School Days: Wellesley College, 1949

18/10/2012 § 4 Comments

These great pictures, taken by Nina Leen for Life Magazine, make me wish I could find Doc Brown to fix my flux capacitor so I could pop back to 1949 to either a) hang out with all these rad girls at Wellesley College in 1949 and/or b) abscond back to the present day with all their clothes.  Barring that, I suppose you can officially consider me on high alert vintage patrol for one of those double-breasted trench coats with a fur collar.  If you happen to find one, be a dear and let a (Seven) Sister know.

Photos taken by Nina Leen on October 10, 1949, via the Life Archive.

Throwback Thursday || Halloweenasaurus Rex

18/10/2012 § 6 Comments

I have always adored Halloween.  I think it probably has a lot to do with the fact that during my formative years my mom took the time to make costumes for all three of us (and usually also for herself and my dad) from scratch – and they were always of our own choosing.  We’d all make a special trip to the (usually boring) fabric store with renewed interest, ready to pick something amazing from those big floppy pattern books.

In the first grade, the most amazing thing I could think to be was a dinosaur.  And my mother, bless her heart, obliged her tomboy with the felt creation you see above.  However, you’ll also note that she added two bows and a bit of lipstick.

“If you’re going to be a dinosaur,
at least you’re gonna be a GIRL dinosaur!”

You know, maybe it’s high time for a repeat.

Happy Halloween!
What are you going to be?

Close Cover Before Striking

17/10/2012 § Leave a comment

How lovely are these prints by Vincent McEvoy?  Inspired by his own personal collection of vintage matchbooks and available in extremely limited supply (only 20 of each!), you’ll need to act fast if you want to make them you own.  To purchase, head over to Pedlars, the amazing vintage-y curiosity shop run by Charlie and Caroline Gladstone that I originally discovered by wandering into their Notting Hill location when I was in London a couple of years ago.

I have to admit, the Gladstones seem to have a pretty perfect life.  They live in the Highlands of Scotland, in a home filled with children, dogs and horses.  They recently revived a 200 year-old inn in north Wales called The Glynne Arms and transformed it into a lovely restaurant and pub.  They are organic farmers, photographers, authors and passionate antique pickers that travel far and wide in the pursuit of vintage treasures.  You can get a glimpse of their adventures on their blog and Charlie’s Instagram (@chasgladstone), but fair warning — it’s definitely envy-inducing.

Throwback Thursday || Autumn in New York

11/10/2012 § 1 Comment

Holy smokes!  Where’ve ya been, kid?

Guilty as charged!  I’ve definitely been quiet this week, and I’ve got to chalk it up to autumn in New York, which is quietly unfurling its beautiful self with cool evenings, hot toddys, falling leaves and flannel bathrobes.  I’ve slipped down a few rabbit holes these last few days, of the cultural, literary, culinary, musical, and cinematic kind, which I am looking forward to sharing with you very soon.  But today, I am forced to beg your forgiveness for being a wayward parent as of late.  I’m hoping a gorgeous rendition of Autumn in New York by Sarah Vaughn might help me win you back…

Autumn in New York
Why does it seem so inviting
Autumn in New York
It spells the thrill of first-nighting

Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds
In canyons of steel
They’re making me feel
I’m home

It’s autumn in New York
That brings the promise of new love
Autumn in New York
Is often mingled with pain

Dreamers with empty hands
May sigh for exotic lands
It’s autumn in New York
It’s good to live it again

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.

QC Archives || Grandma’s Hands

25/09/2012 § 3 Comments

A trip home to Los Angeles is never complete without a wander through my grandmother’s photo albums, now kept by my mother.  While not exactly a scrapbooker per se, my Grandma did like to make collages with her pictures over the years — sometimes organized chronologically, sometimes completely nonsensical, sometimes accompanied by scribbled entries identifying who people are and where they might be, sometimes not.  The purist in me instinctively wishes that she hadn’t cut up so many of the pictures, but I always take it back when I think about her lovingly laboring over her creation.  I know how lucky I am to be able to hold in my hands something that she made with hers.

