Monday, August 31, 2009

Dressing Betty Draper's Mom

Recently I had the pleasure of being the go-to person for vintage wear for the real life Mom of one of the vintage world's biggest screen stars...Betty Draper from AMC's MAD MEN! Betty, aka January Jones, will be taping an episode of THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW this week to be aired the week of September 21st, which of course is the date of the Emmy Awards Show. Mad Men is nominated for 16 awards, and the cast will be making an appearance on the Oprah show along with an entire audience wearing early 60s vintage! Betty & Don decked for cocktails (as an aside, Karen shared that January loves wearing vintage too!)...

January's Mom, Karen, lives here in the Des Moines area and had decided to drive out to Chicago with her sister to attend the show to support her lovely daughter. She contacted me here at the shop about help finding the perfect dress and was gracious enough to let me shoot some pics of some of the pieces she tried on but decided against. Her first choices were to go the Betty Draper route (both dresses available on my website)...

However, we were concerned about the dresses being too pale to be picked up in the studio audience. These were two more options, more along the lines of Joan....

But neither of those was the final'll have to tune in to the Oprah Show in September to see what Karen finally ended up in! A big thank you to Karen and her family who were along for the second visit and photo shoot. She looks as great in vintage as her daughter!


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Divorce Over Funny Papers? And More... (orig. published June 12, 2006)

No no, no divorce for far as I know, they were happily married til they were parted by his death in 1981. I found a letter with a couple pieces Jean's mother cut out & sent to her....strangely, no mention in the letter about what the intent was, but I assume she was letting Jean know she had gotten this hat & gloves....either for herself or to send to Jean (this while living in Kentucky, in 1936).
I've taken to reading the backs of the ads, and found this odd little story! Here's your divorce....
I'll have some eye candy for the sinners next, in the way of a political cartoon! For now, off to monitor Jean's green dress with cherry embellishments....its doing well! Ang

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fred (orig. posted June 11 2006)

I haven't gotten to many letters from her brother, Fred (whom I mistakenly assumed was younger, but is clearly a little older than her!)....I know they're in the stash I have, but I am working through slowly as time permits. I find sometimes I get so caught up in reading about her life I forget I need to WORK! And so I have not "blogged" in a few days, as I've been playing catch up on my vintage selling.
I did find a picture of she & Fred, I had thought I didnt have any of her as a small child but I do have this, and wanted to share it. I'd say it was taken in about 1907 to early 1908....
Hoping to get some pictures of newspaper articles today to get on here soon....meantime, lots of Jean's 40's dresses are at auction and ending tonight & tomorrow night (including that darling with the cherries on the shoulder!) so if you feel inclined, have a look! Ang

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Father's Love (orig. published June 8 2006)

Yep, I already posted today (are there blog rules against 2 posts in a day?).....I'll flout blog etiquette & post again anyway. Just read this letter from Jean's father, Thomas (Tom), written to her on January 30, 1937.....shortly after she goes home to recover there from the back surgery. It charmed me so I had to share.
My Darling Girl-
Well I called Hess this eve and he said the pain in the back of your neck he thot was due more to lack of exercise of the muscles in your neck and shoulders and that the pain resulted from a sustained position and the muscles became strained and sore. He thinks a massage regularly for a while by some competent swedish "massager" or osteopath will get the muscles in your neck and shoulders active and then you will not have the trouble. I would suggest also that you sit down and write out all the facts, etc you can think of and then let Bob put it in letter form to Dr Binger and see what he says in reply. I notice you talk of discouragement over your condition. Well thats clearly out of line of good judgement at this time because you cant expect to feel 100 percent OK for a long time- much longer than 3 months after any operation like yours following too quite a few years of a generally bad condition. In other words you cant tear down for 4 or 5 years then go thru an operation like yours and clean up all aches and pains, get your full strength and good health back in an instant nor even months- so take those SILLY NOTIONS out of your little head and keep up your chin and gradually build up the health and strength thru nature and exercise.
I don't want to hear you refer to discouragement, that is not the thing- you can't win a fight by giving up and taking the count. Get your mind off of yourself . You remember a few years ago when I thot I was having everything in the world- and I didnt get right until I got my head right- did I. I think you are doing fine, just keep on walking and exercising. If you dont want to go to osteopath or someone start exercising your neck and shoulders for 5 min at a time 4 or 5 times a day.. Get all those muscles active and see if the results are not good. In the meantime keep that good old chin of yours UP. Lots of Love & Kisses, Yours......Dad ps Business has been GOOD.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Vogue magazine declares "the 40s are in". Shoulder pads are making the runway rounds again. Suits worn as separates are the hot look for fall. Its the perfect time to mix a little real 40s with your modern wardrobe! These 40s pieces epitomize the iconic look without looking too much like you're headed to a U.S.O. party. All pics click to the site where you'll find tons more vintage (and yes, lots of 40s!).

