Tag Archives: fashionista

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.

THE WOMEN OF PRATT INSTITUTE

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!

5 Fab Fashion Illustration Books

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

fashion illustration

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 drawings and a detailed biography written by my very talented cousin, Jennifer Wittes. C’est en francais, but if you can find a copy where you live, it’s a picture book, so the drawings are a language that everyone can read! In France, you can find it in many places including Amazon.  Magnifique!

 

 

MASTERS OF FASHION ILLUSTRATION BY DAVID DOWNTON 

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David Downton, one of the world’s leading fashion illustrator, has created this stunning book which showcases the work and the lives of the 20th century’s most acclaimed fashion artists, including Erté, Boucher, Andy Warhol and concluding with a portfolio of Downton’s work.  More here.

 

 

 

 

100 YEARS OF FASHION ILLUSTRATION BY CALLY BLACKMAN

fashion illustration

 

This book is a comprehensive history of fashion illustration over the last century and how fashion and it’s drawings reflected the larger political and cultural changes in the world. To see some of the 400 images in this wonderful book, go here.

 

 

 

 

AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF FASHION:500 YEARS OF FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALICE MACKRELL

fashion illustration

To quote the blurb, as it says it all, “A chronological account of the evolution of dress which covers 500 years of fashion, as seen through the art of its period. The illustrations range from early woodcuts through the development of fashion plates and the rise of fashion journalism to the use of film, photography and the Internet.” In other words, how we got to here! For more…

 

 

 

 

HOLLYWOOD SKETCHBOOK:A CENTURY OF COSTUME ILLUSTRATION BY DEBORAH NADOOLMAN LANDIS

fashion illustration

Mom and I were both movie fans.  I have a fond memory of her waking me up at 2 in the morning so we could watch Pride and Prejudice with Laurence Olivier. It was our thing.  So, needless to say, I love this book. Academy Award  nominated costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis shows how the drawing “provides a blueprint for the creation of a costume and a character”. Over 400 previously unpublished illustrations are featured with a rare view of the portfolios of Hollywood’s greatest designers. For more…

 

 

 

That’s my list.  One more thought, it would help me to know if any of you are interested in perhaps purchasing Mom’s book.  I am talking with the publisher to be able to sell them through our site and it would be helpful to see if there is an interest.  You can post a response here.  Thanks everyone! And remember only 38 more days until Spring!

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!

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 creative level. And so, a coloring book of Mom’s drawings would bridge that divide of playing with a 3 year old, loving how they were growing up, being out of your mind bored and getting to create something fun yourself.   It’s an adult coloring book, so to speak.  But in a clean way…  I took Joan’s idea and ran with it.  Angie at Kitchen Papers loved it and so the process began. Instead of it looking like a traditional coloring book, I recreated the style of Mom’s sketchbook.

Hilda's Sketch Pad

Hilda’s Sketch Pad

And inside are 16 drawings ready for color and then your wall.Coloring Book Images-3Coloring Book Images-8

We introduced this at the AmericasMart Gift Show in Atlanta this past January.  We set up samples and colored pencils and soon,  I had a table full of people happily, peacefully coloring.  Like I’ve found with Mom’s drawings in general, they were transported back to a happy, easy time thinking of nothing more than which pencil to pick. And when they were done, each asked shyly if they could take their drawing with them.  I was smiling from ear to ear.

untitled-31

Jessica and drawing

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

I wish I had Mom’s original sketchbooks but hopefully they looked something like this.  What a wonderful collaborative effort between old friends from school, new friends from Kitchen Papers, Mom and me.  It’s really amazing to be able to have an idea and see it happen.  I am one lucky lady!

And if you decide to get Hilda’s Sketchbook, I’d love to see what you do with them. Post them to our Facebook page!

Hilda’s Sketchbook: A Coloring Book is for sale now at our store. Happy coloring!

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.

Who Were They and Where are These Drawings?

I know I’ve gotten a slow start, but I am now understanding the Pinterest addiction.  It’s my new museum, wandering the halls looking at beautiful images and never leaving my home.  Whether that’s entirely good is another story…  Of course, I wandered over to the Fashion Illustration Gallery and what outstanding images I found.

