Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vintage Black Weddings - 1960

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The first Vintage Black Weddings post of the 1960s! I've been looking forward to breaking into this decade, as the gown styles become more fashion forward seemingly overnight. The line of demarcation is so pronounced it seems there was no time to transition.

In this post, featuring gowns, weddings, and brides from the year 1960, you can whet your appetites with a brief taste of the styles to come. I remember hearing during a Making Of Mad Men special that they chose to set the first season of the show in 1960 because the last year of any decade is the culmination of the culture of the one it proceeds (for example: the year that best sums up 1980s style and culture was 1990).

This post can be added to the anecdotal evidence column in proof of that theory.

As you can see, the prevalent 1950s trend of longsleeved gowns with scalloped or diaphanous necklines is still dominant in 1960.

What I love most about this photo is that the affection is so clearly evident! Looking at so many wedding photos has desensitized me to the occasion a bit, but images like the one above remind me of what it's all about.

In the image above, from a 1960 Ebony Fashion Fair editorial, you can see the gown styles shifting from the traditional silhouettes of the 1950s to more mod, architectural designs of the 1960s. In the next installment of Vintage Black Weddings, this shift becomes even more apparent. Because the photo above is from a pictorial and straight from the runway, it's a few years before this style trickles down to every day brides. But when it finally does, it revolutionizes bridal fashion.

A wedding fountain! A thing like that!

Trans-World Airlines' first Black hostess - reminds me of this post.

Eartha Kitt's 1960 wedding to John "Bill" McDonald must have been stunning. Her contoured illusion neckline is really beautiful in satin.

The next Vintage Black Weddings post, featuring images from 1961, is quite the departure from previous installments. I'm looking forward to sharing it with you all.

Thanks for reading.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vintage Black Voters and Politicians (1952 - 1962)

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In 2008, I cast my first Presidential vote. I'd missed being of age to vote in the previous Presidential election of 2000 by only 6 months. By 2008, I'd voted in several local and senatorial elections, including my having voted for Barack Obama for senator in my home state of Illinois in 2004.

During the summer of 2005, I interned at a political fundraising firm and got a brief taste of the political arena in Chicago and Illinois. Kwame Raoul, the state senator who filled the seat evacuated by Obama when he was elected to the United States Senate, was among the firm's client. For an exceptionally transient moment in time, I thought I'd enter politics and was enamored of all its glamour.

I remember exactly where I was when Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the presidency. There'd been much teasing in the months preceding his official declaration, on local new shows and before football games, all to innocuous results.

It was February 2006. I was in Cincinnati for a party with friends from Chicago. We turned on the television at our host's home, which was crowded with 18 and 19 year olds, and a few young 20-somethings, tired from the night before, jaded in ways I probably don't need to describe any further, to find Barack Obama on the capitol steps at Springfield making his presidential run official. Everyone in the room understood the significance. I'd never, at the time, been more proud to be a young voter from Chicago.

Since that day, November 4th 2008 and January 20th 2009 have eclipsed the pride I then felt.

Not to diminish my generation's role in the election of Barack Obama, but I can't imagine the impact and overwhelming emotions felt by voters of color in the 1950s and 1960s, who dared to vote in the South while being confronted with threats of violence, of those who partook in and witnessed the election of an ally in Kennedy.

The images below begin to tell their stories:

This Leaders of Womanpower group reminds me of Betty Draper's Junior League in season 3 of Mad Men.

In the coming days, I'll post more images and article excerpts of voters and politicians of color from 1963-1969. I'll also be continuing the Vintage Black Weddings and Vintage Menswear series, and will have more information, images, and clips from Vintage Black Films.

Thank you for reading!

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Vintage Men's Wear (1968 - 1969)

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I've gotten more than a few requests to feature menswear on b.vikki vintage and to offer men's items in my Etsy shop.

Of course! Who doesn't want to look like Don Draper?

In the nascent days of b.vikki vintage I did a post featuring After 6 Tuxedo ads from 1959 - 1968. As a continuation of that post, I offer the following vintage menswear looks (editorials and ads) as sartorial inspiration for male readers of b.vikki vintage. The images below are from 1968 and 1969 editions of Ebony Magazine. Enjoy!

Men certainly didn't seem to be afraid of color in the late 1960s!

I still love a man in a cardigan. It's a great way to look. The author of one of my favorite Tumblrs seems to agree:

This Paris brand undergarments ad from 1969 evokes American Apparel, no?

Several of the pictorials featured here that were shot at the Playboy headquarters in Chicago - which was, incidentally, very close to the Ebony Magazine headquarters.

Hats! Hats should definitely come back.

I know this post is about men, but that lime green two-piece ensemble is stunning.

I'll continue this post later (probably later today) with earlier vintage menswear looks from the 1950s and early to mid 1960s.

Here are some of my favorite menswear items available for sale on Etsy.

Vtg Mens MILITARY Blazer Navy Blue NAUTICAL COAT Double Breasted

Hunter Green Cardigan, Size M

vintage BURBERRYS herringbone twill wool BOMBER jacket

Mens Wool Pinstripe Suit M

1960's Vintage Ultra Mod Striped Burgundy and Blue Mens Jacket Blazer

During my next acquisitions trip (which is quite the embellishment. What I actually do would be more accurately described as lurking at thrift stores and estate sales), I'll be sure to keep a keen eye out for any fascinating men's items! I'm a fan of foppish dandies, as I fancy myself an eventual quaintrelle, so this post has been LONG overdue.

Some of my favorite vintage menswear/fashion/lifestyle sites and blogs: (The writing on Dandyism is just as, if not more, substantive than the style tips).

The Brooklyn Circus - video

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