The classic 40s suit, wide shoulders, nipped waist, pencil skirt, cool details...perfect together with some chunky accessories, tights & booties or separately layered into a myriad of ensembles!

Early 40s wool set in hunter green plaid, body conscious vest and skirt fantastic worn together over a short puff sleeve blouse, under a belted sweater or worn separately worked into scads of outfits! Imagine the vest belted over a skinny turtle neck with wide leg denim!

For a classic evening look, a sequined bodice crepe full length gown is red carpet perfect....

And for at home entertaining or an elegant evening out, leopard velvet meets amber silk chiffon!....


Monday, August 24, 2009

Vintage Vogue

My recent inclusion in the September issue of VOGUE MAGAZINE lead me to several conversations at my boutique with clients who found the photography of the Steven Meisel shoot unusual. I wasn't surprised at all when I saw them, rather, I was impressed at how true to 40's Vogue styling they appeared! Here is a 40s shot (credit to MY VINTAGE VOGUE...

And here is an image from the 2009 Meisel shoot (hat available on the website!)...

Something a little more unusual for a vintage Vogue is an outdoor shoot, like this one from the early 40s...

And the 2009 spin on fresh faced, outdoorsey types, both hats from my site, hat on left still available...

Another great shot, which happens to show a model holding a 1941 Vogue I have here at the house, aquired from Jean's estate!

For more vintage Vogue eye candy, be sure to peruse the MY VINTAGE VOGUE WEBSITE!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hulitar, Looking Back

As we celebrate 3 years of webbiness, I am looking back over some of my favorite pieces. One of the most amazing gowns I ever had in my possession was a silk beaded 50s gown by PHILIP HULITAR. The gown ended up back in the family, being sold to Philip's daughter to be given to her daughter (the granddaughter of Philip) for a wedding gift. Not only was it a fantastic gown but had an unusually happy ending!

A Hulitar is not an easy thing to come by, but amazingly there are a couple on etsy right now! This sweet little cocktail dress is from MOCK TURTLE VINTAGE...

Hulitar grew up in Greece and was inspired by the dance costumes worn by his neighbor who would holiday there, Isadora Duncan. His asymetrical bodices, draping and flowing textiles are often a testimony to that influence. This gown has the same angled bodice top as the gown I had, toga inspired gather at side, on etsy now from seller EAST COAST VINTAGE CHIC

Don't miss the other Hulitar gown from the same seller. Heady stuff for etsy!


Friday, August 21, 2009

the 40s are "In", and Dorothea's is IN Vogue Magazine!

The September issue of VOGUE MAGAZINE has hit the stands! Not only does it declare on the cover that the 40's are in (yay!), but to prove it there is a fantastic photo shoot by reknowned photographer Steven Meisel (styled by Grace Coddington) on pages 502-517. With powerhouse design greats like Dolce & Gabanna, Lanvin, Donna Karan and Calvin Klein recreating 40s styles nearly to a t, its amazing the stylists chose to add in some genuine vintage pieces. Nice to see the real deal mingle with the modern interpretation. And they're from none other than DOROTHEA'S CLOSET VINTAGE!.

These 2 hats are both from the website, though the one on the right already sold but the large brimmed black one is top of the page on the 1st hats page at the site. Clothing by Michael Kors & Louis Vuitton....

On model Karen Elson, dress by Calvin Klein, coque feather hat available on the website....

We recenetly worked a 40s look with a modern angle on model Emily Svec here at the shop....

Hat tip to Vogue for using real vintage with a vintage themed shoot and a thank you for the opportunity!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Three Already??

