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Category Archives: California & The West

Shirley Temple (Black) 1928-2014

With the sad news of the passing of Shirley Temple (Black) in today’s New York Times, I thought it would be appropriator to remember some of her contributions to film costume, fashion, and popular culture.

Holiday Book tease: “Hollywood Costume”

My Man Godfrey happens to be one of my favorite movies (hello, William Powell!). The image of this dress is gorgeous in this two-page spread, but seeing all those glass bugle beads in motion in the film is just absolutely stunning.

Fashion Factoid: Veronica Lake’s Hair

Known for her ‘peek-a-book’ hairstyle – it became a bit of a problem during World War II: “In the early 1940s, US government officials asked Lake to wear her hair up for the duration of WWII: it seems that too many women working in factories were imitating her famous “peek-a-boo bang” and getting their hair [...]

CSA tour of “Wear to Party” in Ventura, CA

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend the Costume Society of America program including a tour of “Wear to Party” at the Museum of Ventura County, as well as the tour of Lotusland with a lecture on Ganna Walska (the Polish opera singer) and the costumes designed for her by Erte. I’m [...]

Weekend Reading: Smithsonian’s 101 Objects that Made America

For a special issue of Smithsonian Magazine, 101 objects were chosen to represent the American History-which includes articles of clothing, accessories, and flat textiles of significance. What did they get right and what did they leave out?

Books in Brief: “Hollywood Before Glamour: Fashion in American Silent Film”

If you could see the stack of books on my ‘to do list’ you might run for the hills, but you also might sit down for a good long read. There are some great reviews ahead – so keep an eye out. First up is Hollywood Before Glamour: Fashion in American Silent Film by Michelle [...]

Did you know there was a textile factory at Sutter’s Fort?

On a mini-vacation to Sacramento last week, I spent a little while at the Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. For those unfamiliar, the Swiss immigrant named John Sutter founded the fort in the Sacramento Valley after getting a land grant from the Mexican government in 1939.  Sutter then created a flourishing agricultural empire, and a [...]

Victorian Dress at the Sutter County Museum

* The Community Memorial Museum of Sutter County in Yuba City, CA is holding an exhibition of Victorian gowns from its own collection (Remembrance of Gowns Past on view through November 16). The museum website details: The Community Memorial Museum of Sutter County is featuring a new exhibit called Remembrance of Gowns Past to display [...]

Fiber in the North State: Fiber Fusion 2013

A few weekends ago I treated myself to a trip to the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico for  Fiber Fusion 2013, an event put on by the Mount Lassen Fiber Guild. So yes, I mostly went because of my obsession with knitting – but much to my surprise, the spinners and weavers nearly out-numbered the [...]

Victorian dress at Fort Vancouver and the McLoughlin House

A few weeks ago, I was one of a lucky few to travel to Oregon City, Oregon and Fort Vancouver, Washington to participate in the Costume Society of America Western Region‘s program on Victorian clothing on the west coast. Along with twenty or so other attendees, the program included a visit to the Fort Vancouver [...]