31 posts categorized "New England"
Though not about Vintage Fashion, this post is about Michelle's battle with Epstein Barr Virus and the price she had to pay to beat it.
Paul Stuart ~ Houndstooth, Herringbone, Tweed & Twill & A Giveaway (Victoria Magazine November 1996)
Tea time at The Lord Thompson Manor, Thompson, CT.
Edwardian Sofa; Vintage plaid pillow, English Country Antiques
Coat & bias-cut velvet skirt, Zuzka for Fabricology; Antique Bakelite pin, Rin Tin Pin; Velvet Shoes, Donald J. Pliner; Porcelain Cup & Saucer, "Vulcain" by Bernardaud; "Antique Velvet" on chaise longue, Schumacher; "Herringbone" crystal stemware, Ralph Lauren
Striped shirts in armoire, Flatiron Workshop ; Houndstooth Leather Bag (want!), Ghurka; Shoes (from left): Donald J. Pliner, Emporio Armani, Cole-Haan ; Leather Bag, Coach ; Blankets, Donegal Tweed, Faribault & Pendleton. All furniture, Marie Albert
Brown stripe shirt, Cego ; Red Ascot, walking sticks,striped umbrella & tortoise cuff links, Paul Stuart ; Double breasted jacket & pants, Ralph Lauren ; Vest, Pendleton ; Shoes, Cole Haan ; Ankle Length Coat, Rodney Vaughn Telford; Driving Gloves, Joseph Abboud.
I've written about my adored collection of (almost vintage) Victoria Magazines a few times over the years here at "Tales". For all the times I've looked through them, I never tire of them. (If only people were that way...) I just brought out my stack of November issues, ranging from 1990-2002, and found that I have some duplicates, November 1996 being one of them.
It's a gorgeous issue featuring articles such as "A Colette Pilgrim's Progress" by Judith Thurman for all my fellow Francophiles, an article on "Creating A Timeless Toy" featuring English toymaker Tom Cobley, "Come Gather At Our Table" just in time for Thanksgiving, and, my favorite, painstakingly scanned & researched in the above photo collection: "Fabrics We Love for Home & Fashion ~~ Houndstooth, Herringbone, Tweed & Twill". It features some lovely treasures, many from Paul Stuart, who, "since 1938, has been the leading arbiter of taste, style, and fashion for luxury menswear in the United States".
All photos featured here by Toshi Otsuki. Taken on location at The Lord Thompson Manor in Thompson, CT (my childhood stomping grounds).
~~ If you'd like a chance to win a copy of this issue of
please leave a comment on this blog post.
The winner will be announced on
Monday, 18 November ~~
Today was an absolute "Wellie-Weather" day here in Massachusetts. If you're a New Englander, you probably have a pair sitting at the back door, if not at every door of your home. We have wellies with whales, wellies with autumn leaves, navy blue wellies with super warm snow boot-like lining, and my new favorites: Tommy Hilfiger Women's Viktoria Wellie Boots.
But I'm letting you in on a little secret (part of why you still read this blog, I hope): I paid $19.99 for them at Burlington Coat Factory earlier this week...I know it's crappy out, but if that's not going to get you to get out of the house this afternoon then I don't know what will.
To watch or not to watch the news about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT ~ that seems to be the question, especially for parents. I personally CAN NOT just shut if off and go back to life as it was before Friday, December 14th and pretend that everything is just "peachy keen".
Is it because I have a little girl in Elementary School? YES. If you are not a parent, this may be hard to grasp, if you are, you will understand: The sheer terror I felt in my heart when I dropped her off at school yesterday morning made me want to be physically sick. But I also know that "normalcy & routine" are paramount to keep her from becoming terrified. I am the adult. She is the child. I had to do the hard thing, I had to do what, as far as I knew, was the best thing for her, while all day long I feared for her safety and prayed that she truly was SAFE in school...because the reality is that we don't really know that, do we? A sense of the relative safety of our children in public schools was shattered on Friday. And we'll never have it back.
Is it because I feel that by having some of the facts I can better process the tragedy and, as a result of that, prepare myself for the best reaction possible physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually should such tragedy ever affect my life or the life of someone I know/love? YES.
Is it that by giving those broken-hearted families my silent attention as a long-distance witness to their pain I am, in turn, showing "love of neighbor" and respect for them and those they lost? YES.
Though tempting, I can't just turn away, put it out of my mind, focus on the mundane, shallow, every-day things when I know that just a few hours away there are families and an entire community that are "crushed in spirit."
Seeing the faces of those children, and of the adults who bravely tried to protect them and gave their lives doing so is heartbreaking. It is also a very real reminder that none of us are immune to the threat of this sort of horror. And that is terrifying.
So I watch, and I pray; for the victims, their families, for the first responders who have to live with the horror of what they saw that morning, and The Lord's Prayer ~ for God's Kingdom to come...because even if there was world peace, those families will never have peace in their minds and hearts without it, and neither will I.
Saturday, November 10 & Sunday, November 11
10:00 AM -4:00 PM
Faunce Hall, Brown University
Corner of Waterman St & Brown St.
More details HERE.
