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...