Posts from the ‘Fashion’ Category

A Monopoly On Fashion

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Colin Swan, newsman for the CHLO in Canada, awards the winner of the 1976 Monopoly Tournament at Elgin Mall, St. Thomas Ontario. No doubt that Joey Starcevic on the far right is wondering how much money he’ll need to save for buying a sweet blazer like Colin’s.

Photo courtesy Elgin County Archives

Retro Selfie [1979]

Retro Selfie [1979]

Sometimes a self-portrait captures youth in its beautiful stages. This is not one of them. I was 15 and messing around with my camera and tripod at home. The mesh trucker hat – now revered once more after years of being reviled – sings praises to the kind of muffler I had installed on my first car. The snap-up plaid shirt was well worn and – quite frankly – a bit small for me even then. If it weren’t for the sweet 70s lamp in the background, this scene could be mistaken for the swinging entry doors of a saloon. I didn’t know much about composition back then.

But I sure knew how to look like the guy who delivered your paper on a beat-up BMX bike!

Groovy Daycare

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No doubt they’re on their way to the Rec Center to play PONG.

Fashion Ahoy!! [1974]

Fashion Ahoy!! [1974] #sailfish #dress #florida #style #fashion #oldgoldfiltered #filmisnotdead

There is no end to the gems which unearth themselves from the Florida archives!

As it always seems to be, this 1974 fashion shot from Roy Erickson caught my eye as I was searching for something else.  That is one happy Sailfish, with small waves below it to soften its massive leap across her skirt.  The material in her dress appears to be identical to some of the shirts I wore during Junior High – slick, shiny and snaggy.  I’m sure there’s a name for it, but the word escapes me right now.

We can just call it “Disco Denim.”

Now THAT’S A Tie! [1974]

56-054 by Nick DeWolf Photo Archive
56-054, a photo by Nick DeWolf Photo Archive on Flickr.

Courtesy of the Nick DeWolf Archives. The beard, the coat, and the tie all point to a time when anything could be combined for fashion – especially in a place like San Francisco where this was taken. Nick took thousands of photos in his lifetime, and his son-in-law Steve Lundeen has taken on the monumental task of digitizing the entire thing. Current there are over 64,000 of Nick’s photos online at Flickr. Most of them were never seen by the public before.

Steve’s been at it now for several years and he’s still going. Check out the entire reel that this tie photo came from:

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Jantzen (and Marshmallow Circus Peanut) Spoken Here [1967]

Jantzen - 1967

Scan courtesy of RChappo2002

There’s coordination, and then there’s saturation. This golfer seems to have lost a ball, but found a fan. She likes that every bit of clothing is the color of a circus snack, and that he can hold a putter with the confidence of a king.  His hair is assurance that comb-overs exist even when they aren’t required.

Founded in 1910, Jantzen Sportswear still exists as a division of Perry Ellis.

`61 Style – Courtesy of Montgomery Ward

Montgomery Ward Collage 1961 Lileks 2

Scans courtesy of James Lileks

Before the Intertubes took over our buying habits, there was Sears and Wards.

These images are from the 1961 Montgomery Ward catalog, “Your Store At Home!”  Order over the telephone and like magic you have a new wardrobe (Just say “Charge It”).  Just look at the wasp wastes, the fitted cuts, and the hair.  And the hats.  Wow.  Every picture looks like the model is on the way to some kind of social function, or at least dressing for the unexpected fortune which might be walking their way.  With the recent appearance of shows like Mad Men, Vegas, and the short-lived Pan Am, styles from the early 1960s have gotten a lot of attention.

And in my mind, it’s for good reason.

I have some respect for the amount of effort it took to be in style back then.  The fashion of the era had a certain way of drawing a line between genders, something which has become more blurred with time.  Catalogs from any decade serve as a time capsule, and this one from fifty-plus years ago captures much.

The scans above were done by James Lileks, a Midwestern blogger and writer.  He is also immensely funny, and his descriptions of pictures he posts on his personal blog have – in the past – made me purple from laughing.  To see this entire scan collection – page by page – click HERE.  Make sure to read his commentary!

