All posts filed under: Admire

‘Offences against daintiness’, 1929 (and some adorable kids clothes)

I recently found this fascinating  advertisement in a 1929 needlecraft magazine in my collection, and thought you might find it as interesting as I did. It’s not the earliest advertisement for ‘feminine hygiene’ products in my collection (that’s in a 1911 Girls Own Paper), but it is the first to make it reasonably clear what the product is for.  With most of the 1910s ones, it wasn’t until I’d seen enough of them in brands I knew to understand the coded language used enough to recognise a few more.   In addition to signalling a switch in how openly women talked about products associated with menstruation, it shows a clear change in the tone of advertising.  1900s & 1910s ads for personal products for women (soaps, perfumes, toothpaste etc.) tend to have a cheerful ‘this product is great value and will make your life better!’ bent. 1930s-50s advertisements are rather nastier:* ‘if you don’t use this product you won’t be popular and will literally offend the rest of the world with your disgustingness.’  This ad combines …

Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Nā Hulu Ali‘i at LACMA, thedreamstress.com

Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Nā Hulu Ali‘i at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

There were many, many highlights to my trip to Southern California for Costume College in July/August, but one of the best was going to LACMA to see Reigning Men, and discovering that there was a major exhibition on Hawaiian featherwork as well – and we’d come just in time for the last day! I enjoyed Reigning Men (though it definitely struggled with curatorial cohesion), but I loved Nā Hulu Ali‘i.  I’ve seen many pieces of Hawaiian featherwork in different museums, but never so many in a single exhibition.  And Hawaiian featherwork is a phenomenal craft.  The skill involved in making ‘ahu ‘ula (cloaks) and mahiole (helmets) is breathtaking. In Hawaiian culture, featherwork was a sign of mana (spiritual prestige) and status.  Feather cloaks, helmets, and lei were worn only by chiefs.  They were passed down from generation to generation, warriors would seize cloaks and helmets from defeated rivals, and feather items were given as gifts to convey favour. ‘Ahu ‘ula and mahiole are made by weaving feathers on to a netting of ‘olona (which is a …

1913-1916 Sunshine & Roses corset thedreamstress.com

A 1913-1916 Sunshine & Roses corset

Thanks to the total and abject failure of my 1910s non-travelling corset, and the super-comfortable but slightly too big-ness of my 1916 black and white corset, I decided I needed to make a new 1910s corset to go under my 1914-15 spiderweb evening gown for Costume College. This may not have been my brightest idea ever, as I was already pushing it to get the evening gown itself finished in time, but 1910s corsets are pretty easy, so… I used the same 1916 corset pattern from Salen’s corset book as I’d used for the black and white corset, only this time I adapted the pattern pieces slightly for an earlier ‘teens silhouette: reducing the waist to hip ratio, and cutting the front into a lower dip. I kept the higher scoop of the lower back edge of the corset as it is, although it’s an unusual feature on corsets before 1914, because it’s so comfortable, especially for sitting. Because the black and white corset was as big as it could be while still fitting me properly, I also …