Where it all began, Mary Quant.

“We thought we were making clothes for our friends; for sort of art students, actresses and a few sort of um crazy people around Chelsea..I think, in a funny way, we must have anticipated what people wanted and I hated fashion the way it was, I wanted clothes to be far more casual and easy going and sexy.” -Mary Quant (BBC 4 Interview in 1971)

On busting on to the London fashion scene in the late 60’s and killn’ it!

Another Fad

Jenni Murrey calls Mary Quant a “Game Changer” saying “For my generation, a teen in the 60’s, she blew away the twinset and pearls and covering your knees and brought in the mini and shoes you could actually walk even run in” (Presented by Jenni Murray BBC Radio 4 , Woman’s Hour, Wed 19 Mar 2014)

And that’s what is so inspiring; functional, fashionable and sexy! All three in one!

What you do is play both vids at once, use the music from the Fashion from 1969 vid (below) playing in the background as you listen to Mary in the 1968 CBC Archives (above) talk about making round shoes. It’s surprisingly awesome!

I want to be Mary Quant…or at least have the 1967 wardrobe at my disposal 😉

Chelsea Palace on King's Road

“Used” became “Vintage”

Atlas Obscura has long been a favorite read of mine. This post gives a digest of changing fads what’s old is cool and so on.

Trying too hard in the 80's.jpg

Trying too hard in the 80’s

Here’s the post for you to read yourself : HOW ‘USED CLOTHING’ BECAME ‘VINTAGE FASHION’

When someone dresses anachronistically, people usually want to know what statement they’re trying to make. But the meaning of vintage fashion has been changing for the last 50 years—ever since “dressing vintage” became something different than just wearing someone else’s old clothes.

I like the fact they used anachronism in a sentence because it’s a fun word but really how often do you use it…it feels out of time and place here 😉

 

 

Winter Coats and Memories

Coat and HatIt’s been soo cold out these past few days, which prompted me to wear both my coat and hat! While in Kansas the Gma commented on my cream coat and wondered where I had purchased it. United Colors of Benetton I said, which didn’t register but that’s alright the store here closed anyway.
I liked the classic clean look and collar that would pop up or lie down nicely.
It’s not totally double breasted lacking the second row of buttons but it does cross the chest and button. Maybe she liked the coat because it reminded her of another she wore when she was a girl.

I found this photo in a paper bag amid others ranging from the 1920’s Grandma Zella hanging from an old Jalopy all the way to Grandma’s retirement from the Phone Company . I sat on the floor and took picture of these pictures imagining this world past.

Grandma Mary

Grandma is dressed in a double breasted winter coat with a hat. It must be the early forties and I believe she is around 4 or 5 years old. She showed me this picture once “That’s my cousin Jack” she said, pointing to the boy in the flight hat and goggles (Adorable). “He was my favorite, we had so much fun running around the woods in Arkansas , but he died a long time ago now, I miss him”.

The Mall

RUMUR.com just released these throw back photos of Mall goers from the 1980’s. Mind=Blown!

Malls Across America I know it’s a link…but really it’s worth the click, I promise 😉

Yes, I was a child of the 80’s and yes the Mall was quintessential to my being..MY VERY BEING! Do I hold this as a point of pride, no dear reader, I do not,  I’m not ashamed of the copious hours I spent lazing around the ground floor fountain, waiting for a certain blond individual with a slouchy flannel to share my fries with…the Mall…

Did I not grow up in the southwest! The only  retreat from the inferno of summer was the 1,400,000-squarefoot  mecca of capitalism, Metro Center Mall (notable for it’s appearance in multiple scenes of Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey).

Yeh...pretty sure this was outside the Dillard's

Yeh…pretty sure this was outside the Dillard’s

The pictures from RUMUR are totally awesome (insert air guitar). There are people smoking in the Mall in public spaces What is that?!?? and the Mom Jeans! and the Hair! Lawdy Laawwwdy those bangs girls! Wait a second…I think I can dig up a childhood photo with some of those bangs he he…

Here ya go…

BANGS!Bangs

OMG and crazy face LOL! Maybe I find this more humorous than you do but seriously I’m dying laughing…hold on I think I have another one…

Bangs

My poor mother…this was at my Aunt’s wedding…they must had a number of retakes…always the ham of the family even then. Oh and yes…the not so discretely placed birthmark on my upper lip (Eww ! That ugly mole, I got that thing removed years ago -Buffy) they say all artists must suffer in their childhood well since my was removed by the age of six it may explain why this blog remains short and inconsistent…but that is beside the point… back to my favorite topic as you know…the Mall…or at least the topic at hand.

