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When it comes to human beings, it’s best to never use the word never as there are always going to be exceptions to the generalities. This photo is a good case to show what I mean. Except for women on ranches and farms, and except for performers, and except for women climbing mountains, and except for women wearing pajamas on beaches, it is pretty much accepted that women did not wear long pants in public before the 1930s. But check out this girl squad and their long overalls. Of course we know young women have long raided the closets of their brothers, but these pants all look new, and were maybe bought for the occasion.
There’s no date on the photo, but my best guess based on the hair styles and shoes, is late 1920s. Probably even more surprising than the overalls is the one girls who appears to be wearing shorts. And check out her rolled stockings.
This is one of those times when I’d gladly pay to know what exactly was happening in the photo. The presence of the book being held by one of the girls might be a clue.
And now for the news…
- I’ve never been much of a fan of glitter, and now there’s a good reason not to consume glittery products.
- In conjunction with a new exhibition at the Museum at FIT, they will be livestreaming a symposium on the topic, Fashion and Physique. February 23, 2018, starting at 10:00 am EST.
- “In just four days, top fashion CEOs earn a garment worker’s lifetime pay.”
- Wearing black to the State of the Union seemed like a good idea, but not so much so in retrospect.
- If you are wanting to travel the world with a “small mountain of Louis Vuitton luggage“, the estate of Zsa Zsa Gabo has you covered.
- The Mount Vernon website has some incredible fashion pages. Martha’s shoes. Lace
- There are some really good reasons why all the wonderful resources out there have not been digitized.
- Had this been published on April 1, I’d swear it was a joke: bustle baskets for cats.
- Want to see a short video inside the Christian Dior archives?
- The Massachusetts Historical Society has a Kickstarter campaign to help out with a new exhibition and book, Fashioning the New England Family.
- Read this article about art/fashion merchandise only if you can’t be driven batty by the excessive usage of the term merch.
- And finally, I know that not all old textiles need to be preserved in their current state. It’s a rare visit to the Goodwill bins that I don’t spot at least one old quilt. Even so, this makes me uneasy.
Someone’s photography practice produced a delightful record of a woman at her sewing machine. It was taken on June 25, 1932, and I could tell you the camera settings the photographer used. Unfortunately, I don’t know who she is, nor where the photo was taken. It’s interesting to see what was and was not important to someone all those years ago. Today, the who and the where would tell us much more than the how.
And now for some news…
Compared with these Edwardian women, I am an official weather wimp. Today was the first in over a week that the temperatures climbed above freezing and I’d promised myself a long walk when things hit 33* F. But the reality is that I’ve spent yet another day indoors, curled up with a selection of books. The weather person says 41* for highs tomorrow, and so I’m sure I’ll be able to manage that.
But now for the news…
- Cotton is again being manufactured in Manchester, UK.
- And not all textiles made in Bangladesh are cheap “fast fashion.
- One thing I have learned over the past year is that we can get all tied in knots over what is wrong in the world, or we can look for the special things that inspire hope.
- Back in the 1970s they were practically giving these things away.
- Here’s a fun interview with the conservator at the Bata Shoe Museum.
- The Weather Channel linked to my very-much-in-need-of-an-update article on ski clothing.
- Because I also collect paper that has to do with my clothing interests, I was mesmerized by this conservation of an 1868 receipt at the New York Historical Society.
- Just because you can afford to buy antiquities, does not mean that you should.
- You may have read that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is eliminating their “pay what you wish but we want $25” policy for admission. A lot has been written about the change, but I’ve chosen to link to an op-ed in the NYT. As an out-of-towner who has visited the Met on quite a few occasions, I have paid the $25 on all but one visit, and that time was a run into the museum with a friend to look at one small thing. I’ve gladly paid the full price because it was worth it to me to do so and because, frankly, I could afford to do so. I think the interviewees in the article can explain better than I why the new policy is not a good idea, especially in this time of them verses us.
Skating party, circa 1923, showing a mix of bloomers and skirts on the ice. The sweater seems to be winning out over the coat. I find that is true today, at least here in the South. Coats are seen less and less as our winters get warmer and warmer. I love a good, cozy coat for walks in the snow, but I’m finding myself reaching into my large collection of heavy sweaters more than ever.
Vintage Miscellany is a day early this fortnight, as tomorrow is a day for not worrying about computers and devices. I hope everyone is enjoying the Holidays, and that you are finding some peace in this crazy world.
