Category Archives: 1990

Book Review–Bill Cunningham: On the Street

Bill Cunningham, the famous fashion photographer, liked to claim that he wasn’t a photographer at all.  Instead he was a columnist who wrote with pictures.  There is something to this statement.  The story goes that he first documented what he … Continue reading

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Great Grandmother Caro Visits America

Reader Davrie Caro sent photos of a special family gathering in San Diego.  His great grandmother, second from right in the photo above, visited the United States for several months in 1992-93.  The photo above shows a surprise birthday party … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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