In doing some impromptu digging into the history of the website recently, it has come to my attention that the website turns three years old this month! With that I thought a little week-long retrospective was in order. I'll also have a pretty big celebration to coincide with it coming later this week, but for now I thought it would be grand to take a look at how far the site has come in just a short amount of time.

THE INTERNET ARCHIVE WAYBACK MACHINE is a fantastic little public access tool that lets you type in any url and review how it looked by month for as long as its been live. If I type in my main url, I can take a look (and share) how my page looked the day it went live on August 21, 2006. DAY ONE. Pretty rudimentary. The artwork was a sketch I'd found done by my grandmother, Dorothea, who appears in the photo booth pics making up the buttons down the left side. I was self taught and did all the work myself (still do). Its pretty amazing to look now at how much its evolved!

By October 6 you can see a few of my favorite pieces, now long gone...HERE. A great Claire McCardell recently worn by Tracey Ullman to host the CFDA Awards Show, and 2 really fantastic appliqued 50s sweaters by Helen Bond Carruthers now found in the Archives section of the site. Amazing to look at how the photographs have changed, from having the little faux corner tabs I had liked using on eBay to the bedsheet I used to use before I invested in photo paper!

You can view individual pages too. Lets start with the earliest, VICTORIAN AND EDWARDIAN. Clicking on AUGUST 19 2006 shows the very first day my very small (at the time) collection of antique apparel was. Four pieces, the headliner being that gorgeous black and blue embroidered and beaded sheer dress with bustle back. That dress remains on every page the WaybackMachine can archive, though it sold in June of 2008. By DECEMBER 2007 the collection had grown a bit to include an exquisite purple and gold Edwardian gown, some beaded bags and a fur trimmed cape. The site itself had evolved into a softer background of grey as I tried to simplify the appearance a bit.

So happy birthday to Dorothea's! I have to say, the gift of being able to track every detail of the site over the years and how its changed, what pieces have come and gone and how its grown is a pretty great present (but not as good as whats coming later this week!)


A Letter to Bob (orig. published June 8 2006)

"Dearest Bobby-Boy:
So glad to get your sweet letter this A.M. and was so glad when Mother came over yesterday and said you got home O.K.
Your week-end visit sure did help me a lot and I was so glad you could come. We had a fine time- didnt we. I just about died when I heard you had to spend an hour with those people and wish you had made arrangements for him to come here.
Well here is news- it looks as if we will leave here to-morrow. Dr Counsellor said I could leave to-morrow or any time I feel well and I believe by using wheel chair here and at hotel the trip won't be too much for me. It will be at least several days before I will feel equal to going to the clinic or down the the dining room. But I dont believe I'm overdoing it by going to-morrow. I truly hope not as that will be very bad. I walked up to the desk here and back to sun parlor rested a few minutes and then walked back to my chair- so you see I am much better than I was Sun.
Kelly's star pupil left to-day and for all her speed I can't see that she beat me so much. I can get into the chair better but still need help at the toilet- but I think with Mother's help we can manage OK and both get by for less than its costing me here. The meals haven't been so good here since Sun, all the meat tough so that I had to take mineral oil to-day. And had to send back nurse for more food. I've been sitting up quite a lot too. We went for a ride yesterday and I sat in the chair on the two sun porches for a long time.This noon Mother used the "pro-curler" so my hair looks like something once again. I'm sitting as near the radiator as I can until it drys, sure hope I don't take any cold. Mother has gone to get a bite, do a little washing and see about room at the Samaritan. She brought over my clothes this A.M. and took a big box of stuff home with her.
I'm excited over going and hope nothing comes up to prevent it. Once I get there it shouldn't be so long until we can make plans to go home. Sure hope you have a good week and will be very careful. This is the first word and words I've written since Oct. 25- I'm getting tired but lasting longer than I expected. Hope you feel really honored! Got a beautiful bouquet of big yellow chrysanthamums and small deep red over from the Gray's this A.M. Sure too bad Dr Mayo- he was only 34. Have been taking your pills- think thats the reason for the long letter. Sure hope I get along all O.K. during the move. The preacher called yesterday and no prayer so I think I'm going to get by. Nice letter from your Dad to-day. Did you get up to see Dad this A.M.? Be good and real careful and I'll look for your letter to-morrow. Love & kisses- Jean XXXXXXXXXX "count 'em".
She added off to the side in tiny print "If you tell anyone I wrote you make it very clear that's all I'm doing as I really don't feel equal to more and don't want to offend anyone- Love J.B.H."
This letter was written while she was recovering from back surgery, as I mentioned in the last post. I think its a lovely glimpse into the mind of a young girl struggling to feel well & go home to her husband.....there are several more, I may share a few. I do intend to get some newspaper clippings & corresponding quotes from the letters from her Mom posted soon....maybe tomorrow! But this is what I can share with you all from work here today....enjoy! Ang

"Ornery" (orig. published June 8, 2006)

"From April 16, 1937....Jean doing better now, well enough to fret over joining the Country Club in Burlington Iowa.