Here are a few of the photos that really made me happy.

 

AHaha Muscleman!

AHaha Muscleman!

Ramone's Dad

Ramone’s Dad

I Love the 80’s and hope you enjoyed this little time capsule as well. In honor of the Season I leave you with this parting…

Be Excellent To Eachother

Diana Dew and wearable Pop Art

I found a 1968 copy of the Washington Post. A tattered cover illustrated with faded politicians and the Capital in the background. The big story was all about how America was mucking up Vietnam. I like reading articles from the 50’s and 60’s about US politics so I paid the 50 cents and brought it home. I like how these old magazines give a sort of cultural landscape a nation from years and years ago which has changed a lot from today… but sometimes is shockingly similar. For example this magazine had a feature article by Daniel H. Watts titled “America will Burn”

this author focuses on the racial problem in the U.S. He says that the popular concept of progress in the race relations in the U.S. is pure myth. He states that for over 300 years, African Americans have been obliged to carry not only the burden of racism but also white-liberal paternalism. The white man wants to be free to expand and exploit but an African American man perceives freedom as having an opportunity to enjoy life…


What I didn’t expect from the Washington Post was a 3 page spread on fashion icon Diana Dew, which is what my post will focus on today.

Hot lights, mod mini  and loads of references to psychedelia (is that a word? oh well I like it…like paraphernalia but totally psychedelic man)

Hit the Lights

Diana Dew was breaking edge in the club scene. Her small flexible battery packs added light to the garments she created. She was a pioneer, first being a woman (which is awesome) second being a designer who made functional art.

Her Designs


I guess later the technology she developed was purchased by the US government for space…but from the articles I read some of it went to less than admirable uses such as “interrogation” techniques for the Pentagon (yikes!)

Below she talks about her hippie roots… I hear ya! My hippie roots were def denying me a life of experience…wait…I grew up in a Baptist family in the 80’s …jk.

On Hippies

Like an LSD trip

Light up my Pants


Did I mention my love of hearts…comes from my 80’s past and far too many hours of doodling…apparently these dresses only sold for $150-$250 who knows how much now but you bet I’d be wearing the one below! Def reminds me of the Carebears…but I’m okay with that, I embrace it.

A tale of hearts

(he he that is NOT where my heart is but I just had to …thank you Christina 😉


Here are some more readings on Diana and her electric wearable pop art! Yay!

http://www.coololdstuff.com/fashion1.html

http://io9.com/350261/in-the-1960s-you-could-wear-an-electric-dress

http://www.cultjones.com/stock_item/1287/dew-diana-electric-dress

http://wendybrandes.com/blog/2010/12/light-up-with-tron-legacy-tiger-morse-and-diana-dew/

Ziola Ugarte: 20th Century Feminist

Paper article

While passing the hotel lobby I glanced over at the paper on the coffee table, stopping to read an article that caught my eye. Who was this striking woman? She looks so mournful and her hair so classically 1930’s modern. Zoila Ugarte, using her pen to fight for women’s rights in the work place in Latin America.

Ziola photo

Maybe she is mournful because of her intelligence, a woman born with a brain in a chauvinist society. The lips almost turn to a sorrowful frown. Or maybe this photo was taken before the hardships of persecution from the masses, they fighting in the opposing camp , for the retention of Victorian norms.

Her face bears the weight of her writings. She is beautiful and strong.

First Ladies Part II: Lady Bird Johnson

Claudia Taylor born 1912 in Karnack Texas in a brick southern plantation mansion. Known as Lady Bird since childhood due to a nursemaid commenting she’s “as purty as a lady bird.”

