Tuesday, September 22, 2009

vintage memories

i absolutely love stumbling upon something or someones interesting that i previously knew nothing about. i stumbled upon an article in the new york times about the photographer lillian bassman who's family emigrated from russian, lived in brooklyn and then later in greenwhich village. i think i mentioned before i'm always curious about who lives in those fabulous houses in greenwich village with floor to ceiling grande windows where one can look in on the parquet floors holding up a serious collection of antique furniture.

as ms. bassman, now in her 90's, became fed up with the face of fashion and photagraphy, she all together quit the industry. she's back with an exhibit of her photagraphy from the past yet altered using todays technology. she will have a book coming out this autumn.

when i saw pictures of her work it immediately took me back to being a girl in the house as my mom and my aunt would spend time dressing to go dancing with their friends on saturday night. it was as if it were a kind of ritual. and i do mean 'time spent dressing,' as they would fill the house with music and the scent of pretty perfume. they would be walking around barefoot in their slips (remember when we wore slips beneath our dresses?) while styling their hair and putting on their makeup. i was excited myself with all the goings on. i would climb up on the closed toilet in our bathroom and stand and watch my aunt applying her makeup. lipstick was last to go on, and i'd wait, because she would put a little red lipstick on my lips. i'd stand there with my little lips poked out and my eyes closed as she rubied my lips. i'd stay that way for the rest of the night walking around too, barefoot in my panties and t-shirt until i went to bed. which was not very long really because our baby sitter had to have us in bed shortly after their leaving.

how i remember the music playing, the place smelling pretty as they slipped into their dresses and highheels for the evening. they also wore pantyhose with the seem up the middle. i'd help them get the seem in a straight line, a long black line that dissapeared into the back of their patent leather high heel pumps. i'd get a sweet kiss on the cheek and the girls would disappear out the door seemingly in a gently cloud of the most delicate and delicious smelling perfume.

it is a time that has passed...

all images by ms. lillian bassman


nurii said...

Preciosos recuerdos. Precioso post. Y ahora no te maquillas ;-)

También he descubierto una maravillosa fotógrafa de la que hago colección en mi facebook (Francesca Woodman). Pásate, creo que te van a gustar también sus fotos. Besos

Angie Muresan said...

You've done it again! Somehow you've managed to slip in two posts without my noticing!

I love those glamorous times when women spent time dressing and wore slips underneath their dresses and pantyhose and high heels. It seemed like such a well mannered era, didn't it?

Thanks for sharing your find. I hadn't heard of her either. Your words filled my mind with little daydreams of red lips, handsome gentlemen, and elegant beauties.

Susu Paris Chic said...

Wow... Your writing is at least as beautiful as the pictures, if not more. I can just smell the air, feel the tingling atmosphere, see you poke out your little girl lips... so beautifully told a story.

It fulfilled my 'wondrous moment of the day' quota!

Red Lipstick Style said...

This another wonderful post! I simply adore your writing style as well. You truly make me feel as though I've been transported into that magical time! I swear, I was born in the wrong era; how I would love to have the time really spend time getting ready for an event and feeling beautiful. Our lives are far to rushed these days.

La Belette Rouge said...

I have never heard of her. Thank you for sharing!! Gorgeous photos and fantastic story.