Hello Lambie-

Well I am glad the C Club fellows did not find out what a "terrible" couple you are and also find out about your "terrible" past. Now that you are both undiscovered I hope you will get real enjoyment out there at all times and too you can now get your NERVES settled again. "Fellow Members" I salute you. Poor little dear you have so many nerve racking troubles that DON'T exist, its funny how real troubles don't bother you. Anyhow the best peach in the orchard and the world- so there. Lots of Love & Kisses to my Fellow Members-Always Love- Ornery Dad"

Monday, August 17, 2009

1936 (orig. published June 7, 2006)


There are so many things in the letters from 1936 I would like to share, by way of newspaper clippings sent to Jean about topics ranging from world events to fashion, to her mothers own take on these very things.....the delightful & endearing things her father writes to her & more. I need to be at home to access a camera & my picture files to do that, but here at work I am done with the '36 letters and at least wanted to keep up to date here!
Seems at some point previous to the correspondence I have, Jean was in an accident that affected her spine to the point she was in bed often with pain so bad it made her nauseous. Her father did quite a bit of research into what could be done for her, from how much it would cost to be examined in Rochesterat Mayo Clinic ($60 to $150), to what she would need to do when they interviewed her & Bob about their finances to determine what they would charge, or, as he put it "to see how many clothes pins you have in your basket & what kind of vacuum cleaner you use". !!.
In October of 1936 she went to Mayo and had surgery. She left a couple weeks later & spend the next 2 1/2 months in a rehab center with her mother there all along. The letters she wrote to Bob are the first I have read with HER voice, and they reveal a scared & vulnerable 30 year old woman trying to recover from a serious surgery and struggling to make her husband happy from afar & please her mother who was intent on mothering her as long as she could. Bob was left at home alone to get a Christmas tree, do the Christmas cards & shopping & find a nursemaid to help with her care so she could come home.
She did get home in January, and I will be back to share more about the '36 letters with some visuals & quotes! Ang

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Psychology of the Shoulder Pad

The padded shoulder is everywhere these days. Popping up (or out) on runways the last year or so, the trend is finally making its way to the mainstream and appearing on celebrities as well as department stores. And while its easy to compare the look to its most recent appearance in the 80s, women have been dressing to create the illusion of having broad shoulders off and on for over 100 years.

In the late 1800s, the architecture of the shoulder in women's apparel reached massive proportions, achieved by using voluminous fabric with tucks and pleats for support....heavier fabrics often had sculpting pads at the seam. The Victorian leg-o-mutton sleeve is a prime example.

Over the next 30 years, shoulders were left natural, often given attention by being revealed with open designs but not exaggerated as before. By the 30s women's apparel had become long, lean and feminine with more attention to sleeves, the back and neckline than to shoulders. But by the late 30s the shoulder started to assert itself again with demure ruffled caps, slight angles and dainty puffed sleeves.

Maybe its coincidence, but at this point as women's fashion was starting to embrace the masculine and empower them a little with a broad shouldered look, globally we were seeing the threat of WWII building. By the time women in America saw their husbands off to war and stepped up to the workplace en masse, the shoulder had reached unusually large proportions. Women dominated the workplace as well as the silver screen and wore the shoulders to prove it.

After WWII Christian Dior reigned in those shoulders and with the lifting of restrictions on fabric, put the emphasis back on the female form in a more traditional sense, exaggerating the bust and hips with nipped waists and massive full skirts. The look became the silhouette of the 50s to mid 60s, when another fashion revolution mimicking the 20s removed the restrictions of the wasp-waist and gave women the freedom to dress without a girdle. By the end of the 70s, the 30s influence became strong again...long, lean & feminine. In the 70s too, women were steadily gaining in the workplace and achieving things unseen before, finding their place in the white collar world long dominated by men. Coincidentally or not, the fashion world once again began to empower women by giving them the big broad shoulders the men they were competing with came by naturally.

