Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bunny Yeager

Years ago I dreamed of being a pin-up girl. I saw photos of Bettie Page, specifically those taken by Bunny Yeager, and was hooked.

These gorgeous photos of Bettie were taken by Bunny Yeager. Bettie is an inspiration to me, she was such a beautiful and fearless model. 

The wonderful photographer and pin-up model died Sunday at 85 years old. She had a knack for modeling as well. 

She made this daisy bikini. 

Bunny and Bettie

It's sad to see someone with so much talent, on both sides of the camera, go. The photos she took were beautiful, classy and sensuous. She was stunning as a model and was a classic beauty. I imagine being a female photographer in the 50s and 60s was a bit hard especially when sexuality was so repressed but thankfully she created lasting art so everyone, even people that weren't around in those decades, can enjoy it.

Are you a Bunny Yeager fan? Do you prefer her modeling work or her photography? 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mullica Hill, New Jersey: An Antique Paradise

Yesterday I took a little day trip to Mullica Hill, New Jersey. For those of you that live in New Jersey or close to it you should take a day trip to Mullica Hill (just not on a Monday or Tuesday since most places are closed).

Jeremy and our friend Diane started off the day with lunch at the Blue Plate (http://www.blueplatenj.com/)
I was really happy we chose the Blue Plate to eat since there were lots of vegetarian options which is unfortunately rare for restaurants in southern New Jersey. I had the portobello ruben sandwich which was a nice treat since my mother is a ruben fiend and I was never able to have one but thanks to the Blue Plate I was finally able to taste a delectable ruben sandwich, which features coleslaw, russian dressing and pumpernickel bread, not the healthiest of choices but it was so good!

After lunch we went to the Old Mill Antique Mall(www.old-mill-antique-mall.com). As soon as I walked in I was overwhelmed with the hugeness of the shop, they have three floors of everything you could possibly imagine. I made a loud gasp out of excitement when I entered that amused Jeremy and Diane. If you are a depression glass collector than the Old Mill Antique Mall is the place for you, I've never seen so much depression glass in one place, especially the green glass which is my favorite.

There were also a lot of records to look through and there were so many good ones but I only bought this gem. 

Sorry about the awful backwards photobooth photo but I was in a hurry to listen to the album.

Mullica Hill, NJ is a lovely little town with a great main street full of antique shops so if you are an antique lover you must visit. Here are some more antique shops in the town. 

1)Kings Row Antiques Campus (https://www.facebook.com/KingsCourtAntiques/)  Only one of the shops was open yesterday but there was a lot of beautiful furniture and depression glass for sale. 

2)Retro Station (retrostationnj.com/) Tons of records, mid-century items and pop culture collectibles abound. 

3) Turners Treasures at the Warehouse (turnerstreasuresofmullicahill.com/) This shop is connected to a pizza place and it has two lovely floors filled with antiques and collectables including a huge selection of glassware. A worker on the ground floor and I had a lovely discussion about Bobby Darin for a good half hour. She saw him in concert and I'm very jealous. It's nice to meet people that share Bobby Darin love. 

It was warm yesterday and I was so excited to finally wear my late 60s romper that I bought from Glassboro Thrift Village (glassborothriftvillage.com

I purchased the white vinyl handbag from Twice Loved Treasures in Vineland, NJ (www.sjworks.org/view/group/1091)
I thought it was adorable and unfortunately it fits very little but I love how it looks. 

The owl necklace was passed down to me by my mother-in-law. It was Jeremy's grandmother's necklace.  I'm sad that I never got to meet his grandmother, he's told me that she was a fun and loving lady. The necklace is very special to me, I am honored to wear it. 

I love to wear my Dr. Scholls wooden exercise sandals in the summer. My Mom used to have a pair every summer when she was growing up and they are very sturdy shoes. My pair have lasted me for 10 years. 

Make sure you plan a visit to Mullica Hill, New Jersey if you are in the area. For those of you that don't live in the area, what are your favorite towns to shop for antiques? 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Movie Spotlight: Being There

Hopefully you all have movies that are important to you, that speak to your being or are like comfort food for you. I have many films like this and they tend to be "vintage" themselves or set in the past.

The first of these films that I want to share with all of you is "Being There" with Peter Sellers from 1979.  I'm kicking myself that I first saw this gem last year but I think I've made up for it by watching it millions of times (I'm not exaggerating that much) .

Peter Sellers spent most of the 1970s trying to get the novel  "Being There" made into a movie, Chance the Gardner was the role he wanted to play more than anything else. He said in a Rolling Stone interview ; “ …I just read the book every six months. I knew Chauncey Gardiner…”(The Strange World of Peter Sellers Glazer,Mitchell, Rolling Stone April 17, 1980).

From reading numerous biographies and interviews I really empathize with many of the thoughts and feelings Peter Sellers conveyed in interviews and the ones that came across in the biographies. He was a complex person whose personal life unfortunately sometimes gets a bad rap. 

Anyway, back to "Being There".  It's about Chance the Gardner, a man that is a complete blank slate, he mimics everything he sees on the television. He is forced out of the home that he's lived and gardened in since he was born and by chance is taken in by a wealthy family, able to appear on television and consult with the president. 

Since Chance is so fond of television there are a lot of clips of commercials, television shows and cartoons in "Being There". It's interesting to think about why they were put there. 

I don't want to give too many details away for those that haven't seen "Being There". If you have seen it and want to discuss it in the comments feel free to do so, I love a good film discussion.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Airbrushing over History

Photoshop has gotten a bad reputation recently, the program has been blamed for the post production manipulation of the female body. I'm not discounting the men here but the majority of protest comes from women that feel they are represented as plastic, photoshopped and ultimately unrealistic. All too often the same people that cite photoshop as the reason for the manipulation of the female form, praise the past as a time when women were "real"

To start, the term "real woman" is getting old, every woman is a real woman the last time I checked. Secondly, Photoshop debuted in 1990, airbrushing photos and manipulating the image of a person was practiced years before that. 

The dictator Stalin would airbrush enemies out of his photographs, so photo manipulation is nothing new and it definitely is used for something other than photographs of models. For this post though I'll just be focusing on the manipulation of the images of iconic stars of the past. 

Every single time people comment on photos of movie stars from the golden age of Hollywood there are always a group of people that wax nostalgic for the days when women could be "real" (they constantly use that word). I get frustrated with these people, if only they did a little bit of research, than they would know those women weren't born like that.

These glamour shots are generally what one thinks about when they hear "old Hollywood glamour" Both of the photos were taken by George Hurrell. He was under contract to MGM and then to Warner Brothers and his photos of stars, like the ones shown here of Veronica Lake (top) and Jean Harlow (bottom) have become synonymous with old Hollywood. 

Dramatic lighting with strong shadows can do a lot to hide any imperfections and chisel the face but there was still retouching, *gasp* even without photoshop. 

This is Joan Crawford and the photo was taken by George Hurrell and it's obviously been retouched.

From the 1920s until the 1960s Hollywood stars were subjected to the studio system. The stars were the property of the studio, if you were under contract to MGM that studio had to loan you out in order to work on a picture for another studio.

The MGM glamour factory is notorious for changing the appearance of their stars before they were presented before the public. The female stars were told to diet, fix their teeth, get plastic surgery, dye their hair, change their name and denounce their heritage.

Unlike today, these things weren't talked about much. Retouching and image manipulation were still as big as they are today but they weren't talked about as much. I'm not for or against retouching but I think there should be awareness that it is not just a recent problem. It's been around since the dawn of photography and it's not going anywhere.