Thursday, February 28, 2013

wolverine shoes, 1963

We live a few miles away from Wolverine World Wide, the corporate home of the sellers of Hush Puppies and other brands of shoes.  In 1963, they were apparently doing very well, at least, according to the company's annual report.  They had expanded beyond the crepe-soled Hush Puppies line to begin making work shoes, athletic shoes, leather-soled men's dress shoes, and women's dress shoes, as well as hats and bags.  (I love the red shoes with the little bow on the front cover of the report...and also the gal gazing in admiration at those two-tone men's oxfords.)

When I first moved here in 1998, they were still making shoes right here in Michigan.  They aren't any more.  Now everything is made overseas.  The new, costlier "heritage" Wolverine 1000 Mile Collection is, apparently, made in America, somewhere.  But not in Rockford (though their site kind of implies that they are, with a "Wolverine 1000 Mile Rockford, MI" leather logo stamp on the header).  I've seen some of the collection in person, and they are great looking shoes and boots.  I can't speak to how well made they are.  I do find it a bit depressing that the only way now to have a pair of Wolverine shoes made in the US, you need to have much more expendable income than someone in 1963 did.

Hush Puppies are the ideal shoe for the whole family--in Germany, too!  One reason the company was doing so well was overseas expansion.  They were opening new factories here in the US and abroad to keep up with demand.  (German word of the day: schmutzabweisend, meaning "stain resistant.")


Hush Puppies were (are?) made of pigskin leather.  The tannery in Rockford emitted a most distinctive scent when it was in operation.

The board of directors.  Unsurprisingly, mostly old white guys.  You can see that horn rimmed glasses were the style to wear in 1963.

The back cover of the report.  I love this image--a boot floating over its own shadow to emphasize its lightness!  Cool.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

shop preview

This week's shop preview is looking decidedly spring-y to me!  Lots of bright colors and fun prints--all coming to the shop soon.

1940s brown dress with striped collar and cuffs, satin ribbon at neck, and rhinestone buttons, by Marie Phillips.

1960s painted fruit print polished cotton blouse.

1950s checkerboard apple print sundress with full skirt.

1950s nautical striped bateau neck top, by White Stag Knitabouts.

1950s lilac plaid cotton day dress with pockets.

1960s batik floral print cotton blouse, by Bill Atkinson Glen of Michigan.

Gorgeous leaf-embroidered lacy Edwardian tea gown.

1960s yellow taffeta Nature Walk print blouse.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

it's always fashion week somewhere

So I guess it was just New York Fashion Week?  I honestly don't follow these things very closely, but I do see bits of the collections on the internet, and sometimes things catch my eye.  Usually it's because a collection has vintage elements...but not always.  Here are some favorite looks from three fall 2013 collections that captured my attention.

Tory Burch Fall 2013 RTW / via Vogue
Tory Burch, at it again with the great prints!  And surprising me, too, because I think of her as the Logo Shoe Lady, but whatever.  I need to get over it, I guess, because I love these prints--dense floral and art nouveau prints, so gorgeous!  And the black dress is pretty much the most perfect dress ever.  Also, check out the incredible blue velvet shoes on the far left.  Wow.

Ralph Lauren Fall 2013 RTW / via NY Mag
I would describe this Ralph Lauren collection as 1930s Russian Princess Flees, Disguising Herself as a Sailor.  It is perfect.  The velvet dresses are utterly gorgeous, and I adore the naval style pants and coats.

Jil Sander Navy Fall 2013 RTW / via WWD
My love for the Jil Sander collection confuses me a bit.  I think it's actually my favorite of these three collections...but why?  It's modern and simple--not things that usually appeal to me.  The colors are just amazing.  This is the wardrobe I would have in my fantasy life as an architect in Berlin.  (I didn't even have that fantasy until I saw this collection.  What the hell?) 

So...which is your favorite?  Or did another fall/winter 2013 capture your heart?


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

shop preview

Hello!  Here is this week's shop preview, which has a few lovely bright florals to get you ready for spring.  But it starts out with this gorgeous, rich velvet 1930s dress, which reminds me a little of the velvet dresses in Ralph Lauren's F/W 2013 collection (which I'll be posting about later in the week).

All items are coming to the shop over the next week.

1930s deep brown velvet dress.

Rust space dyed cardigan.

1960s folklore needlepoint linen dress.

1960s psychedelic print blouse with lace jabot and cuffs.

1950s floral print taffeta dress with belt.

1960s green plaid wool pleated skirt, by Pandora Costume Maker.

1940s black crepe dress with beaded satin floral appliques.

Red polka dot ruffled crepe blouse with peter Pan collar.

1960s yellow floral print blouse and pants set.

1960s psychedelic print blouse.

1950s blue and lime green floral print wiggle dress.

1970s black and purple leather motorcycle jacket.


Monday, February 18, 2013


Just some photographic proof that we did get a massive amount of snow this year.

We still have snow, but not this much.

I love it.  It makes everything feel cozy.

I need a haircut crazy badly.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

deadstock men's shirts + seduction tips (you're welcome!)

Coming to the shop--starting today--a nice little collection of deadstock men's 1960s shirts to get you fellas set for spring and summer!  That's my valentine to all you vintage-loving dudes out there.  (Hey, notice my subtle reference to the holiday?)

