Mrs Helen Churchill Candee

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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This goes off on another tangent, but skirts usually get shorter in wartime. Something about the military confiscating all the materials and leaving little to work with for the rest of us. Look at the mini skirts during Viet Nam. After the war, midis and maxis came back.
 
May 12, 2005
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Kyrila,

I do believe there may be something to that. In this century skirts shortened for the first time over the ankles in 1914, the year WWI began. Hems continued to rise, reaching to the knees in about 1925. The hemline dropped again in 1929 and remained below the knees till 1939, the beginning of WWII. Skirts did not lengthen again till 1947, two years after the war.

The "mini" came out in 1964-65, in the early years of the Viet Nam conflict, though it was at first only an inch or two past the knee. The really short minis were seen by 1967-68.

The midi and maxi came out in 1969, still during Viet Nam, but didn't catch on till about 1975, after the war.

So there is something to it. It is weird though, huh?

But back to Helen Candee. From the pictures I've seen of her, she was not especially plump, not for those days. But I have seen only what I think are pre-1912 images so I wonder how she looked in the fashions of that year. As a decorator/ consultant she moved in chi-chi circles so I imagine she was quite chic.

Having been in Paris during the time of the Spring couture openings, I would bet she bought some lovely new clothes. Her losing her balance as she boarded boat 6 on April 14 and twisting her ankle has in fact always made me wonder if she was one of the several ladies on Titanic who ill-advisedly wore hobble skirts that night.

Randy
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Have always thought the skirt length climbed during the wars to give the men a little morale-booster. The micro-mini must have truly cheered those poor Vietnam-bound boys! More than a well-turned ankle. I was working as a catalogue model for Sears and Montgomery Wards in 1963 and modeled the first mini-skirt on the runway (red tartan)in the Baltimore area- pantyhose HAD to be invented! The garters and hosetops would have been seen everytime you breathed! Ah, those were the days....Tracy, the crows feet will just magically appear overnight at age 45, bifocals by 47 and those dreadful brown age spots by 48-can hardly wait to see what creases or falls off THIS year!
 
May 12, 2005
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Shelley,

You are right about the first short skirts (over the knee) coming in in about '63.

I have a picture of my Mom in college taken that year and her skirt is just over the knee-cap. I had read that Courreges didn't show his mini-skirt collection till '64, which is true, so I was perplexed and asked mom if she was mistaken about the year. Of course you can imagine her response. "No dear I think I remember the year quite well. It was '63."

So I asked her about the short length and she said that before the big designers were showing them, teenagers and young girls were wearing them as part of the "beat" thing going on at the time. The trend from what I have been able to determine started in London's Carnaby Street and was probably introduced by burgeoning retail designer Mary Quant in or around 1962. Still the "official" high-fashion debut of the mini on the runways of Paris was '64.

It's a comment on the development of fashion, isn't it, that though Paris was (and is) supposed to be the world's leader in style, young girls like yourself and my mom here in the US and England were already well ahead of the top designers!

Randy
 

Phillip Gowan

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Apr 10, 2001
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Randy,
I have a couple of photos of Helen (and one of her son) taken quite a few years after Titanic and she was never a large woman though she doesn't look as good in later years as in the pre-Titanic photos we've all seen. Harold doesn't look like her at all--is actually kinda nerdy looking with glasses. I've never seen a photo of Edith Candee Mathews.

Phil
 

Kyrila Scully

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Randy, your mom is right on about Mary Quant introducing the mini-skirt. She also introduced other mod trends like the go-go boots and psychedelic patterns. It was all the rage and the kids were wearing them first (before the adults adopted the style) because of the British Invasion of the Beatles, Stones, etc. Teens were hip to follow British fashions and other anglo trends, including hairstyles, make-up, music, cars and fish and chips.
Anglophiles multiplied everywhere.
Shelley I had to laugh at your timeline for getting older. Being 47 myself, I've seen few wrinkles (Oil of Olay, don'tcha know) but nobody can tell I'm wearing bifocals unless I tell them. Oops! No age spots yet. The plastic surgeon says I don't need any because I already look 10 years younger than I am. No, I think it's all in the gene pool. LOL!
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Jeannie Shrimpton (who looks just DREADFUL now) Twiggy and Cybil Sheperd were the girls of 1964, yes Mary Quant was the name- white lips, big black-lined eyes, polka dots and stripes together and oddly enough the Edwardian suit for men(shades of 1912) nipped in at the waist and flared at the jacket bottom, in velvets and Austin Powers prints-so Oscar Wilde! Everything old is new again. And those dumb Courreges white go-go boots were SO uncomfy!WIDE ties, polyester, geometric haircuts, mesh fishnets-too scarey my dear- but we were FAB! Paris took a backseat for 2 years. But I got tickets to the Beatles' '64 concert in Baltimore Civic Center -8th row- oh RINGO...-of course one could not actually HEAR them for the screaming. And I could be your Mamma Randy..sigh... Tempus fugit.
 