And on to the news…
Here’s Geraldine Kirkendall, 1941, wearing her fancy ski suit and posing next to a 1938 Plymouth. Her suit is probably the same year as the car with the puffed sleeve caps, hip length jacket, and Germanic style motifs. Yes, even as Hitler was bullying his way across Europe, Bavarian and Austrian-inspired clothing continued to be popular in the US.
And now for the news…
- Eileen Fisher’s “Tiny Factory” is an interesting concept.
- Here’s a great article on the usage of feedsacks to make clothing and home goods during the Great Depression and beyond. I’m not sure about the use of the word burlap, which I associate with gunny sacks, though. thanks to Elizabeth
- If I were to make a list of things I can’t understand, how a tee shirt like this ended up selling on Walmart’s site would be at the top.
- I don’t buy Christmas gifts, but I might need to buy some of these historically minded things for myself.
- No Man’s Land: Women’s Photography and the First World War sounds completely fascinating, and is showing at Impressions Gallery, Bradford, England through December 30.
- I am always looking for great history podcasts, and was happy to learn of History Slam, which is Canadian. I loved this episode on skating in Canada. thanks to Christine
- Here’s another article on the early history of the vintage clothing industry.
- Meet the girl whose Bat Mitzvah dress was made by Christian Dior.
- Clothing company Patagonia has started legal proceedings that question the legality of a Presidential order that shrinks two National Monuments in Utah. Edit: I thought I was linking to the Post, so please view this article instead. Washington Post,
- Last week PRI’s program The World, did a series called Wear and Tear: The Women Who Make our Clothes. thanks to Riva
My photo today comes from a small photo album I recently acquired. There are absolutely no names in the album, nor on the backs of any of the loose photos, but I do know where the photos were taken. This is Camp Mohawk, which was located on Fourth Lake in the Fulton chain of lakes in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Camp Mohawk was built in 1897, and the clothing looks to be from a few years later, in the early days of the twentieth century. I’ll be showing more of the album this week.
And now for the news…
- Artist Textiles – Picasso to Warhol, an exhibition that was organized by the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, will be in New Lanark, Scotland starting in January.
- A factory in Turkey closed when the owner disappeared taking the company’s assets and leaving unpaid workers behind. These workers have been attempting to hold the clothing companies from which they made clothes accountable by leaving notes in the pockets of clothing they made.
- This article is a year old, and is rather long, so pour a cup of coffee or tea, and sit back and enjoy the art of block printed fabrics of the Georgian era.
- There are always good articles on Unzipped, the Levi Strauss blog, like this one of a WWI jacket.
- This exhibition of quilts made by soldiers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries sounds fascinating. It’s at the American Folk Art museum in New York City, and then will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska.
- The autumn 2017 edition of the Journal of Dress History is now available free online. At least read the article on designer Tina Leser.
- Charleston, SC, is getting a new museum.
- If you are a collector, you need an estate plan. Period.
- Job opportunity in Rochester, NY – jigsaw puzzle cataloger.
- Making indigo cloth in a Dong village in China.
Well, the lying has begun and it’s only October 29. I’m talking about the weatherman who promised overnight snow, and so far, there’s been not a single flake. I’m not a big fan of cold weather, but I do love sitting in the sunroom, watching snow fall. Unfortunately, I’ve got the cold temperatures, but not the snow. I need a lesson from the 1920s women above on bundling up.
And now for the news…
- The really sad news came out last week that Cone Mills’ White Oak denim plant will be closing in December. The factory is 112 years old, and is the only remaining selvage denim maker in the US. This leaves high-end jeans makers like Raleigh Denim without a supplier of denim. The hope is that some enterprising person will purchase the 1950s era looms and start a new mill.
- And up north in New Jersey, Deerbrook Fabrics continues to exist due to loyalty.
- The Met has published another blog post on the fascinating Charles James archive.
- The Lord & Taylor building in New York has been sold. The department store will continue to operate at the location, but in a smaller capacity.
- If the Putting Your Best Foot Forward Act is passed in Ontario, then employers will not be able to mandate high heels as part of a dress code. I’m curious. Have any readers ever been required to wear high heels for a job?
- This is refreshing – a major fashion museum admits they got it wrong, and proceed to make public the corrected history.
- I watched The Collection on Amazon because so many commentors here have mentioned it. It was too little fashion, and too much soap opera. I may do a proper review of it, but in the meantime you can also watch it on PBS.
- Similarly, there is a film coming in December, Phantom Thread, starring Daniel Day Lewis. It too is about a designer, post WWII, but this one is in London.
- “Photographer Spends Eternity Waiting For Museum Visitors To Match Artworks And The Result Is Worth The Wait.”