About 15 years ago I remember being on the subway and seeing something that shocked me: a woman got into the car at 57th Street and, affixed to each of her 10 fingernails, were highly sculpted, three-dimensional unicorns. All different. All really pronounced. At the time I just stared. What I didn’t know is that the image would continue to haunt me this long after. I wondered at the time whether this was some crazy new trend in nail art. Why yes, yes it was. Here is but the teensiest smattering of nail art paraphernalia. The first image is fascinating. Photos are from here, here, here and here.
How about this for a work ID? A far cry from the crap plastic things hanging off one’s neck these days. My best guess is that my stepfather worked at Nash-Kelvinator Corporation sometime between 1937 and 1954. Kelvinator is now a brand owned by Electrolux, with many iterations of the company in between its founding and now. If you didn’t look closely enough, those lines behind his photo are a height chart. Oh, beauty really is in the details!
Turns out that there is fierce competition to make the papal footwear. So many variations on a simple loafer. And then, did you ever wonder what the pope wears on those little hiking trips around the Palatine Hills? Well, look no further. All images from the mother lode of historical liturgical vestments. Please note that some of the footwear featured here is no longer in fashion. Not since Vatican II, anyway. And some others are actually cardinals’ or bishops’ shoes. But most are papal. Oh, and yes, the pope ALWAYS wears white socks.
Something a little happier and lighter today. Oh, what it would be to live with such gloriously patterned floors! Alice Bernardo is the proprietress of the very lovely and engaging Portuguese blog: Noussnouss. She is also the brains and brawn behind Saber Fazer, a multidimensional project that seeks to create a narrative for time-honored Portuguese methods of fabrication, on both an artisanal and a semi-industrial scale. She highlights such things as basket making, shoe making, weaving, spinning, needlework, etc. The bicycle baskets are my personal favorites. Alice says she “likes beautiful things and wants to know how stuff is made.” Don’t want to argue with that. These photos are hers.
Get out there and vote! Vintage FDR pins courtesy of Wayne P.
Well here is a skill I wish I had. If only I knew how to repair that unsightly little hole in my shirt…comme ça! This linen chemise, found in a flea market by my friend Molly Meng during her annual visit to southern France, is remarkable. It’s also a reminder of how beautiful something can be when it is no longer new. Photo by Molly.
Have you ever really looked at this thing? It is UGLY. Really really ugly. At least to my eye. But in a good way…I think. We moved from Philadelphia to Maine when I was 11, and I have distinct memories of going to the original L.L. Bean store in Freeport, in the dead of night — they have always been open 24 hours, 365 days a year — to go shoe shopping. Specifically boot shopping. The Classic Bean Hunting Shoe is almost a wardrobe requirement in that state. Coming from Pennsylvania though, I had never before seen such a hideous piece of footwear. And while I never ever came around to appreciating its aesthetic merits, there was something in its utility that made me a convert. (It’s important to note that Mainers, as they refer to themselves, take great pride in their common sense and practicality.) Yes, your feet froze in winter. And they didn’t do much to save you on the ice. But they were great in the mud (of which there is an abundance) and in the rain, which is near constant at times. If your soles wore out, or the stitching gave way, all you had to do was send in your boots and they would fix them for free. The shoes pictured above are from the catalog itself. And they look a little different from the ones I grew up with. These are a reissue/redesign in honor of the boots’ 100 year anniversary. Oh, and one other thing, these are still made in Maine, one pair at a time.