I took a few pictures (yes, of pictures) so I could share them with you.
Definitely click on them for a closer look.

My grandparents are the ones wearing sunglasses. Obviously they are the coolest.
With friends on Chesapeake Bay, 1946.
And can we please talk about what the women are wearing?  Can. We. Talk.

My mother and grandmother, 1950.

My grandmother and uncle (at right), 1940s.

My grandmother and uncle, 1947.

My grandmother and mother (at right) on Easter, 1950s.

Grandmother and uncle (at right), 1940s.

My grandparents and mother (at left) at her 6th birthday party, 1955.

School Spirited: The Vassar-Yale Bike Race, 1952

11/09/2012 § 1 Comment

The first crisp post-Labor Day weather has arrived in New York City and I was pleased to slip into a bit of tweed today — after roundly debating for a good three precious morning minutes on whether this would turn out to be a premature move, natch.  Happy to say that it was a perfectly sunny, briskly breezy transitional day and it put me in a proper “back to school” mood.  I almost felt like buying a new pencil box.

Completely apropos of the weather, my school spirit and my tweed, are these great photos from the 1952 Vassar-Yale Bike Race from the Life Archive.  A bit of astute Googling revealed that the lovely author Rebecca C. Tuite has written a great post for Ivy Style about the short-lived race, which began as a drunken wager, evolved into drunken debacle and was eventually shut down by school authorities for the greater good.  Thankfully, Life Magazine photographer Yael Joel was there to capture the shenanigans so that we might enjoy them today.  I don’t know about you, but my need for a new pair of Weejuns for the fall has definitely been intensified.

Photos by Yael Joel, taken April 1952, via the Life Archive.

Summer in Southern California

21/08/2012 § 1 Comment

For a perfect summer in Southern California, you’ll need golden light, a ton of palm trees, broad white beaches, a polka dot bikini, a beach shanty, some zinc oxide and a group of your closest surfing friends.  Add a dash of PCH, a little Malibu rum, some ice and blend it all on high.  Serve in a tiki mug from Trader Vic’s.

For the second half of August, I’ve decided to turn my sights back to the coast I know best — the west.  While I may currently live on the east coast, and have quite an admiration for all things Northeast, summer will always mean very specific things to this California girl.  These photos taken along the So Cal coastline, from Malibu to San Onofre State Beach in Oceanside, were just the ticket.

See also:
Summer on the Cape
Summer on Long Island

Gidget in Malibu

Taken by Allan Grant in 1961 for Life Magazine, via the Life Archives.

Summer on the Cape

03/08/2012 § 1 Comment

For a perfect summer on the Cape, you’ll need some pretty sailboats, a few rainy bike rides, wavy fields of tall grass, a clambake on the beach, and an overloaded jalopy.  For best results, serve over ice in a highball glass and garnish with a gaggle of Kennedys.

Photos by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life Magazine, 1940.  Via the Life Archive.

Rabbit Hole || Aviatrix Club

11/07/2012 § 3 Comments

With the 75th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance this month, my discovery of these cigarette cards detailing famous airwomen seemed positively apropos.  Dating from sometime between 1923 and 1939 and part of an large collection of cigarette cards maintained by the New York Public Library.  I was impressed to see the inclusion of these high-flying ladies in this set of 50, as the majority of the women included in the other sets were chosen because of how beautiful they were — “beauties of the world,” “beauties of the stage,” etc.  — not because they were the first to fly a plane across the Atlantic, like badass Beryl Markham, above.

Pictured with their favorite planes, these ladies are the perfect mascots for my summer wanderlust — I also included images of the flip side of the cards, complete with their exploits and fancy titles.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Amelia Earhart.

Mary, Lady Heath

The Hon. Mrs. Victor Bruce.

Mrs. Harry Bonney.

Jean Batten.

Amy Johnson.

To see the whole set, hop down the rabbit hole here.
All images via the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

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