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Monday, 20 December 2010

Florence, Armi & Vera

Oh sure, I know what you all say about me. "Does this woman only talk about her kids and/or comics?" And yeah, that's pretty much true. But if you knew me, really knew me, then you would know that I have a mild obsession with mid-century female patternists-cum-entrepreneurs. "Huh, what do you say?" And I say yes.


When the store first opened, we sold quite a few of this gorgeous book to the right, Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret & Extraordinary Lives, the biography of the fascinating Australian wallpaper designer. I ate this one up. We also used to have the one to the left in stock and sold a bunch of Marimekko: Fabric Fashion Architecture. The founder of Marimekko, Armi Ratia, was one of the most famous female businesswomen in Finland, and her brand today is known all around the world and oft-copied. (Do you hear me Ikea?!)

Why am I bringing up old books we no longer have in stock? Is this some of sort of retail Jedi mind trick? Well, it's because I want to bring up this book, Vera: The Life and Times of an Icon. Now see I had no idea that I've secretly been collecting the work of a icon for over two decades.
I collect silk scarves, and one of the vintage brands that I often come across is Vera. I really honestly never gave it a second thought even though I have a drawer stuffed with them and my heart skips a beat whenever I find one at a sally ann's. Then lo and behold, this fall when surfing the internet I came across this book, and my jaw dropped. Vera Neumann is another mid-century designer/entrepreneur. An actual person, not just a signature font on a scarf. Apparently, she designed everything from bedding to wallpaper and clothes. "Vera" was one of the most popular brands of the 60s.

So if Hollywood is listening, I think a Mad Men episode is in order where Don Draper meets Lilly Pulitzer.

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