Tag Archives: fashion

1958 – My Year

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 security of feeling that I was the center of their world.  I would give anything to have one more day with them both.  But they surround me still with their work.  This blog is about Mom, but Dad’s paintings fill my home as well.

So what happened in 1958. Here’s a page from my baby book.

My Baby Book from 1958

My Baby Book from 1958

Ike was President, although Mom was a huge fan of Adlai Stevenson, his opponent in the 1952 and 1956 elections.  Averill Harriman was Governor of New York and Robert Wagner Mayor of NYC.  The Polio Vaccine had just been introduced.  It helped wipe out the disease in this country.   Satellites were a new thing – remember Sputnik?  Mom loved classical music, so Van Cliburn and Yasha Heifetz were big on here list of the best entertainers, along with Louis Armstrong, Elvis, Marilyn and Marlon. The great minds of the time varied from Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas to existential philosopher Albert Camus to, of course, Picasso.  Doing what she did best, there are sketches of the popular styles of the time, including Trapeze dress and Flower hats! Yikes!!

I love that Mom lives on now and that you all know about her. I decided to celebrate 58 with you by having a sale on Hilda’s site.  All of our 9″x12″ Limited Edition Prints are $58 until the end of August.   And for anyone else who is 58 born in ’58, I’ll put in a  little extra present.  Just let me know.

So here’s to Mom.  She made it to Level 90. Quite an accomplishment.  But it still feels like she’s right here next to me.


Pratt Institute and Groundbreaking Women

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 Harvey Firestein, fashion designer Norman Norell, painters Milton Resnick and Ellsworth Kelly and even Allen Funt of Candid Camera fame.  The list goes on and on.  Those were the men.   The women blew me away.  Some I had heard of and some not, but reading about their lives reinforced my belief that there have always been  women doing outstanding work in a so called “man’s world”.  Here is a brief overview of 4 fascinating women, all born in the 1800’s.


Djuna Barnes

Djuna Barnes Attended Pratt in 1912

1892-1992. Attended Pratt in 1912

Djuna Barnes was an American poet, playwright, journalist, visual artist and short story writer best know for her novel “Nightwood”.   For more, see here.

Gertrude Käsebier

Gertrude Kasebier attended Pratt in 1889

1852-1934. Attended Pratt in 1889

“Gertrude Käsebier  was one of the most influential American photographers of the early 20th century. She was known for her evocative images of motherhood, her powerful portraits of Native Americans and her promotion of photography as a career for women.” ~Wikipedia. For more, go here

Pamela Colman Smith

Pamela Coleman Smith attended Pratt in 1893

1878-1951. Attended Pratt in 1893

Pamela Colman Smith (16 February 1878 – 18 September 1951), also nicknamed Pixie, was an English American artist, illustrator, and writer. She is best known for designing the Waite-Smith deck of divinatory tarot cards. For more, go here

Sara Louise Delany

Sara Louise Delany attended Pratt in 1916

1889-1999. Attended Pratt in 1916

“Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delany (September 19, 1889 – January 25, 1999) was an African-American educator and civil rights pioneer who was the subject, along with her younger sister Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany, of the New York Times bestselling oral history, Having Our Say, by journalist Amy Hill Hearth. Sadie was the first Black person permitted to teach domestic science at the high-school level in the New York public schools, and became famous, with the publication of the book, at the age of 103.” ~ Wikipedia  For more, go here

Mom was in good company.  I’m sure there are scores more stories to tell.  If any of you can add one, please post in the comments. The world needs to hear!

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, who always had long hair, came home with it all bobbed off. It was a feminist revolution of sorts. Modern times! Alicejoyce1926full_crop The look of the 1950s was quite the opposite. The hourglass figure was in and another version of the corset was the thing to wear.  I call it armor.   I mean, really, take a look.  Now I know where Madonna got here wardrobe ideas. tumblr_mfw2wsXmUt1r5kw6ko1_500 And this is what Mom was drawing in those years.

