New York City by André Kertész
26/09/2012 § 2 Comments
“I write with light.”
— André Kertész
How I adore The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection of
André Kertész photographs taken in New York.
Rabbit Hole || Summer in the Vogue Archives
26/06/2012 § 4 Comments
July 1919, illustration by Helen Dryden.
Similar to the recent release of vintage beach fashion images from Vogue Spain that I highlighted a few weeks back, US Vogue has also decided to open up their vast archive to give us a look at summer fashions dating back to 1899. Containing some very famous and iconic images, you know I couldn’t resist. I selected a few of my favorites, but be sure to head over to Vogue to see them all.
These images have me looking forward to my planned
trip to Ft. Tilden this weekend, definitely…
July 1928, photograph by George Hoyningen-Huene.
July 1930, photograph by George Hoyningen-Huene.
May 1933, photograph by Edward Steichen.
July 1940, photograph by Toni Frissell.
May 1941, photograph by Horst P. Horst.
June 1949, photograph by Clifford Coffin.
December 1952, photograph by Richard Rutledge.
July 1954, photograph by Karen Radkai.
January 1956, photograph by Richard Rutledge.
January 1958, photograph by Richard Rutledge.
January 1959, photograph by Jerry Schatzberg.
January 1959, photograph by Tom Palumbo.
January 1966, photograph by John Cowan.
June 1976, photograph by Arthur Elgort.
June 1991, photograph by Patrick Demarchelier.
Hop futher down the rabbit hole here.
All images via Vogue.
A Day at the Races: Belmont Park in the 1910s
08/06/2012 § 3 Comments
In case you hadn’t heard, I’ll Have Another has withdrawn from the Belmont Stakes in New York this weekend due to a tendon injury. I’m a bit sad that the chestnut 3 year-old colt won’t be making a run at becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, but of course it is for the best.
Since I’m left without a horse to back – I’ll Have Another actually won me a pretty penny on Derby Day – I decided to see if I couldn’t find us some photos from race days past at Belmont Park. The Library of Congress delivered in a major way with wonderful images dated between 1910 and 1915 of the track, Mr. August Belmont, Jr. and his wife, a couple of lady Roosevelts and anonymous racegoers dressed in their finest. I love how some of these look like the streetstyle photography so popular today. Perhaps we should get Scott Schuman a time machine…
Paul Drennan Cravath (of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, for the law nerds)
with August Belmont, Jr.
Mrs. August Belmont, wearing a rather rad hat.
Mrs. Edith Roosevelt
(Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt and former First Lady)
Eleanor Butler “Bunny” Alexander-Roosevelt
(Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.)
I feel as though this picture must be labeled incorrectly.
This woman looks nothing like Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, or is it me?
All images via The Library of Congress.
Rabbit Hole || Vogue Spain Archives
17/05/2012 § 7 Comments
A newly released cache of vintage beach photographs taken for Vogue Spain?
Don’t mind if I do…
Hop further down the rabbit hole here.
Field Notes || Brimfield Antique Show
13/05/2012 § 1 Comment
Had a lovely time visiting the Brimfield Antique Show on Friday with Lani! Luckily, we had lovely weather to match. Unluckily, the week’s rain had kept away a lot of the other antique hunters for the better part of the week, resulting in a very crowded and lengthy drive in, but we didn’t let that get us down!
As to be expected of the Northeast’s (and perhaps the country’s?) largest antique show, Brimfield doesn’t really offer many deals. The Brimfield dealer is savvy, picky even. They know that somewhere, someone is wandering around in the fields that would be willing to pay their inflated prices, either because they don’t know any better or because they just don’t care about the cost. And for good reason, as the creative services and design teams of some of the biggest mainstream Americana brands (Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie and Fitch) regularly sweep through Brimfield looking for inspiration (and pay top dollar for it).
That said, going to Brimfield is still a lot of fun — there’s great food and even better people watching. There’s also some truly weird stuff out there. It’s definitely my favorite Brimfield pastime to play “Didn’t you tell me you needed _______?” In which the blank is filled in with the weirdest thing within sight, e.g, a Liberace pillow, a 5 foot-tall tea kettle, and the like.
Canadian yacht club plaques from the 1930s.
My Brimfield kit included:
wellies, a waxed cotton parka, and a Boat and Tote bag
Butter dishes and Somersize. Best product placement ever.
Lani is excited for…
Love my new leopard and zebra!
They join a thrifted elephant in my burgeoning apartment menagerie.
19/04/2012 § Leave a comment
PF Flyers: Honoring American Style Since 1937
11/04/2012 § Leave a comment
If you follow me on Twitter (@MariahKunkel) you might have noticed that I recently had a guest editorship on Flavorpill Los Angeles, where I put together a shortlist of interesting events in the LA area, which also happens to be my hometown. I was especially pleased to find out that the guest editor series was sponsored by PF Flyers, the iconic American sneaker brand that was founded in 1937 and immortalized in one of my favorite movies, The Sandlot (see Benny put on his magic pair here, at 9.00 minute mark).
Was also featured on Flavorwire!
First produced by BF Goodrich in 1937, PF Flyers featured a patented insole — the PF stands for “Posture Foundation” — that was marketed as a magic wedge designed to help wearers “run faster and jump higher,” endearing them to generations of children (see: The Sandlot) who believed in their special powers.
