Friday, July 23, 2010

Retrofit: Seeing Spots

I've been a bad blogger indeed. I'm going to be trying very hard to keep up with Retrofit and Repeat (1), posting in these categories once a week.

I've been dying for a navy blue polka dot dress. Polka dots are a great, fun pattern and they feel so summery. I prefer a medium-sized polka dot pattern; nothing so small that you have to get really close to see that, hey, there really are lots of little dots covering this thing! Polka dots were named after the popular dance in the late 19th century. It seems designers wanted to attach the pattern to the dance's popularity but the two aren't really related.

Polka dots were huge in the 50s and 60s. Who can forget Lucy's classic look
Or the most famous of all swimwear, the Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini?

(Click here for the hilariously entertaining 90s dance cover.)

Here are some lovely polka dots.

Hopefully I'll find something similar when I go thrifting this weekend!
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Swear This Is the Last 'Mad Men' Post Before the Season Starts

This is old news, but I'm only just now getting wind of it (thanks, Wikipedia): Vulture reported in January that Sal, played by Bryan Batt, isn't going to be in season 4! Matthew Weiner said it would be "anachronistic" to have him stick around since Don fired him for his icky backward gayness. Sal was such an interesting character because he was hiding in plain sight. It's fascinating to imagine the emotional turmoil. My heart hurts when I think about him having to cruise and not be in actual relationship.

Last season's episode when Don caught Sal with the bellhop was probably one of my favorites, especially when Don cleverly coded his "you're gross but I'll accept you if I don't have to see your gayness" warning. It seems especially cruel not to bring back Batt after his recurring role on the final season of Ugly Betty. Sigh. You'll be missed, Sal. It may be too late, but perhaps I'll still join the Facebook group.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Juicy Mad Men Season 4 Tidbits

One great thing about being unemployed is having the leisure to search the Internet for hints about what's in store for season 4 of Mad Men. An article from clues us in perfectly for Sunday's premiere.

Love Peggy's new haircut. I hope to have that same cut in a few months (if my hair will ever grow)

The year is 1964, one year past where the stomach-tightening season finale left us. Business isn't so good at the old Sterling Cooper. Don is living alone in an apartment in Greenwich Village and the ladies just aren't biting like the used to. He really seems to be starting with the clean slate the season 4 posters allude to (click here for more fun guesses about what this poster really means).

Betty's new mother-in-law is supposed to be terrible (but it's better, perhaps, than having no mother-in-law at all). As we could've guessed, the clean breaks that were supposed to make everything easier aren't. That's good for us; trouble makes great TV.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Countdown to Mad Men: Because We Watch it for the Clothes

The season 4 premiere of Mad Men is upon us and there are a lot of big questions to be answered. But juicy plot aside, we know one of Mad Men's biggest charms is the clothes the characters wear. AMC takes us inside the costume closet.

I'm glad costume designer Janie Bryant is letting the characters get into mod fashions a bit (it seems only fitting after "My name is Peggy, and I would like to smoke some marijuana.") And Don's palette is getting "darker". Let the speculation begin!

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Welcome to Good Burger

Any child of the 90s remembers All That, the sketch comedy show that split the sides of kids for years. The show eventually died off (kids these days wouldn't know entertainment if it bit them in their Playstations) but a popular sketch gave the world a delightfully campy 1997 movie, Good Burger. On the show, Kel Mitchell played Ed, an empty-headed cashier at the burger joint, annoying strings of customers. The movie amped Kel's idiocy way up and pitted Good Burger against the evil Mondo Burger, serving up a kid-friendly plot story and commentary on the evils of the fast food industry at once. Man, thinking about going to the Good Burger premiere with my cousins makes me feel so old.

Imagine my surprise, then, when childhood memories were stirred up as I walked past goodburger on 8th Avenue between 57th and 58th. Gee willikers, dreams really do come true!

Sorry for the crappy iPhone photo

Research didn't turn up anything about goodburger, which is a chain, having to do with the movie, but their logo includes the words "home of the goodburger", as in Ed's, "welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?" I didn't get a chance to stop in, but I'll report back as soon as I do. Until then, watch all of Good Burger on YouTube!

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Introducing Vintage Network Worldwide

I came across this lovely gem while clicking through blogs (the links are endless). The Vintage Network Worldwide is a social networking site, powered by Ning, for those of us who love really cool, old things. It's nice to know we're not alone! There are tons of great groups and discussion, and it seems everyone sells something on Etsy. Like my badge?

Visit Vintage Network Worldwide

It's a great site, but as far as I'm concerned,they need more bloggers. Join up, ladies (and be sure to head over to my Maddicts group)

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wonder Woman's New Look Isn't So Wonderful

First The Karate Kid gets the Hollywood re-treatment and now this; Wonder Woman gets a new outfit. Last Wednesday, DC Comics revealed that they'd tossed out her iconic look for leggings and *shudder* a cropped jacket. The DC Comics press release says, "What woman only wears one outfit for 70 years? What woman doesn’t accessorize?" but the real question is, what woman accessorizes a bustier with a friggin cropped jacket and choker?! True, the toned-down flag motif fits better with today's aesthetics but this Wonder Woman is almost unrecognizable. She looks just a bit too average. Plus, Gloria Steinem makes an additional point. This new costume sends the message that only pants are powerful.

There's a great piece on Politics Daily about why the new Wonder Woman may not be what we need. William Moulton Marston created her in 1941 after his wife urged for an alternative to the testosterone-fueled comics available at the time. She filled a void of physical beauty and physical power. Wonder Woman was steeped in mythology; she was an Amazon, daughter of Hippolyta, and made her wristbands were made from pieces of Athena's shield. Her alter ego was Diana, the goddess of the hunt. In short, she was everything, combining uberfemininity (as Diana was also a fertility goddess covered in breasts) and the balls that makes a woman cut off her breast so she can shoot her bow and arrow (luckily for us, Wonder Woman has both her boobs).

Shortly after creating her, Marston wrote, "Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world." Now, D.C. wants her to be born in the land of the Amazons but taken away as an infant just as her mother and most of the other Amazons are killed. She grows up in our world and becomes "street-wise" (their word) and tough, trying to rescue the rest of the Amazons. To be honest, this sounds suspiciously like Dune: one race with superior powers but few resources fighting to regain control of what's theirs. We'll see how fans react to the new storyline, but DC will have to work hard to make sure they complicate a feminist symbol without destroying it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vintage Fashion at the Met

A few weeks ago I got to see the American Woman: Fashioning an Identity exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York. While most of us gals love mid-century style, the exhibit begins in the last decade of the 19th century, and ends with the 1930s. It's meticulously curated. Even the wigs on the mannequins are to die for. My favorite was the room dedicated the 1930s, where the screen siren was the reigning archetype. It showed movie clips from great movies like "The Women" and "Gilda" (one of my favorites). They even had a dress Anna May Wong wore in one of her famous films (the one with the dragon on it).

The beauty of the exhibit is it ties the fashions of the decades to statements about women's political, sexual and social realities. I just wish it stretched across class lines a bit more. Of course every woman in the 30s wanted to be draped in silks like a movie star, but so few could afford it, what with it being the Depression and all. What was the middle-class housewife wearing when she snuck off to see Joan Crawford after washing her last load of laundry?

The Met was kind enough to make a YouTube video of the collection.

And if that's not enough, here's the exhibit's Flickr page with behind the scenes photos. Fit a trip to the Met into your summer plans. The exhibit's up until August 15. While you're hear, hop on the train to The Brooklyn Museum's American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection, on view through August 1.

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