Friday, February 8, 2013

The Skinny -- Cloche to My Heart

I love vintage hats. (Of course, I do.  Is there anything vintage I don't love, really?)  But cloche hats are my favorite.  There's just something about them.  A cloche hat frames the face in that perfect way -- drawing attention to the shape of the wearer's eyes and lips.  I think they also draw attention to a woman's neck, showing the freedom and sensuality of a short hair style and a bare neck.

The cloche hat was invented in 1908 by Caroline Reboux, a Parisian self-made milliner (hat maker) that lived from 1837 to 1927.  She was a striking figure, white hair juxtaposed with a youthful, girly look.  Reboux promoted her creations by insisting that a woman's look was not complete without the finishing accessories, such as the perfect hat.

From Adrianna Sassoon, here.
Although the cloche was invented before the 1920s, the era of the flapper was its heyday.  The distinct shape dictated the hat's name, cloche being the French word for "bell".  The sleek, close fit shaded the eyes and the forehead, forcing ladies to look up to see.  That pose became part of the attitude of the wearer -- to look down your nose and hold your chin up became de rigueur, as did the coyness of looking down, with your eyes hidden, as a flirt would do.

Cloche hats were adopted by all the major fashion houses. They were worn as everyday hats, and they were beaded and appliqued to be worn in the evening or by brides.  They were primarily made from felt or soft fabric, but were later shaped from straw, sisal, and knitted fibers.

From Hoodoo that Voodoo, here.

The women chopped off their hair to match the hats.  Josephine Baker wore what was called the Eton Crop, a short, slicked down style that appeared in Britain first in the mid-1920s.  The style resembled how Eton boys wore their hair, hence the name.  Soft finger wave bobs and severe Louise Brooks style bobs were also very popular, and all showed off a woman's bare neck in a new way.  Very risque!

Now for a fun fact!  From my research, it seems that women could send messages with the ribbons on their cloche hats. For example, a firm knot trim indicated the wearer was married and unavailable; an arrow shaped ribbon indicated a single girl that was already in love with someone, and a flashy bow meant single and looking for love.

The stunning Carole Lombard, from here.

There are some beautiful new examples of cloche hats out there right now, too, like this one from Behida Dolic Millinery, available here on Etsy.  This is on my wish list!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

On the Radar -- The New Filigree

For today's On the Radar, we thought we'd talk about about what we call "new filigree."  We call it filigree for the openness and lace-like quality of the work, and we love that the design is created from what are, essentially, scribbles.  I mean, these people know how to scribble -- I couldn't do it at all -- and that's what makes it true art.  They possess the natural ability to just know what works, and the skill to create such beauty.

By Angelika Arendt, from here.

I love the intricacy and delicacy of these designs, but don't think they are fragile.  These patterns are bold, and in your face, modern and fresh.  They can be totally abstract or, like the one above, can include realistic elements.

from emilylynchart on Etsy, here.
There's more to it than just art for your wall, though.  The new filigree translates into many different mediums:

Scribble Sketchbook by Maroon Lagoon on Etsy, here.

Sterling necklace by Helen Bunch, here.
Bracelet and ring set by Rich Made on Etsy, here.

And, everything old is new again...this vintage dress from our Etsy shop!

1960s dress from our shop on Etsy, here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Junk Love Monday: What Big Eyes You Have!

The Blackbird cocktail collection is on its way to becoming legendary. An entire row of upper cabinets lost their doors and became cocktail display space when we moved. Shelves on either side of the sink are full of miscellaneous cocktail items. Now, we have to apply an artful technique, with a pinch of creativity and crossed fingers, to fit new items into the kitchen (anywhere--to the untrained eye, all of our surfaces are full). So, it would really be a disservice to the collection to put it all in the same post. There are so many subcategories: swizzles, seltzer bottles, decanters (subdivided into figural, colored, or clear), shot glasses (subdivided by type), mixer glasses, jiggers, pour spouts, napkins, bar towels...okay, so there's a lot.

So, today we focus our junk love super-vision on a particular group of shot glasses, the ones we call "Big Eyes." These whimsical glasses have someone with--you guessed it--big eyes, paired with a witty saying. Usually, the eye is painted on the inside, and the figure on the outside, to give dimension. Who doesn't love a bulging eye?

Allow me to present a classic fish tale, in shot glass form. Here's looking at you, kid:

And Mr. Snarky--If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?:

A trio of fine gentlemen, part of a larger set called "Roving Eyes," but acquired by us one at a time [there is a veiled lady that goes with them, which we haven't come across yet, who demurely says "One's my limit")]:
And some others from Etsy, to tempt you (and us):
Vintage Roving Google Eye Shot Glass Anchor Hocking Work Is The Curse...
"Work is the curse of the drinking class"; from TaterSoup

Vintage Roving Google Eye Shot Glass Busty Girl Anchor Hocking Fill 'Er Up
"Fill 'er up!", from TaterSoup

3 Mid Century Anchor Hocking shot Glasses "Down Da Hatch" "One is My Limit" - Vintage Barware
Roving Eyes with the veiled lady; from MothEatenDeerHead