Posts Tagged ‘vintage fashion’

The Golden Age of Travel

Posted by Winifred on June 27th, 2014  •  No Comments »

Though we plead guilty to the sin of on flight yoga attire, we are nostalgic for the Golden Age of air travel, particularly in the 1950s and 60s. We love the idea of an in flight show of gloves, hats, heels and dresses and the sky high club aspect of an open bar and cigarettes. And we had such plans for a tour on the Orient Express, which though still offering select legs of the 7 country Paris-Istanbul trip, is no longer in service. What we imagined was a cross-country treasure hunt ending on Safari in Tanzania, all, of course, with Globe Trotter luggage, Sylvain Le Guen hand fans and Perrin gloves.

The truth is, the Golden Age was not all glamorous. The chairs were not so plush, no on-flight entertainment, though we much prefer to read, and despite our semi-annual indulgence of an outfit paired Fantasia, we would never manage a 6 hour flight in a cloud of cigarettes and ash. We came close to experiencing Golden Age air travel glamour however, on an Emirates Airlines Airbus 380 from New York to Dubai. The flight attendants immaculate in their suits and full make-up, round the clock meals plated and served with silverware, seats upholstered to true transatlantic levels of comfort and service the likes of which we are too young to have ever previously seen.

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We did not know that the Emirates Business Class bar scene though rivaling that of 1950s as a gathering spot and unparalleled service, evidently outdoes the 50s in unbridled debauchery and scandal…But we digress,

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Luxury travel now is no longer confined to just the jets but extends to airport lounges as well – Dubai’s filled with Chanel, Escada, and Gucci retail experiences among others. We dare say that air travel of the past is now just that. The past. The future is substantially more glamorous; Our air travel wardrobe is too…

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Images Via NY Times, Ralph Lauren, Socorpos, Fast Company, Pinterest

Posted in : Head wear, In an Ideal World..., On Style, Travel, Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How we came to love the hat….

Posted by Winifred on April 28th, 2014  •  No Comments »

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It seems timely to go over what it means for a little girl to discover her first role model and how the very existence thereof forever informs her life…

We were probably 7, maybe 8. Born and raised in the Netherlands, we also lived in Spain and then spent several years in Suriname, where our parents were born. After Suriname, we returned to the Netherlands. It was still an innocent time, few outside influences, a culture of little television, few magazines and we were too young for peer pressure. No outside world telling you you weren’t good enough. In fact, in our house, being an outsider was what we celebrated. Our parents spoke Surinaams, we ate Surinaams, we adhered to our culture of respect for elders, family values, entertaining big and celebrating big. Oen mek presirie, always. Dutch culture was for us often a bit of a joke. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be Surinaams, even as we recognized the greater opportunities for education and earnings potential of Holland.

Then, already cocooned by our Surinaams family, we allowed one snippet of influence to come into our home. That snippet was our first glimpse of Miss Diana Ross on Dutch Television. At that time, it took quite a while for American imports to reach Europe. We had never heard of ‘Mahogany,’ and were too young to know the Supremes. So our first introduction to Miss Diana Ross was in the much later part of her career. There she was, thin, brown, with big eyes and big hair. She was beautiful, she was famous, she was glamorous, she was rich. She was a big star and everybody loved her. And she looked like us. And in that instant we were programmed. To be thin, brown, have big eyes and big hair was the ultimate in beauty, fame and possibilities. We would never want to be anything else, but what we were: the Surinaams version of that very image.

It seems so timely to share this now, as we notice how often attempts are made to shake that programming. Whether in the media, or sometimes closer to home. And we feel bad for the many people impacted, young girls especially. It reminds us how lucky we are to have received the gift of Miss Ross, but also of our parents. First, the gift of parents who gave us so solid a foundation and connection to our roots that in a time when the Netherlands was not so multicultural, we never questioned the richness of who we were. And second, that before society was able to work on us, in came Miss Ross to forever sear in our minds, an image of beauty, glamour, elegance and style that ’till this day continues to inform, inspire and guide us.

When asked how she manages the negativity of the press, Venus Williams responded that she had from her birth been brainwashed by parents who only told her she was amazing and could achieve anything she wanted. She has no ability to think anything else. We could not be more grateful for being brainwashed…

Vintage

Image Via Villagevoice

Posted in : Beauty Refined, Head wear, In an Ideal World..., We digress  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

‘Mad Men,’ the premier of season 7

Posted by Winifred on April 14th, 2014  •  No Comments »

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With a Fantasia cigarette (yellow) in our right hand, Bourbon in our left, we were promptly seated at 10pm EST for the final season of Mad Men. Hearing that music come on and seeing the outline of Don Draper seated, right arm over the back of the couch, cigarette in hand, it felt like coming home. What a wait! How do they get away with it, having us eager and still hungry after a year long absence?

The first episodes often leave us wanting; there are always a lot of questions which sometimes take the entire season to have answered. But then there is always enough to keep you attuned for more. We don’t overanalyze plots and twists, we settle in for a smooth ride through the 60s, doing our best to tune out the unsettling things. We suppose it’s best to get those out of the way first, especially because it has nagged at us for sometime.