Gina c. 1960

Gina c. 1960

Sheryl c. 1953

Sheryl c. 1953

Gigi c. 1962

Gigi c. 1962

Marilyn c. 1958

Marilyn c. 1958

Roxanne c. 1953

Roxanne c. 1953

I love Mom’s lingerie drawings. They don’t reveal much, but are still alluring. These were women post World War II. The 1920s saw a start of life outside of home and family. Then with the Depression of the 1930s most were scrambling just to survive. The 1940s brought the war and jobs that needed to get done while all the men were overseas. Women were working in factories and building airplanes. It was a new life of possibilities. The war ended in 1945 and everyone was happy to have the boys back.  They had to give up their jobs and, in the late 1940s and 1950s, once again, for the most part, took up the role of mothers and wives and it’s no coincidence with that shift that the fashion changed to exaggerate the female form. The shapely figure was the ideal woman. These girdles must have been hot and uncomfortable and certainly not for Rosie the Riveter. But, generally speaking, she didn’t exist anymore.

The 1960s revolution went back to a 1920s feel. Boyish figures and haircuts. Short straight dresses. Long, unfussy hair. Bell bottoms. Burning bras! The Pill! The children of the women wearing the all-in-one girdle were rebelling and once again, the fashion reflected the new found freedom.

Twiggy Shift  Dress

Twiggy in the 60’s

Today it seems like anything goes. I don’t know what that says about our society, but I do think that more and more, women can be whoever they want to be. And that is everything.

And if you’re loving Mom’s lingerie drawings, they’ve just been added to our collection of Limited Edition Prints at The White Cabinet. And all sizes are 20% off as an introduction of these lovely ladies.

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)

Drawing by Dorothy Hood for Lord & Taylor

Drawing by Dorothy Hood for Lord & Taylor

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 herself to draw with the left. She continued to work for Lord & Taylor until her death in 1970.



Dagmar and husband Arctic explorer Peter Freuchen by Irving Penn 1947

Dagmar and husband Arctic explorer Peter Freuchen by Irving Penn 1947

Dagmar Freuchen-Gale was born in Denmark and came to the United States in 1938. She worked for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. In 1947, her drawing was chosen for the cover of Vogue when they introduced “The New Look” by Christian Dior.  For 20 years, starting in the late 1940’s, she taught fashion illustration at the Art Student’s League in New York City.

Vogue Cover 1947 by Dagmar Freuchen-Gale

Vogue Cover 1947 by Dagmar Freuchen-Gale

Her second husband, Peter, was quite a character, as you can see from the photo above. Read about Peter Freuchen here.



Drawings by Esther Larson

Drawings by Esther Larson

I honestly couldn’t find a bio on Esther Larson. I’m including her because Mom knew her and always loved her work.  One of her big clients was Bergdorf Goodman. Mom remembered her well. She said Esther was an amazing dressmaker as well. She’d throw a piece of fabric down on the floor, look at it for a few minutes, take a pair of scissors and start cutting. And she never failed to product a beautiful garment. A woman of many talents and not a blurb on her in all of the internet. So many women, lost to the wind. Here’s one of her later drawings.

Drawing by Esther Larson

Drawing by Esther Larson


ESTA NESBITT (1918-1975)


From the 1940s to the 1960s, Esta Nesbitt illustrated for Harper’s Bazaar, Madamoiselle and the New York Times.  She was also an instructor at the Parson’s School of Design from 1964-74.  After her career as a fashion illustrator, she became a children’s book illustrator, performance artist, xerography artist and filmmaker.

Esta 3

MARY SUZUKI (died 1974)

Portrait of Mary Suzuki. Photographer unknown. Isn't this great?

Portrait of Mary Suzuki. Photographer unknown. Isn’t this great?

