1958 – My Year

My Baby Book from 1958
This August, I celebrated my 58th birthday.  My stepson, now a computer science major at college, taught me all about video games, so I now see myself more as Level 58.  It sounds like so much more of an accomplishment… Anyway, I digress.  So I’m 58 and I was born in 1958.  I like this.  Mom was almost 45 in that year. She and Dad had been married for almost 20 years.  He was a painter. She was the breadwinner. But after 20 years, she decided that more than anything, she wanted to have a baby.  And he agreed.  I was one of those fortunate ones who was wanted and loved.  I never felt a day growing up without the... Continue Reading »

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Mom Watching Over

Mom looking over me
I recently started a new partnership with a wonderful company called Just a Trace.  We had already collaborated on clear stamps and stencils of Mom’s drawings and now we are working together on all products, including our cards.   They recently sent me samples of the latter.  Everything is bright and happy, even the turquoise or shocking pink envelopes. I then turned over the card and there it was. The picture you see above.  It’s Mom and me at about age 2 in 1960 in our Manhattan apartment. I always loved this photo, but in seeing it in a different light, as a viewer of the card, I realized how symbolic it is.  There is Mom watching over me.  And... Continue Reading »

Posted In Memories of the Model Stand |

Pratt Institute and Groundbreaking Women

Pamela Coleman Smith
Pratt Institute and groundbreaking women. It sounds like right from it’s inception in 1887, Pratt  was a school that encouraged women to fulfill their dreams. I feel sometimes that we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that until recently, women didn’t have our own independent, vital, creative, interesting lives outside of our role as wife and mother.  If not the latter role, then we were cast as spinsters.  As I’ve told you, Mom was seemingly unusual for her time.  Born in 1914, she had a successful career as a fashion illustrator.  Mom attended Pratt  Class of ’33.  I decided to see who else attended there in those days.  In general, I found a lot of famous attendees, if not graduates – actor Robert Redford, playwright... Continue Reading »

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5 Fab Fashion Illustration Books

Hilda Book Front Cover
Ahh fashion illustrations. Always on my mind. There’s nothing better on a cold winter day than to curl up with a great book, a hot cup of tea and (hopefully) a crackling fire in the fireplace.  If you love fashion drawings, costumes, movies or all of the above, here are 5 books about fashion illustration of all kinds that I highly recommend. LIZ’S FAVORITE FASHION ILLUSTRATION BOOKS ARE… HILDA GLASGOW OU L’ESPRIT DE LA MODE Obviously #1 on my list.  Just a few years ago,  not in my wildest imagination could I have made the following statement – Here’s a beautiful book all about Mom and her amazing fashion illustrations!  French publisher Larousse has created this extraordinary coffee table book complete with 140 of Hilda’s... Continue Reading »

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3 Audrey Hepburn Hats That Blow Me Away

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I know. There are a million posts about this lovely lady.  But I never tire of looking at her movies, her face, her clothes.  So forgive me this time that I post about this elegant icon.  Here are the 3 Audrey Hepburn hats that blow me away. If anyone doesn’t know the story of Sabrina, she starts out as the chauffeur’s daughter, growing up on an estate owned by brothers Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. She’s a tomboy, a jeans and pony tail happy girl. Then she is sent to boarding school in Europe and the “ugly duckling” (yeah, right), turns into the swan with the wardrobe to match.  This is one of the post Europe looks.   Quite the opposite look... Continue Reading »

Posted In Fashion History |

Fashion Reflects the Times

Styles change with the decades and fashion reflects the times. The flapper girl of the 1920’s freed herself from the corseted  figure of decades before.  Women had just gotten the vote. Traditionally male occupations like secretaries were being overtaken by the ladies. They cut their hair and wore their dresses short and straight. They started taking on traditionally male jobs, such as a secretary. They appear to be dressing for themselves rather than for the men in their lives. The clothes were comfortable, practical and also fun and sexy.  Miriam Rettich, fellow artist and life long friend of Mom’s, told me that she used to wrap her bosom so she looked flat chested. My Grandpa Lazar was quite shocked when Grandma Cilka,... Continue Reading »

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5 Fabulous Female Fashion Illustrators from the 1950s Besides Hilda Glasgow!

Mom certainly was a groundbreaker, but she wasn’t alone.  It took quite of bit of detective work on my part, but here are 5 other women of her era who were also top fashion illustrators of the mid 20th century.  Enjoy! DOROTHY HOOD (1902-1970) Dorothy Hood was born in New Holland, Pennsylvania. With Art Director Harry Rodman, they created “The Lord & Taylor Look” in the 1930’s. She posed her models doing real life activities that the average woman could relate to. She set the standard for the look of the high end department stores and showed customers what the well dressed American Woman should wear. In the 1950s, a motor bike accident hurt her right arm, but she taught... Continue Reading »

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A Mother’s Day Memory

I have one vivid memory of a Mother’s Day when I was about 10.  I was starting to experiment with cooking (this phase didn’t last very long) and I had perfected my Egg Foo Young recipe.  I was going to cook this for Mother’s Day breakfast.  I carefully picked out all the ingredients.  I made up a fancy menu which I presented to Mom who was going to get her breakfast in bed feast.  I fried up the onions.  I peeled the shrimp.  The aroma was wafting throughout the apartment.   I had a tray with a flower on it.  I happily presented the delicious meal to Mom.  The only problem was that she had the stomach flu and the... Continue Reading »

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Where’s Hilda?

Just for fun, I’ve decided to start a little contest series.  Here’s the first one. I’m so lucky to have been left many things from my family, including many, many photographs.  My grandparents documented their daughters growing up and then my father, who was a wonderful photographer as well as a painter, took over the position.  I always had a camera pointing at me and honestly, I kind of hated it after a while, but then I became a photographer myself which has a touch of irony.  In any case, now I get to share these photos with all of you.  And from the feedback that I get, it seems that you’re enjoying them. Here’s a classic from about 1926... Continue Reading »

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Coloring

I met my friend Joan Rafferty when we both attended the School of Visual Arts as photo majors.  Joan, along with a couple of other women from those days (Katherine Andriotis and Flori Seltzer, fyi), has been a lifelong friend.  She remembers Mom well and has been incredibly enthusiastic about the business.  She came to the first NY Gift Show that I did with Kitchen Papers and stood there quietly looking at all the new products.  She turned and a said “Liz, you have to do a coloring book.”  She remembered all the hours spent with her daughter, Coco, coloring the usual books that were on the market.  She wished there was something more in it for her on a... Continue Reading »

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