30s

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Per request, here’s the other pattern shown in a previous post from Minerva Vol. 40. Inspired in equal parts by jaunty sailor and 60s taxicab, the pattern features a checkered collared top, skirt with checkered pockets, and a giant crocheted coat for those nippy cruise ship evenings.

Ahoy hoy!

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Candy apples and razor blades; I remember Halloween. Unfortunately, as evinced by last year’s sorry excuse for a scare, my pattern collection does not and so I’m forced to get a little more esoteric in the search for something in the macabre spirit.

This week’s pattern comes from the very specifically themed 5th Avenue Fashions, shot on and around the Empire State Building. Tourist magnet, glowing beacon, the very symbol of the city, what frights could possibly await at the top of New York’s famous icon, barring a giant gorilla on the loose?


Wooooooh! Wooo! woo. Eh. It’s no Q The Winged Serpent, but tell me that underlighting and sly grin don’t imply she’ll push you off the balcony the second you turn your back? What inspired the book’s photographer to light her like that? Especially given that, in the 1930s, underlighting was shorthand for ‘terrifying monster’?


Eh?


Eehh?


Eeeehhhh?!

At a time when Hollywood had gauze shortages from soft focus ‘glamour lighting’ their leading ladies, harsh underlighting screamed menace and terror. Also it doesn’t help her direct gaze resembles a more modern movie psychopath:


All work and no crochet make Jack a dull boy.

This night, anything goes…

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First, a gentle dip into the past, when fashion wasn’t just worn, but sung! Tra la la la la la la la laaaaaaaaa…..

And now, a disturbing look into….THE FUTURE! A world full of strange new materials, disturbing man-traps, and for the gents, articulated facial hair:

Laugh if you will, but parts of this are suprisingly prescient. Behold! (it’ll help if you read all the following with this playing in the background):

Which brings us back to the past-present, which is to say the present of the past in which this pattern was created, brought to us in the present-present moment of the future, you there, reading this now (now being the immediate present moment of current existence):

It looks classier in the illustration than it does executed in real life, where the model looks like she was on the losing end of a doily fight:

WELCOME….TO THE FUTURE!

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hi·a·tus [hahy-ey-tuhs]
–noun, plural -tus·es, -tus.

1. a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.
2. a missing part; gap or lacuna: Scholars attempted to account for the hiatus in the medieval manuscript.
3. any gap or opening.

For the next season I’ll most likely keep ‘summer hours’; fewer posts while I attempt to make hay while the sun shines (sort of literally). In the meantime please enjoy this belated pattern in honor of Memorial Day and Fleet Week, the twice-yearly opportunity to scream ‘HEYYYYY SAIIILOOOR!’ on a crowded street without seeming like a complete nutjob.

Described as a ‘beach ensemble’, this 1934 outfit from Minerva manages to combine all the ridiculous fashions of the last few seasons: hats worn in inappropriate settings, rompers, ‘retro’-mania, too-short and too-long skirts, giant tassels, and to top it off, a giant pom-pom.

Actually the skirt’s not so bad, an appropriate tea-length nowhere near the silliness of this season’s ‘maxi’ length. Ladies, if you find a need to hold up the bottom of your outfit to avoid constantly tripping over it, it no longer meets the basic requirements of safety and has tipped over to the frippery of fashion. Then again, stripper heels (aka ‘platform heels’) are suddenly everywhere so we’ll probably see a lengthening of skirts and heightening of heels until we’re back in Italian Renaissance chopine territory. My, this section’s become an outlet for bitching cattily about fashion!

Honestly folks, wear whatever you want. If studying clothing throughout history has taught me anything it’s that every form of dangerous, ridiculous excess and exaggeration has been and will be tried, and this year’s model is no better or worse than what came 100 years before (except for maybe foot-binding, let’s not do that again).

Hoy!

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Is it Tuesday already? This blissful, pleasant weather has a fogging effect on the brain, especially after the stark, existential angst of a long winter. Just toddling out into sunlight and parking it leaves one happy as a lotus-eater.

Speaking of which, this week’s pattern was designed specifically for the ultimate in zoned-out bliss, the floating hedonism that is a cruise. It hearkens to a distant era when the following were all absolutely normal: 1) You and your well-heeled friends would take a month off genteel parlor boozing to cruise to warmer climes. 2) You would have an outfit, nay, SEVERAL outfits specifically for use on the boat IN ADDITION to outfits specifically for eating/drinking both on and off the boat. 3) These outfits would be entirely knitted… 4) …by you, after imbibing a ladylike 2 gallons of rum. At least, that’s the general impression I get from Hemingway novels, 30s drink recipes and various etiquette manuals of the time. The cruise menu items are even boozed up! (check out the ‘soused mackerel’ and the exceedingly long ‘beverage’ list)

It seems appropriate then, that the pattern (the one on the right), incorporates ‘purposefully’ dropped stitches along with the cabling. It’s a simple yet interesting (and in summer, cooling) combination of heavy and airy.

The pattern includes a blouse, skirt, coat, scarf, and I’m surprised it didn’t include knitted heels. I recommend listening to the original ‘Anything Goes’ soundtrack on loop while working on it.

All Aboard!

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