PF Flyers was also the first sneaker company to collaborate with a pro athlete, developing classic basketball shoes with Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy in the 1950s, that are still available today;
and in the 60s, the adventurer Jonny Quest also relied upon the “action shoes”:
“He ran like the wind! Lucky he was wearing his PF Flyers!”
In a genius bit of cross-marketing, kids could get a free PF Magic Ring just like Jonny’s with the purchase of a pair of PF Flyers.
Starting in the 1970s, PF Flyers lost much of the popularity they enjoyed in the 50s and 60s, but after the recent purchase and revival of the brand by New Balance, PF Flyers is staging a comeback with its “Authentic American Style Campaign” that simultaneously honors the brand’s past, looks toward the future and searches out contemporary icons for truly American style inspiration:
“Everyone has a story. Ours began 75 years ago and is based on the tradition of crafting authentic American style. While we are passionate about what we do, we aren’t the only ones. The contemporary cultural landscape is flooded with purveyors of authentic American style.
To help us tell this ever-evolving story, we’ve enlisted a select group of today’s style-makers who we feel embody the same sensibilities as we do. Over the coming months we will be unveiling their perspectives in a series of video-based interviews where they share their thoughts on inspiration, authenticity, and individual style. Stay tuned.“
The campaign recently kicked off with one of my favorite people, New Yorker Ouigi Theodore, Creative Director and Founder of the Brooklyn Circus. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing who else is included. You can find all the interviews here.
For wearable sneaker nostalgia check out the Archival Reissue Collection.
I’ve been loving the Bob Cousy Los, with their “Gullwing Closure” at the ankle.
Girls! Run faster, jump higher…and wait for the subway!
Lastly, many thanks to PF Flyers and Gabby and Christopher at Flavorpill
for including me in such a fun project.
Archive photos via PF Flyers. Life photos by Yale Joel, via the Life Archive.
Sitting In A Tree
14/02/2012 § Leave a comment
A Girl’s New Best Friend
09/02/2012 § 4 Comments
I wonder if anyone uses their Apple TV to watch as many classic films as I do.
After much deliberation, I finally purchased the Apple TV receiver from the sparkling new Apple Store in Grand Central two weeks ago. Initially a bit daunted by the tiny black box, its attendant cords and its installation, I was quite pleased to find the process a breeze. After five minutes of plugging things in and hiding the cords away and two minutes of linking my router and entering my Netflix information, I was streaming media like none other. A minute after that I blew my own mind when I figured out how to find my iTunes account on my laptop. It was like a real-life Minority Report! Ok, not really — but I was rather pleased with myself.
I have been running through the classic films on the instant streaming service of Netflix ever since, which is only $8/month. My one complaint, if I must have one, is that specific artists can be difficult to find if you can’t guess (or don’t know) the name of one of their films that Netflix has available to stream. You can’t simply search by actor or director name. Now departing from my soapbox. Overall, I highly recommend Apple TV. It’s kind of amazing.
I recently spent an evening revisiting one of my very favorite films — which also happens the inspiration source for the name of this blog, in fact. If you have never seen the Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), I will pause for a moment for you to drop absolutely everything you are doing and go watch it. No, really. I’ll wait. Most famous of course for the iconic musical number “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” the film is a madcap romp detailing the adventures of two best friends as they search for suitable mates with suitably fat wallets. Both actresses are at their archetypal best: Monroe as the ditzy blonde, Russell as the wisecracking brunette.
It’s kind of amazing how every time I watch Marilyn, I discover again how damned talented the woman was. When made the transition from actor to icon, it became so easy to reduce her to representative symbols: her blonde hair, the billowing white dress, her beauty mark, her voice. In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes you get to enjoy all that Marilyn has to offer: her spot-on comic timing, her lovely dancing and her singing (mostly, she got a little help on some songs). It really is no wonder Marilyn’s performance has inspired so many homages, and that none really come close to touching the original. Even if I do enjoy watching Nate, Dan and Chuck attempt choreography.
The original, 1953.
Madonna, Material Girl, 1985.
Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge, 2001.
Blake Lively for Gossip Girl, 2012.
Also charming is “Two Little Girls from Little Rock.”
Images via Life Archives.
As I visit with old favorites and make new discoveries (Gregory Peck in Twelve O’Clock High was a revelation!) I can’t help but find it a bit humorous that I’ve taken what is the probably one of the most modern ways to consume media and have turned it into a time machine into the past. Humorous, but not surprising. In any event, if you like classic films as much as I do, the winning combination of Apple TV and Netflix instant will be your new Best Friend.
But of course I still like diamonds.
Ghosts of Train Stations Past: New York Pennsylvania Station
07/02/2012 § 5 Comments
I promise a train and train station moratorium after this post.
Images of the old New York Penn Station (1910 – 1963), designed by the architectural powerhouse McKim, Mead & White. Every time I have to pass through the wretch that is the new Penn Station — dark, subterranean and horribly bland — I catch myself wishing earnestly that it had survived the 1960s. Wishing that what is now the busiest train station in North America was something beautiful to look at. Wishing that it rivaled the glory that is my beloved Grand Central. But alas, it is not…
Henry Crane had the right idea.
(Sidenote: Mad Men! March 24! Finally!)
For more pictures of Penn, be sure to check out my earlier post Farewell at Penn Station, poignant moments captured by LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt of WWII soldiers shipping out.