My wonder with vintage and the Victorian era is not really surprising, the clothing and fabrics were exquisite, and women had a sense of nobility dressed in their beautiful tailored tucked fashions. I especially loved many of the accessories of the era, frilly laces, and silky fabrics that could make anyone feel wealthy.
One of the things people have always found surprising for someone my age, is the knowledge of the clothing and items of the era, and sometimes the vivid memories I can talk about or share. There is a reason for this. You see, when I was born in 1952, my parents were already 40, and 50 years of age. My father who was born in 1901, and lived and fought in wars in both England and Italy was always a vivid story teller. My mother who was born in 1911, and raised in Italy but came to New York at 16, eventually opened her own fashion shop, and designed for brands such as Moda and Lillie Rubin, filled my early life with 2 major influences. Fashion, and music! She was also an actress and opera singer who played on New York stages, and worked in radio in the 30's with the likes of Robert Alda.
So you see, my life was filled with all kinds of history, even before I was old enough to talk. Since my parents had been so much older when they met and had me, that also meant I was exposed to their friends, who of course were their ages, and not too many young people in my youth as my parents friends had kids that were already grown. Needless to say, I spend many hours a day in my own fantasy worlds, where I "became an actress like my mom" became a singer and performer, (which I actually did) paint and draw endlessly, listen to the radio (early on it was mostly opera and jazz, then thank the Gods for Rock and Roll!!). So the answer to how, is the fact that I have had generations of people in my life, giving me vintage items, telling me stories, and teaching me about the past that I love.
Below is a very cool video from Pathe, it reminds me of what my dad especially saw when he was young. I have a pic I will eventually dig out and post, of him standing by a really cool old vehicle, probably the 20's, but the fact is, I was exposed and had the opportunity to hear and talk to folks who were alive or born as far back as the mid to late 1800's, how cool is that. I don't know too many of my other friends or colleagues who can say they have talked to people who lived in the 1800's lol. My mothers parents were already in their 90's when I met them in 1960, which meant they were born in the 1870's, and the stories, (my mom was Italian, and they had come to stay with us for 6 months when I was 10) they told some crazy stories about the villagers and people they know in "the old country" lol.
My dad was British, but had a Sicilian mother, WHOOP! you can just imagine. He was a sea man, and spend many years both in his youth, and adulthood on the sea, until he met my mom, and began tying things up for retirement.
As I recall, he was at one point in his youth part of the Italian Navy, and later on went back to his fathers hometown area (Isle of Wight not far from London) and began working on Merchant Marine ships in Britain. He was a galley cook for a long time, and this is where he learned to cook the best seafood I ever had. He would come home with things like live lobsters, and crabs, and we would just feast and fight over who got the last lobster tail.
Anyway, when I saw this video, it reminded me of them, both long gone now.
I hope you enjoy this vid as much as I did. Allons-y my friends!
English fashions -
Description of video contents - location and dates unclear or unknown
Fashionable group at garden party (Men and women and several dogs). Mannequins display gowns against backcloth of potted plants. (Same shots feature in American fashions - UN 1 A (G).) Group of fashionable women leaving church. Village street with girls on bicycles, pedestrians and carriages. Maid brings her mistress a new hat, shot in drawing room of house.
FILM ID:1692.02 A VIDEO FROM BRITISH PATHÉ.
EXPLORE BRITISH PATHÉ TV. IT'S FULL OF GREAT DOCUMENTARIES, FASCINATING INTERVIEWS, AND CLASSIC MOVIES. http://www.britishpathe.tv/