Mary Suzuki grew up on a farm in California.  According to her only child Taro, she was very ambitious. “She did a lot of work in the 50’s and 60’s for Harper’s Bazaar and Seventeen Magazine. When Andy Warhol first came to N.Y., he showed her his book and she told him to do shoes and got him some work.” Fellow artist Mia Carpenter said of her work “Her figures were distinguished by the absence of eyes...”. When Pop Art started changing the style of commercial drawings, Mary had trouble adjusting.  After fashion illustration, she illustrated an (unpublished) children’s book, designed Twiggy paper dolls and did fine art oil painting. She showed in the first feminist art show at the Huntington Hartford Museum.  Mary was active into the 1970’s.  In later years she earned a living doing illustrations for clothing patterns such as Butterick and designed clothing as well.


I like to think of Mom and all these ladies gathering at Wally’s (see post “Hilda’s Hangout” from July 7,2011) sketching and chatting, sharing war stories. Who knows?  Maybe Dagmar was complaining about her husband bringing home bear fur and Mary telling us about her suggestion to Andy Warhol about soup cans.  You never know. What I do know is that there we’re made to feel that few women were out there in a “man’s world”. I’m beginning to think that that’s only what they want us to think… but I know otherwise.

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 smell of it cooking was making her even sicker and the sight of it was even worse.  But she happily accepted my gift and only told me years later that she was ready to run to the bathroom to throw it all up.  Even sick as a dog, she made me feel so special and absolutely loved.

Happy Mother’s Day to you all.  And that includes all of us who do not have children, but instead have chosen the furrier variety!

And as an aside, if  you are going to the National Stationery Show at Javits Center in NYC, please stop by the Hester and Cook Kitchen Papers booth where the Hilda Glasgow line will be on display.  Booth 2844.  See you there!

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 or so.  I think it might have been Mom’s graduation picture from Hebrew school.  I seem to remember her telling me this.  Mom’s father, Lazar, was an atheist and Cilka was Orthodox. She kept Kosher.  Whatever made her happy, he’d always say.  And I guess this included sending their daughters to Hebrew school.  Anyway, here’s the photo:

Class Picture001-2and here’s the contest:

Which one of these lovely young ladies is Hilda?  The first 5 people who get it right will receive one of our hand mirrors.  Please post on our Facebook page.  Unfortunately because of the cost of overseas shipping, I can only honor responses from the US.  Sorry to all our fans around the world.

Once a month, I will add another contest, so please keep in touch.  And tell all your friends!

A Shared Birthday


Mom was an avid crossword puzzler.  Or possibly fanatic would be a better word. She did the Sunday NY Times puzzle in ink. For those of you not in the NY area, this is the pinnacle of crosswords.  It’s a Sunday thing to sit down with some coffee and a pen (or pencil for those not quite so bold) and spend the day happily toiling over the squares and clues.

Much to my surprise, I found out that Mom and her beloved crossword puzzles had something in common – their birthday was one day apart.  She was born December 22, 1913 in Brooklyn and it was first published in the New York World (in New York as well) December 21 of the same year.  It’s their 100th birthday!  Mom was the 3rd daughter of Lazar and Cilka Richman (originally Reichman) and crossword (originally word-cross, changed because of a type setter’s error) was the baby of Arthur Wynne.  As an aside, Mr. Wynne asked his publisher if he should copyright the game, but was discouraged from doing this as his boss figured it was a passing fad. Let me point out that the New York World no longer exists…

In 1924,  a couple of recent Columbia University grads, Dick Simon and Lincoln Schuster, decided to publish a book of crosswords at the urging of Mr. Simon’s aunt.  And the rest is history.  In that same year, Mom was reading books like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice.  It’s unknown if she owned the crossword book.

The crossword became so popular, that commuter rail lines had dictionaries in every car. There was a Broadway show called “Puzzles of 1925”. And the roaring 20’s wild style lead to inventive dresses with the puzzle as their fabric.  I think Mom would have loved this dress!il_340x270.419428205_oj53


The puzzles live on as do Mom’s beautiful drawings.  I know people are enjoying them both.  Happy 100th Birthday to Mom and Crosswords!

Naughty or Nice

Either way, here you go…

Christmas Stocking-Edit medium

and remember, our limited edition prints, like Marilyn center above, are $25 off until December 31.  Sale on other items as well. 