Early Photos


 

Lady Bird's Dress

 

Lady Bird Johnson wore this yellow satin gown and sable-trimmed coat to the 1965 inaugural balls. The White House did not normally discuss the first lady’s designers but, because of the “special occasion and intense interest” surrounding the inaugural gown, staff announced that it was designed by John Moore. Aware of the tradition of donating the dress for exhibit at the Smithsonian, Mrs. Johnson chose a simple design that she thought would age well.

– The Smithsonian http://newsdesk.si.edu/photos/lady-bird-johnsons-inaugural-coat-1965

The White House Green Room

 

I do love all things fashionable and sixties but this dress didn’t ‘wow’ me as it were. The form is obviously mid sixties the canary yellow just screams lunch on the lawn. The boat neckline and smooth satin very conservative and consistent.

Lady Bird had a passion for natural beauty. She founded the highway beautification program where billboards were drastically limited on American highways and wild flowers were planted instead .(http://www.wildflower.org/environmental_first_lady/  University of Texas at Austin)

Though not a fashion icon, one can see by her desire to wear a ‘timeless’ piece as she understood natural beauty. Like the simplicity of a white lily or smooth petals of a rose there is a timeless elegance.

Lady Bird on a walk

I’m not going to lie, the above framed image from the First Ladies Exhibit is totally cheese. I know it was some magazine photographer following her around to show her delight in nature but there’s some parody out there waiting to happen, involving a man with a very bad brown wig speaking in falsetto

I feel bad about that last statement here’s another photo in hopes of redeeming myself…

Photo Lady Bird

 

Just kidding! This photo may be even more ridiculous, what did they tell her to do spin? Ahaha! I’m a terrible person… She was sweet and very lovely we’ll just end with that.

So hats off to you Lady Bird Johnson for your timelessness and natural elegance!

 

 

 

A Vintage Gem: Joseph Murawski

Where do I begin. While searching on Etsy for a vintage pink leather jacket (don’t judge), I stumbled upon this little gem, Carnival of the Maniac. It’s a modest shop with a whole lot of…something.

First impressions, what is going on here….I think this might …be… AMAZING!

This is the site (He’s based out of Portland…go figure): https://www.etsy.com/shop/CarnivalOfTheManiac?ref=l2-shopheader-name


Mr. Murawski has taken it upon himself to model all the clothing he sells, which is not unusual for online vintage retail, and yes, Etsy is known for some artistic rendering by its vendors, but, I kid you not, this is by far the most entertaining display I have ever laid eyes on. It  brings me so much joy, like photos of modern dance, he captures, agility, strength and movement in the human form…and add to that,ridiculous clothing which is fearless! .. I think I’m in love …he he.

Here are a few of my favorites from his Etsy shop (these are obviously not my photos, all taken by the artist himself, Joseph Murawski):

New wave sweater

Copper Suit

Hot Pink crop shirt

Mick in Cape Just making sure you’re paying attention 😉

 

Vintage Parasuco Jeans sued suite

 


Like there’s one where he’s wearing an Obama tee shirt and vintage shorts and you see a hand reaching from the ground…what is this hand reaching for, what is the message? Could it be the “arhhh I’m a zombie coming out of a grave” or maybe it’s “ahhhh I love Obama so much rock concert?” There are questions I’m interested in having answers to, just say’n.

I Love ObamaHis work is bold and fun. And as we all know, fortune follows the bold! So good on you Joseph Murawski! You’re doing it! You’re amazing!


He also has an art website…a bit darker than my taste but still just as bold: http://www.carnivalofthemaniac.com/menu.htm

 

First Ladies Part I: Jackie O

Introduction This little series, titled the First Ladies, is  composed of Part I Jackie O and Part II Lady Bird Johnson. Both fashion icons of the 60’s and both influential in the White House. What prompted said series? Well I’ll tell you! A weekend getaway to see my bright and sunny Aunt Teresa in DC produced this unexpected muse. I’m not going to lie, DC isn’t necessarily the first place I would go to look for fashion inspiration, there is a lot of black .Yes, black, black suits and flowing black and gray blouses tucked into black pencil skirts with low pointy heels. One giant mass of black figures power walking and pushing past you like the world may come to an end if they don’t get to Starbucks on 7th and Maryland in the next 30 seconds. So dear reader that is why I was so entranced by The First Ladies Exhibit in the Museum of US History. Like an oasis in the desert, was this exhibit to my tastes. Dress after dress, decade after decade of lovely ladies wearing the days’ finest in fashionable and leisurely evening attire.


