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…
- Will innovation carry the future? Well, of course it will. All nationalistic desires aside, it’s time to face the future without the rose-colored glasses.
- For one thing, life was not always great in the past. We need to study all material culture, not just the cheery ads showing the prosperous middle class White family enjoying the pleasures of the postwar boom.
- And yes, we are appalled at the working conditions and low pay in Asian factories, but we tend to forget that these conditions were once common in American factories.
- As companies refuse to do the right thing to increase pay, we as consumers are spoiled rotten by the low cost of imported clothing and textile products.
- Yes, clothing production can return to the USA, but do we really want people working in factories like the ones in which my aunts labored in the 1940s through the 1970s, getting paid minimum wage and risking brown lung disease and other dangers? The answer on so many levels is that we are going to have to buy less, but pay more for what we buy.
- Lecture over.
- On the lighter side, maybe what the guys of the world need is a good $95 romper.
- Or the women can spring for a jumpsuit repurposed from cast-off Ivanka duds.
- Can every woman or man expect respectful treatment in a designer emporium? What about a celebrity?
- The Atkinson Galleries in Southport, UK, have a great-sounding exhibition going through August 28, 2017, Golf and Glamour: Fashion on the Fairway from the Nineteenth Century to Today. Thanks Christina for the link.
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.
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…
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.
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…
- “The purpose of an archive is not just preservation but inspiration, a reminder that, while fashion moves ever forward, each house has a lineage.” Here’s a look into several Italian fashion archives at The New Yorker.
- What does one do when your work uniform is making you sick? American Airlines has thousands of employees that seem to be allergic to their newest uniforms.
- This link is to an article on fakes – not clothing fakes, but fakes in museums – and how curators can miss the obvious. Are there clothing fakes in museums? I’m betting there are many.
- And what makes for a good – or a rotten – museum experience? Mary Beard lets the Vatican Museum in on what it needs to do to improve.
- The Brooklyn Museum has a new exhibition on Georgia O’Keefe, but it’s not what you might expect. This is about O’Keefe’s style, and by all accounts, it’s a fantastic show.
- So often when a long established clothing firm closes the records are simply discarded, so it is wonderful that the Bodleian acquired the ledgers of Oxford shoemakers, Ducker & Son, established in 1898.
- Just like me, you want to see another short video on the production of Harris Tweed.
- The REDress Project by Jamie Black symbolizes the missing Indigenous women of Canada. One hundred empty red dresses hang in trees, flutter in the wind.
- Bartlettyarns, in Harmony, Maine, has been making wool yarn for 196 years, and is still going strong.
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…
- We all know that the Garment District in New York City has been shrinking over the past few decades. Now it looks as if it going to get even smaller. The thinking is that garment product will be better placed in a new complex in Brooklyn.
- The President addressed Congress, and the Democratic women wore white as a symbol of women’s rights, as white was a color of the women’s suffrage movement. “Fashion expert”, Rep. Cramer of North Dakota laid it all on Mrs. Clinton: “There is no question, there is a disease associated with the notion that a bunch of women would wear bad-looking white pantsuits in solidarity with Hillary Clinton to celebrate her loss.”
- Margaret Hubl’s family honored her legacy as a quilter by draping them on the pews at her funeral.
- The director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has resigned under pressure from the museum’s board of directors. It has a lot to do with money, of course.
- By contrast, I thought this article about the “de-growth” of museums was interesting, and very appropriate.
- I know I’ve been talking a lot about Patagonia lately. Take a listen to this great podcast about North Face and Patagonia.
- Moving the production of Harris Tweed into the 21st century has been a challenge.
- How did it all change in 1967?
- Canadian-Made Apparel continues to make shirts in – you guessed it – Canada.
- The production line of a Chinese-owned factory in Myanmar, which makes clothing for Swedish-owned H & M, was destroyed in a violent workers’ dispute.
- Swimsuit maker Anne Cole (Cole of California) died in January at age 90.
- Here’s an interesting conversation with Converse sneakers archivist, Sam Smallidge.
- This has absolutely nothing to do with fashion, but I loved it and so will you.
Earlier in the week it was 75* F here in the mountains, and so today the much more seasonable 50* seems like an icebox. So, it’s a great day for sipping something warm and catching up on the latest fashion history stories.
- An article of clothing serves as an historical document. Here, the analysis of a bloomer dress from 1855.
- Many of the personal effects of fashion photographer Bill Cunningham have been donated to the New York Historical Society. An exhibition is planned for the spring.
- FIDM, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, is in the process of sorting, storing and digitizing their collection of designer Tina Leser material.
- Fashion Weeks are happening, and that means a return to the issue of cultural appropriation. Vogue got the ball rolling with a fashion shoot starring white model Karlie Kloss as a Geisha. Some argued that it was not that a white woman was dressed as a Geisha that was so wrong, but that the use of the Geisha stereotype itself was wrong, even if the model had been Japanese.
- And then the Gucci runway show seemed to say, “Political correctness is dead.”
- What exactly have textiles meant to North Carolina?
- How are history and information and culture saved during times when the official officials disagree with historic fact and scientific data?
- Thanks to a weaver’s daughter, a Harris Tweed operation is saved from closure.
- This one is a blend of two of my passions – dogs and historical fashion.
- As production in China becomes more expensive, opportunities in clothing manufacturing and textile production arise elsewhere. Like Italy and South Carolina.
- My first historical research hero, Ivor Noël Hume, has died at age 89. His books were an inspiration.