It's that time of year again! New Year's Eve is when we all make big, sweeping promises to dramatically change our lives. Whether it's clutter, extra weight, a lover who has lost their luster or a job that has run its course, the New Year is a time to pack up the old, useless and outdated and unceremoniously dump it on the curb for the cosmic garbage man.
BUT -- and mine is a big but, honey -- you may have noticed from the title of this entry that I creatively turned that notion inside out. In other words, this year let's embrace the past! No, that does not mean recreating your hairstyle from the '80s or rocking a bustle. What it means is opening yourself up to see the world in a different way. There is something wonderful and exciting and very life-affirming about allowing all the style and magic of the past into your life. This can be done through fashion, music, movies, literature and more.
ONE MAN'S TRASH: Thrift stores can change your life!
So what am I talking about exactly? Well, anyone who has known me for more than three minutes knows what a thrift store freak I am. I adore searching for treasures amongst the trash. But you must be picky -- not everything old is gold. Do not put resin angels or cobalt blue glassware from the '90s in your cart!
I have nothing against the present, but I would much rather listen to a classic LP by The 5th Dimension than the latest CD by The Black Eyed Peas. (Whoever invented AutoTune should be killed!) Why eat your dinner off a plate from Ikea when there is affordable and breathtakingly beautiful Weil or Winfield Ware? I would much rather watch "Sunset Boulevard," "Paper Moon" or (the ORIGINAL) "Stepford Wives" than anything starring Jennifer Aniston -- who, by the way, should STOP making movies and just get herself another nice sitcom.
IGNORANCE IS BLISS: Katherine Ross is finally at peace
in the original "The Stepford Wives" (1975)
Okay, so maybe I'm old and just a tad bitter, but the idea of reading Oprah's latest book club choice on a Kindle at Starbucks makes me want to barf all over my vintage Countess Mara tie. Wouldn't you much rather soak in a decadent hot bath while reading Joan Crawford's "My Way of Life?" Trust me, when she reveals how she had the property master (Joan would never be so lazy as to just say "prop") on "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?" fashion the chocolates her character hungrily scarfs down out of chopped meat for a "late afternoon high protein snack," you'll feel like a Hollywood insider! And the photos of Joan's maid, Mamacita, stuffing the sleeves of her business suits with tissue paper before packing them for yet another Pepsi Cola business trip are priceless! Hell, there weren't any photos in that stupid Eat Pray Love book, let alone ones of a middle-aged brown lady indulging an anal-retentive Oscar-winner's out-of-control OCD.
WHAT WOULD JOAN DO? Joan Crawford's stunning portrait
by Margaret Keane, from "My Way of Life"
So, as we ring in 2011, my suggestion to you is to climb into your time machine as often as possible to visit 1967 and all the other amazing years before and after. You can do this by going to thrift stores and garage sales or just sitting on your lazy American ass and perusing the internet (See!? Who says I don't embrace the present!?) to Google things like Fred Press, Georges Briard, Schiaparelli, Emilio Pucci, Adrian, Edith Head, Mary Quant, Mary Blair, Lilly Pulitzer, Jacqueline Susann, Treasure Craft, Rusty Warren, Dansk Cookware, Vera Neumann, Shocking Blue, Nina Simone, Judy Holiday and Al Parker.
Happy New Year! And please keep visiting...
THE PAST IS THE ULTIMATE PRESENT: Miss Beat
reminds you to, "Embrace the past, darling!"