Thanks for all the well-wishes on my recuperation! I still think I'm trying to get sick, but as the worst of it seems to be behind me, I am back at work and back at the keyboard with more forties'-piration. And ooooh-WEE do we have some neat textiles to take a gander at today.
People, get ready for Bates Fabrics:
In spite of a name that brings up unwanted associations with a certain Norman of yore, Bates' cheerful ads have got me singing a song of the 1940's. Look at the room above! If the woman's cheery red suit and sharp as a tack collars weren't enough to sell me, how about the starring feature of matching bedspread and curtains in the above bedroom set? The pattern is called "Painted Desert" and features a series of desert and cactus flowers. See the slate grey wall and the yellow accent panel? How about that tropical looking nightstand? I LOVE this.
The Bates Fabrics company history dates back to antebellum Maine. In this post from The Vintage Traveler, fellow vintage blogger Lizzie not only picked up an amazing bolt of fifties' Bates fabric, but goes a little into the company's background... I learn something every day! I know you can still get things matchy-matchy at department stores today, but I just feel like none of the patterns have the ZIP or the brash eye-appeal of these Bates sets. At top, "Sunny Savannah" has a "lacy six point star" incorporated into the dizzying geometric design in homage to Savannah mansions. At bottom, you can see the Painted Desert pattern in pale pink (which, incidentally, would go over like gangbusters in my house...if anyone sees this or something similar out in the workaday world, let a girl know!). Did you notice the little giraffe on the bedside table, and the huge plant in front of the blinds in the second panel? A touch of interior decorating drama for your bedroom!
Above, newlyweds set up their first home with "the radiant sun country pattern, Hibiscus". I could just barely make out the flowers to begin with, but now I can see them bright as day in the red of the bedspread and the curtains. Look at that cute little knick-knack shelf to the left of the bed, and that knocked out, cuckoo lamp. How I dearly love a well-placed lamp! While the Air Force blue of the room's walls are too dang dreary for me and honestly would make any room look small, imagine this same domestic scene with a pale blue or white wall...instant pick me up!
While the early forties' had Bates selling to newlyweds and new homemakers, the mid to late forties' Bates line was more angled towards the collegiate crowd. LOOK. AT THIS GIRL'S. PAJAMAS.
Oh, how cute! And "campus tested" to boot! I saw a bolt of fabric at Goodletsville Antique Mall this weekend that had a pattern of coffee-cup sized gold records with the names of fifties' Elvis hits on them in cursive. Owing to the prices of everything else in the booth, I didn't bother trying to find a price tag, but it did serve to get "Wear Your Ring Around My Neck" stuck in my head for the whole of Sunday. Please note that the above ensemble is marketed under the name "Pajam-session". Was your mind actually blown by this?
At first, I was a little put off by the cadaverously thin (and scantily clad, to boot!) man on the bunkbeds in this ad. Turns out, he's "ex-B-17 pilot Wiley Smith", having a half dressed chat with roommate and "All American" Bill Hackett, so I should be a little nicer when confronted with his clothes-hanger shoulder blades, considering he's just back from being in service for our country! Can you imagine being a young pencil neck, not quite old enough to be in the war, rooming your freshman year with a slightly older guy who's seen real combat and is using the GI Bill to further his education? Strange times! And the stories he could tell!
I can't help the heebie jeebies well dressed college men from this era give me, owing to reading too many Patricia Highsmith books as a kid, but I am mesmerized by their Native American looking drapes and bedspreads. This is the "pattern most popular with college men", and do you blame them? Check out the nightlights mounted to the shared bookshelf, the radio on the fourth shelf down, and the nonchalant way the students have of draping themselves across the furniture. I also love that rug. Enough said.
It's funny that I thought "how in the world could you sleep like this, right next to each other?" before I remembered my own accommodations at UT-Knox in the year of our Lord 2003. Old school dormitories are glorified rabbit hutches, and honestly, this room layout would have been a DREAM compared to some of the places my classmates and I called home that year in East Tennessee. I am absolutely having a fit over the Kachina doll, the Mayan statue, the horse pillows, and the tiki-skull cup accessories in this room. Can you spot them all?
More patterns in place...the best of which has got to be the cattle brands on the curtains and bedspread at Yale. YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES.
Ok, truth time, this is my favorite room is the one below. The blue that I wished for in the newlyweds' home makes an appearance, along with a pattern of burros and flowers on the Bates pieces. Do you see the AMAZING display of pennants in the frame on the wall? I know I've seen a piece like this on SOME tv sitcom bedroom set, because I was as much into the idea then as I am now. What good use of the knick-knack shelf, too... Instead of looking like a last minute addition to hold your bedside clock radio, the ceramic bull and bouquet of flowers cheers that corner of the room right up.
Joan Leslie, who appeared in Yankee Doodle Dandy with the adorably fleet-footed James Cagney and in Sergeant York with dreamy, dreamy, dreamy Gary Cooper. Isn't she cute as a button in her day dress and those white-with-brown-caps-and-heels shoes?
Which set do you want for your own home? Do you now have or did your parents or grandparents ever have a special bedspread that was for when company came over? I remember a couple chenille numbers of my grandmothers' that were not for every day use, just for special occasions, but I have no idea which member of the family has them now. Were your college dorm appointments anywhere near as swank as some of these rooms? Let's talk!
That's all for today, kids-- I'll see you right back her tomorrow for the last of my Google finds!