Scans: The Siegel-Cooper Department Store 1905 Clothing Catalog


The Siegel-Cooper Department Store was a large department store on 6th Avenue in Manhattan, opened in 1896. This era was a bit of a “golden age” in the development of massive, luxurious department stores, and this one had all the bells and whistles common in the day, such as an ice cream fountain and a roof garden. Stunning architecture for the building was a high priority, with a massive pillared archway greeting eager customers. Continue reading “Scans: The Siegel-Cooper Department Store 1905 Clothing Catalog”

Fashion Icons: Natacha Rambova


By the mid-1920’s, few people cared to understand Natacha Rambova beyond her reputation as the controlling wife of Rudolph Valentino. Natacha, with a strong but intuitive artistic temperament and progressive feminist views quite unpopular for 1920’s society, refused to be told what to do, whether by her famous husband or by the studio heads who dared to intervene with her creative vision. Continue reading “Fashion Icons: Natacha Rambova”

Top 5: Underrated Costumes in Gone With The Wind


As soon as my mind wanders to the image of Scarlett in one of her costumes, which happens about five times on an average day, I let out a loud, dreamy sigh like a middle school girl thinking about her crush of the month. These exquisite costumes are among the very best that Hollywood has ever put forth into our world, and the evidence is in the amount of attention that goes on still today in preserving these magnificent creations.

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An Exploration of Syrian Flavors: Hummus Topped With Beef, Fried Walnuts, Cauliflower and Mint (Featuring The Best Hummus Recipe)


There’s something about making a middle eastern dinner that makes mealtime feel like an event. Maybe it’s the way the food is presented, which is typically family-style, and in which we are encouraged to eat with our hands out of one communal serving dish. Or, maybe, it’s the festive details and garnishes, like fresh green herbs and hot paprika butter, that elevate the flavors of the dish and create a bright, cheery presentation. For me, it’s also in the preparation, where each component is a labor of love in which lots of fresh ingredients are put together from scratch and one must taste continuously as they cook to ensure a proper balance of flavor.

This dish is middle eastern comfort food at its finest. Creamy hummus is topped with a mixture full of savory ingredients, varying in textures in flavors. Then it’s layered together in a big bowl to be scooped up with warm, fluffy pita bread. No forks required. Continue reading “An Exploration of Syrian Flavors: Hummus Topped With Beef, Fried Walnuts, Cauliflower and Mint (Featuring The Best Hummus Recipe)”

Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven: The Forgotten Feminist Icon of 1910’s Greenwich Village


In the Greenwich Village art scene of pre-WW1 New York, a 30-year-old woman adorned herself with the usual variety of found objects: plums hanging from her ears, postage stamps carefully arranged on her skin, and clothes that covered so little of her body that the authorities tried to arrest her several times. A muse to iconic artists like Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, Baroness Elsa was one of the earliest incarnations of the truly liberated woman, creatively, sexually, and intellectually. And somehow we forgot to give her credit. Continue reading “Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven: The Forgotten Feminist Icon of 1910’s Greenwich Village”

The Breathtaking Bridal Gowns of Early 1920’s Aristocracy and Royalty


The early 20’s bridal attire of the British aristocracy was heavily influential, and set the universal tone for the wedding garments of brides-to-be in Europe and America, extending even to designs of floral bouquets. Needless to say, these beautiful wedding gowns and accessories spared no expense, resulting in a feast for the eyes, even as the fads and trends have changed almost 100 years later.

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Fashion Icons: Kay Francis


Those fortunate enough to have seen Kay Francis movies from the pre code era, such as Jewel Robbery or Ernst Lubitsch’s classic Trouble in Paradise, know that Kay Francis steals every scene she’s in. Her magnetism doesn’t really lie in her acting ability, which was never something she had much of a reputation for (nor did that bother her much). She wasn’t known for her fast-talking, witty banter, like some of her colleagues, such as Jean Harlow. Nor did audiences identify with her street-smart sensibility, like they did with Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Blondell.

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Incredibly Easy 6-Ingredient, One-Bowl Mexican Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


These outstandingly moist and rich cookies are based off of my 3-ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe which requires only one egg, one cup of sugar and one cup of peanut butter. What I love about these cookies is that with only three ingredients, I almost always have what’s required to make them already in my pantry. Plus, you can make this recipe with only one bowl and a fork, as we all know that post-baking clean-up is, well, not fun. Lastly, these cookies are basically foolproof, taking exactly 10 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.

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The Original Hollywood Fitness Guru: Sylvia of Hollywood


It may be surprising to some to learn that Hollywood’s borderline toxic relationship with fitness is nearly as old as Hollywood itself. In the 1920’s, as general society finally began to accept film culture as more than just a cheap novelty, movie actresses began to find themselves as role models whose looks and mannerisms were suddenly being emulated across the world. With this new role in mainstream culture came great responsibility; actresses had little choice but to live up to the beauty standards of the day, working with the studios to create personas that were as over-the-top glamorous off-screen as they were behind the camera. It didn’t take long for major studios to require in their contracts that actresses remain beautiful and trim at all times at whatever cost. And so began the role of the fitness guru, hired to ensure that Hollywood stars kept themselves in shape. Madame Sylvia, whose philosophies and techniques were at best unconventional and at worst incredibly dangerous, invented the role for herself and perpetuated Hollywood’s outrageous beauty standards throughout most of the 1920’s and 30’s.

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