Fashion Forward and Back

There’s a Star Trek episode I remember—trekky anyone?—in which Harry Mudd’s dangerous androids are defused by being told that they are being told lies, so they can’t figure out what’s true. In an admittedly obscure way, that’s what this video reminds me of. It’s so very vintage to me, but to the ladies and gentlemen who created these clothes, it was forward looking; they were inspired by the near, and long-term, future. I wonder if our love of vintage is as much a curiosity about what lies ahead as it is an appreciation for what came before… Or does that not compute?

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Get your kicks on route sixty-six

If I were a car, I’d be a Futura. I saw one at the garage down the street from me. Gus, the mechanic, usually has two or three beauties getting a little work done. Nothing removed, puffed up, or otherwise altered, just a little tune-up underneath the hood.

Wikipedia tells me (do you actually have to cite wikipedia?): “The Classic Car Club of America maintains that a car must be between 20 and 45 years old to be a classic, while cars over 45 years fall into the Antique Class.”

Um. I think I’m an antique. But if you’d be so kind, I’d prefer to be referred to as “vintage.”

Speaking of which, Vivienne Westwood is a rare vintage, always worth a listen!

What Goes On

I find myself obsessed, yet again, with the Beatles. The first time was in the 1960s, when they were brand-spankin’ new. My father would read out loud New York Post’s headlines such as “Ringo’s Getting His Tonsils Out” or “Ringo’s Getting Married” and my sister and I would prance around our living room singing “Ringo’s getting married, Ringo’s getting married!” Hilarity incarnate. I couldn’t have been more than 6 years old, and not entirely sure what tonsils, or even marriage, meant, but I understood it was big.

Then in college, circa 1980, my compadres and I went through some sort of pop-nostalgia thing. Grownup-hood impending, trying on the coolest version of our parents we could imagine. We weren’t alone. Would there have been Ramones without Beatles? Or even more significantly, what about the Ruttles?

Now here it is, 40 years after the grande demise, and my 9- and 6-year old boys demand (whine, cajole) Beatles whenever we’re in the car. They can tell you which song is on which album, they discuss who’s their favorite (Ellis: Paul, Lowell: John).

Good is always great, oh and, “Ringo’s Wearing Red Patent Leather!”

Fly the friendly skies (oops, that’s United).

1954-65

Delta’s is “We love to fly. And it shows.” And what better way to show it than a history of their Airline Attendant uniforms? Yup, nothing I love more than a good uniform….

Propeller Era Uniforms (1940-1959).
Jet Age Uniforms (1959-present).

Those from 2001–2006 strike me as despicably insufficient; un-uniform-ish. They’re touted as some sort of homage to “business casual,” but why would you want to do that? It reads wrong. The four in this 2003 picture look like rumpled and weary passengers at the end of a long work week. It makes me want to jump out of my own seat and serve them a good strong martini. BTW, they are Attendants from “Song,” Delta’s now-defunct low-fare brand experiment. I guess you can’t fake grass roots.

“Business Casual 2003”

1957-59

1969-70

A Doppelgänger Aspiration

Eunice Johnson Dies at 93; Gave Ebony Its Name

I confess I troll the obituaries. I love reading about interesting people’s lives, in brief. So I came across Eunice Johnson’s death notice in the NY Times (one of my favorite haunting grounds) in January, and I was moved. If I could be half the woman she was, well, I’d be short, now wouldn’t I? Okay, that’s not what I meant to say. No, I was going to say, I’d be quite accomplished—I’d have climbed some very tall metaphorical mountains. I so admire her ability to identify problems that mattered to her, and most significantly, to solve them.

What Do Men Want?


Here’s a video my friend Linda Taylor Brodow made, to help sort out the intricacies of men’s fashion trends… I’m inspired, and feeling groovy (music is by Dave Stewart/Mick Jagger, New York Hustle, from the ‘Alfie’ soundtrack).

A Video Tour of Mad Men’s Costume Shop

A tour of the costume shop

Click for a Mad Men tour

Why do I love that show so much? Is it simply the clothes? This seems like a good place to clarify: Anne’s + my clothing line, Doppelgänger Wear, is about the history of women’s ambition, expressed as clothing. Whaddya think, can you see it? Our clothes are not based on high-fashion of bygone decades (the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s, etc.), rather they are based on home-sewing patterns of those eras. This means style marketed to women who wanted to make something of themselves, by themselves. The latter wasn’t such an uncommon pursuit in those days. In school, girls took “home economics” while boys took shop. But the former, to make something of themselves, is still a work in progress, isn’t it. Funny how that progress has diminished our ability to sit down and sew.