Another great article from my November 1946 issue of Seventeen Magazine: This column works to dispel the myth that the “Gay Nineties” (as in 1890’s) were the “good old days.”
“Haven’t you heard some sillies who moan, “Gosh, it would be wonderful if this were fifty years ago- during the Gay Nineties. Life was so-o-o exciting then!” Do tales of Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell make you wonder a bit, maybe even yearn to have been a Gibson Girl? Well, when grandmother talks of the good old days, suggest that she discard the rosy-hued lenses.”
The article goes on to talk about the discomfort of corsets, the lack of variety in clothing, the inconvenience of travel. The thing that struck me, though, is how I, and many others of us, have this same attitude now about the 40’s and 50’s as compared to today! I don’t know how many times I have said that I was born in the wrong era. I guess we will always be looking over that fence to see how much greener the grass is on the other side.
My favorite part of the column was the last paragraph: “Try to imagine the books that will be written in 1996 about life today. They’ll laugh at our stumbling about with television, and at our offstage, on-street ballet slippers, but they’ll show that 1946 was a pretty exciting time in the history of the world. Rocket ships, atomic power, another chance for world peace, penicillin, two-way telephones in automobiles. Want to become a charter member of my Let’s Appreciate Today Club?” ~Seventeen Magazine, November 1946, pp. 69-70
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A couple of nights ago, I gave a talk for an artist group in Simpsonville, SC. The woman who invited me had been in my studio before, and knew what kind of work I do. So, she brought me an old Seventeen magazine from 1946 she had at her house. You would have thought she handed me a bag of gold! I have since spent many hours pouring over its pages, the beautiful ads and great stories, and drooling over the clothes. I wish I could share the whole thing with you, but here is an excerpt from a story that caught my attention immediately. Being 5’10” myself, I know what it is to be one of the tallest in the room. But, instead of slouching to hide it, I tend to put on my 4″ heels and flaunt it…
“Put it this way: Not for your are short-waisted or fluffy fashions. No sweet or girly-girly stuff. Smooth suits you can wear like a model…dirndls to give you hips, not to hide them…positive classics to lend distinction to your build or coloring. For you: big hats that would make mushrooms of little girls; slacks that have an air of belonging to your long legs so unalterably that by comparison the short girls appear to be picnicking in their pajamas.” Seventeen Magazine, November 1946, p.53
I am headed home to Atlanta tomorrow, but wanted to leave you with a couple of Christmas images and a great website to check out while I am gone for the holiday!
I just love Christmas lights. They make everything seem so magical this time of year. Although, I could never be one of those people who completely cover their house and yard in lights. That is mainly because these people pay huge electric bills, not to mention the cost of updating their electrical systems to handle all that extra power. But also because I am one of those people who gets really annoyed when I see Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, and to put that many lights on your house you have to start sometime in October!
But, I stumbled upon a great site recently that has everything I love about Christmas lights. It is http://oldchristmaslights.com and it tells the history of electric Christmas lights in America from 1900 through 1950. Lots of great information and pictures for you collectors.
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Last night I watched Joyeux Noel, a 2005 Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. If you want to watch a movie that really captures the meaning of Christmas, go out and rent this film today! It is set in 1914 and tells the story of one Christmas night during WWI when enemies were able to lay aside their differences, visit each others trenches and celebrate the holiday. Diane Kruger is beautiful in it, and I adore her clothes. I have never paid much attention to 1910’s and 20’s fashion, but recently I have been drawn to their silhouette. So, watch this movie, and Joyeux Noel!
Remember months ago when I posted about a red ’40s shirtwaist dress I had been trying to finish for a while? Well, I was hoping that posting about it would inspire me to get it finished. That didn’t work, but I found the motivation when I decided that I wanted to wear the dress for my birthday. I will have to take a proper photo of the whole dress soon, but in the meantime, here is a photo of me and my good friend Heather to give you an idea what it looks like.
And, I swiped this video off of Miriam’s blog because I think the clothes and the music are fabulous. It really makes me want to start wearing 1920’s cloche hats!
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