Let’s have a look at the gloriousity of vaudeville in its heyday, shall we?
Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment very much in vogue from the 1880s to the 1930s. The name, vaudeville, is thought to be derived from the expression voix de ville which means voice of the city.
A vaudeville performance is made up with several unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. These acts tend to include musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals, impersonators, acrobats, illustrated songs, jugglers, scenes from plays, athletes (yuck), lecturing celebrities, minstrels and movies. Something for everyone, then, except for the athletes thing which sounds like a major fail, cause who likes sports, really? Anyway…
Vaudeville developed from many sources, such as the concert salon, minstrelsy, freak shows, dime museums and burlesque. Well, you can’t go wrong with those ingredients!
Quite a few cool costumes to be inspired from, don’t you think?
Meet the marvelously colorful Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada (1960 – ).
Ruiz de la Prada’s career in fashion started with a bang in 1981, when she launched her first women’s collection in Madrid, which was a total hit.
I don’t really like kids, but for those out there that do – Agatha Ruiz de la Prada also makes insanely pretty children’s clothes. Maybe not too shocking considering the level of crazy fun in her women’s collections.
Nineteen seventy-four was a bad time to go crazy.
Not long ago I read Rescuing Patty Hearst (2004), an interesting memoir written by Virginia Holman (1967 – ) about growing up with a schizophrenic mother in the seventies.
“In 1975, one year after Patty Hearst and her captors robbed Hibernia National Bank, a second kidnapping took place far from the glare of the headlines. Virginia Holman’s mother, in the thrall of psychosis, spirited her two daughters to a cottage on the Virginia Peninsula, painted the windows black, and set up the house as a MASH unit for a secret war. A war that never came. The family — captive to her mother’s schizophrenia and a legal system that refused to intervene — remained there for more than three years.”
Of course, the story Holman tells is absolutely tragic, but due to her sly sarcasm it doesn’t become too painful or tiresome to read. It is quite short, and will probably teach you something about mental illnesses, and since we all know that learning is fun, especially on the weekends, why don’t you get to it?
Enjoy your reading,
Today I present you with one of my all-time favourite musicians, the glorious Tori Amos.
Her solo debut came in 1992 with Little Earthquakes – one of the best albums ever released (biased? Me? No!), and since then, Tori has released eleven more wonderful collections of musical diamonds. Her latest album, Night of Hunters, came out about a month ago.
Tori started playing the piano at the age of two, and at six she became the youngest student ever to be accepted into the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. However, at eleven, she was dismissed from the academy, partly due to her interest in pop and rock music, her own compositions which were not always greeted favourably by the academy, and her refusal to read sheet music. Still, it seems obvious now that she should never be forced to play anything other than her own amazing music and that classical training may not have been perfect for such an individualist.
Here’s a small selection of those beautiful pieces:
Spark (From the Choirgirl Hotel, 1998):
Winter (Little Earthquakes, 1992):
Hey Jupiter (Boys for Pele, 1996)
Cornflake Girl (Under the Pink, 1994)
A Sorta Fairytale (Scarlet’s Walk, 2002)
Hey guys, remember this?
This wonderful little device that totally revolutionized the way we listened to music, allowing us to bring our mixed tapes with us without any hassle.
So where did this work of genius come from? Let’s ask Wikipedia: “A portable personal stereo audio cassette player, called Stereobelt, was first invented by the German-Brazilian Andreas Pavel in 1972. Pavel filed a patent for his Stereobelt in Italy in 1977, followed by patent applications in the U.S., Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan by the end of 1978.
Walkman is a Sony brand tradename originally used for portable audio cassette, and now used to market Sony’s portable audio and video players as well as a line of Sony Ericsson mobile phones.(…) The device was built in 1978 by audio-division engineer Nobutoshi Kihara for Sony co-chairman Akio Morita, who wanted to be able to listen to operas during his frequent trans-Pacific plane trips.
In 1979, Sony began selling the popular Walkman, and in 1980 started legal talks with Pavel regarding a royalty fee. In 1986 Sony finally agreed to pay royalties to Pavel, but only for sales in Germany, and only for a few models, and refused to acknowledge him as the inventor of the device. In 2001, Pavel threatened Sony with legal suits in every country in which he had patented his invention. The corporation agreed to resume talks with Pavel and a settlement was finally reached in 2003. The settlement grants Pavel the recognition from Sony that he was the original inventor of the personal stereo.”
Have a look at some more and feel nostalgic:
There is a very good reason to watch the TV series Gossip Girl: the abundance of glorious clothes. It was through this show I discovered American designer Abigail Lorick. Turns out that she designs, among other things, the clothes Eleanor Waldorf gets credit for in the series. And they tend to be good.
When she was 18, Lorick moved to Paris and Milan to work as a model, before returning to America to study fashion in 2003.
In spring 2007 she launched her own brand, and was almost immediately cast as a designer for Gossip Girl.
Lorick is all about elegance and timelessness, with glorious colors to go, and a mission to, in the designer’s own words, “electric blues and exposed zippers.” Thank you!
And another word of wisdom from the lady of the hour: “Don’t ever leave the house without a little bit of color.”