Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Archive for February, 2007

Shopping From Westminster: Poodles and Affenpinschers

February 15th, 2007

Cruising network television for my next dog (to sit beside Irving, the hand puppet, on my AM console radio). Martha was in the audience at Westminster but she seems pretty focused on French Bulldogs–so no concerns that she’s going to scoop me on my most discovery of the world’s greatest dog breed, the Affenpinscher. I’ve included views of a few other candidates for the archive.

Shopping From the Movies: Puzzles and Hand Puppets

February 13th, 2007

I can only recommend Peter Bogdonavich’s recently rereleased They All Laughed (1981) for two reasons: one, for the simple visual presence of Ben Gazarra, John Ritter and Audrey Hepburn in the same story space, and two, for the toy scene at FAO Schwarz. For those who might be curious about this film, let me assure you that the it’s best watched on 4x fastforward, pausing on landmark views of vintage NYC (Rizzoli books, Squalid Times Square, the World Trade Center, roller disco and assorted eateries). Be sure and stop and pause, however, on each scene/outfit featuring Audrey Hepburn (her shades, her summer overcoat, her presciently popped collar)! Hepburn facilitates this accelerated screening by refusing to utter a line of dialogue until halfway through the film’s second act (fastforwarding simply speeds her walk through the city and adds much needed motivation, forward movement, to the film)(my theory is that Bogdonavich could only afford Hepburn for two acts of spoken dialogue).

Since the late Seventies/early Eighties did not hold much in the way of state of the art gaming or home electronics (think life sized piano keyboard in Big), FAO Schwarz scene showcases a more beloved, analog set of amusements: an aisle of 3000 piece puzzles, an indoor air rifle set and the capper, a full display case of Steiff plush animals and hand puppets (possibly the last appearance by a Steiff toy in American cinema?).

Geeky Rain Garb

February 11th, 2007

This season, I’ve pledged to do a full randonneuring series–from a 200k ride in March to a 1000k in June. Not sure if I’ll make it past the 300k but I’m trying to train and log as many miles now despite dark and chilly February conditions. Out in the rain today, I put my full wet weather costume to the test: rainlegs, burley booties, a Nigel Smythe waterproof country bag, Showers Pass jacket and a pink shower cap to protect my beloved brooks leather saddle. Fueled by a Hideaway potato flour donut, I took off on a gentle 28 mile loop. After two hours of steady rain riding, I was pleased to note that my usual wet weather weak points were ok: legs and feet and torso were all dry and Nigel Smythe bag only showed a small, quarter sized leak on the inside flap (no harm to the Hideaway loaf inside). I’m not excited about riding in the rain but now it might come down to managing low grade matters like moisture build up on my lenses or finding the perfect balance between exposed/unexposed skin, opened and closed zippers. Question: will garb dry out and recover in time for tomorrow’s ride: a 50 mile trek out to the Lorane store and back.

For what it’s worthy, Jean Arthur is a delight. Watching her now in Only Angels Have Wings, I’m confident Arthur would make a terrific training partner or brevet organizer (her ride controls would feature steaks, whiskey and a bit of upright piano playing).

Shopping from the Movies: The French Lieutenant’s Woman

February 6th, 2007

Apologies for the lag time between posts. January malaise, Oscar film screenings (Volver!) and underlying dog/bike/home owning obsessions have kept me out of the archive. But now that the worst month of the year has passed I’m back on board for a little cinematic commerce. With my DVD player in the shop, I’ve taken to watching movies via Sara’s laptop. How perfect that in this viewing mode the closeness of the monitor to eyes and fingers makes film going even more like an act of e-commerce. First up for February is The French Lieutenant’s Woman–a forgotten gem starring Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep (screenplay, Harold Pinter). In a typical Pinteresque plot line, Streep and Irons play characters in two parallel story worlds–one set in the 19th century, the other in present day (Nineteen Eighties) Britain. I won’t bother with specifics of the plot or comments regarding Streeps’ outfits (even if you’ve only seen the poster for this film you can mentally kit her out for the length of the film in a surf and sea foam deflecting, floor length cape). Further, clothing in the modern day plotline features forgettable garments and accessories–over sized eyeglasses, bad denim, pleated skirts, peasant blouses, etc. I haven’t managed to stay awake for the whole film but I can still recommend it based on Jeremy Irons’ 19th century Norfolk style field jacket. Screenshots do not do justice to this amazing garment–featuring double layered shoulder pads which support the weight of various satchels, bottles, spyglasses and a leather schoolboy satchel (perfect for use when collecting fossils or purchasing penny cups of milk from the local dairyman).