Friday, June 7, 2013

The Skinny -- That Bazaar-ly Funny Face

I'm sure you're well aware by now that we are classic movie super fans.  And that we looooove fashion from the 1940s, 50s, and up.  So, logically, the 1959 movie Funny Face really has it all for us.

Audrey, Astaire, and Avedon-worthy fashion photography.  What could get better than that?

But did you know that the movie really is based on the magazine, Harper's Bazaar

It's true.  Fred Astaire's character, Dick Avery, is modeled after Bazaar fashion photographer Richard Avedon.  Avedon worked at the magazine from 1945 - 1965.  He liked to show a woman's character in photographs -- making her move, telling a story, or just basically making a model more than a pretty woman in pretty clothes.  Selling fashion was about selling a lifestyle, and Avedon's photos captured that lifestyle.  Dick Avery in the movie says, "What’s wrong with bringing out a girl who has character, spirit, and intelligence?"  And that was Avedon all over.

An Avedon cover for Harper's Bazaar

Wait, though!  It goes even further.  Kay Thompson's character of Maggie Prescott -- the editor of Quality magazine -- was based on Harper's editor, Diana Vreeland.  Vreeland was editor from 1936 - 1962, and is pretty much thought of as the quintessential fashion editor.  She is said to have invented the word, "Pizzazz!", and made sweeping pronouncements about fashion.  You know, much like Maggie Prescott's opening number -- THINK PINK! -- and her constant complaints that things need "More pizzazz!"

Kay Thompson as Maggie Prescott

Well, to be honest, Maggie's close, but let's be more accurate. What Vreeland really said is, "I adore that pink...It’s the navy blue of India."

Portrait of Diana Vreeland
I'm sure we'll get more in depth with Vreeland and Avedon on a later date, but for today, with a tropical storm dumping rain on us -- I'm just loving the thought of a movie marathon.  Starting with Funny Face...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

On the Radar -- How the Cookie Crumbles...

I have a confession to make. 

I'm an addict. 

The other Blackbird knows how my addictions work -- they can last from 2 days to 2 months to 2 years.  She has seen my obsessions come and go through our years together, and she has learned to deal with it.  She even encourages them sometimes.  Like my newest addiction.

This is the oatmeal sandwich cookie from The Table Farmhouse Bakery here in Asheboro.  (Sorry the photo's kind of blurry -- it was snapped with my phone a split second before I attacked it.)  We both love this new restaurant; it's amazing.  When I saw this while waiting in line last week, I had to get one.  Big mistake.  By this past Saturday I was jonesing pretty bad for one.  Good thing my dearest Blackbird buddy decided to pick one up for me on her way home from work. It was soooo good. 

And yeah, I had another one yesterday. 

OK, so I know you're probably thinking, "Um, isn't On the Radar about trends?"  And yes, you're right, it is.  I promise, I'm getting to my point.

A few years ago, the craze was cake decorating.  And like all of the other people in the world, I jumped onto the wagon.  I did some fair to good cakes before I moved on to what I really fell in love with -- cupcakes.  (And yes, so did everyone else.  See the point I'm getting to?)  But instead of making them all cute and junk, I really got into mixing flavors and playing with the icing -- my famous flavors are my cranberry-ginger ale cupcakes with lime cream cheese frosting and my "crack" cupcakes (aka peanut butter buttercream on chocolate fudge cake).

But I've been bored with cupcakes for the past few months.  I need something new!  And I found it -- in a cookie sandwich. 

Drum roll, please.  Those of you who know me, try to control yourself.  But I think cookie sandwiches are the new cupcakes.

Let that sink in while you look at these:

These are from The Cookie Sandwich Co., here.
Millie's Caramels has these Hazelnut Nutella cookies, here.
Peanut Butter Marshmallow cookies from Baker's Royale, recipe here.

So, get yourself a cookie sandwich.  Or make one.  That's what I did today.

By the way, did I mention that I had a chocolate chunk, pecan and dried cherry cookie from The Table, too?  I might need another one of those pretty soon...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Junk Love Monday: Los Toros!

Everything I know about bullfighting, I learned from Looney Tunes and Ernest Hemingway. (Trust me, Looney Tunes does it better.) In real life, I'm not sure that I would like it. It's hot, there are a lot of people, it probably smells terrible, and there is a high risk of anti-climax if nobody bleeds. Just thinking about it makes me want to slap somebody. Kind of like this:

But, matadors are cool. There is a lot of romance to bullfighting, and this is especially evident in mid-century junk. Matadors are so...masculine. And fluid at the same time. The Blackbird collection includes a great vintage poster, a gift from a friend. This one is from the same series:

We also came across a set of red Haeger figurines, a bull and a matador. We decided to part with the matador, but the bull reigns high above us on our curiosity cabinet, surrounded by vintage candy tins.

Red Haeger bull
Bullfighting was a popular motif in home decor, art, and advertising. There are plenty of cool, kitschy ways to start a collection. Technically, we have the poster, a figurine, and a deck of playing cards. [Hmmm...the Rule of Three strikes again....] Here are some other things we love, but cannot allow ourselves to buy:
Matador poster;

Matador bridge tally; Here on

Matador cocktail napkin; Here on

Tammis Keefe matador; Here on

Possibly the coolest lamp ever; Here on
Vintage bullfight paint by number; Here on

Toreador-inspired attire is also pretty spectacular.
1940s matador brooch; Here on

Scott McClintock jacket; Here on

Fabulous vintage circle skirt; sold on

Sometimes, bullfighters are just too darn cute. 
1930s matador Valentine; Here on

And, if books are your thing, we have this one in the shop right now:
In our shop