Saturday, March 13, 2010

13 March 1956 “News, Fashion, Spring, still springing along, and Seeds.”

Laurence Olivier's film, Richard III, adapted from Shakespeare's play, premieres in the U.S. in theatres and on NBC Television, on the same day as an afternoon matinée. It is one of the first such experiments of its kind. Olivier is later nominated for an Oscar for his performance.

Odd that once, when TV was a few networks and still in it’s infancy, such programs as ballet and Opera and, yes, even Shakespeare was shown. I can picture an older audience, to whom TV would either be interesting or annoying, enjoying this type of ‘theatre’ program.

Today we seem to have hundreds of channels, yet by their very vastness of choice, there is not that ‘camaraderie of tv’ I bet there was once. There are network shows that I am sure are ‘watercooler’ talk, but I sometimes wonder if the endless choice is almost too much of a distraction for we modern people. Speaking as someone who, until 1955, had increasingly been extending my own tv viewing (hours a day!) I didn’t really see it as a problem. And I suppose depending on what you want out of life, it does not have to be. But, for me now, the amount of things I can do and the very length and promise of each day seems extended since the glowing box went dim.

Now, I am not saying it is evil and we shouldn’t watch it or that we should have socialized TV where the government chooses one channel for all of us ( I figure I’d get a jump on any such comments!) Just merely stating my own personal facts and views. I know that since the TV is no longer a viable option in my day, I not only don’t miss it, but realize how much freer my thoughts are. I have not caught myself humming any commercials, radio jingles nor peppering my conversation with ‘Simpson’s Quote’s as I once did. I may, on occasion whilst scrubbing the floor or intently working on something, find myself humming an ‘old advert’ such as the Pepsodent ad.

and hubby and I will often say, in our best monotone, to one another, “BIZZZEE DAY OH BIZZZZZ EEE DAY…NO TIME FOR DEEEZIRT” because of this ad that just stuck with us.

Yet, it is interesting to note how I actually feel I have my thoughts back to myself now without tv. I am not wondering what's on, nor considering what I just watched or what is ‘coming up next week’. I feel like those people who get very physically fit later in life and say, “Why I have the body of when I was 20 again” yet, I feel I have the mind back of being 20 and at school and so hungry for more knowledge and craving to read and study and learn. I wonder how much the TV increases our later loss of memory. I happen to have Alzheimer's in my family, as well, so I figure, I’d better use it ‘while I got it’!

I was saying today on the forum how my idea of weight loss and my overall mind/body image has become almost Zen like since 1955. I  still wish to lose weight, but it seems more a casual, it will happen with exercise and diet, than before. The fear, anger, guilt-eating, etc has all but gone from my psyche. I wonder if it is not watching modern tv, reading modern magazines etc. Even at the grocery store, as I now frequent our local little market, there is not line with magazines piled up while you wait. So, I don’t really see that many magazines. Odd. I feel bad for the young girls today. The body image confusion must be really bad.

I thought it interesting what Karl Lagerfeld said about people thinking modern models are too thin, saying the people who were concerned were just fat housewives!

"These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly," Lagerfeld said in an interview with Focus magazine. The creative director of the fashion house Chanel added that the world of fashion was all to do "with dreams and illusions, and no one wants to see round women".

  jacquesFath-Paris1955 Somehow, fashion has become more about the body shape than the movement of the clothes.  The first modern image is certainly showing the woman’s body, in a very, “hey here it is under this black lace”. This is a high fashion piece so probably not meant to be interpreted on day wear, but the second from 1955 is also high fashion. It is very body conscious yet lovely. It has a sexy allure, but in a more fashionable way AND a home sewer could try and replicate it to a day wear outfit.

