The Wrong Man for the times

Just who does Belle think she is? After she rebuffs Gaston, he warns LeFou "That girl has tangled with the wrong man." Gaston is a classic bully -- bluff, egotistical, trapped in his own reality, intent on power and revenge and incapable of understanding anyone beyond himself. And that especially includes an upstart, intellectual girl. In … Continue reading The Wrong Man for the times

Soliderettes

Don't worry, said the Washington Daily News  in May 1943. A "Soldierette" was a Land Army Girl, and she did not need to wear overalls -- she could wear a wrap-around skirt and "go feminine for farmhouse work." This gem is nested within a basket of terrific details in the online article, "To the Rescue … Continue reading Soliderettes

Rosa Pesotta

She arrived at the United States of America in 1913, seventeen years old. She got a job, as so many other Ukrainian-Jewish girls, at a shirtwaist factory in New York City. She became one of the most effective labor organizers ever, spending her life working for working people, especially women. She was also a woman … Continue reading Rosa Pesotta

Game, Blouses (part 2)

Photo from private (that would be my own) collection Game, Blouses is a three-part series. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Our two gals are wearing shirtwaists -- what we today would call blouses. Usually made of fine, thin cotton weave, and often incorporating lace inset or trim, these blouses were made by women of … Continue reading Game, Blouses (part 2)

Feminine Princelings

Since the election, I've thought a lot about Alexander McQueen. McQueen killed himself in 2010 at age 40. His best friend, Isabella Blow, committed suicide and three years after that his beloved mother died of cancer; McQueen took his own life nine days after his mother's passing. He left a note to make sure his dogs … Continue reading Feminine Princelings

Mourning is what she wears.

At the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year awards, "Tracee Ellis Ross admitted that she had trouble deciding what to wear... ("Do I wear black because I'm in mourning? Do I go to a costume shop and get armor?") In the end, she went with something that reflected how vulnerable she feels this week: a … Continue reading Mourning is what she wears.

Katniss at the Reaping: defenseless until called

Katniss's faded blue rayon dress tells us of the dire straits District 12 residents are under. The fabric limp and sagging after too many wearings and hand-washings, a shade too tight on actress Lawrence's body, and cheaply made, the dress echoes American fashions in 1939-1940, when the Depression was still hurting household budgets, and British fashions … Continue reading Katniss at the Reaping: defenseless until called