I'm sure in retrospect there will be a reason (other than the predictable cyclical nature of fashion itself) that the large or sculpted shoulder is making a comeback at this time in history. Wars, a new president, the recession....certainly no lack of reasons for women to feel like they need a little help shouldering the woes of the world. Regardless, they're back. Whether you're ready to go large or not, the attention for a while is going to be on the shoulders!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another One for Dad "Dad-isms"

This is out of order from my original Jean blogs back in 2006, but so apt for today I decided to add it. From June 27, 2006...

"Reading letters today (finally!). Its fascinating to think people once took all that time to write about things as mundane as what they ate for every meal of the day....and I mean EVERY piece! Details about hygiene, laundry, weather, what they are wearing. I suppose in our time we fire off an email now & then to close friends & family with these kinds of tedium....but the effort to WRITE it all down & take it to the post office! And Jean's parents write her nearly daily. Given the phone was still newer & expensive for long distance, I guess it makes sense, and they were indeed a close family. Its nice, really. Quaint even.
But Jean's Dad is the one who really spices up the letters! Either he adds a bit at the top or back, or writes his own short one separately.....some quotes...
"My Dear Babe....
Well, poured your Ma into a seat on the Challenger at 3:50 and started her for Lake Mich.
"Heard Roosevelt today, he's a nut"
Hello Kiddos, So busy this PM I forgot to get the Duchess until I was about 30 min late....
I think I find it refreshing how frank he is, how comfortable talking to his daughter....and how at ease he seems writing to her. Now, Mother, on the other hand.....writes as comfortably as a couple old gals at the bridge table! Happy to dish....and in an instance like this, her love for Jean is evident, even in a moment of cattiness.
"Well, I'd say that Virg. is dumb or jealous & Dorothy T also. She (Virg.) was afraid to ask you to her tea on your Wedding Anniv. or near it for fear someone would ask you what you got or were doing that day and it be so far ahead of her- and she couldn't stand it- too jealous. I'd see her in _____ before I'd ask her to my house until they do something for you & Bob."
Yikes! Someone slighted our dear Jean. Despite my not reading many things Jean HERSELF has written, I have definitely sensed a touch of insecurity in her......her anxiety over trying to please her Mother yet be a wife & adult where she & Bob are concerned during her surgery & recovery......many mentions in letters from both parents of her worries, other events she has hostessed in her home that were snubbed by "friends". I have yet to learn where her insecurity comes from.....though all it would take in the 30s would be a lack of children to feel "different". Funny, her Mother rarely speaks of other couple's children, and it appears as though her brother & his wife never had any, either.
They all seemed well off enough, so I can't imagine it was money that made her feel inferior to these other couples. I guess I can only hope to learn through future what end, I can't say.....but I am curious. She dressed well, went to college, was in a sorority, married well.....didn't seem to want for much. Entertained often.....curious. It makes me sad for her....often I wish there would have been a way to have known her before she passed away, though I'd never had gotten access to this with her alive. Strange to "miss" someone you never knew.....a person who I am getting to know as a young girl that it would never have been POSSIBLE for me to know. While its fascinating, its almost always tinged with a little sadness.
Eventually I will figure out what the lesson is here. I'll be sure to share that.....! Ang "

Jean Wear (orig. published June 4 2006)

Some pieces long ago sold....

The highlight is definitely this sweet little floral print 2 piece set from the 30s, in crepe silk with cherry cluster on shoulder. Picture of Jean wearing it follows, and will come with the dress!

The darling little T strap shoes she has on, with a matching handbag will be listed separately!
A golden gabardine....
And a cool kiwi with white bead trim...several more, don't miss this collection!

(again, all pieces sold in 2006, just recapping the pretty!)


the Dress (orig. published June 2 2006)

Or maybe, what found ME. Happened upon it in an antique store today, with a little picture of Jean pinned to it.....I knew the dress before I saw the picture!
It is indeed the dress she is wearing in several pictures I have of her
as well as the one used as a background on the (old) blog. So its fitting I found it......and what I will do with it remains to be seen, but I was happy to see it! Ang

Lambie (aka Jean), and a Happy Birthday to Dad

Originally published on MySpace on June 1, 2006.

