The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 7 (October 1, 1937.)
Our Women's Section
New Zealand buyers have been particularly active this season. The stores are filling up rapidly with wares from the United States, England, the Continent. Not frocks only, but hats, shoes, accessories, undies, bathing and sun-outfits are arriving from many lands.
The scorner of feminine fripperies can find much to condemn in the welter of colour, softness and sheen that the drapery emporiums are spreading so enticingly. A walk through even one large shop tires one almost as does the watching, eyes right, eyes left, of championship tennis. There is a continual switching of attention with an ensuing feeling of daze, necessitating emergence into the drabber street. But even here things of interest, especially in shop-windows, scatter the attention.
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Frocks are elaborate, featuring tuck-ings, frills, embroideries, pleatings, or contrasting insets. Street frocks are accompanied by boleros, coatees, finger-tip or three-quarter length coats or redingotes. If there is not one of these, the style simulates one as in the case of the bolero front or the redingote-frock, which, by the insertion of a contrast panel down the front, gives the effect of an edge-to-edge closing.
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In addition, accessories — belts, buckles, dress-clasps — are becoming larger, brighter, more assertive. If a frock is severely plain, it hastens to contradict that effect by having a particularly dashing belt, sash, buckle, metal posy or necklace; and probably the accompanying hat will be an airy wisp of a thing—a twist of net or ribbon, the twirl of a feather, the glint of a flower, a flirt of veiling. Fashions are like that, refusing even in one costume, to be pinned to any one mood.
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Evening frocks flow and billow, and, even for young girls seem opulent. Consider the effect of old-gold cire satin under its long redingote of brown net; or of cire lace (over taffeta) ballooned into sleeves, fluted into a basque, frothing at the wide hem-line; of coarse but narrow cream lace in horizontal or vandyked bands a foot apart on an otherwise demure net gown. Every model startles!
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Gilt and chromium, untarnishable, are specially featured in jewellery. Sets comprising necklace, ear-rings, brooch and bracelet may imitate old examples of the jeweller's art or may be quite new in design. Especially rich-looking are twisted cords of gold. Lapel sprays, mainly large, are in silver or gold or enamelled in bright colours. Precious stones of all descriptions are imitated and scattered lavishly in this new jewel revival.
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Belts in leather feature novel punch-ings, lacings, combinations of colour and metal motifs. Buckles and clasps are ingenious in both material and design. Wide belts featuring peasant embroideries will make gay many a simple frock as did the collar and cuff-sets which brightened end-of-winter frocks.
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Handbags are following the trend for elaboration in costume. The leather is rarely left unadorned. It may be shirred, tucked, punched, stitched. Shapes are being experimented with. The “kodak” bag (you can guess the shape) is new. I have also seen several smart semicircular bags. Many bags feature top handles. The top closing is most popular; in many cases knobs, of ingenious shapes, are pressed past each other to close the bag.
Something to Think About.
Parents versus Non-Parents.
An article on this topic, which appeared in “Scribner's Magazine,” provokes thought. The main thesis is that we are in the midst of a new class war, the fundamental struggle of our time, a struggle for the possession of the future, fought on one side by those who have children and on the other by that strange group who may be called non-parents—they are more than childless as they heartily disbelieve in children.
The wants of the two groups fall into entirely dissimilar categories. The non-parents desire immediate benefits for themselves! the parents are concerned with improving conditions in this world where their children have to live. As an example the writer cited one locality where a fierce battle took place between non-parents, who desired the provision of a first-class road which would ensure easier accessibility and a rise in the property-market and parents, who desired the money to be spent on a new school with up-to-date laboratories. Which desire was the more worthwhile? And what caused people of varied callings and social status to range themselves on one side or the other? The possession of children.
Were the people who desired laboratories naturally more altruistic than the other group? No! The fact of being parents caused them to choose the finer, more altruistic scheme. So it is in most things. The possession of children causes people to plan for the page 58 future welfare of humanity rather than to seek the gratification of their immediate desires.
May I quote a sentence with many implications: “At any level of income, the childless are richer than the parents.” Should that be?
Which Type Do You Prefer?
Two Men Who Interest Me.
Ted and Jim are brothers and they are good friends. And there the classing of them together ends. Ted spends his leisure going seasonally from one strenuous form of organized sport to another and filling any minutes that remain with joyous sociability. Jim keeps himself just as fit by walking (not organized tramps, but solitary and solid covering of ground); scorning the party spirit, he spends most of his time feeding an avid intellectual curiosity, concerning his own radiological field and advances in preventive and curative medicine generally. He is interested in minds as well as bodies, but in general terms. Any aspect of modern living, regarded broadly, such as new forms of the painter's and writer's art, radio and television as educative mediums, experiments in national socialism as opposed to pure socialism, attracts him. He is roused to study, analyse, synthesize and pigeon-hole them until the acquisition of further data.
But if his brother Ted were to run off with someone else's wife, if his sister announced that she was bringing her young family to make her home with him, if my cheeky young friend Jocelyn, were to try to start an outrageous flirtation with him, Jim wouldn&t be particularly interested in cause and effect, nor even in the phenomenon itself. Probably such human idiosyncrasies would merely trouble his high calm with a passing wave of irritation.
Have you grasped them? Ted, bronzed, friendly, ready for anything the crowd is ready for; Jim, rather remote, partly from choice and partly because the very clarity of his intellectual processes frightens the ordinary mortal who prefers “fluffy” thinking which leaves the environment warmly hazy.
There you have them! Jim piques one's curiosity. Ted is there for all the world to see. I know which one I prefer to be with, and which one would be more sympathetic in misfortune. But I also know that only one of them is likely to make any permanent contribution to the good of humanity—as a whole and speaking generally.
Caring for Leather Goods.
You are probably the owner of one or two solid leather suit-cases, perhaps presented to you, which you are proud of except on those occasions when lack of porters, or of pence, cause you to carry your own luggage. If you are a methodical person, you probably examined and treated your leather possessions before putting them away after the summer holidays. If you did not do so, you had better drag them out from that cupboard or down from that shelf, as you will probably do anyhow in the course of spring-cleaning operations.
First of all make sure that all stitching and straps are solid. Remember the stitch in time and don&t hesitate to make use of a saddler. Incipient cracks in the leather are a sign that the hide is dried out, “starved.” To restore it, apply oil, olive or almond or the just as effective and less expensive linseed, cottonseed or neat's foot oils. Do not saturate the hide. Apply the oil in very small quantities, rubbing it well in as you go. Too much oil will darken leather and spoil its appearance; enough will repair its surface and preserve it.
Put a cardboard picnic plate in the cake-tin before depositing the cake therein. You will thus avoid the timry taste and the plate forms a good cutting base. Shake the plate, and your tin will be ready for the next cake.
It is best not to keep vegetables in a pantry, if it can be avoided, as there is a certain amount of odour attached to them. Have a tiered wire basket, in, say, the wash-house. (Lift it out on wash-days). The wire allows free circulation of air.
If you wish to hang your antique plate on the wall, it can be fastened quite securely with the aid of three glides (the paper-fasteners which are used in every office). Slide the glides over the plate at equidistant intervals and fasten each to each across the back with strong string. The glides cannot then shift position. Hang by a string joining two of the glides. Do not attempt to strengthen the job by using four glides, or the plate will not hang correctly.