Style Imitating Art: Captain America by Alex Gross
Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 09:48PM
Joyatri in 1970s, Art, Collecting, Confessions of an Art History Nerd, Crafts, Fashion, Minnie by Weber, Shoes, Style Imitating Art, Visible Monday, painted shoes, stars, thrifting

I have been wanting to participate in Style Imitating Art (SIA) for a while. Before I knew of this blogger challenge I had done my own version in a couple posts called "Confessions of an Art History Nerd"-- this one for Vittorio Carpaccio and this one for Rogier van der Weyden.

Captain America, by Alex Gross Mixed media on antique photograph, 2006 When I saw the latest SIA challenge-- a multi-media work by Alex Gross in which he used an antique photograph as the base of an image of Captain America--I couldn’t not participate as I had already taken outfit photos that would work. But I decided to tweak the look by incorporating a high-neck Victorian-style blouse that more closely draws on the artwork.

Cardigan, skirt, blouse, all contemporary and thrifted. 1970s bucket purse I’ve had for decades with a newly thrifted sun/star pin added. Bangles from India.  Instead of the Red Skull lurking behind me, I have “Jet,” a black cocker spaniel photographed by R. Weinberger in 1943. (I collect vintage dog photographs. Or used to, until I acquired more than I could display.)

Originally I had taken this outfit shot.

I'm always inspired by other bloggers and I had noticed that shrunken cardigans flattered the ample bosoms of Helga and Curtise. So when I saw a star-adorned cardigan at the thrift store in a size too small, I thought I’d give it a try. They were also inspiration for the red, white and blue palette. (I'll also mention Kelly of Grunge Queen, who recently posted about experimentation being possible when one thrift shops). Have you been inspired so specifically by another blogger?

With the exception of the shoes, all clothing is contemporary and thrifted. This look doesn't excite me and I need to experiment with the sweater. So, ignore the clothes and look at the shoes.

Early 1970s Minnie by Weber shoes, thrifted. I’ve posted about my love of multi-colored shoes and my efforts to paint shoes to get the effect (here  and here). So, I was thrilled to bits to find a vintage pair of yellow, blue and red shoes. Unfortunately, they’re a bit too big. But I can wear them for an outfit post.

Inside one shoe is the name “Minni by Weber” and “Irvings’s Chula Vista California” in the other. The shoe store, Irving’s, in Chula Vista, California, started in 1954 and appears to still be in business. Although these shoes were originally sold in California, after some research I found that they have a Boston connection. (Nerd alert: This is where I tell you the history of my shoes. I’ll keep it short).

In 1919, the Green Shoe Manufacturing Company was founded and started manufacturing shoes in converted stables in the Roxbury section in Boston. Jump ahead to the 1960s, when the company bought up smaller shoe companies, including the Weber Shoe Company in Missouri. In 1966, the name changes to Stride Rite. By 1969, the shoe conglomerate was producing over 30,000 pairs of shoes a day. Today, Stride Rite is probably best known as a maker of children’s shoes.

Here's an interesting tidbit: Stride Rite was a pioneer in providing social services for its employees. In 1971, it was the first company in the U.S. to open an employer-sponsored, on-site day-care center. The motivation at first was philanthropic; the president of the company wanted to ‘give back’ to the low-income community where its factory was located. But soon employees asked to take advantage of the day-care center. Stride Rite’s day-care program became a model for other companies. Unfortunately, various state regulations prevented them from opening such centers for their factory workers outside of Massachusetts, but they were able to provide day-care for workers’ children at their factory in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1990, the company decided to address the need for elder care services by opening an Intergenerational Day-Care Center.

I really wish these shoes were in my size. I’d like to wear them with my striped trousers. I guess I’ll have to paint myself some yellow, blue and red shoes.

Better late than never, I'm linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday.

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