As we mentioned in a prior blog, ‘An early 20th century lover’s lament,’ it is always difficult to stay completely focused on the charms of the 20th century without flinching at its ugliness. Naturally, in a show that strives to be fanatically accurate to the times, Mad Men’s story lines for its black characters are less than desirable. On the one hand, it was an unpleasant time and thus the realities of that must be reflected. On the other hand, the writing on this show is extremely clever and if Matthew Weiner was truly interested he could do exactly what he does for the other women on the show, celebrate their victories, even in a climate of oppression.

Instead, one is always left with the feeling that the writer is bitter for having to succumb to pressure to diversify the show and has decided to make us pay for that in every way. A clear example of his bitterness would have to be the older black woman stealing from Don’s children in Episode 8, last season. We had to choose not to give this the power to ruin the show’s deliciousness for us.

Thus more important is Roger waking up in the middle of an orgy that one can certainly imagine him falling into, but can’t believe he would return to. We hope he moves on quickly, it’s a scene we only want him to dip a toe into – not even a foot. For Peggy we continue to ache as she finally allows herself to feel her own devastation over Ted leaving, by sinking to the floor in tears.

It was a full 9 minutes before we even saw Don. That permanent scowl of disapproval and detachment making us only want to draw nearer. Matthew Weiner talked about the authenticity of Jon Hamm’s portrayal, due to his own experiences with darkness. Perhaps this is what was missing from Ike Evans in Magic City. You never truly felt you were looking at a man weighed down by his descend into darkness. Don leaves no doubt…

We fawned, we gushed, we adored the visual of Megan jumping out of her sports car to pick Don up. We love that we just saw her mod style dress turn up at bridal designer Madeleine Fig. But then we just returned to our usual scorn for her as the replacement for the icy cool perfection that is Betty Draper. (Were we the only ones who fully approved of Don’s affair with the neighbor?) What did please us was finally an addressing of the elephant in the room, by Megan’s agent, her teeth! How long were we going to act as if it made sense for Don to have married someone with such teeth?? Yes! They need to be fixed for us to buy her career as an actress, and Don should already have done so!

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Joan had a moment of betrayal last season, but she mostly makes us swell with pride. Her cool deflection during a reluctant meeting with Butler Footwear, then strengthening her position by educating herself. She amazes us every time, she reminds us of what matters. Always your own belief in your self…Her briefcase in white leather a style statement!

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Nev Campbell looks great in the 60s! What a surprise to see her board Don’s plane and take the seat next to him. It would have been too predictable for them to run off together, we suppose, but part of us was kinda for it. We need to consider a replica of her chunky gorgeous necklace for Summer.

Things are a mess, Don and Roger are clearly lost and out of place where they are trying to land. We need them both back at the office, Roger staying in an elegant hotel, no more trips for Don to Megan’s hippie nest in the hills. We prefer their debauchery to unfold from the solid base of the office…

Posted in : Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thank you Mrs. Roberts

Posted by Winifred on January 7th, 2014  •  No Comments »

I wish I had discussed my love for vintage fashion with Mrs. Roberts. I think we would have liked many of the same things. I would have enjoyed discussing with her which decade’s fashion was her favorite, and what she wore when. I would also have loved to know how she wore cognac, a color I adore and would love to wear more. That was my intention when two months ago I saw much of the color popping up at vintage stores. And now, because of Mrs. Roberts, I’m nicely on my way.

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Mrs. Roberts is Neville’s mother and Neville is like my brother. Recently, when Mrs. Roberts passed, I reflected on my last visit with her. As usual she was quiet, not in a brooding, unfriendly way, but serene and listening. She would always listen and ponder her words. Like mother like son, never a gratuitous word spoken, never a judgmental tone taken. But always engaging when invited and easy in her skin. She made you feel at ease to express your thoughts and opinions and she would gently interject her own. You always enjoyed time with Mrs. Roberts, one because you respect Neville and his adoration for his mother, and two because you could see where he got his many great traits.

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Mrs. Roberts, I want you to know that you raised an amazing son. That you can rest easy knowing that all of your values and lessons live on through him. I want you to know that I appreciate the times that we were together, the times I was able to freely talk to you and you listened. You left behind a legacy of kindness, harmony, love and a gentle spirit. And you left me with this lovely clutch in cognac, my color, my style, a perfect new addition to my trove of vintage and refined. I will wear it proudly and gracefully. I will wear it easily yet sassily. I will wear it consistently yet gently. I will wear it like you…

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Posted in : On Style, Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , ,

Ode to the 70s

Posted by Winifred on August 2nd, 2013  •  No Comments »

It seemed fitting to offer up another round of applause after the close of the Museum of the City of New York Retrospective: Stephen Burrows When Fashion Danced. We appreciate him as much for his contribution to the glitter and glamour of 1970s as we do for the memories that he holds.

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Dancing days…

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Flowing jersey days…

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Pat Cleveland days…

And always a red day….

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What a life refined…

Images via stephenburrows.tumblr.com

Posted in : Dimensions, On Style  •  Tags: , , , ,