Back Then

Before I was born — hell, before my father was born — women dressed in the fashion of the day without regard to what it actually looked like. (Yeah, not much has changed.) Here’s one example, from the Roaring Twenties:

Of course, while that was what women wore in public, in private was a whole ‘nother story, as they say. Here, for your delectation, is a series of pictures of some of the Ziegfeld Girls of the era — most of whom were physically tiny, by the way — dressed (or rather, partly-dressed) in some private fashions.

This all came about when I was looking for some reference pics for a novel I’m working on — I needed to describe how a female character dressed back in the day, and suddenly, as so often happens on Teh Intarwebz, I ended up looking at these.

I’ll get back to the research any day, now…


Dramatis personae, from the top:
Adrienne Ames
Jean Ackerman
Olive Brady
Madge Bellamy
Lillian Bond

Class And Beauty

I think it was a year ago when some friends and I were talking about movies, actors and so on, and the question was asked: “If you were going to produce a movie which needed Grace Kelly as your female star, which modern-day actress could you cast in that role?” (Lest we forget, here are a couple pics of Grace Kelly as a reminder.)

And try as we may, we couldn’t think of an actress who could portray that quiet, classy elegance and beauty.

I had forgotten Sela Ward. We all had.

I think she would be perfect… or did I miss someone else? Thoughts and suggestions in Comments.

A Round Of Applause

…for French beauty Catherine Deneuve, who (along with some other sensible women) recently called out the “#MeToo” movement for being a bunch of joyless scolds:

“This expedited justice already has its victims, men prevented from practicing their profession as punishment, forced to resign, etc., while the only thing they did wrong was touching a knee, trying to steal a kiss, or speaking about ‘intimate’ things at a work dinner, or sending messages with sexual connotations to a woman whose feelings were not mutual.”

Read the whole thing, because the Womyns, as is their wont, have accused her of being Literally Worse Than Hitler or something.

But because it’s Sunday, I won’t dwell on the unpleasantness. Instead, let us revel in Mlle. Deneuve’s past:

…and my all-time favorite pic of Catherine:

Fully clothed, and as sexy as hell.

Groucho’s Moustache

It’s all Phil Collins’s fault.

Perhaps I should explain myself.

Phil has a daughter named Lily who is a fashion model, and an extraordinarily beautiful girl she is, too:

However, she is distinguishable from most other girls by her signature feature, those thick, glossy eyebrows. And if there’s one thing we know about the fashion business, it’s that they slavishly copy anything that could be called “trendy” or “in” or whatever term they use to justify lemming behavior.

Yesterday I was riding on London’s Tube system, and across from me were sitting two girls of exquisite beauty — had they not been fuller-figured than the norm [2,000-word rant on the Anorexia Look deleted], I would have thought they were models. (I’d like to show a pic, but nowadays if you take an unsolicited photo of a woman, the next thing that happens will be you finding yourself spreadeagled on the ground while protesting to an unsympathetic audience of the fuzz that you’re not a stalker.)

However, both said beautiful Tube girls were (in my mind anyway) disfigured by having painted their eyebrows thicker — grotesquely so, like this:

…and in so doing, they’d transformed themselves into caricatures of Greek peasant women.

And forgive me, but the Greek peasant woman look doesn’t go well with blonde hair.

I would suggest that younger women take a pass on this particular trend, no matter how many fashion mags suggest that the simian look is the latest hot thing. What looks natural on Lily Collins looks freakish on everybody else — because no matter how good you think you look, all we see is that you’ve done a Groucho on your eyebrows (and hence the title of this post):

Of course, nobody’s going to listen to me. I just hope Phil Collins is satisfied.

Off The Beaten Track

Unless I have actual business to take care of there, I avoid large main streets like the plague. Notorious among the avoidees is London’s Oxford Street, which is a shitty thoroughfare full of tourists and other scum, all taking selfies and being fleeced by the stores selling the most awful tat (British for tchotchkes) while they try to persuade themselves they’re having a great time in the world’s best city.

Fach.

My advice: turn off the rotten thing as soon as you can — as I did when I walked down Soho’s Wardour Street, which is a narrow lane full of interesting places…

…such as the Pickle & Toast, which specializes in cheese toasties (grilled cheese sandwiches, to my Murkin Readers):

Exhausted by having had to walk a block down Oxford Street, I badly needed a cup of tea so I went inside.

I ordered my cuppa, and then sat down to drink it and relax awhile — but the smell of sourdough toast was too wonderful, so I ordered a cheese toastie. This was also because the place does not use just any old cheese, no sirree. This is the stuff they use:

It’s Quicke’s Cheddar, from Devon; and the sandwich looks like this:

Good grief. I could have eaten three, and the rest of the menu looked just as tasty — and they serve breakfast too, but I got there just too late. To say that this beats a Big Mac on Oxford Street is to utter the understatement of the century.

And just so we’re all clear on the concept: I could have eaten at about a dozen different places along Wardour Street, and I probably would have had just as good a time and just as good a meal. Now you know.

Delenda est Via Oxonium.

Forgot The Day

I was going to post the next set of my impressions of the new South Africa today, but I forgot it was Sunday, when deep thoughts are banished because mental health.

So allow me to take a look at one of the Brit TV babes, one Claudia Winkelman:

Someone once said, rather unkindly, that it’s impossible to take a decent picture of her because of her bizarre makeup and weird hairstyle — her trademark look, by the way. She also mugs for the camera when she’s aware of her pic being taken, which doesn’t help either.

However, she’s not a magazine fashion model, she’s a TV personality — and on TV she’s remarkable: intelligent, lively, animated, personable and possessed of the loudest laugh and dirtiest chuckle on either side of the Atlantic.

I think she’s very sexy — and for someone in her mid-40s who’s had a brace of kids, she’s just fine.