It's school pick-up time. Despite the millions of dollars spent on our little elementary school, the engineer somehow pulled a "Titanic" as far as parking goes and scoring a parking space is as likely as getting into a lifeboat on the big T. I've learned. Always have something to read and something to listen to that you'll never get away with once she's in the car. Culture gap. In more ways than one. I reach under the passenger seat to a hidden compartment where all my "Mom Music" is hidden and grab a cassette. Oh, you don't know what that is? Then you're probably too young to be reading this blog.
I flip through the latest issue of Harper's Bazaar, mostly thinking to myself "people really wear that?" when a song begins to play that gives me reason to pause, be still, and reflect. "A Month of Sundays" by Don Henley.
The demise of the farmer in this country and the role corporate technology and greed played in slowly destroying what many had spent generations building is told in this woeful ballad. My grandfather was a dairy farmer and I am the grandaughter and daughter of a farmer. I take great pride in that. No other inheritance, no matter how materially valuable, could ever replace what my grandparents gave me in life at the farm. If you are a farm-girl, you understand. If you are not, you have no idea what you missed.
My grandfather was a quiet man. A tall, handsome Swede who, I assume, kept most of his feelings on the inside and kept up a strong, quiet front on the outside. That said, I can only write from what I observed. His words were few and his routine was paramount to keeping the farm running. We knew when we could be loud, silly, rambunctious kids and when it was time to be quiet. Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights was most definitely quiet time. Dinner was always planned around the show. He would sip two highballs before dinner (Imperial & Gingerale) which usually left him in a light-hearted and less serious mood and I remember him, at times, throwing his head back and laughing at the three of us girls...I always looked at my grandmother then, and she smiled too, happy to see him joyful and free from the stresses that weighed in on him, if only for a few moments....
He had a tiny office just off the dining and living room of the big farm house. In it there was a huge roll-top desk, a large grey metal filing cabinet, a waste paper basket and a small army cot that had a flat pillow and a blanket folded neatly at the foot. There was a window that faced North. Out of it you could see the banana yellow Piper Cub plane, the rusty green John Deeres, the tilting silo and the land he owned rising up like an ocean wave, speckled with seaweed made of black and white cows
I used to sneak up on him...usually from the living room side as that was where my grandmother had created a "school-room" for me to play teacher in, blackboard and all, and sometimes he would leave that door open. I would creep, very, very quietly toward the door to see just how long it would take him to discover me. Sometimes he would say, without turning around: "Is that you, Shelly?"...but most of the time he just sat, very still, with his big journal spread out on the desk before him and a freshly sharpened pencil in his hand. Not moving, not writing, his head bent down. Sometimes, after what seemed an eternity, he would rub his forehead and sigh, then slowly turn to look out the window.
As a child, I never understood this quiet, almost penitent time he spent at his big old desk. As an adult, I came to understand it only too well. His world was disappearing and he knew he was powerless to stop it. He was an old-fashioned farmer in his golden years who was facing a very modern world and was up against foes his generation could never have fathomed a reality. There was only one option for him.
Sell. The. Farm.
Those three words resonated across this country with alarming volume...but it was a cry, it seems, that only the farmers and their families heard. And now, the wealthy masses flock to specialty stores to spend exhorbitant money on "organic", "home-grown", "grown in the USA" products that were once left in a crate on the stone wall of our farm--free for all. Yeah, that's progress.
I know what fresh milk tastes like. Do you? Do yourself a favor--go visit a dairy farm, if you can find one.
It was just about a year ago that I wrote about the Newport Vintage Dance Week, hosted by The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers. (If you missed it you can read about it here.) Part of the schedule last year was an afternoon at The Newport International Polo Grounds to watch a polo match, enjoy a picnic buffet and dance under the big white tent. The CVD contacted me to see if I wouldn't mind adding a bit of vintage tailgaiting decor to the event and to observe, interview & capture it through photographs. I jumped at it, of course.
There was one common thread that ran through the brief conversations I was able to have with some of the guests: a fear that the days were numbered for events such as this and that there was a weakening interest in all that the CVD and it's devotees stand for. I drove home that night feeling as if I had been transported back in time to old~world Newport, the original resort town by the sea and fearing, too, that this wonderful experience would not be had by many more in todays rapidly & ever-changing world. . .
After much thought, I decided to wait until the spring to write this post, thinking that it could give the event a big shout-out as the season was just about to descend upon us but in plenty of time to book the trip and save the date.
I visited the website this week to confirm the event dates and so forth and lo and behold you won't believe it but:
Booked Solid. The entire week. A wait list in place. How is that possible? I ask myself after so many voiced concern over a lack of interest, not to mention that bad "e" word -- the troubled economy. Well, maybe it was the wonderful piece Bill Cunningham wrote for the NYT about it or the great narrated video he created. Perhaps all the attention and excitement about the release of the 2012 version of "The Great Gatsby" directed by Baz Luhrmann? Who knows? What I do know is that it doesn't get much better than that for CVD and I am sending my warmest congratulations to them and best wishes for another wonderful week in Newport.
And now, just about one year later, but all the sweeter for the memory, are my photographs from
The Newport Vintage Dance Week
The Newport International Polo Grounds
30 July 2011.