April 18, 2009
Getting to know the new blog on the block
I never quite know what to say when I start a new blog or site, I’m not exactly a household name and I’m naturally shier than a feral kitten, but I like to take the approach that it’s best to hit the ground with both feet running (though according to the good folks over at Mythbusters, this doesn’t actually get you anywhere faster - but it is after all, a figure of speech).
Technically I posted my first entry last night, but I thought I’d take a moment to chat about what led to this blog’s creation. In reality it wasn’t one singular event, but rather a cumulative lifelong adoration of the past. Of the days before my humble 80s birth, when people still counted hats as part of their daily ensemble and the idea of a woman leaving the house without her hair fully styled was almost unthinkable. When record players ruled the musical roost and cars had more steel in them than a small airplane.
My childhood was not idyllic (though really, whose was?), but it was filled with many incredible elements that I believe helped to foster my undying love of the past, from the annual watching of White Christmas to nights spent listing to tapes of classic radio shows (such Jack Benny and Our Miss Brookes) on my cassette Walkman, to an early exposure to kustom kulture that came due to the fact that the parents of my first grade best friend where madly into vintage hot rods.
Introverted and studious, I spent a lot of my youth enveloped in books, loving history and classic literature with a burning passion. Two poodles skirts that had originally been sewn as Halloween costumes (one bright pink with a black record, the other bubble gum and white gingham with a fluffy white poodle) were my favourite clothes to wear at home for several years of my childhood. While watching A League of Our Own (at a real drive-in movie theatre no less!) I became enamoured with the poised, intelligence of Geena Davis’ character and with the fashions on everyone’s hips. To this day the dancing scene at the Suds Bucket club, the Lindy Hop style music blaring as Madonna flies around the dance floor, fills my heart with as much wide-eyed excitement as it did when I was seven.
Though it’s almost cliché to say, I realized very early on that I felt as though I’d been born in the wrong era. As grunge and alternative filled the airwaves I found myself drawn to classic rock, jazz and blues. While classmates ran to the mall for stirrup pants, hair scrunchies and shrunken backpacks, I was blissfully happy to spend my spring and summer weekends scouring yard sales and thrift stores for pleated wool skirts and satiny peach hued slips.
A good chunk of my childhood was spent growing up in a fairly small town, where everyone pretty much dressed and acted alike. Even in high school almost no one veered off the Dawson’s Creek inspired path, save perhaps for a small goth clique and a few Eminem wannabes. We didn’t have a computer when I was growing up (the unfathomable horror, I know ;) ) and so I must admit that I really didn’t know there other people out there who not only loved the music, decor and movies of the mid twentieth century, but who also secretly yearned to dress as though they’d stepped out of a 1940s or 50s photograph every day.
In 2004, at the age of 19, I got my first computer and by about ’06 I’d Googled enough search terms to have discovered that alas I was not alone! Others not only loved what I loved, but took it to new and incredible levels, such as being modern day pin-up models or photographers. Around that time I began to bookmark sites and build up a routinely checked array of pages on everything from vintage fashion and hairstyles to burlesque dancers to check regularly.
Jump ahead to 2009 and I’ve long since stopped feeling self conscious if I go out in red lippy, a pencil skirt and Veronica Lake inspired waves, in fact I’ve embraced my love of, and connection to, the past with vigour. I can’t claim to (at this point in my life) have a house that it kitted out in pure vintage furniture or a wardrobe that’s comprised strictly of fifty year old pieces, but I have learned how to do pin curls, apply a mean swoosh of black eyeliner and where to buy nylons with a seam running up the back. Some days I wear jeans and a tee with bright red lips and smoky eyes hinting at my taste in style, others I go the whole nine yards and, thanks in part to my red locks, end up doing a pretty good job of making Dottie Hinson proud.
As someone who has always been passionate about writing and who also loves to help others who share my own interests, I thought it would be oodles of fun to start a blog devoted to the past, with a focus on the 1930s, 40s and 50s. I haven’t plotted any direct courses for this site, instead I want it to grow organically, as I cover whatever vintage or vintage lifestyle related topics catch my fancy.
On the right-hand side (of this site) I’ve listed a bevy of links that help fuel my passion for the past, and hope that you’ll find them as enjoyable and awe-inspiring as I do. I invite you to follow the feed for Chronically Vintage and to comment on my posts, if you’d like.
I should tell you up front that I have a lot of medical problems (re: chronic illnesses) and as such am not always able to make it onto the computer or to post each day with religious devotion, but I will do my best to post often!
"I’d like to thank everyone for giving me the chance to share about my love of vintage. I can’t wait to fill this blog full of awesome, beautiful and wonderfully fun posts - and to get to know my readers, thank you!”