Part 1, Jackie O Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis known for her elegant and simplistic take on fashion with a touch of Paris here and there. Below you will see the dress and her pearls on display at US History Museum in DC. This silk dress, designed by Oleg Cassini and worn by the lady  to the first State Dinner of the Kennedy administration (1961). First Ladies Exhibit Jackie's Dress


The inspiration to this 60’s fashion icon? Well I thought you would never ask!

She started reading and writing about fashion from a young age it appears, here’s an excerpt from her high school years:

In 1951, she submitted an entry to Vogue magazine’s Prix de Paris contest, the prize for which was to spend half a year in New York, and the other half in Paris as a junior editor for the magazine. The submission was rigorous, requiring an original theme for an entire issue, illustrations, articles, layout and design, an advertising campaign that could be tied into the issue’s content. In the requisite essay, “People I Wish I Had Known,” she listed playwright Oscar Wilde, poet Charles Baudelaire and ballet impresario Serge Diaghilev. Named one of the twelve finalists, she was then interviewed by the magazine editors and out of 1,280 entries she won the contest. Her mother, however, did not want her to leave the U.S. and made her turn down the prize.

(From National First Ladies Library http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=36) Photos from childhood. (Don’t you think she kinda looks like Suri Cruise? Like in the eyes?) Childhood


Other influences were found abroad.

Upon returning from studying abroad during college in Paris France.

“I loved it more than any year of my life. Being away from home gave me a chance to look at myself with a jaundiced eye. I learned not to be ashamed of a real hunger for knowledge, something I had always tried to hide, and I came home glad to start in here again but with a love for Europe that I am afraid will never leave me.” -Jackie Kennedy

Budding Fashionista

As first lady, Mrs. Kennedy also traveled to Italy, India, and Pakistan. Her interest in other cultures and her ability to speak several foreign languages, including French, Spanish, and Italian, brought her good will and admiration around the world. From the Presidential Library and Museum http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/Life-of-Jacqueline-B-Kennedy.aspx?p=2

Apricot Silk Designer: Oleg Cassini (American, b. France, 1913-2006) Place made: USA Material: Silk ziberline Date Made: 1962 Sleeveless apricot colored, knee length dress with a slight V neckline.  This dress is gathered at waist which is accented with a bow, the skirt is an A-line. The dress is accompanied by a matching boxy coat with 3/4 sleeves, a plain front and one button at the collar. For a daytime boat ride on Lake Pichola, in Udaipur, India on March 17, 1962, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy wore this dress and matching coat of such elegant formailty that they would not have been out of place at a fashionable cocktail party. However, the fabric was rigid enough to keep its composure in the heat of India. Its dazzling color (appropiate to the intended setting) and sheen were calculated to ensure that she would be instantly identifiable to the crowds on the distant shore as they watched her barge on its way to the maharana of Udaipur’s White Palace, where she was feted that evening. (Above from http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/f2k6CQ8f9UCHVvH85LVKYA.aspx)


More reading:

Hepburn & Givenchy : inspiration and art

Red Coat

AUDREY HEPBURN AND HUBERT DE GIVENCHY
With a friendship that spanned 40 years, Givenchy first met Audrey Hepburn when he dressed her for Sabrina in 1953. After that he designed the clothes for her in Funny Face and the famous little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Definitely a fashion friendship with benefits. (H&M Life) http://www.hm.com/us/life/fashion/the-hit-list/2014/06/the-10-coolest-designer-muses

My love affair with 1960’s  fashion would have to have begun with Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey Hepburn and Givenchy. This red wool coat! High collar, large mod buttons and three quarter length sleeves. It doesn’t even matter what she is wearing under it, the coat is all that matters and it’s fab darling!

Another favorite is the coat from Charade with Cary Grant. This one in yellow same use of large buttons wide collar, but the angles are more geometric. I like how Givenchy uses the three quart sleeve and vertical lines of the seams to elongate Audrey’s torso. It’s lovely just like the muse herself.

Charade