Martin & Osa Johnson- Safari Film Legends

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In the 1930s, when the last unexplored regions of the world were being “found,” Martin and Osa Johnson, an American couple from Kansas, delighted audiences in theaters with films of their aerial safaris throughout Africa and Borneo.  Both pilots and photographers, the Johnsons explored Kenya and Tanganyika in 1933, taking the first aerial photograph of Mt. Kilimanjaro and documenting herds of wild animals on the Serengeti Plain.

 

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OLD NAVY

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U.S. Navy recruiting poster– circa 1917.  She’s sporting standard naval issue enlisted dress blues– or “crackerjacks” as they were commonly called in reference to the sailor boy on the popular Cracker Jack box.

Women have served as an integral and invaluable part of the U.S. Navy since the establishment of the Nurse Corps in 1908.  Nine years later, the Navy authorized the enlistment of women as “Yeomanettes.” In 1948, the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was signed, making it possible for women to officially enter the U.S. Navy in regular or reserve status.

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It’s commonly thought that the “bell bottom” trouser was introduced in 1817 to permit men to roll them above the knee when washing down the decks– and to make it easier to remove them in a hurry when forced to abandon ship or when washed overboard.  Old Navy folklore has suggested that they may have also been used as a life preserver– by knotting the legs at the opening and filling them with air.

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Great Depressionista

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Recesionista is one of those buzzwords of 2008 that’s getting a little overplayed.  In my small world, it’s feeling more like Great Depressionista– in regard to fashion and the economy.  Looking at these pictures from the 40′s, they look like what you see in a lot of Soho shops & vintage Americana brands these days like– RRL, LVC, Warehouse, etc.  There are great, rugged pieces, and little, honest details not to be missed– like our friend’s chambray workshirt (above) that’s been mended time and again over the years– out of necessity, not for fashion.  That looks like a great old pair of Levi 501s.  I like how the front belt-loops are placed nice and snug to the fly.

 

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Vintage Dillon, as in Matt Dillon.

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So– we can’t really talk about The Outsiders without acknowledging who was the King of 80′s teen cinema.  Even with the borderline unibrow he sported back then, Matt Dillon was undeniably King of the clearasil screen.   Yeah– I’m glad for Matt that he later found his comic side in films like There’s Something About Mary, and Herbie: Fully Loaded.  But personally speaking, I would much rather remember him as Moody in My Body Guard, Dallas in The Outsiders or Rusty James in Rumblefish.  The bad-boy Dillon as we knew back then ended with Drugstore Cowboy (directed by Gus Van Zant in 1989), which finally won him the critical acclaim and recognition he long deserved.

 

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BAND OF (THE) OUTSIDERS | THE CLASSIC COPPOLA TEEN ANGST FILM

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The Outsiders is a movie I grew up on– a tight-knit group of greaser misfits from Tulsa, Oklahoma (circa 1966) just trying to survive the only way they knew how.  The film was originally released to mixed reviews– a lot of people seemed upset that Coppola would choose to do a movie about teen angst– but Coppola never truly meant it to be about that at all — his intensions were probably not what you’d think. What inspired Coppola was, believe it or not,  a middle school class (who were fans of The Godfather) that wrote to him about making a new sort of gangster film — based on novel they had read, The Outsiders.  Coppola read the book himself, and was moved to not only do The Outsiders– he also adapted Rumble Fish, starring Micket Rourke and Matt Dillon, into a movie the year after.  It’s a classic that launched a lot of guy’s careers.  It’s also a must-see for vintage, tough as nails, greaser-style, denim looks.

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Star Spangled Manor

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To say that my friends, Eric Jones and his wife Cary are patriotic– is kind of like saying that Martha Stewart is anal.  It’s a major understatement.  I asked him how many antique American flags they own– he lost count at 220.  By now you probably noticed the vintage Goyard trunk resting casually under the table…

 

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