You must order by December 12 to get delivery by Christmas.

My New Favorites!

I’m just back from the AmericasMart Gift Show in Atlanta where we introduced a few new products and they are also my new favorites.

Round Placemat

Round Placemat

Of course when you arrive at the party, the table is set.  Then for your second course, the plate is removed and there your have a surprise and a visit from Cyd in her butterfly. This is a tear off pad of 25 sheets.

New Gift Wrap

New Gift Wrap

I wonder what the gals are talking about!  This is our new gift wrap that measures 22″x28″ and comes in rolls of 2 sheets.  I love this design because with the variation of so many drawings, one sheet can create several different package looks.

Me and Marilyn

Me and Marilyn

Here I am posing with Marilyn.  She’s a decal made by Flavor Paper, the creator of the custom Trés Chic wallpaper.  I LOVE HER!!  Right now, she’s for display only, but you never know…  And on the right are our new small prints of Jeanne, Cyd and Sandy.  Different from the limited edition reproductions that I feature on my site,  they’re a very affordable way to have Hilda’s ladies hanging on your wall.

What do you think?  I’d love to know.

Thanks Angie, Dale, Robbie and everyone at Kitchen Papers who are making my dream come to life.

A Little About Bernie

This whole venture is all about my mother and her immense talent, but when I was growing up, the artist that everyone looked up to wasn’t her.  It was my father, Bernard Glasgow.  He was a fine art painter whose work was exhibited at places like the Brooklyn Museum with the likes of Georgia O’Keefe. He was represented by 57th Street galleries in Manhattan.  Mom and Dad met at when they were taking classes at the Art Student’s League.  In those days, anyone who was serious about art went there.  Dad was a class favorite of teachers  Rico Le Brun and Jon Corbino.  He was a talent.

Bernie was born in 1914 in the Bronx.   He couldn’t wait to get to Manhattan and rented a cold water loft there when he was 17 and gradually moved out of his parent’s apartment. He went to NYU and then the League.  His style of work matched the progress of the century.  He started off realistic.

The Picnic circa 1935

The Picnic circa 1935

In 1941, he won a prestigious WPA award to paint a U.S. Post Office mural that still hangs in Salem, West Virginia.  (I have to do a road trip soon.)

PO Mural

He served in North Africa during WWII, but saw no action.  Stationed in Casablanca, he painted murals and camouflage and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sargeant.  After the war, his fascination turned to Cubism.

Purple Nude

Purple Nude

and then Abstract Expressionism.

He pretty much stopped painting by the early 1960’s and became an art director at a Madison Avenue ad agency.  And yes, Mad Men does bring me back.  It’s like a recreation of place I remember visiting as a kid.  He was a curious man, always creating something, whether it was designing a desk or taking photographs.  He loved kids and was a favorite parent to my friends.  He was always taking us to the amusement park, beach or, his favorite, the many NY museums.

Some of his paintings were out in the world and many were in our apartment.  When he was about 70, he got a call from a gallery who was trying to find Bernie Glasgow. They had just bought one of his paintings at an auction.  Coincidentally, the gallery was a block away from where we lived.  I walked over with him and there was a large, bright realistic painting he had done of a party in Rockport, Massachusetts in the 1930’s.  He had been Jon Corbino’s teaching assistant there.  I remember him looking over the painting and I could see him traveling back to those years.  Then he asked how much it was selling for.  The dealer said $7500.  They had a nice talk and when we walked home he stopped and said “When she said $7500 I almost had a heart attack”.  He couldn’t believe his work could sell for that amount of money.  The painting did sell a few months later, but unfortunately, Dad had passed away by the time I found out.

Over the years, Mom and I found renewed interest in his work and it’s now represented at the Papillon Gallery in Los Angeles.  Dad was a doting father. He would have been thrilled to know that he was able to take care of me and Mom long after his death with the sale of his paintings.

He was the real deal.

Bernie Glasgow (1914-1986)

Bernie Glasgow (1914-1986)