A friend’s Facebook post today of his infant self, garbed in velour, got me thinking about my days of velour, which, incidentally would be a great autobiography title. I stumbled across this 1979 Sears catalog image, and was reminded of a velour green dress I donned at Christmas that year (with a white satin blouse underneath-trust me, ’twas all the rage), in the final vestiges of the unseemly 70s. Or was it velvet or velveteen? Who can discern the magic of textiles?
Listen, I could collage up this joint and post all kinds of velour images across this page, but honestly, it’s overkill. I think we get the gist of velour off of just this one plush-fabric pic. It’s a lipglossy, pre-Working Girl meets Studio 54 (I almost said Area 51; Freudian slip) era, with the skinny belt, skirt slit, and stilettos, to boot. I can’t tell if they’re 13 or 43. But look at Miss Purple’s jutted elbow. She is NOT having sassy backtalk today. You flip through that Rolodex, girl. Fierce.
Now should we bring velour back? Heavens, no. When I see it in the wild nowadays (once just this year at church), I shake my head. The moment is over. It only whispers “Goodwill reject bin” from the fibers of its sheen. And we all know the only relevant sheen in 2018 is a Netflix Martin.
But can we take two minutes to appreciate it today? Even just saying the word is fun. Velour. Make it rhyme with sewer. Is it flattering? Heavens, no. It makes pre-teens look four months pregnant. Does it keep you warm? Yes. Did it take these girls from playgrounds to champagne? Or is the lyric “from crayons to perfume”? Whatever. Velour does that. That’s the power of velour.
It’s an odd ad for the 40s indeed. On one hand, yes, get the mother-in-law out of the kitchen. Let Jim and Pam handle the dishes themselves. But on the other hand, don’t be so rough with Ruby that she loses footing in her swank heels.
Taken out of context, it would appear that the husband was spontaneously vogue-ing, a la 1990.
We ate quite literally high on the hog today because Labor Day and because BBQ and because America and because after watching over an hour of Senator McCain being eulogized, I felt deeply that it was what he would have wanted (RIP to a national hero).
The wall of our BBQ joint booth was covered with old fruit crate labels (gorgeous, bold color art that I find preferable to almost all modern art). Among the Frisco, Statue, Floyd’s, and Bellboy, was a Piggy Pears. I had to say it aloud.
What’s the pork-pear link? I don’t know. With that basket, it appears that Piggy just came from market. But we all know that in the nursery rhyme, “This little piggy went to market,” that doesn’t mean the piggy is going shopping. That means the piggy is going to BE the market, to BE sliced up at the deli, and eventually fried up and slid aside two sunny side ups. C’est la vie, no?
Back in March of 1949, when this ad debuted, Doris Day had not reached the apex of her “girl next door” fame. She was on the second of her four marriages, and had already born her only son, Terry Melcher, who passed in 2004.
I’d be willing to bet she didn’t hold on to that 35 cent locket all these years. Day, now 96, may just reach Hope’s milestone of living 100 years. With a long legacy as an animal activist, her cinematic legacy still stands strong today.