Contemplation

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“Contemplation” (1945) by Francis Edwin Hodge, part of the Russell-Coates museum collection. The fashion is so evocative of the late 40s (think of photos of the Queen’s engagement and the early episodes of “The Crown”), but the image of a young wife perched on a chair in a fashionably-slender dark dress with bright hat perched at a jaunty angle and with hints of old England in the setting behind her is much more interwar.

Just as importantly, the tasselled bow on her hat is making me think of these fantastic shoes from MissLFire that a friend and I bought in this year’s sale:

 

Active girls

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Publicity shots for a 2020 exhibition of women’s activewear at FIDM – nice that they are planning to show the garments in motion. I feel that Gertrude Bell and Harriet would approve! Meanwhile in London, Anni Albers and her weavings are still on show and a massive Dior exhibition will be opening soon.

Gaudete

Gaudete Sunday is the third Sunday in advent and the time when the reflections on sin, longing and exile are replaced by a moment of hope. It’s symbolised by a change from deep purple vestments to pink in the Catholic Church, and is a moment of excitement for all children who know that Christmas itself isn’t far off now.

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Pink is a colour that for centuries in the West was a “male” one, being viewed as a faded version of martial red, but in the early 20th century it changed and baceme associated with women. The Museum at FIT have a show exploring how this colour can be powerful, punk and provocative as well as pretty and I’m sorry I won’t have a chance to see it before it closes on January 5th. If you’re back in the area, do see it – their 2016 shows on uniformity and on Proust’s muse are two of the most thought provoking shows I’ve seen.

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Rita Konig

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I’m at that stage of a house project where doing the pretty bits actually seems within grasp again, and I’m devouring Rita Konig’s articles on her website (find the section “Rita Says”)

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Unlike a certain modern Mrs Miniver, there is a lack of smugness in these pieces that allows you enjoy them greatly and wonder just how you’d make that tiny box room interesting, where you could get some over-the-bed mirrors from

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and whether you’d have the balls to do that level of colour combination / bold wallpaper yourself…

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images by tat.london, patrickmele, salvesengraham, msputneystripes and ritakonig, all on Instagram