Category Archives: 1980s

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

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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

A Woman in a Kerchief, 1982

This photo will certainly win no prizes for artistry, since one woman’s head is cut off. It’s not even clear what the intended subject is—the cakes? the kitchen set? the jello? Nonetheless, I snatched it up from a favorite ebay … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s, 1940s, 1980s | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Caftan and the Older Woman

These days, older women who have a little flesh on their bones are advised to steer clear of roomy dresses like caftans. Wear clothes that skim the body, the critics say, not ones that take up a lot of space. … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, 2010s | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Old Woman of the Freeway

Mural artist Kent Twitchell undertook an unusual project in Los Angeles in 1974. He painted a huge image of an older woman who was visible to north bound drivers on the Hollywood Freeway. With her billowing white hair, sky blue … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s, 1980s, 2010s | Tagged | 4 Comments

The Stretch & Sew Empire

Ann Person of Stretch & Sew was a brilliant business woman. Her franchises were a self-contained sewing empire, offering patterns, fabric, notions, and classes. On the women’s pages of local newspapers, she gained notoriety as a hugely successful entrepreneur. One … Continue reading

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Ann Person of Stretch & Sew

Every avocation has its celebrities, and Ann Person, the founder of Stretch & Sew, was a star in the world of home sewing in the seventies and eighties. As knit clothing hit the market in a big way, she devised … Continue reading

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Vogue Pattern Book and the Older Woman

In 1980, the Vogue Pattern Book introduced former movie star Arlene Dahl as a fashion adviser to older women. Then in her mid fifties, she had left acting behind and reinvented herself as a beauty consultant. For the next few … Continue reading

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Rosa Parks–A Lady and a Rebel

The common school book story of Rosa Parks (1913-2005) is incorrect. She was not an unassuming, weary seamstress who one day got mad and refused to move to the back of the bus. Instead, she was a longtime activist in … Continue reading

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Irene Salce de Urbina, 1986

Born in Mexico in 1908, Irene Salce de Urbina moved to Texas in the 1940s with her husband and seven children. She became a US citizen in 1963. Her husband, a minister in the Mexican Baptist Church, died in 1967. … Continue reading

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