Sheila Weller's new book Girls Like Us chronicles the lives of Carly Simon, Carole King and Joni Mitchell as they emerged in the decidedly male American Rock Scene. I'm looking forward to reading this book (as soon as my daughter and I are finished with Farmer Boy.) Find this book at your local Booksense independent bookstore (or at @mazon, if you simply must.)
I've always loved the effortless chic of Carly Simon in the 1970s. She was not only a pioneer in the early singer/songwriter genre but also one of those women who exemplified a unique style without any effort, perhaps by simply being there in her generation. I don't know if that makes sense at all but there you go.
Maybe I find her a refreshing contrast to the over-packaged pop princesses with little inherent talent that seem to make it big today. Carly's not what nowadays would be considered a beauty, at least by the current standard of "hot" which seems to put far too much emphasis on the wrong things. Her teeth are big, her hair is wild and unstyled. Whatever. The 70s public seemed so much more relaxed and accepting of women musicians in all shapes and sizes. I miss that.
Here's a delightfully goofy song by The Simon Sisters, before Carly made it big:
Remember, this was the "Puff the Magic Dragon" days, so folk songs geared toward children were all the rage. Isn't Carly's gold bell-sleeve dress wonderful?!
Fabulous Farm Fashions! I came across the closed listing this morning of this wonderful little purse, sold on ebay a few days ago. It's probably from the 20's, made in Germany by Luis Kuppenheim. I love the realistic curved back that forms the top opening, and the little dangling piggy feet. It's nice to see an animal design that doesn't resort to cartoon-like caricature. We're used to seeing metal mesh bags by Whiting & Davis and Mandalian, so this maker is another one to keep an eye out for.
Each spring, the style gurus at Vintage Fashion Guild create Vintage Inspirations, a visual guide to the season's hottest looks. This season they have put together a four page fashion guide to spring, with looks that incorporate bold colors ("Bright Ideas,") echoes of menswear ("Hey Laddie,") graphic prints, ("Art School,") and lingerie ("Boudoir Romance.") Enjoy browsing vintage fashions from dozens of talented sellers!
It's such a treat to discover new faces in the fashion pantheon!
If you're from the East Coast (which I am not) you may already know something of Garfinckel's, the premier fashion specialty store that reigned from 1905 to 1989. In California, we had I. Magnin but we certainly did not have any First Ladies to dress, nor a female force such a Elizabeth Fairall, head of merchandising at Garfinckel's. We discovered a wonderful article about Garfinckel's and the legacy of Miss Fairall, and wanted to share it with you.
My favorite quote:
A Fairall fashion show as put on for charity at hotels and clubs in and Washington,
is a major operation: Involved may be 15 models, a fashion coordinator and two
assistants, two or three maids, an interior decorator-and a woman detective.
I'd love to know how Miss Fairall dressed the woman detective.....
Many savvy vintage collectors are familiar with the "New Look" created by Christian Dior and introduced to the world in 1947. But few may remember the stir created when Yves Saint Laurent, then the House of Dior's young new designer, introduced his "Trapeze" look 11 years later for Dior's Spring 1958 collection. The open, tent-like silhouette was lauded by critics and fashion buyers, but some women customers who were accustomed to the hourglass silhouette of seasons past were a bit leery and took a little more convincing. Anyway, it's 50 years later and we present you with this delightful fashion show, a sampling of what the department and specialty stores were buying for the fashionable public: