Fashion in Song – Kinky Boots – 1964

I had NEVER heard this novelty song before – my sister Sue, the former DJ, alerted me to it! Kinky Boots, released in February 1964 with Patrick MacNee (of Avengers fame), and Honor Blackman:

Everybody’s going for those kinky boots, kinky boots,
(boop, boop)
Kinky boots,
It’s a manly kind of fashion that you borrowed from the brutes,
Borrowed from the brutes,
(boop, boop)
Kinky boots.

Fashion magazines say wear ’em,
And you rush to obey like the women in a harem.

Full length, half length,
Fully fashion calf length,
Brown boots, black boots,
Patent leather jackboots,
Low boots, high boots,
Lovely lanky thigh boot,
We all dig those boots.

Everybody’s crazy for those kinky boots, kinky boots,
(boop, boop)
Kinky boots,
And whether you’re in evening dress or bathing suits,
You wear boots, boots, kinky boots.

There are twenty million women wearing kinky boots, kinky boots,
Puss in boots,
Footwear manufacturers are gathering the fruits,
Gathering the fruits,
(boop, boop)
Kinky boots.

Advertising men say try ’em,
And you all run amok like a flock of sheep to buy ’em.

Sweet girls, street girls,
Grumpy little beat girls,
Square girls, cool girls,
Sexy little schoolgirls,
Maiden aunties,
Mayfair debutantes,
They all dig those boots.

Everybody’s rushin’ for those Russian boots,
Prussian boots,
(boop, boop)
Kinky boots,
Both: Cover up those slender little tender foots with kinky slinky,
Leather is so kinky,
Come and get those kinky boots, boots, kinky boots.

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Fashion History Museum Summer Shows:

Ken Exhibit Alternate Updated

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Canadian Fashion Connection – McGregor Socks

Latex counter model of the maniacal smiling sock - typically found in chain stores that carried Happy Foot McGregor socks in the 1950s

Latex counter model of the maniacal smiling sock found in chain stores that carried ‘Happy Foot’ McGregor socks in the 1950s

McGregor Socks was founded in Toronto in 1928 by brothers Jack and Nathan Lipson and brother-in-law Joseph Doran. Although none had Scottish roots, the name was chosen to capitalize on the stereotype of the frugal Scot.

In the late 1930s the company created a cushion-soled health sock sold under the name ‘Happy Foot’. This became the company’s best known brand, and is still being made today.

By the 1960s the McGregor brand had expanded into women’s and girl’s legwear and today holds licenses for Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Chaps and IZOD.

The company is still family owned and head quartered in Toronto, with manufacturing, sales and distribution centres located around the world in 75 countries.

The company has a very informative page on their website that covers everything you could ever want to know about hosiery.

Posted in Canadian dress, Men's fashion, underwear | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Canadian Fashion Connection – Stetson

eb356b79fdd59c9ca9afcba64a3b9d46As an integral element of the lone cowboy – the Stetson hat is a symbol of America – but a large part of its history played out in Canada.

In 1902 the Union Hat Works of St. John’s, Quebec agreed to relocate their factory to Brockville, Ontario in a deal that exchanged a free parcel of land and ten tax-free years for a fully equipped factory that guaranteed to employ 100 local workers for four years.

il_fullxfull.834192018_3krnThe Union Hat Works operated until 1913 when it was purchased by the Wolthausen Hat Corporation of South Norwalk, Connecticut. The J.B. Stetson Company acquired a controlling interest in the Wolthausen Hat Corp. in 1930 and took over the Brockville factory in 1935 so they could avoid high Canadian tariffs by manufacturing their hats for the Canadian market in Canada. It was the first time Stetson had opened an operation outside of the U.S., but plants in Mexico and Australia soon followed.

Stetson also made women's hats, starting in 1932

Stetson also made women’s hats, starting in 1932

The Brockville Stetson plant made a variety of hats, particularly fine dress hats under their Sovereign and Royal Stetson lines, as well as youthfully-styled hats for their Playboy line. Stetson also produced all the hats for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the Brockville plant.

Between 1955 and 1970, the men’s hat business shrunk by 50% and Stetson closed their Brockville plant on May 21st, 1970. The plant president at the time, Alex Higginson, explained “It is no mystery why we are closing the plant, just take a walk down the street and you’ll see the answer- most people just aren’t wearing hats any more”. Although production in Canada ceased, Stetson retained a Canadian office until 1985.

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Trompe l’oeil…

Apparently I like trompe-l’oeil, I seem to copy images to my photo bank when I find them:

Added July 18: Gucci just did a collection for S/S 2016 that uses Tromp l’oeil:

Posted in Fadshions, Faux Pas | 4 Comments

His and Hers

Before unisex styling in the late 1960s, there was a dalience with His & Hers fashions that began in the 1940s and lasted into the 1960s, usually in the form of holiday sportswear – Hawaiian shirts and dresses, and bathing suits.

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Fashion in Song – Minnie Skirts & Go-go boots – c. 1964

I couldn’t find a date for this, but it was released on two different labels, BRA and Comet, both out of Kingston, Jamaica, and BRA seems to have been in business from about 1964 to 1968. Also, the spelling of ‘Minnie’ skirts suggests to me this record is early – c. 1964/65, when the term is still new.

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1965 ad for the new Pucci outfits for Braniff Airlines

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40 Years of Punk/Goth

Created by Liisa Ladouceur, Canadian author of The Encyclopedia Gothica, this AMAZING video uses the popular ‘fashion through time’ videos that have been popping up over the last couple of years (but are usually filled with inaccuracies.) This video tracks the Punk and Goth scene, as the various trends emerged, with alarming accuracy!

Posted in Beauty & Cosmetics, Costuming | Tagged , | 2 Comments

How the corset turned into a girdle… 1900 – 1919

Interesting chart I found online showing the shape changes 1900 – 1919 and how the corset became a girdle:corset-1900-1905-bridges-on-the-body


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