Great Sets

Maybe it’s because of this, but I’m a little weary of the straight and sleek.

Troubling times call for a little lift.

Follow my mother’s advice – you may not be able to change your life, but you can always change your hair.

A shampoo and set or some such thing.  Some bounce.  An errant curl to toss out of your eye.

Make sure it’s a bit of mess to show you’re not too much of a good girl.  The time is right.
Image, top, January Jones and Jon Hamm from Mad Men used without permission, but much gratitude, from AMC, Ingrid Bergman, Sofia Loren, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, all from IMDB.
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20 thoughts on “Great Sets

  1. You are so right, and you have featured some of the most fabulous women of their times! We do need some sparkle, and uplifting occasions are definitely important right now. Giving away books, small works of art and other cherished items make me feel a warm glow inside.

  2. I agree! I feel the same way about my house, too. Suddenly, minimalism and understated just doesn’t do it any more. These days, I need warm colours, overstuffed everything, velvet, satin and even – gasp – the formerly-loathed tassels.

    Bouncy hair, cushy house… just right.

  3. Love this post–especially since I’ve had the same style since 8th grade! I may just need a bit of a “cut and curl”!

  4. S. (above) says it just right:
    Suddenly, minimalism and understated just doesn’t do it any more. These days, I need warm colours, overstuffed everything, velvet, satin and even – gasp – the formerly-loathed tassels.

    Bouncy hair, cushy house… just right.

    Her take on the reversing polarities of plain-vs-fancy reminded me of the following essay which suddenly seems very timely. This is my edited version.
    HAD this been written six months, ago I should have begun by saying that a short-lived but very marked era in Interior Decoration was drawing to a close and that we were approaching something quite fresh, something richer & more exciting than anything we had seen for the last ten years.

    …As things are today it would, perhaps, be rash to venture on all of this prophecy…yet I do still firmly belive that the decorative period through which we have just gone is definitely a thing of the past and already looks dated and tiresomely old-fahshioned. And I, for one, feel inclined to stand up and give three rousing cheers.

    Though I, personally, am delighted to see the end of this particular period, I would be the last to deny its very real virtues or the fact that it has served a useful purpose. It was essentially a puritanical & iconoclastic period, and the chief function of such periods, however salutary they may be, is to prepare the ground for a richer flowering once it has been cleared of its encumberiung tangle of weeds & briars.

    Its chief virtues were three: first the elimination of fussy detail & clutter, second an intense pre-occupation with comfort & convenience, and lastly successful experiment with all sorts of new & different materials. But these virtues had, like all virtues, a reverse side; elimination of fussy detail can degenerate into a bleak & empty barrenness; intense preoccupation with comfort & convenience leads all too often to forgetfulness that man does not live by bread alone, and experiment with new materials leads to their use where they are unjustifiable & merely silly.

    The iconoclastic feeling displayed by most of the designers of this period was extremely valuable, for it was instrumental in ridding the modern home of a welter of junk which was neither ornamental nor useful and gave the average house of a few years back the air of a village hall just before a jumble sale. But having swept all this rubbish away, they, in many cases, failed failed to replace it with anything to satisfy.

    I also feel that is a very healthy sign that this revolt from the old 'Modernity' is not confined to any one country but has arisen spontaneously both in Europe and America. Together with it goes a much freer use of lovely textiles than has been the case for a very long time, a deight in richness of effect. There is a new feeling of elegance in the air, a liking for for a pardonable effect of richness & luxury and an understanding of the good results which can be got by an alliance of the old & the new when creating a liveable modern interior.

    In conclusion…if only the unhappy & tragic conditions of the world today do not put a temporary end to all designing activities…our designers will, as far as possible, continue to invent & produce new and lovely things. For surely we are in need of all the graciousness & beauty we can get to counteract the squalor & horror of the times we are living through.

    –Mrs. Grace Lovat Fraser, in Decorative Art: The
    Studio yearbook of 1940

  5. Patricia – you are always a good friend first. Thank you for loving the “before.” I think you’d like this look as well; if I hold onto it for a while I’ll send you a picture.

  6. GSG – I met a friend for coffee yesterday and she said, “You weren’t kidding!” It’s a lot of fun.

  7. magnaverde – no surprise I was surprised – 1940. So, we will weather this it seems. I think this latest trip down minimalist lane has welcomed the “moderns” into the general vocabulary and they are terrific addition to the mix. I am hoping we don’t over-correct and end up back in the 80’s. Sakes.

  8. A little change for spring is refreshing- and if you give it some time, but decide it’s not quite right~ it will grow. I change about every two years~ a classic bob- then a short snappy cut, then a bob……and on it goes! Can’t you show us?

  9. Patricia, phew! I am glad to read your post. I got my haircut 6 inches off into a messy bob last week and have been having my doubts. Been long for 12 years, time for a change. I don’t miss the hair getting tangled up in the strap of my handbag on my shoulder, shutting it in the car door when it is windy outside or always having to pull it out from underneath my coat. It is a nice change. Now if only my skin was where it was 12 years ago…

    Trim is good for spring. Bouncn’ and Behavin’ hair… I like the Liz Taylor cut for you… How did you get it cut?

  10. Fabu do! I remember my mom pin curling her hair, I though she looked just like Grace Kelly. How did she manage to look so chic with six of us underfoot?! Different era indeed.

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