Fifth Avenue, Midtown, 1964

Photo by Joel Meyerowitz

Photo by Joel Meyerowitz

Do you think these three conferred on their outfits before they headed out?  “Lets all wear our fur stoles, hats, and long gloves, and make sure that our shoes exactly match our dresses?” Or was this simply standard fare for well off older New York women in 1964?

The photo is by famous street photographer Joel Meyerowitz and recently appeared on the cover of New York magazine. A good friend, and part time Manhattan resident, knew I needed it for my blog.

1964 is just a year before Diana Vreeland pronounced the “Youth Quake.” I don’t see any elements of youth in these women’s clothes.  Their skirts are long—although not all the same length—and they are still wearing the trappings of the well dressed woman of the fifties.

Yet despite their similarities, these women do not all look alike.  In particular the one on the right is something of a free spirit. Her stole is made from a different fur–can anyone tell me what it is? The beautiful trapunto effect near the hem of her skirt lifts her dress out of the realm of the ordinary.  Note also her very long gloves and that embroidered purse with the wooden handle, a folklorish touch.  But best of all is her glorious hat, which looks like a chef’s hat which she puffed up, spun around, and wore out onto the street.

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2 Responses to Fifth Avenue, Midtown, 1964

  1. I also love that the woman on the right is not wearing a dark neutral. Of course, if it HAD been dark, we wouldn’t be able to savor the details on her dress!

  2. eimear says:

    fabulous…. those stoles look so practical – its a gorgeous photograph, and I love the whole outfit lady on the left in the darker hat…. the weather is unusually warm here (we have had no rain for 14 days which is unusual for the west of ireland) so I am wilting at the thoughts of fur!

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