Vintage handkerchiefs receive new life as couture fashion for dolls.
Now that the handkerchief has gone the way of the leisure suit, vintage handkerchiefs can be found in abundance at garage sales and thrift stores. Such a windfall of brightly colored, retro-chic patterns led fashion designer Greenberg to create hundreds of miniature dresses out of them. Designed for Barbie dolls—literally—these dresses are at times clever, romantic and whimsical, and Greenberg is obviously a talented and patient seamstress. But what was the author to do with so many dresses lining her sewing room on their tiny hangers? Sell them on eBay, of course. Hankie Couture, as her line of dresses is now known, is apparently popular among collectors. Impressive as they are, creating a book based on them presents more of a challenge. Each page features a doll dressed in a particular Hankie Couture fashion, set in a tableau featuring furniture (also crafted by Greenberg) and other accessories. These tableaux are accompanied by short platitudes describing the Southern Belle-ish “Hankie Couture Woman”—e.g., “A Hankie Couture woman goes to bed each night with a smile in her heart.” The book may have kitsch appeal, but it's not ironic enough to be marketed as such, nor is it written for children, who might want to learn to sew doll clothes.
Limited appeal for serious crafters.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)