Friday File

Oh heavens guys. It’s cold here in the Windy City. People ask me almost daily if this was what Fargo was like. I tell them, sort of, but Fargo is based on car culture. Few people take the bus, and there certainly isn’t a subway or elevated train. And there is ample parking. So I was rarely outside for very long when I commuted to or from work during the winter. In Chicago I take the L daily and sometimes the bus. I have a lot longer of walks too. So sure, this feels similar in temperature (to be fair, Fargo is always colder), but I’m out in it a lot more in Chicago than I was in Fargo.

So if you are reading this from a chilly region, stay warm!

Here are the week’s links:

Since the Italian government is strapped for cash, they are holding votes via Facebook on which pieces of artwork to conserve. Is this brilliance or idiocy? Some are saying Italy is in the process of committing “cultural suicide.”

Excuse me while I book my trip to Orlando for this summer. Universal Orlando just announced an expansion to their Harry Potter-themed park.

Did you hear that Chanel’s spring 2014 haute couture show featured sneakers that took at least 30 hours to make? Every look featured a coordinating pair, even the bridal look! That’s quite the statement on the modern women, Mr. Lagerfeld.

The Tate Britain is running a GIF call for submissions. The museum is encouraging fans to create GIFs out of artwork and submit them. Such a cool interactive project, and I can’t wait to see the results.

The history of American men’s facial hair is rife with racial issues.

Dear airlines, please get on this!

Eve’s Wireless

This video from the British Pathe archive shows two women using the “first mobile phone” in 1922. This blows my mind!

Many have suggested that this “phone” isn’t the kind of device that so many of us carry today, but rather a portable radio. In the clip, they ground the device to a fire hydrant and the umbrella is wired as an antenna. The “phone” transmits to an HF radio. But still, it’s kind of incredible to see this early mobile technology being tested and used in the 1920s!

And don’t you love their winter attire? Did you notice one of the ladies is carrying a reticule?

Chanel Snow Boots


Chicago got it’s first measurable snowfall yesterday, so winter wear is on my mind. I was browsing the Met’s database yesterday and found this pair of snow boots by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel from fall/winter 1993–94. I couldn’t help but laugh.

There’s little practical about these, and they certainly don’t rely on subtly. Coco Chanel’s focus was dressing the modern, liberated woman. Unfortunately, I can’t say that Lagerfeld is consistently holding up that practice.

Winter Black

fashion plate from 1910-1913, from Metropolitan Museum of Art

It’s snowing again in Chicago. I hate to whine about the weather constantly, but my commute is growing exceedingly tiresome as I slug through slush puddles and get blasted by high speed winds each day.

Of course I never look as chic as the woman in this illustration does, but I do like her black winter ensemble. She’s in black from head to toe in preparation to battle the elements just like I am. Or maybe she’s just in mourning about summer. Ah, maybe that’s the real reason us northerners wear so much black in the winter.

But I think the real lesson in this illustration is that I need a muff of my own.