31 March 2010

1970's Chicks: Penthouse

August 1972

In my book, the most interesting women's attire to come out of the '70s.
Update: The three Penthouse covers were in violation of the Blogger Content Policy for adult content. Rather than mark this blog as "adult" I have removed the images.

A Woman's Movie: Gun Crazy

It even looks foreign

Annie Laurie Starr is a carnie sharp - shooter who has a love for pulling the trigger when flesh and blood is standing in front of it. Actress Peggy Cummins had the Fay Dunaway beret thing going twenty years before Bonnie and Clyde. John Dall is her boyfriend Barton Tare. He's had a thing for the iron since he was a kid but can't bear the thought of shooting another human. They make a great couple.

Dall didn't have much of a career as an actor but he's great in this and like Orson Welles said, "You only need one." It's the only noir film I've seen that looks bright and clean thanks to plenty of day exteriors. The whole 40's hand painted tie and boxed double breasted suit look is also gone while the picture presents an almost French - Ivy aesthetic. Made in 1949, it could easily pass for 1959. Hell, maybe even 1969. Beautiful photography rounds out the production and convinces me a lot of people in the film business couldn't wait to rip it off.

The picture, except for a slow opening, moves like a semi jacketed 150 grain .357 and there's no rest. Annie moves just as fast and poor Bart seems overwhelmed by it all. Still, he always insists on driving and to that I can relate.

29 March 2010

1950's Chicks: Models

Fashion's Folly was published in 1954 by Leslie Lieber and Toni Miller. The authors of this book, "devoted themselves with modest restraint to the gentle pricking of the pearl encrusted balloon of High Fashion." Hence, their charming captions for these photos shot by Carl Perutz. I'm betting my readers have some of their own captions. Feel free to leave any restraint behind.

"Okay, c'mon -- but I tell you I'm not ticklish.

"I don't care how many degrees you have, doctor. Your couch is too short!"

"I figure if Gussie Moran can do it..."

"Nobody leaves until the dishes are done!"

"Did I object when you brought home those goldfish?"

"I'm terribly sorry about your rug, darling!"

"I can't understand why the Salvation Army band couldn't use me."
"Hey, Joe! Is this where you want me to load it?"

"Jaguars - Jaguars...that's all he ever sends me!"

"Poor George! He fell overboard and can't swim a stroke!"
Tomorrow: 1960's Chicks: UNC 1968

26 March 2010

Off My Back: Turnbull & Asser

1990. Lloyd's of London. Mind the gap. Covert coats. Hermes ties. "only old men wear contrasting collars, mate."

Watery coffee and digestive biscuits. "Did he put a line down?" Slip cases. Black cap toes. DB suits. Side vents. Standing on an air conditioning vent. Blue waiter great coats in a sea of grey and navy suits.

Smoking by the lav. Lunch at Ball Brothers. G&T. A starter. A pudding. A Packet of B&H Golds and Triple X mints. Walking back. Steel taps on concrete. Brollies. Your bits and pieces. Office drinks at the Lamb. Can't figure out the pay phone. Are they all on drugs? Hard to say.

Look (listen) for Paul Whitehouse (Ron Manager) as the March Hare in Alice in Wonderland

25 March 2010

Si Anglais

The book is in French. 'Old England' is a store in Paris that was established by the Henriquet family in 1867. The family still runs it today. And while my French is limited to wine bottles and the menu at Le Veau d'Or -- I get this. Man, do I get this.

Update: A reader pointed out in the comments section that Henriquet no longer owns Old England. Sold in 1999 to Richemont, parent of Cartier and sold by Richemont to a group of investors in 2006, Old England has been sold again to Albert Goldberg, owner of Faconnable.

24 March 2010

Roaring 20's Toilet Goods

Selling toilet goods in the 1920's was no easy task. Women, they were mostly women, who manned the department store counters, they were mostly department stores, were the readers of the magnificent, Toilet Goods. I'm not talking the 'How To" articles but the illustrations and advertisements are other worldly. More so when you take into account this ephemera is 86 years old. Virtually zero fading with loads of rich color everywhere.

I've thrown in the rest of my UK toilet goods for this Anglo scented week. D. R. Harris (please don't call it Doctor Harris) makes, hands down, the best shampoo I've ever used. $30 will get you a fat tub of the most intense lemon scented shampoo. Pebble like and thick; it's very concentrated. A little bit goes a long way and that tub will last a couple of months. More if you alternate your shampoos which you should.

The D.R. Harris after shave is a bargain. Only $30 and this stuff is pretty heavy. By that I mean it will not wear off by lunch and it's strong contrary to the bottle's promise of subtle. If you ask me, it comes off more like a cologne than an aftershave. The lemon conditioner is no big shakes as is the lip balm but the London store is a marvel. Loads of bizarre and cheap things to buy. Perfect gifts for people at the office you don't like very much. Scented tooth picks, disposable tooth brushes, crap like that but the packaging screams England and good taste.

Curzon Imperial Leather is not what you'd call a high end fragrance. But I swear, it's in almost every London office lavatory I've been in and the smell always gives me flashbacks. That little metal tag never comes off and it works well as a sink hand soap. Like I said, the scent is more connective for me than anything else.

Truefitt and Hill Spanish Leather is one of the Golf Foxtrot's favorites. It seems almost every cologne maker in the UK offers a Spanish Leather but Truefitt is my favorite. At $75 a bottle this stuff ain't cheap but it goes on heavy. It's one of those you can spray in the air and walk into it and that'll be enough.

Their barber shop in Chicago is unbeatable. I had my hair cut there for 14 years by Tomas. Check it out if you're ever on North Michigan Avenue. It's a great experience and I think it's a damned site better than their shop in London which reminded me of getting a haircut in a Turkish sauna. I think the Brits do a lot of things right but personal services isn't one of them.

23 March 2010

A Man's Movie: The Limey

Terence Stamp's Limey

Tintin's Limey

I had a boss who told me he never did anything for one reason. "I drop a pebble into a pond and the ripples go out in all directions." He's still in jail but I get his point. Here's my attempt at a two-fer.

Terence Stamp does a turn as an East End con whose daughter meets her end at the hands of a smarmy Peter Fonda who seems to be playing himself. Feeling very much like Michael Caine's, 'Get Carter' from 1971, Stamp brings a lot more intelligence and thought to his character. It's a film about revenge but it's also about how we get to a certain point in our lives. Would life have turned out better or different had we been less selfish in our youth?

There's a lot going on between Fonda and Stamp and by the picture's surprising end I wanted a quiet moment alone. Had I made the right decisions in my life? Where was I going? And with who? Not many revenge movies generate this kind of introspection or navel gazing as Trad Dad likes to call it.

No matter where I do go - - At least I'll smell good. What is it about lime that I can't get enough of? What started as an Old Spice talc and cologne experience 30 years has turned into a bizarre attempt to smell like lime from head to toe. Lime shampoo. Lime hair cream. Lime talc. Lime soap. Lime skin food. Lime cologne. Lime shaving soap.

The scent is light and disappears by lunch but it's not about smelling good for others. It's that moment in the morning where, if for nothing else, you made it to another day and there's something to look forward to. Being doused in Lime. Trumper makes horribly expensive lime soap so Caswell - Massey's soap is my go to. I also use Caswell's lime cologne with Trumper's cologne. It helps stretch out the much more expensive Trumper scent.

So if any ripples are going out from the pebble I drop into the pond - - My only hope is that they smell like lime.