Category Archives: 1990

Mae Reeves, Queen of Hats

You might know the names of famous black fashion designers—Ann Lowe is having a moment on sewing sites right now.  But how about black milliners?  One the biggest names in that field is Mae Reeves (1912-2016), who ran an extremely … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990 | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Black Legends in Blackglama

I never understood the wording of these once ubiquitous ads for mink coats.  The people pictured in the ads were contemporary celebrities—legends in their own time.  To underscore that fact, their names were never mentioned in the photo.  Surely they … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990, 2000s, 2010s | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Today’s Fit Patterns by Sandra Betzina—A Line for Older Women?

In the Spring of 1999, Vogue Patterns launched a new line by well-known sewing expert, Sandra Betzina.  This wasn’t just a collection of new designs; instead, Betzina introduced a new sizing system that she called “Today’s Fit.”  “Today’s woman doesn’t … Continue reading

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

Shirley Chisholm–Unbought, Unbossed

Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005) was a trailblazer.  In 1968, she became the first African American woman elected to the House of Representative. Four years later, at the age of 48, she ran for president. Her slogan was “Unbought, Unbossed,” perhaps one … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s, 1980s, 1990 | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Women Get Weary but They don’t Give Up, 1991

This colorful mural by artist Alice Patrick is on the side of the office of the National Council of Negro Women in Los Angeles.  The woman in black is famous African American educator Mary Bethune (1875-1955), founder of the organization. … Continue reading

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Turbans and the Older Woman

Do you associate certain kinds of hats with certain age groups?  At the beginning of the twenty century, the bonnet tied under the chin was linked to older women.  For me, it is the turban that I associate with this … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990 | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Black Friday, 1995

There are many stories about the origins of “Black Friday” in the US.  Despite the checkered past of the term, these days it means big bargains in outlet stores and malls, a kind of shopping frenzy to kick off the … Continue reading

Posted in 1990 | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Bi-Partisan Dressing: Posing With Big Bird

On the US National Archive’s Flikr site, there is a folder of photographs of “notable  women,” a fairly random selection of important American women.  It’s no surprise that First Ladies form the bulk of those chosen, and that they are … Continue reading

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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