Archive for May, 2013
Jane Fonda in a Vera beach towel
As a younger woman, my mother was quite big on collecting: antique scrimshaw objets and tortoiseshell jewelry she’d picked up on annual buying trips to London* cluttered her dressing area, as did enamel deco pendants, chatelaines, and big stacks of bakelite bracelets. And in an upstairs closet was what I’ve come to believe was her most brilliant collection of all: shopping bags from stores in every city she visited throughout of the 60s and 70s (check out the amazing archival shopping bag blog Bagatelle for a sense of why it kills me that Mom offloaded them all before I had any sense of their genius).
I didn’t inherit Mom’s collecting gene—I lack both the sentimental streak and laser-like focus that seems so central to that mindset—but I do have an abiding affection for textiles and good graphic design, which is why I sometimes find myself trolling Etsy’s selection of vintage items by Vera Neumann, collecting for pretend.
Vera Neumann invented the signature scarf, and went on to design hundreds and possibly thousands of them. She was trained as an artist, and believed her pieces were in their way all small works of art, reasonably priced and accessible to many. This is the cover of a mini-booklet that probably came bound in with a fashion magazine back in the 1960s, and I love it unreasonably.
Because Vera scarves were priced for the people, you can still find many of them online, in vintage stores and at fleas, for very decent prices. I’ve been looking for cotton scarves for Cancer Friend—she started chemo this week and has no interest in a wig—and this seems like it could be good for some laughs.
The print on this (alas, no longer available) vintage apron is classic Vera.
As is this rather astonishing dress, complete its trademark Vera ladybugs.
Look how she out-Scandinavians the Scandinavians with this tea towel.
Vera the book—I’m not sure I can’t.
*She owned a wonderful boutique for many years, and yes, that explains a lot.
I know, enough with the Zara already. But I have seen pretty much precisely these sandals at three times the price—wouldn’t it be terribly wrong not to share that with you?
- This mashup of archival Soul Train footage with Daft Punk’s new single “Get Lucky” makes me really happy. (Good)
- On the other hand, I’m not sure how to feel about 300 Kate Bushes re-enacting the “Wuthering Heights” video on a field somewhere in England. (Death and Taxes)
- Also: Prancersise!
- JC Penney can not catch a break. (Adfreak)
- The Mermaid Parade lives! (Gothamist)
Acid bright techno-quilted patterns get me every time.
Nothing says summer like a white-on-white embroidered blouse, fun and geometric and light as you please.