May 12, 2005
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All,

As you may know the Met has on view now the great Jackie Kennedy exhibit with all those wonderful dresses by her designer Oleg Cassini as well as some Christian Dior outfits made for her during the Kennedys' state visit to France. Mrs. Kennedy's social secretary was recently interviewed by CNN about the show and she mentioned that in '62 & '63, with skirts inching up, Mrs. Kennedy was criticized for following the trend and showing her knees.

A photo from '63 was produced of Jackie in one of the dresses that had come under fire and it got gales of laughter because it is so tame by standards now - the hem was only to mid-kneecap! Still, as her secretary explained when the First Lady sat down, it crept up a bit and revealed the whole knee which was thought disgraceful. Gee, to think a whole knee; for shame! Boy things have changed!

Randy
 

Tracy Smith

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Apr 20, 2012
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Shelley, I already need the bifocals, but that's not surprising because I've been stuck wearing glasses since 1962, when I was four.

I see women here in their mid to late thirties, already with well defined crow's feet and other wrinkles and I feel lucky. If I follow my father's pattern (he had less wrinkles at 70 than the average person at 40), I'll be OK.

Age spots? Aren't those really melanomas? I know that in my father's later years, he went to the skin doctor to have them frozen off every six months.

I remember wearing fishnet hose and white plastic go go boots to school in the first grade (1964-1965), but the skirts didn't start climbing for me until a year or so later. Of course, by the sixth grade, they lifted the "girls must wear dresses rule", and I spent most of the rest of my school years in jeans....got tired of guys looking up my dress.
 
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I remember reading about Alva VanderBilt arriving at Newport's Casino (Tennis Courts still in use)back in 1910 and she was a real looker! All the men would race to the curb to see her step down from her carriage so as to catch a glimpse of her alabaster -white ankle descending and a flutter of petticoat- men don't change much do they?
 
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Am looking at ads from a 1912 newspapers for age spot fading cream -Granny used to call them liver spots- guess Mrs. Candee had to deal with the indignities of those telltale little brown dots on the tops of her hands too. Gloves probably were a big help-and the old standby of rosewater and glycerin with lemon juice as a bleaching agent!
The Porcelana Princess
 

Philip Hind

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Sep 1, 1996
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>>> a glimpse of her alabaster -white ankle descending and a flutter of petticoat
>>>> miniskirts
>>>>> revealed the whole knee
>>>>>> flat-chested ideals of beauty
>>>>>>> chic set frolicking

Is there a pay-per-view site available? Maybe you better e-mail me privately
crazy.gif


Really Shelley you better ease up, there are impressionable older gentlemen watching... it's OK fellas I have the defibrillator ready just in case.

I'm off to have a lie down.
 
May 12, 2005
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Phil G,

I believe the Oklahoma Historical Society or some other group in that state has a great early photo of Helen Candee during her years there - circa 1900?. I ran across a reference to it and have the details somewhere. I'll get that to you soon. Did you get the Titanic Texans article I e-mailed?

Randy
 
Apr 11, 2001
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It's our little secret Phil- and just as an added flurry of excitement, -meet Sabine- a lovely blonde German lady who is waiting to greet you at the top of the Grand Staircase.....I told her all about you.
http://www.titanicdress.com/
Somebody go fan Geoff.
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Hey Shelley - "I told her all about you" - bet she's still laughing - takes a man, not a shirt button! (oops, sorry Phil!) I once had a pet goldfish called Sabine - just thought you might be interested. Don't show any racey pictures to Cook, he isn't strong enough to cope with them.