"I do intend to share some of the more fashion-related snippets from letters with you all, as this whole things IS clothing related. But in reading these letters, I am gaining such a sense of who Jean's FAMILY was.......what family meant to them......I can't help but be moved by that , and in some ways that is becoming more compelling to me than the wardrobe!

I've mentioned that there are few letters in my possession from before 1935....I've got the wedding invitation, a few letters & postcards, but the bulk of it begins in '35. It appears her father worked in the coal a salesman or something similar. They were in Iowa, but he was transferred to Kentucky for most of 1935, to help a fledgeling or struggling office. He & Jeans mother (who's name I do not know yet, but her father was Thomas) rented an apartment there temporarily. Her mother didn't like it.....remarks often about how dirty it was, that everything was black all the, rugs, linens. She made some friends through church, they ate often at a place called the Blue Boar & at Bishops, went for rides, the Derby, played golf. By early 1936, Thomas had struck up a deal to open his own coal yard & get back to Iowa, a business he called Thos. Boone Fuels. I imagine that took some doing at the tail end of the depression!
Their letters are not unlike our emails to good friends and family today.....quick synopsis of a day or two's events, some gossip, some remarks about current fashions she had read of or seen while shopping....opinions on movies, operas & who they had listened to on the radio. She & her mother wrote each other at least a few times a week, and her father had a minor obsession going with tracking how quickly a letter sent "special" would arrive in Burlington Iowa from Loiusville Kentucky.........where it went through, what time it would arrive.
I will be creating a post or several at some point to show all the newspaper clippings her mother sent her....mostly fashion ads & articles, some politcal satire, some entertainment reviews. Some letters remark on fashions, colors, "new" things she had seen (shiny patent collars & matching shoes!!! I'd love to come across some of those...). But today as I read one set of letters (many envelopes contained a long letter from mom, and a brief one from her father), I was taken by the terms of endearment used. Simple, likely taken for granted at the time.....perhaps not, though it seems human nature to do so.....but now a wonderful glimpse into the love this family shared.
In a shorter than usual letter from her mother....she talks about her father's car breaking down on the way home, an ache in her lower back, mending a satin slip, "raiding the ice box to make dinner" which seems to be code for eating what's left in it before a grocery run, missing a ball game due to rain. At the end she signs it simply (but a different way than the other 50 or so letters I've read)......"Worlds of Love, Mother".
Her father's letter of the same date, September 11 1936, is much more to the point, a half page if that. He starts it simply.....
"Dear Lambie", then goes on to say
"Just got your letter 9 pm, rained in office this evening like the devil- going to recover that roof with paper and tar as quick as the sun comes out. Sold 17 tons today cash about $80. So dam tired- going right home to bed. Ma & Mrs R are out in the car. She will write you Sunday no doubt. Glad you are feeling good and hope Bob is too. Got to do something about your Ma's back- she can't get off her fanny ........Lots of Love & K's, Yours & Yours.....Dad"
What moved me was how real it was, not stilted or forced. Genuine. I imagine a family of 4 who had spent years all together, now scattered across the midwest, found great joy & comfort in these frequent letters.....looking forward to them, sending gifts to each other when they could, planning visits. In a time when a phone call was an extravagance....these papers were the way they kept their family TOGETHER. What purpose it really serves for me to have them now isn't quite clear to me, but I am very glad I do.......Ang"

That happens to be the exact place I'm at in re-publishing these older Jean themed blogs from 2006, and a poignant one at that to be reminded today of the love between a father and today is my Dad's birthday, the 2nd one without him here to tease about getting old, drink a beer with, laugh and complain about life with. I wanted to blog more in depth about this this morning but couldn't bring myself to do it. Its interesting that this entry from 3 years ago would be the one to speak, in a way, for me and Dad today.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Miss you.


Monday, August 10, 2009

2 New Sugarlids Hats!

Finally got time to make a few more hats, added two to the SUGARLIDS site today!

Surrealist lobster hat, 100% upcylced vintage pieces...inspired by Elsa Schiaparelli & Salvador Dali.

And a reworked vintage fox stole complete with head and legs becomes a Victorian inspired fur topper, perfect for dramatic fall & winter wear!


