The 50s were a time as terrifying as they were optimistic. Science promised to unlock so many secrets of the human mind and universe around us, but that very same technology also threatened to blow us to smithereens and possibly put us in contact with dangerous alien life, who might also blow us to smithereens.
This strange dichotomy is discussed at length in ‘Death Makes A Holiday: A Cultural History of Halloween‘ and ‘The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror‘, both by the entertaining David J. Skal. He explains this is the culture that’s responsible for both ‘Leave It To Beaver’ and Vampira, along with a plethora of robots good and evil.
I’m not quite sure how that relates to this week’s free pattern, but the tam’s ‘wings’ remind me of the fins on a Chrysler, a bold stylistic move loudly proclaiming ‘look at meeeee! I’m MODERN!’ and certainly something that took a large amount of confidence and optimism to perch upon one’s neatly coiffed hair.
The woman’s floating face also reminds me of ‘Cosmic Slop’, the film narrated by George Clinton’s flaming, disembodied head, but that is an entirely different tangent about why your parents should not leave movie night selections up to the former acid head in their group of friends.
The pattern comes from Beehive’s ‘Hats and Accessories’, a book chockablock with silly haberdashery. As can be seen my copy’s in fairly worn condition; I try and scan the most fragile books soonest to avoid manhandling them further.