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Archive for May, 2013

Friday links



Posted on May 31st, 2013 5 Comments

Going deep with Vera

jane Fonda

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.

tie your scarf

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.

cotton vera

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.

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lucky fish

The print on this (alas, no longer available) vintage apron is classic Vera.

vera dress

As is this rather astonishing dress, complete its trademark Vera ladybugs.

vera tea towel

Look how she out-Scandinavians the Scandinavians with this tea towel.

vera book

Vera the book—I’m not sure I can’t.



*She owned a wonderful boutique for many years, and yes, that explains a lot. 

Posted on May 31st, 2013 12 Comments

Cheap and chic of the week


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?

Posted on May 31st, 2013 8 Comments

Thursday links

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  • 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)
Posted on May 30th, 2013 9 Comments

Print of the week

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Acid bright techno-quilted patterns get me every time.

Posted on May 29th, 2013 3 Comments

It’s the little things


Nothing says summer like a white-on-white embroidered blouse, fun and geometric and light as you please.

Posted on May 29th, 2013 3 Comments

Wednesday links

garbage collage




Posted on May 29th, 2013 1 Comment

Department of: simple things that shouldn’t be so hard

care bra Those of you who’ve had cancer, and I know that’s at least a few of you, are familiar with the  parallell universe that is Cancerland, a strange destination where everything tries its best to be business as usual, but nothing really is. And when you’ve lost a breast in the bargain, the haze of recovery becomes just that much thicker. A dear friend is inhabiting her own personal Cancerland right now, and she’s handling it with unimaginable amounts of grace and good humor. She has requested that I find her some attractive mastectomy bras (does it surprise any of you to learn that people are forever delegating shopping tasks to me in times of crisis?) and this has turned out to be about as simple as locating an English-speaking puppy. What is wrong with this world, people?  How nuts is it that at the very moment in a woman’s life when her sense of femininity has been most compromised, she can not find a bra that makes her feel like a woman? We did locate this one, from Dutch lingerie designer Marlies Dekkers; it’s called the Care Bra and comes in many colors and with all the right pockets and straps and adjusters. But it’s only available on her (Dutch) website, and after shipping fees and a less-than-ideal exchange rate, it’ll run you over $100. More affordable options include a couple from Royce, like this black number with just a little bit of lace, and  this one, which is a little more straightforward. I also found this nude bra from Amoena, which is nice and minimal and pretty much exactly what my favorite t-shirt bras all look like.

But mostly I found myself disappointed: by all the cute little lingerie boutiques here in Manhattan with nothing to offer, and the big department stores that unilaterally came up empty too. Victoria’s Secret almost did the right thing a few weeks ago when, in response to a petition with over 128,000 signatures, they announced they’d start manufacturing mastectomy bras. And then just as quickly backed out, explaining that “Through our research, we have learned that fitting and selling mastectomy bras in the right way…is complicated and truly a science.” Nobody, of course, has more resources and money to devote to creating and marketing whatever kind of bra they want than Victoria’s Secret, so I’m not quite buying that. But I am hoping they’ll change their minds.

Posted on May 28th, 2013 20 Comments

Do tell: What’s the first concert you ever attended?


And no feeling self-conscious because  your answer isn’t as cool  as mine, guys.

Posted on May 28th, 2013 224 Comments

Friday links

Garry Winogrand, Los Angeles, ca.1980

  • What better way to mosey into the long weekend than with a look at previously unseen shots from American street photographer Garry Winogrand’s new book? (The Guardian)
  • It actually happened: there can now be gay boy scouts. But not leaders. (Slate)
  • Good riddance to Intervention: This self-satisfied show exploits an addict’s inability to think clearly in order to to get them on national TV, portraying their darkest selves. Giving them one more awful hurdle—hideous, full-screen shame—to tackle once they get sober. (EW)
  • Really cool-looking houses built around trees. (mental floss)
  • Attention accessory designers: chatelaines need to make a comeback. Check out the story of what is pretty correctly described as a sort of 19th century lady’s Swiss Army knife here.(Collector’s Weekly)



Posted on May 24th, 2013 5 Comments