I think Chanel would be spinning in her grave and slap Lagerfeld across the face for his emaciated look. Channel wanted to free women from the constraints of the corset, now to only have them in fear of their own bodies! I would rather put on a good foundation garment and feel my clothes fit better than have to worry that my hip bones don’t stick out enough! And, fashion for the masses is a joke. Mass market ( I know we just talked about this, but it really does color every aspect of the modern life) clothing is slouchy and comfortable because it is EASIER to mass produce, not because there is some ‘movement’ to make women more comfortable.

The average woman in the 50’s, rather she knew it or not, had fashion sense! I remember a commenter saying how she remembered in the 1950’s going to her aunt’s farm on Sunday and the aunt would be in overall’s in curlers milking the cow and then, get dressed in a dress and have her hair done nicely for church. There was an innate sense that told her, yes I am a hard working farmer, but I can also be beautiful and look presentable. Even if the person was fat by today's standards and just wearing a simple cotton dress, with little cotton gloves and hat, compare that today. And we have so many easy ways to make beauty more a part of our life,too.

Again, I am not TELLING anyone what to do. By all means, keep wearing your Gap hoodies and Old Navy low rise jeans. It matters little to me, as long as you don’t mind my wearing a dress, all the underpinnings, hat gloves etc. I know there is a definite feeling among ‘average’ women that somehow fashion is gone. Yet, we are still very drawn to it. Again, it has been a part of women’s history. We might be told not to think about it or that it is being ‘silly’ to worry about or care what we are wearing, but why? Because burning our bras and wearing t-shirts with smiley faces somehow made us more liberated? I think the modern woman can be free and equal and still have the ability to care about beauty, and fashion. And, though it might sound silly, fashion is an important part of our daily lives. We have to wear clothes and if you like pretty things or a certain decade, then why not dress that way? What do you have to lose?

This has spurred me on to work more on the Grooming Page today. I will try to get some new content up on the site today about that with the new layout. Even from the standpoint of personal strength, think of it this way. You have the ability to sew your own clothes with patterns and make the decisions on fit and fabric, the strength to wear what you LIKE and not what is in the store, you are adding skill to your daily repertoire. As far as I can see, it is all win win! Even if you don’t want to sew and you want to have this look, find someone who does and pay them! They will be so happy to have the custom!

Spring is coming! Here are some crocus in my little front garden.


crocus1 crocus3 When you view nature close up like this, you can really be inspired with a color palate. Wouldn’t a dress in shades of purple with say an orange belt and grass green trim and accessories be lovely? Even a room could be done in mellowed versions of these colors.crocus4 You can click on any of these to seem them larger. The detail on the stamens and the play of light and dark are inspring me to do some painting. Maybe the New England version of Georgia O’Keefe, non?

These little crocus pushing though the flattened winter grasses make me think of the little hats so in vogue during this decade (1950s)qe2hat Here the Queen in the 50’s is very much sporting a jaunty little spring flower atop her regal head.

cukeseed1Here is one of my little cucumber seedlings, still holding onto its seedpod. All my seedlings I planted last week have all sprung up nicely. And since they have done so well, I have ordered the following seeds.tomatoseeds1 (You can order it HERE in the store.)greenzebraseeds (and you can order these HERE in the store.) The first white tomato is suppose to have an almost melon like flavor. They are both antique Heritage seeds and great to grow and then collect the seeds for next year (economical and important to increase the amount of old Heritage seeds kept alive on earth!)

Melons usually do not do very well here on the cape as we do not have VERY hot conditions as they do in the midwest. But smaller melon will do alright. I am going to try this wonderful Heritage seed from 1800 that looks like a squash. It will be like ‘eating history’ to know the plant is the same as since Jane Austen’s time!melonseeds (you can order it HERE, if you like.)

radishseeds I am going to have a try at these french breakfast radish seeds that look so lovely. This variety is over 100 years old! (available HERE) Aren’t these beets just the living end? They look like candy when sliced and I bet they would be really beautiful pickled. We shall see, as I plan on pickling some. beetseeds (available HERE)

Well, have a lovely weekend all. Perhaps I shall see you in the Forum, if not, then in the comments. Happy Homemaking!

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