Très Click: Vintage Pin-Ups, Ideological Sweaters, and More

Vintage Pin-Ups Before and After
When people talk about retouched images, its almost always with a scoff and one word dripping with disdain: “Photoshop.” Computers and technology often take the blame for unrealistic depictions of women in the media, but how do you explain the time before everyone starting airbrushing skinny models into oblivion? Sociological Images shows side-by-side the “pre-photoshop examples of the kind of free-reign that artists had in idealizing their subject.”

The Strong, Star-Bright Companions
Ellen Lesperance has a project: she “seeks out women involved in direct-action campaigns who are wearing sweaters that, in some way, reflect their ideological intentions.” I love the idea of strong women literally wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

Fashion Moves Into The Museums
I always look forward to fashion exhibitions in museums, but they are mostly few and far between. The New York Times interviews several curators who are either presently or preparing to stage fashion exhibits at some of the world’s most prestigious museums. Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, wisely points out that these exhibits are “commercially as well as cerebrally motivated.” “‘Most museum administrators are not particularly keen on fashion because it is not generally considered art, and these shows do take place at art museums, but they recognize that they are popular with the public.’” Heck yeah they are popular with the public. How many pretty paintings of Renaissance nudes can I possibly look at? I need some real life McQueens!

Meet Max…
Our very own trailblazing former intern is now contributing to the Shameless blog! He’ll be publishing his brilliant thoughts on the intersection between gay rights and feminism. Go read!

- Haley Mlotek

100 Years Later: Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire

Image: Shirtwaist factory workers preparing for a strike, from the National Women’s History Museum

On March 25, 1911, 146 garment workers working in New York City – most of them young, immigrant women – lost their lives in a deadly fire. The rights of the workers were already undervalued in favour of increased production, and the overcrowded factory, unsanitary conditions and locked exits created a literal and violent death trap. The incident created an uproar concerning the dismal conditions under which these women were forced to work, and raised issues concerning labour and union rights still relevant today.

Cornell University: The Triangle Factory Fire
For those of you wishing to learn the basic facts concerning the fire, this website is an archive containing firsthand testimonials, newspaper articles, resources for further reading, and a detailed timeline of events, from the garment industry strikes of 1909 to the legal aftermath and protests.

The New York Times Tag: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
The Times has been building an excellent database of images, videos, and modern perspectives on lessons learned in the fire’s aftermath – and how far we have to go (see also Nancy Goldstein’s writing at the American Prospect).

American Experience: Triangle Fire
PBS has an hour long documentary that you can view in its entirety on their website. For those of you with access to HBO, they will be airing a documentary of their own several times within the next few weeks.

The Price of Fashion (1910)
While you are on the PBS website, be sure to check out this gallery of images taken in the years surrounding the fire, chronicling the working conditions that went into constructing the clothing seen in fashion magazines.

-Anna Fitzpatrick