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Jean & Bob's Wedding (orginally published May 30, 2006)

Jean met Robert Huie while attending college in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I actually WILL have access to the letters they wrote to each other whilst "courting", but a friend is reading them right now! I will also get Jean's diary.
Several days after my initial batch of clothing from Jean's house, I returned for things the estate coordinators were finding....Jean kept EVERYTHING, and pieces were turning up in boxes all over the house. One of the things I got on that trip had been discovered in a small old steamer trunk in the was supposed at the time it may have been her travelling outfit from the honeymoon. It indeed had some condition issues....but since all the clothing was mine, I naturally took it!
The ensemble consisted of a cocoa brown velvet jacket with a wonderful stand up ruffled collar with a bow on nape of neck, a matching skirt with covered buttons and a sheer lace blouse with velvet ribbon trim. It was stored with and assumed WORN with a darling brown cloche hat, and wonderful late 20's leather shoes with beaded buckles on the vamp. With it was a box from Saks Fifth Avenue, with original lace & velvet scraps & extra buttons...
On the last day I had access to the house, I went purely to get LETTERS. Having been in the attic, I knew there were boxes & boxes....I had also already gathered some snapshots, and had begun to really want to rescue Jean's memories! So I went up & got what I could haul out....literally BAGS & boxes of correspondence spanning DECADES. In one case the papers I took were already in a garbage bag (just paper, no real GARBAGE!) I can say with certainty these items were headed for demise.
When I got home & started sorting throught them, one of the first things I found was a newspaper. I glanced over it & saw the headline....from Friday, October 4, 1929. The paper was the Rock Valley Bee....and the blub above the article said "TWO COUPLES TAKE MARRIAGE VOWS", below that it said "Robert Huie Married".
Naturally intrigued about their wedding, I read on. It detailed the date, time & place of the wedding....September 29, 1929 at First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa...on a Saturday morning. A breakfast followed. It went on to describe the ceremony...
The bride entered the church on the arm of her father to the strains of the Lohengrin Wedding March, played by Miss Cecila Kohl... (list of attendants)....The fireplace, banked with ferns, made an appropriate setting for the simple service. Tall baskets of chrysanthemums and gladiolus on each side lent a gold & bronze color note to the setting.
The bride wore a suit of brown transparent velvet, made with a sleeveless blouse of Bretonne lace and a loose fitting jacket with tight-fitting sleeves. Her small hat was of matching brown tricot & felt. She carried a bouquet of pernet roses. Miss Roberts wore a dress of light castor brown crepe with hat & accessories to match, and carried an arm bouquet of rapture roses."
The velvet set was her wedding dress! I would have had NO idea had I not happened upon that newspaper clipping. The very next thing I laid my hands on was an envelope....and I truly did get tears in my eyes at what I found inside.
It stuns me to this moment that these.....perhaps her most treasured memories, were literally hours away from being lost forever. I am certain it was some kind of fate that lead me to gather THOSE papers, out of an attic literally covered wall to wall with letters, bills, magazines & receipts. I am thrilled to have them....and thrilled to share them with all of you who are following along. I hope people are enjoying this as much as I am documenting it, there's so much more to share! Ang

The Beginning (orig. published May 28, 2006)

Jean Thayer Boone was born December 10, 1906. As not many pictures were done of infants at the time, I have no pictures of her until an adolescent....she was raised in Cedar Rapids Iowa, and had a younger brother named Fred. Her father's name was Thomas, I have yet to discover her mother's name. Her father worked in sales, for coal companies....eventually running his own, but much later, into the late 30s or early 40s. The letters I have do not start until 1929, so all I have for an early background on Jean is dates, and these few pictures.
I am barely into reading the letters, but now that I have her younger days posted I can start sharing what I've found! This is Jean, as a girl....stylish from the start!
I believe this is Jean & her brother Fred...
I can't see as Jean is in this picture, but it does have 2 names on the back & "myself" I read letters, I may learn who these darlings are but I SO love the picture!!!
Now that I have the little girl days recorded, I will be able to start in one what I have found in the letters. Thanks for reading, those that are, and thanks for the messages! Glad to know there are people out there with regard to such personal history....not textbook, but real people's lives. I am honored to have been selected by fate to be a part of Jean's legacy & to share it with all of you.......Ang
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