Friday, February 28, 2014

Photo Friday: Style to Spare Edition

Good morning!

Here we are again, kids, with the weekend stretching its welcoming arms to us! But it wouldn't be the end of the workaday week without some vintage photos here at She Was a Bird, and these are some doozies, if I do say so myself. This flickr user's account features TONS of photos of her mother, who has got to be one of the most stylish women I've seen in the course of my Photo Friday flickr trawling. Take a minute out of your morning coffee break and see what I'm talking about.

Folks, check this gal OUT.

I can't get over what a palpable sense of personality you get from these snaps. Here's the mother as a teen wearing menswear in thirties', with all the panache and button-cuteness of someone in a comic strip. See how her hat is completely tilted to one side, those high-waisted sailor-cut pants, and the vest (the VEST) in the photo on the right. Don't you just want to do a portrait of her? Five years before Katharine Hepburn was creating a stir in Hollywood running around the backlots with her willowy frame draped in slacks, and around the same time as Dietrich was genderbending in a men's eveningwear, here's just a civilian, non-celebrity girl in some American town with enough sass and class to compete in the same league. I DIE. Have you seen anything this fashion forward in a small town outside of Idgie Threadgoode? I haven't.

What's interesting about this selection of photos is how you can see this woman's style evolves over a period of ten or fifteen years. To the right in this photo, the mother is wearing some fantastic Bonnie and Clyde looking sweater-and-thirties'-skirt combination, with another hat clamped securely to only the western hemisphere of her sweet little head. To the left, you can see her a few years later dolled up in formal wear and still just as pretty as a picture, red lipstick, and her hair in a permanent. Two sides of one fabulous coin!

As the forties' arrive full force,  the mother loses none of her fondness for  hats and pairs them with these two stunning ensembles. On the left, a wide brimmed hat secured around her chin by its ribbons, an all white dress punctuated by dark colored buttons, and white sling back, peep toe pumps.  On the right, a skirt-and-jacket combination with a Breton hat in front of a lonely looking farmhouse. I love how she uses contrast in her outfits to make a big visual splash. Notice how her hair is rolled into pretty curls and waves, which get even more dramatic in the next set:
The hair on the right! Her friend's victory rolls on the left! My scalp is veritably stinging with jealousy. One thing I thought about, going through these photos, is how by modern standards, ANYONE in a dress/heels/hair done/lipstick on is "dressed up". Keeping that in mind, consider, in a world where the standard minimum included all these now-extreme dressing points as de rigeur, how difficult it would be to be a woman who particularly stands out as well-dressed. I wonder what little details of quality or style that our lazy 2010's eyes miss when we're combing over old photos for vintage inspiration. While this woman's fierce fanciness is plain as the nose on your face, I wonder if there are photos I haven't given a second glance that people alive in that time period would have regarded as "really somethin'". #foodforthought

Below, with friends. See how the woman on the right in the photo on the left is wearing a drapey, almost artist-smock like jacket. Maternity wear, possibly? Or just a loose cut? I want the coat and hat on our lady in the right hand photo so much...will have to consult what I already have to try and recreate this look.

Last but not least, this is the photo that initially piqued my interest, because of the little girl's leopard print coat (!!!!!!!) and elfin snow cap. Pinch me, I'm dreaming. When I went back and looked at the rest of the user's black and white photos, however, man was I glad to see all the wonderful outfits in this lady's back pages.

So! What do you think? Which outfit do you want to steal in its entirety? Any stylish members of your family that stood out from the herd even when the herd was uniformly well dressed? What are you looking forward to this weekend? Let's talk!

That's all for today, but I'll catch you kids on the other side of the weekend. Stay warm, be good, and I'll see you then! :) Ciao for now.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome pictures Lisa! They remind me of some pictures of my very stylish Grandma who always wore a dress and had her hair done up. They were of her a a late teen/early twenty's gal sporting knickers and a beret at a country retreat. I believe they were taken in the early 1930's, so adorable! -Yvonne (



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