Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Prayers For Rain

Is summer over yet? 
I know I'm supposed to be "excited" about it being nice out, I'm supposed to "enjoy it while I can", but no no. I love cold weather. I love rain. Bring on those grey skies! Bring on the wool & fur! Bring on the layers!

Perhaps it's because there's less competition, but I swear I always find my favorite winter clothes in the heart of summer. This wool boucle 30s number came into my life last week and could not wait to wear it. The zipper up the front kills me. Plus, it pairs perfectly with my grandma's bakelite horse set. Luckily, the clouds came home on Sunday & I jumped on the opportunity to rock it. 

Vintage glee.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who yearns for grey skies, right?
Hope you folks are doing fabulous. Stay tuned for some vintage magazine drool-worthies coming up this weekend.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Landscape is Changing

Why, helloooo!

Somebody's been a busy little bee, I accidentally went missing for a hot minute there. The last few weeks have been funny. I mean, in a good way, but life changes galore. (Job swap! New boyfriend! Oh good god, not used to that word it's still freaking me out. Blah blah blah.) Things have been settling in more now though, thank god. Jaynie and I finally got back in our 'Sunday Friend Day' routine to do a bit of antiquing, drink cocktails, and take some outfit pics while we were at it.

I recently fell back in love with this New York Creations 40s hat. The tag calls it a "Year Rounder", which is completely appropriate & adorable. It may be wool, but it's small enough I can still wear it in the heart of summer... Unlike a huge chunk of my wardrobe. I've been living in rayon jersey lately, it's like wearing a giant tshirt dress.

I got these 40s wedges in November... the first time I wore them, the suede tore down the front. Such a giant bummer. I finally took them to the cobbler & although they have a scar now, I'm thrilled they are in my life again. 

I hope ya'll are doing swell!
If you are ever thinking "where did she go?", be sure to check out my instagram, @lilies_remains. Even if I'm being a bad blogger, I'll still be instanerdingout.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Evolution of Swimwear, 1945

Hooray summer! Perfect opportunity to share this article from Life magazine, July 9, 1945... a few days shy of 68 years ago.

This particular article includes a historical timeline of vintage swimsuits, modeled by a Life model. So not only do you have the benefit of drooling over the 1945 suits, you get to lust over the previous 30 years of swim style as well. Well gee, you twisted my arm.

Bathing Suits
They have come a long way but cannot go any further

In 1905 a lady's bathing suit was made of ten yards of material, in 1945 it is made from one. Between these two statistics and these two dates lie a social revolution and an annually expanding area of bare, brown flesh. The revolution has made it quite permissible for even the most proper women to appear on public beaches in costumes which used to be seen only in the rowdiest cabarets. 

Prior mover of the revolution was Annette Kellerman, the first famous woman swimmer. In 1910 Miss Kellerman became more famous by discarding the ruffles and heavy corset that went with bathing dresses and appearing unabashed in a tight, one-piece suit. This set a pattern for the Mack Sennett girls and the Atlantic City bathing beauties, who found that scanty suits could bring fame and fortune. Then in 1926 Gertrude Ederle wore only brassier and shorts to swim the English Channel. Her brief costume was chosen for athletic reasons but it gave many nonathletic women an idea. The U.S. took up the cult of sun bathing. Nudity was acclaimed as the secret of good health. It was easy to rationalize, though not to prove, that the more bodily area exposed and tanned each summer, the fewer colds next winter.

Since 1930 U.S. bathing suit manufacturers have made money by cutting something more off their suits each year. Neither sermons nor ordinances nor arrests have slowed the steady progress for bloomers to one-piece suit to bra and diaper pants, a progress recorded on the following pages in a series of suits modeled by Pamela Randell. But in 1945 both maker and wearer are at the end of their rope; there is - or seems to be - nothing more to cut off.

Thirty years separate the two suits above. The 1915 model (left) cost $30, the 1945 model (right), $13.

California suits are styled for active swimming. Strictly functional, they have no shoulder straps, minimal diaper-style pants. These suits are ultimate development of the skintight knitted suits which first appeared in early '20s.

East Coast suits are more dressy and feminine. Made of draped material they hint the beginning of the retrogression to ruffles and frills. Many have long detachable skirts. In the picture below, the suits are paired to show each with and without skirt.

What are your favorite years? My hands down favorite was 1931, that deco print is incredible. I'm imagining it in white, red & black. Not surprising, since the early 30s slaughtered beach fashions (think beach pajamas.. enough said.) Realistically though, that 1938 number is the one I'd wear to death. Can't precisely tell what the print is.. but it sure as heck looks like a novelty one. Fml, want.

I love their intro: Really guys! You can't cut off any more fabric! And then we all laugh, laugh, laugh, because we have 70 more years of fashion history making that a hilarious statement.

This article made me wonder: All those Catalina suits in the California photo (you can just make out the Catalina label) are very much reminiscent of Claire McCardell's 1942 diaper swimsuit.  Had McCardell's style popularized to the point where it was seeping into other designs? Or was Catalina actually just stealing that? Obviously, Catalina had been making swimwear long before McCardell, but that's irrelevant. My curiosity is piqued, if anyone knows more, please share the wealth.

Hope you are all doing fabulous!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Oh L'amour

This isn't an outfit post. It's a hat post. 
Who cares about the outfit when this 40s hat EXISTS?
I bought this hat over the phone, sight unseen, other than an iPhone photo.... because WHAT? HOW?

It's by Madame Pauline, out of New York. I tried to find out more information about her, and ended up finding out most of what I know from the Met's Costume Institute, who has a small collection of her work. (Check them out here, the '42 gold lame turban is painful.)

Seattle's Pride week just ended, and it was the *perfect opportunity* to bring this hat out on the town. For once when I left my apartment, no one asked "where I was going", or "why I was dressed up", blah blah. I wish it was Pride week all the time! (Buuut my liver doesn't.)

Check out those studs! And beads! And sequins! (Someone pass the defibrillator..)

The biggest thank you to the beautiful Cass at Urban Eccentric, this baby couldn't have gone to a happier home.