages of needlework.
  •  Stylactivism for the over fifty set.
  •   “A New Jersey woman says she was thrown out of the Metropolitan Museum of Art last weekend because she showed up in an authentic period costume that a security supervisor accused her of stealing.”
  • How dressing the part helps connect us to the past – Cheney McKnight talks about how it is important to have an honest dialogue about slavery.
  •  Here’s a great article about Elizabeth Keckley, friend and dressmaker of Mary Todd Lincoln.
  •  I love stories about old books and those who care for them. thanks to Juliet for the link
  •  There are two new fashion history podcasts you might enjoy. Bande à Part is by fashion historians Rebecca Arnold & Beatrice Behlen, and if it seems like a conversation between two friends, that’s because that is what it is.
  •  Also really good is Dressed: The History of Fashion with fashion historians April Calahan and Cassidy Zachary.

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