Afghan Awesomeness [1966]

Bernat Afghans VII

A thrift store treasure, beyond measure 🙂

I found this brief catalog – Bernat Afghans’ Contemporary and Traditional Styles, Book no. 132 – in a Long Beach WA shop for a whopping 25-cents. Initially I thought it would be a nice addition to Wall Of Retro – one which could dish out some of the cheesiness that only the mid-1960s could provide. Yet, as I began looking through the publication, I discovered that the pictures were just short of amazing. Staged without looking staged. Telling multiple stories, while giving focus to the subject of the catalog. The photographer employed a delicate depth of field in the work, and a film used duplicated the subject’s colors at an amazing level.

In short, I was duped by 25-cents worth of awesomeness.

While I was taken in by the quality of the photography, the stunning Mrs. BelRedRoad was smitten with the afghans themselves. “That’s beautiful work,” she said of the first one she saw, “and expensive.”

Bernat Afghans VIII

The stories depicted in these pictures are ones of relaxation, wonder, longing, and tranquility. In a sense, a warm afghan should be providing at least a couple of those – even ones that don’t cost big bucks. Check out these pictures; aside from being a warm time capsule of the Sixties, they also embody the feelings and softness in life which many of us want.

Bernat Afghans XX

I always make sure my chauffeur has an afghan handy…

Bernat Afghans XIV

Bernat Afghans VI

Bernat Afghans III

Bernat Afghans II

Bernat Afghans I

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Bernat Afghans XIII

Bernat Afghans XII

Bernat Afghans X

Bernat Afghans V

Bernat Afghans IV

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Bernat Afghans XI

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Bernat Afghans XVI

The Friendly Skies [1968]

United Airlines Stewardesses [1968]

Courtesy San Diego Air & Space Museum

There was a time when people traveled in something other than sweats and slip-ons.

And security was taken care of at the gate, no shoe removal required.  Flight attendants were called stewardesses, which at the time made sense because the term Steward was given to service personnel who took care of the traveler.  Many facets of air travel have changed; while I would never consider taking a “short hop” flight to places like Spokane or Portland from Seattle, because it would take me longer to get through security than it would to fly there.  While to the younger segments of our society this is standard, many of us remember when air travel was kinder on the soul.

Bad Apples who wanted to do us harm changed all that.

At Portland International Airport 05/1973

The fact remains that flying was once glamorous and fun, especially during the 1960s glory days.  It was the closest thing to space most of us would ever see.  Rarely was a motto so accurate: The Friendly Skies.  I still love flying, just not at the same levels as I did at 14.  I’m still amazed that a huge metal tube can hurl through thin air without falling.  Goofy me: I still love looking out the window at the passing Earth below.

While the golden age of air travel may be long past, it lives on with vibrance in an unexpected place: Pinterest.  In the past year I have found more airline, airliner, and flight crew photos on Pinterest than anywhere else.  It’s clear that people have a love for the style and feeling of the age, which embodied a sense of hope for air travel’s future that was seemingly quelled when hijackers started ruining the trips.

So today, thanks to the Internet, we can continue flying The Friendly Skies. Shoe removal not required.

Norwegian Summer Fashion! [1953]

Jet Setter is On The Job

Jet Setter is On The Job

In the northlands of Europe, the Summer is long and bright.  Many of us outside of the Old Country (I’m Scandinavian by ancestry) don’t think of the warm Summer days that Norway and Sweden possess; most of the time I think of the frigid cold and dark days of Winter – long and chill enough to create a Castle Of Ice which lasts long enough to be a hotel.

So when I caught these1953 fashion photos in Norwegian Government Archives, I was a bit surprised.

The purpose of these photos is unclear; they could have been for an ad campaign, since many of them use flash lighting in outside settings.  But the angles are not as professional as I would expect for ad graphics.  It is a mystery.  What is clear from the pictures, however, is that the model was having a lot of fun.  She plays with the camera, hams it up with her dog, and even makes watering the garden look like a glamorous endeavor.  Her expressions are priceless, and strikingly similar to those of the modern entertainer Katy Perry.

Moter Sommeren!

Moter, sommeren 1953

Moter, sommeren 1953

Moter, sommeren 1953

Moter, sommeren 1953

Moter, sommeren 1953

Moter, sommeren 1953

Moter, sommeren 1953

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