Category Archives: 1980s

The Eight Hour Blazer, 1980

In 1980, McCall’s Patterns introduced a “working wardrobe” designed by Pati Palmer and Susan Pletsch.  It included a blouse with collar variations (M7233), a skirt and pant pattern (M7234), and a blazer (M7263).  The fall 1980 McCall’s pattern magazine claimed: … Continue reading

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Judy’s—A California Store for Young (and a few Older) Women

Inspired by Jen Orsini of the blog Pintucks, I checked out the memoir of Marcia Israel-Curly (1920-2004), founder of a chain of California fashion stores called Judy’s. Her book, Defying the Odds: Sharing the Lessons I learned as a Pioneer … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, General | Tagged , | 4 Comments

The Cheerful Grannies Dance

The image of the cheerful granny, used in the past to sell big ticket items like refrigerators, was completely transformed in this 1991 advertisement for exercise routines.  In this case, Beverly Gemigniani, founder of the group, was selling something that … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, 1990 | Tagged | 3 Comments

Maggie Kuhn–Fierce

When Maggie Kuhn (1905-1995) was forced to retire once she turned sixty-five, her coworkers gave her a sewing machine.  They had seriously misjudged her retirement plans.  Kuhn had worked as an organizer all her life, first developing programs for working … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s, 1980s, 1990 | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Teddi Winograd and Teddi of California

Just when I think that I have a basic knowledge of California sportswear, I discover something new. The brand Teddi of California, started in 1962, was featured in the June 1966 issue of California Stylist.  It was already doing big … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane von Furstenberg

Back in the days when I wore dresses, I didn’t find the wrap dress very practical. When I wore it, the style was given to constant wardrobe malfunctions both on the top and the bottom. Since Diane von Furstenberg’s career … Continue reading

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Checkered Past, 1982

Native New Yorker Helen Levitt (1913-2009) made her reputation by capturing candid moments on the streets of her city. Today she is regarded as one of the forerunners of modern street photography. Take a look at the large collection of … Continue reading

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Donna Karan in the Black

I’ve never bought anything by American designer Donna Karan—her clothes are far above my price range.  But after reading her new autobiography, My Journey, I think I might have been influenced by her approach to clothing. In the late eighties, … Continue reading

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Koko Beall—A Life in Fashion Design

When I wrote about a favorite Vogue Pattern designer Koko Beall in 2014, I didn’t know whether or not she was still alive. Through the magic of the internet, her daughter Victoria Beall found my post. She sent the happy … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990, 2000s, 2010s | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Claire Shaeffer: Collector, Teacher, Writer

Claire Shaeffer and her husband Charlie are collectors. When you enter their spacious Palm Springs home, their many passions are everywhere on display. The walls are filled bits and pieces they have collected through the years. When you look more … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s, 1980s, 1990, 2000s, 2010s, General | Tagged , , | 7 Comments