Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau (11.10.31-04.07.13)I will never forget my first Lilly dress. Mom bought it for me in July of ‘03 on a trip to Kansas City, and every summer since, I have broken it out, given it a spin, fresh as ever. Lilly was a great lady with lots of style and elegance, and we should all aim to be half as wonderful. RIP, LP.

Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau (11.10.31-04.07.13)
I will never forget my first Lilly dress. Mom bought it for me in July of ‘03 on a trip to Kansas City, and every summer since, I have broken it out, given it a spin, fresh as ever. Lilly was a great lady with lots of style and elegance, and we should all aim to be half as wonderful. RIP, LP.

Whilst touring Lexington, Mass., over Thanksgiving holiday, I discovered Captain John Parker’s glorious rear end. I mean, look at that thing. Just look at that Great American Ass.

Whilst touring Lexington, Mass., over Thanksgiving holiday, I discovered Captain John Parker’s glorious rear end. I mean, look at that thing. Just look at that Great American Ass.

"I come from a state that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."

U.S. Representative Willard Duncan Vandiver, who served for the state of Missouri from 1897 to 1903.

Get your kicks on…

Get your kicks on…

Prefontaine: runner, legend, sometimes a gentleman, always a modern man."Captured with winning trophy after setting a new US record in the 5000m in a U.S. vs U.S.S.R. All Stars meet at Edwards Field, Berkeley, CA, July 3, 1971." Image via.

Prefontaine: runner, legend, sometimes a gentleman, always a modern man.
"Captured with winning trophy after setting a new US record in the 5000m in a U.S. vs U.S.S.R. All Stars meet at Edwards Field, Berkeley, CA, July 3, 1971." Image via.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal...

Before the 1990s, the word “elegance” was not used in the same sentence as “Vegas.” The reality of an earlier Vegas was excess, not elegance. It was about ogling long-legged cocktail waitresses in Daisy-Duke tights. Food was thick steaks, drinks were Scotch, and the fashions were furs on the mistress and jackass slacks on the Dunes golf course. 

It took a man who understood both worlds to bring about change. Steve Wynn, whose father ran bingo games back East and squandered his profits on the gambling tables of old-time Vegas, has become a tycoon in the business of marketing snob appeal. 

- A. D. Hopkins for the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Dear ol’ Dad was in town last weekend, and on Sunday we drove to Philly to tour the USS Olympia. When she heard that I’d gone, Mom said, “You actually went inside? Shit, the last time he wanted to see a battleship, I waited in the car!” Dad, they truly were the two most boring hours of my entire life, but I am so, so glad that I got to spend them with you.

"Believe me, he was the best looking son of a bitch who ever lived. He had the greatest sense of style. More than anyone, Cooper was responsible for fusing the essentially formless but wearable aesthetic of the American West with the narrow, formal silhouette of European design. That set him apart from the Gables and Grants. That gave him American icon status. You see, it was by no accident that Cooper looked as terrific as he did. He was the first to buy jeans and do the stone washing thing. He’d beat them on a rock and leave them out in the sun all day. Did it himself, too."

Bill Blass, Gary Cooper: Enduring Style

Billy and Christie made it look easy. (It probably was not easy.) Camcorder, baby on hip, breezy white slacks, Old Glory tee. What glamour. 

Billy and Christie made it look easy. (It probably was not easy.) 
Camcorder, baby on hip, breezy white slacks, Old Glory tee. What glamour. 

The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art is a maze of glass cabinets in the Met’s American Wing. It houses hundreds and hundreds of pieces of furniture, paintings, and decorative arts, not exhibited in the traditional sense but in perpetually “open” storage—just as art should always be. It is also now my favorite place in New York City.

The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art is a maze of glass cabinets in the Met’s American Wing. It houses hundreds and hundreds of pieces of furniture, paintings, and decorative arts, not exhibited in the traditional sense but in perpetually “open” storage—just as art should always be. It is also now my favorite place in New York City.

SO FRESH (every day)!

SO FRESH (every day)!

Trundle quilt by Laura Fisher comprised of sixteen 48-star American flags.

Trundle quilt by Laura Fisher comprised of sixteen 48-star American flags.

A sip, a taste, a swill of Americana.

Scribbled on the last page of one of Washington’s journals is a short, cryptic note: “Take a large Sifter full of Bran,” it begins. Add hops “to your Taste,” boil, mix in three gallons of molasses, ferment—”let it work”—for a week, then enjoy. Rugged Americana, from the pen of our most patriarchal founding father. 

The docents at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate recreated his recipe a few years ago, and I called them for advice. My first question, naturally, was, “Is it good?” Research historian Mary Thompson answered after a long pause, “Well, I’m not really a beer drinker. It takes two or three sips to get past the shock.”

- William Bostwick for the Wall Street Journal

American Style at the Museum of the City of New York

Americans have always wanted the past and the future—the idyllic dream of a mythical past and the magical promise of a perfect tomorrow. These are fantasies, of course, but they are quintessentially American fantasies, intrinsic to the good life that is the American dream—no matter how you get there.

We look to the past for comforting familiarity, for reassuring connections to a heritage that may be real or imagined, and to the future for solutions that break all the established rules—the simple Cape Cod cottage with its rose-covered picket fence or the house of tomorrow with its visionary labor-saving devices and futuristic forms. Both, of course, are stuffed with the latest technology.

Behind the reality is a backstory of mythmaking and tastemaking as intrinsically American as the style itself. A small, unorthodox exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York, "The American Style: Colonial Revival and the Modern Metropolis" [on display now through October 30], has a large agenda: to restore the reputation of a tradition discarded by modernists as irrelevant and expendable, and to establish the style’s continuing suitability and adaptability to the contemporary city and, in particular, New York.

- Ada Louise Huxtable for the Wall Street Journal

(This is exhibit is now on display at the Museum of the City of New York through October 30.)