The fact that I write this blog surprises exactly no one who knows me.
I spent a great deal of my childhood running around wearing prairie dresses and self-rigged hoopskirts, trying to re-enact “olden days.” Highlights of my adolescence included being a volunteer living history docent in a 19th-century farmhouse, teaching myself to cook on a wood stove, and winning a 4-H award in “Folkpatterns.” Yes. “Folkpatterns.” (Folkpatterns is a hokey word for cultural anthropology, as far as I can tell).
I love vintage design, antique etiquette books, all the clothes on Mad Men, aprons, and hosting dinner parties, but I don’t love a lot of the facts about the periods of history that these things originated in. There’s a lot that I am thrilled to leave in history, and even more that I wish would hurry up and be history, like racism and a host of other exploitative systems.
But I maintain that one can take the good things, acknowledge a problematic past where there is one, and find some contemporary value in many skills that have been left behind by the industrial and technological revolutions.
And the clothes are just better.
Basically, I’m spending a lot of time getting good at things we’ve long had machines to do for us, and ignoring contemporary fashion. This blog is a chronicle of those adventures.