Categories
Museums Podcasts

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 150 Years of History on Display

EPISODE 341 Celebrating the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 150th anniversary year of its founding — certainly one of the strangest years in its extraordinary existence.  The Met is really the king of New York attractions, with visitors heading up to Central Park and streaming through the doors by the millions to gasp at […]

Categories
Holidays

Easter in Old New York: The Fifth Avenue Fashion Stroll

In the picture above: People in Sunday finery stroll past the New York Public Library building. The library had not even been open two years by the time this picture was taken in March 23, 1913. New York City’s time-honored Easter custom — the Sunday morning Fifth Avenue Easter bonnet stroll — once turned the […]

Categories
Neighborhoods Podcasts

Ready-to-Wear: The lofty history of New York’s Garment District

PODCAST The history of the New York City fashion industry and how it found its home south of Times Square aka The Garment District. The Garment District in Midtown Manhattan has been the center for all things American fashion for almost one hundred years. The lofts and office buildings here still buzz with industry of […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

THIS is New York Fashion Week — as it might have been in 1915

 New York Fashion Week, the city’s twice-yearly celebration of couture and runway, traces its roots to a 1943 press week event at the Plaza Hotel, organized by publicist Eleanor Lambert.  But there had been a variety of one-off ‘fashion weeks’ or American fashion events in the  years between the wars.  In 1934, the Mayfair Mannequin Academy, a local […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

THIS is New York Fashion Week — as it might have been in 1915

 New York Fashion Week, the city’s twice-yearly celebration of couture and runway, traces its roots to a 1943 press week event at the Plaza Hotel, organized by publicist Eleanor Lambert.  But there had been a variety of one-off ‘fashion weeks’ or American fashion events in the  years between the wars.  In 1934, the Mayfair Mannequin Academy, a […]

Categories
It's Showtime

Maude Adams: Fashion icon and America’s first Peter Pan

Tonight NBC’s unveils its live theatrical experiment Peter Pan with Girls star Alison Williams in the cross-dressing role of the boy who never grows up. We can all have our debates about who’s been the greatest stage Peter Pan in history.  Most will say Mary Martin, a sizable minority will claim Sandy Duncan, and a […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Venuses in Fur — New York society ladies in fancy animal skin

The Metropolitan Opera’s soprano sensation Geraldine Ferrar, photo taken April 1913. I guess fur was never out of season a century ago! “When You Done Your Christmas Furs — It will be an added pleasure to know they came from Gimbels — the house with the time-honored experience in Furs — for surely it requires […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Let’s go see the horses at Madison Square Garden!

Click into the pictures for greater detail.  Pictures courtesy the Library of Congress These unbearably cute orphans were lined up to go to the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden which began on November 15, 1913.  These are of course the days of the Garden down at the northeast corner of Madison Square, the […]

Categories
Know Your Mayors

George Opdyke: The mayor during the Civil War Draft Riots and his unsavory connection to New York’s fashion industry

KNOW YOUR MAYORS A modest little series about some of the greatest, notorious, most important, even most useless, mayors of New York City. Other entrants in the Bowery Boys mayoral survey can be found here.Mayor George OpdykeIn office: 1862-1863 The wealthy merchant and politician George Opdyke died on June 12, 1880, attended to by his family from […]

Categories
Health and Living

The sitting-out bag: Nobody wore this winter look for fun

Hopefully New Yorkers will never pick up the sitting-out bag as a trendy winter fashion trend. In their day, no teenager wore this cumbersome device for fun. Below: “Boy wearing coat with attached bag covering feet, seated at table, outside of classroom, reading, New York City.” Courtesy Library of Congress The sitting-out bag was basically […]

The sitting-out bag: Nobody wore this winter look for fun

Not cool: “Boy wearing coat with attached bag covering feet, seated at table, outside of classroom, reading, New York City.” Courtesy Library of Congress Hopefully the New York hipster community will never pick up the sitting-out bag as a trendy winter fashion trend. In their day, no teenager wore this cumbersome device for fun. The […]

New York transit system stymied by women’s skirt styles

A lady in a relatively normal skirt boards a Broadway streetcar in July 1913. Now imagine trying this in a hobble skirt! (Courtesy Library of Congress) A serious cry (mostly from men) rang out through the city one hundred years ago about the ever-expanding transit system and the scandalous style of women’s skirts. Were frocks […]

Categories
Mad Men

Mad Men 1966-67: Speculation, context and flashbacks

Our favorite randy, drunken Madison Avenue suits return this Sunday with an extra-special long episode of ‘Mad Men‘ this Sunday. As with prior seasons, I’ll try and follow up most shows on Monday with a little historical commentary. The wonderful thing about this show is that they’re nothing if not hyper-sensitive about historical accuracy. From hints […]

The explosion of a Brooklyn hat factory, February 1860

A long time ago, 151 years ago this month to be exact, a hat factory exploded in Brooklyn. Hats being far more prevalent in the social fashion then than they are today, New York and the surrounding area were, pardon the pun, brimming with them. The city of Brooklyn had to make due with one […]

A very stylish girl: Fashion Week 2011 starts Thursday

Saks Fifth Avenue fashion show 1970, photographer John Dominis, courtesy LIFE/Google images Bergdorf Goodman 1973, photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, courtesy LIFE/Google images Ohrbach’s 1962, photographer Ralph Morse, courtesy LIFE/Google images A World’s Fair fashion show, Flushing Meadows, 1939-40, photographer unknown, courtesy NYPL Fashion forward in Central Park, 1920, photographer unknown, courtesy Retrografix The world of shirt […]