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How great are all these?  And all anonymous.  For all I know  maybe one is Mom’s.  I hope there are other children and grand children out there who are rediscovering all these wonderful works of art before they get lost to the wind.

And now onto the next gallery. What will it be? – Great Designers or maybe, just for a smile, Cute Baby Animals.  This is the best museum!

Feels Like Yesterday?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year since our national debut at New York’s National Stationery Show.  It feels like last week. Or a decade ago. I can’t decide which.  Last  year at this time, the line was in about 5 stores.  After NSS in May, that jumped to 20. Because of the show, 2 rep groups took us on. The store list grew to over 50.  I met Dale Laurence from Kitchen Papers doing the LA Gift Show last July. He thought our lines might work well together.  In September, I went down to Nashville to meet with the aforementioned Dale and owners Angie and Robbie Cook.  We launched the new Hilda Glasgow Collection last January and as of today, I am thrilled to say that we are in over 500 stores worldwide.  Crazy!  So, yes, it feels like I was setting up my little 6’x8′ booth yesterday, but I also feel like 10 years of progress has been compressed into one short year.   Who knows where we’ll be next year at this time. Whew! I’m exhausted, but sure am enjoying this ride.

If you’re going to the National Stationery Show, please stop by booth 2844 and let me introduce you to Hilda’s gals.

Some of our products

Some of our products

Everyday is Mother’s Day for Me

Mom and Me circa 1992

Mom married Bernie Glasgow in 1938.  She was 25.  Dad was a painter and it was decided that they weren’t going to have kids.  She was fine with this. They had a great life together, enjoying work,  travel, friends and family.  But after almost 20 years, she decided she had changed her mind and I guess Dad agreed.  She was about 44 and had trouble conceiving. They went through all the tests available in 1957.  Not much more could be done.  So, just like she always did, she looked forward to a different adventure.  They bought a car and were planning a trip to Mexico and then… You know the rest. I was born August 4, 1958 and she was turning 45 in December.  I asked her if she ever had reservations about having a child so late in life, and a first child at that.  She said no.  She just knew it was going to be fine.  And it was. More than fine.

This whole experience of The White Cabinet has been an ode to my Mom.  How I miss her.  Thank you everyone for your comments, encouragement and memories of your own mothers.  Some people have told me that my story has inspired them to honor their Mom’s in their own way. I never thought that this would affect so many people.  It’s extraordinary.  Now onward to year 3 of this amazing journey.  I can’t imagine what lies ahead.

Happy 99th Mom

December 22, 1913 was the day Hilda came into this world as her sister Toby did 7 years earlier.  I’ve written before about the sibling rivalry regarding birthday time.  Mom was such a modern women that I forget sometimes that she was born at a time when the things we take for granted now, for good and bad, were just in there infancies.

Albert Einstein was working on his new Theory of Gravity.                                               Grand Central Station in NYC was opened .                                                                                   Cracker Jacks introduced prizes in their boxes.                                                                      The first sedan type car, a Hudson, goes on display at the 13th Auto Show in NYC.     The 16th Amendment is ratified allowing the government to collect income tax. (1%, by the way.)

The Armory Show introduces Picasso, Matisse and Duchamp to the American public.                                                                                                                                                      Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated President and gives the first presidential press conference.                                                                                                                                Cleveland establishes the first small claims court.                                                                The 17th amendment, requiring the direct election of senators, was ratified.           The Brooklyn Dodgers Ebbets Field opens.                                                                             Gideon Sundback of Hoboken patents the all purpose zipper.                                         The country of Albania is formed.                                                                                                Lincoln Highway opens as the 1st paved coast to coast highway.                                           Henry Ford institutes the moving assembly line.                                                                     The first modern elastic brassiere is patented by Mary Phelps Jacob.                               The first drive up gas station opens.                                                                                                  Charlie Chaplin begins his film career at Keystone Movies.

And on December 22, 1913, Hilda Richman Glasgow was born.

Happy Birthday Mom. I know you’re out there somewhere smiling!