Yeah, it's Valentine's Day.  Whatever.  Let's all just love each other a little more, every day, all the time, please.  Thank you.

So the shirts are for the guys.  This is for everyone: Christoph Waltz on the Art of Seduction.  Thanks to the awesome folk at Christoph's official fan site, Christoph Waltz Fans, for alerting me to the existence of this video.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

shop preview

Here's this week's shop preview--all items arriving in the shop over the next week (the first dress is already there)!  I love the primary colors pop of the first three items together.  I'm normally all about the dresses, but I have to say that I have a special crush on the blouses in this week's preview.


1940s navy blue windowpane check Finishing School dress (in the shop now).

1960s cherry red blouse with Peter Pan collar and bow, by Fritzi of California.

1960s canary yellow linen dress with eyelet embroidery.

1960s primitive print roll collar top.

Deadstock 1950s batik print cotton dress, by Wayne Maid.

1950s loden green wool skort.

1950s Big Easy print cotton dress.

1960s folklore tulip and leaf print tunic, by Encore.

1950s paisley cotton day dress.

1960s mod flower print top with big Peter Pan collar.

1940s floral print silk dress and jacket.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

i spy: disheveled ladies, pink hair, gorgeous libraries, the divine Waltz

Good grief!  I can't believe we're almost halfway through February and I haven't yet posted my favorite images/inspirations from January.  There was so much good stuff I had to pack it into two groups: one (roughly) black and white, and the other (roughly) in color.  As always, follow me on Tumblr and Pinterest for more of this stuff!

1 / Clarissa Merton, London, 1959, photograph by Patrick Lichfield / Chris Beetles Fine Photographs
2 / Sawston Hall (UK) library, ca 1970 / Sawston Village History Society Archive
3 / Thom Brown pre-Fall 2013 /
4 / title page, Tenants of the Trees by Clarence Hawkes, illustrated by Louis Rhead, 1907 /
5 / the beautiful and talented Christoph Waltz / couldn't find the source, but first saw it here

That image of Clarissa Merton just grabbed me hard...I love the combination of an elegant wardrobe, but ruffled and windblown.  Fantastic.  Also, I just want to say that I fell in love with the new Thom Brown collection before I knew the First Lady was going to wear him at the inauguration, so I'm feeling all smart and ahead of the curve.

And can we talk about Christoph Waltz?  (If you follow my Tumblr, you know that's about the only thing I talk about lately.)  I was knocked out by his performance in Inglourious Basterds (which is one of my favorite Tarantino films), and for those who don't know, it was this performance that earned him, a 52-year-old Austrian/German actor basically unknown to American audiences, the Oscar and worldwide fame and attention.  I kind of forgot about him after that, until just last month when I saw him as Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained.  And it all came back to me...I was just enraptured by his performance.  Between these two films, his excellent performance in Roman Polanski's Carnage, and the hilariously silly bits he's done for the Jimmy Kimmel show, I'm just in love.  I strongly urge anyone who hasn't seen his work yet to check out these films.  I'm pretty sure he's going to take home another Oscar again this year.  And now I'm embarking on a most enjoyable journey to check out the rest of Waltz's many years of work (much of which is in German.  No subtitles.).

1 / "The Downs by Moonlight," a carte de visite portrait of a couple by water in the moonlight, ca 1870 / via
2 / Meri, Helsinki street style / Hel Looks
3 / Mina Perhonen printed coat / via
4 / amazing French silk nightgown with woodland motif lace and tree trunk embroidery on the bodice, ca 1936 / Metropolitan Museum of Art
5 / Schrank sleepwear ad: "But just once...just one little get to bed by ten and...sure as Schrank, somebody comes borrowing something!" Sure as Schrank! / The Pie Shops

I'm loving pink and purple hair lately (did you see Helen Mirren's pink hair at the BAFTAs?).  Also, make sure you click the link to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see that 1936 silk nightgown in all its embroidered glory--a jaw dropping piece!  And finally, I have so far been unsuccessful at my new year's resolution to adopt the phrase "sure as Schrank!" into daily usage, but maybe having posted this cool Schrank ad here, I'll now remember.

Küsse und Umarmungen

Monday, February 11, 2013

boots, fur, neckties, and a horse-y bag

It's still straight-up winter here, brrr, so there are boots and fur in this preview are help keep you warm and dry.  There's a nice mix of accessories here for both the ladies and gents, and also one of the best tooled leather bags I've ever seen.  All coming to the shop soon!

1970s honey leather tall lace up boots

Deadstock 1980s Nike Leather Cortez running shoes.

Navy blue suede ankle boots.

Sand suede men's desert/wallabee boots.

Mod mahogany Hush Puppies lined winter boots with gold studs.

Deadstock 1980s Nike Oceania running shoes.

1950s tooled leather horse and horseshoe large bag.

Deadstock 1950s Campus panties, mint in packaging.

1940s four pelt mink stole.

1940s fly fisherman necktie.

1940s silk grid print adjustable length bow tie.

1940s abstract print moire necktie.

1950s silk chiffon New York print scarf.

1950s abstract plaid print silk scarf, by Echo.



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