Take Off Your Gloves

“See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!/O that I were a glove upon that hand,/That I might touch that cheek!” – Line 24,scene 2 Act 2 of Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare

(Found Here.)

 (Found Here.)
(Print found Here.)
(Found Here.)
(Found Here)

(Vintage Christian Dior Ads)

Kid Gloves were made from the skin of a young goat (a kid) or sometimes a lamb. These gloves were softer, more delicate, and finer than gloves made from cow leathers (or other hard leathers). Eventually wearing “kid gloves” and using the phrase “to handle with kid gloves” became a symbol of elegance, aristocracy, and gentility in the early 1800s. The cliche “handle with kid gloves” therefore means to be very tactful, mild, and docile. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term was first used in that sense (or written, anyway) in the 1830s.

Introducing THE WALL O’ GLOVES spotted at the 5th Avenue, Flatiron District J. Crew: 

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Lip Service

I love to wear a “Marilyn Monroe” red or a stunning, beachy, coral. However, I must admit, it is hard for me to even wear lipstick without getting some on my teeth, or outside my lip lines. My friend Julia once taught me a trick that involves making one’s mouth into an “O” shape and then sticking two fingers in, and out very quickly. It’s extremely embarrassing to perform in public, and sometimes looks vaguely sexual, however it definitely keeps the color from attacking one’s teeth! Thank goodness for the invention of lip stains which stay in place and are my new go-to.

(Image found HERE)

Women in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley decorated their lips by crushing semi-precious stones, fish scales, iodine, beetles, and ants. This often resulted in serious illness, adding an additional meaning to the bromide “Beauty is Pain”. In medieval Europe, lipsticks were actually banned by the church as they were considered linked to Satan. Prostitutes, however, were allowed to wear color on lips. The first commercial lipstick had been invented in 1884, by perfumers (such as Guerlain) in Paris, France. Up until 1884, lipstick was crafted at home. Still the lipsticks were considered a “fringe” fashion – reserved for bohemians, prostitutes, and stage actresses. In the United States, The Sears Roebuck catalog (which reached across the Oregon Trail thanks to railroads and the advent of a Rural Free Delivery Postal Service) first offered rouge for lips and cheeks by the late 1890s. This same catalog was also selling opium in the 1890’s, yes…opium.

(Image found HERE.)

(Image found HERE.) <—-tumblr has since died :/

Nowadays, lipstick has lost most of its sinful connotations, but it does still take courage to wear super bright neons. Revlon, MAC, L’Oreal, Avon, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Rimmel, Covergirl – Think of all the endless colors invented to compliment one’s skin shade, seasonal outfits, and outgoing persona! I sometimes believe that lipstick hues are more interesting than paint swatches. Sometimes I wish I could drag my lipstick tube across the wall and begin painting my entire backsplash a bright orange or a fanciful lilac ala Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Images via a MILLION SOURCES that after much searching don’t all quite link back to the original, but I tried!

(CORAL: Lonny Mag Interior Design and here and here and here and here)

(RED: here and here and here and here and J. Crew)

Rivulets Euro Sham
$40 –

A.P.C. Semiologie Pillow, Zigzag
$30 –

Robert Abbey Capri #2 Table Lamp
$245 –

Marimekko Unikko Red Mug
$20 –

Upward Petals Curtain
$208 –
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We’re Gonna Make it After All

The Mary Tyler Moore Show  was an American TV sitcom created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns that aired on CBS from 1970 to 1977. It finished with 168 episodes. The show was revolutionary for its time because it was the first show to focus on a single woman who did not rely or seek to rely on a man in order to support her. Mary Richards was young, not widowed or divorced. She is a thirty something who chose to break off a two-year engagement and live a life for herself in Minneapolis. My friend Andrew Springer who works for ABC News’ Good Morning America and who also convinced me to write this post, explains, “Mary Tyler Moore was the first sitcom to chronicle the life of the modern, independent woman. Up until Mary, TV’s leading lady was  the raucous Lucy–goofy, physical, and always reliant on her husband. Moore was the opposite: intelligent, witty and single.”  Springer also explained to me that through the 1970’s network censors wouldn’t allow death on sitcoms until an episode of Mary Tyler Moore entitled “Chuckles Bites the Dust”. Chuckles, WJM’s in-house clown, was the first person to die in a primetime sitcom (the unfortunate victim of a hungry circus elephant when the clown was dressed as a peanut). This episode also garnered MTM an Emmy win.

(Images from Hooked on Houses and Wikipedia Commons)

Map of Mary’s Apartment and Set Description via

Mary’s apartment is a veritable cornucopia of 1970’s ephemera. The apartment was not stagnant, and like a “real human being’s” changed as Mary grew, evolved, and styles shifted. During the treatment of the original script, writers knew that they wanted a “large sunny window”. In fact, for the time, the set description for MTM was one of the most stringent and complex for a sitcom. The writers believed that the apartment needed to represent a specific style of woman. Mary was as much the objects in her apartment as she was her witticisms and joke delivery.  The team that made Mary’s apartment a soundstage reality were MTM art director Lewis E. Hurst, Jr, set decorator Raymond Boltz, and coordinator of set construction Lloyd Apperson. It was important to the set designers to create a space that a “real life single woman” could afford. The room was designed to look like a studio apartment (including a small kitchenette), and was not to be filled with excess like Lucy’s fancy house that could not have been purchased on a bank clerk’s wages. According to Sandy McLendon, Senior Editor of Modernism Magazine and freelance writer for  Old House Interiors, “The real genius of the set was in the way it was dressed: Raymond Boltz’s choices for furnishings and accessories defined Mary Richards nearly as much as Mary Tyler Moore’s acting did. The room was anchored by two items meant to establish Mary as a solid person: an expensive new hide-a-bed in brown velvet, and a French provincial armoire that was the sort of thing a young career woman would buy as a lifetime investment.”

A behind the scenes photo of how the apartment was set up on the soundstage. It was actually quite small, like a real studio. (Here.)

Because of Mary’s character’s budget restraints, much of the apartment was meant to be curated via thrift shop finds: victorian chairs, an industrial sign “M” letter, a country French lavabo plaque,  wall mounted jewelry racks, empty glass bottles, second-hand plates, wicker chairs, pumpkin-shaped cookie jars, space age lamps. The amalgam of accessories and various accoutrements were meant to represent Mary’s personality, taking inspiration from Provincial France, Modernism, Futuristic styles, Victorian cabinetry, and other “academic” era. Mary was smart, she had a good eye, and the decor was meant to complete her character’s whimsical, kind, and multifaceted personality. This attention to set and the dedicated to character realism was seminal.

Where to Buy After the Jump:

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