Of Another Fashion

An alternative archive of the not-quite-hidden but too often ignored fashion histories of U.S. women of color

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This family, also wearing their Sunday Best, is returning home from a funeral service at a nearby church in Greene County, Georgia (1941).

From the Black History Album.

I found this family portrait in my grandmother’s photo album. The photo was taken (ca. 1930s) in a Los Angeles, California studio. From left to right are: Alice Ishizaki (my grandmother), Kakujiro Ishizaki (great grandfather), Betty Ishizaki (great-aunt), and Uno Ishizaki (great grandmother).

Submitted by Cheryl Motoyama (Santa Ana, California).

In 2007, a 29-year-old eBay entrepreneur and real estate agent named John Maloof purchased a box of negatives at an auction for $400. He was working with Daniel Pogorzelski on an illustrated history of the Portage Park neighborhood and was hoping to find photographs of the Chicago cityscape in these negatives. Instead, what he found were street photographs taken by a nanny named Vivian Maier between 1950 and the late 1990s. Today, her massive body of work - including the above photograph (taken in Chicago, May 1957) - is on display in a traveling exhibition.

If you haven’t already checked out her street photography, please do. They’re absolutely stunning - unfortunately, though, there are very few photos of people of color.

This is my great grandmother, Ekaterina Kvasnikoff, taken in Skagway, Alaska in the 1920s. My grandmother said she was a good-natured, strong, outgoing person and a great storyteller. She was Aleut, born in Ninilchik, Alaska. For generations, she and her people were baptized into the Russian Orthodox faith, hence the Russian name. I think she’s wearing a Russian style hat that was popular at the time.

Submitted by R.T.B. (Western Washington State)

Born in Philadelphia in 1897, Marian Anderson won first place and critical acclaim in a singing competition sponsored by the New York Philharmonic at Lewisohn Stadium in Harlem in 1925. After the Daughters of the American Revolution blocked her appearance at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., in 1939, she performed at the Lincoln Memorial for an Easter morning concert that drew 75,000 people. She’s seen here with Eleanor Roosevelt.

Credit: Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library.

When I showed my grandmother Alice Ishizaki this photo (ca. 1918), she started laughing really hard because of the giant bow on her head. She’s about 5 years old in this photo. “That is so awful. That’s the worst hair style I ever had. Look at that bow. Horrible!” She’s posing with her parents, my great grandparents. My grandmother, Uno Ishizaki, mostly made her own clothes and likely made the outfit she’s wearing. The photo was taken in Oakland, California.

Submitted by Cheryl Motoyama (Santa Ana, California).

This is Julia Allen Maclin (1904-1999) and her sister Edith Allen Anderson (1907-1976). The photo was taken alongside their parents’ house in Newport News, Virginia on a Palm Sunday in the late 1940s. They were my great-aunts, and my parents were married in that side yard in 1961.

Submitted by Lisa Y. Henderson (Atlanta, GA).

This photograph came to me by way of another Twitter lead. This amazing woman (check out her almost equally amazing topper!) is Virginia–born activist Ella Baker (1903–1986) who served as an NAACP field representative and founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference before cofounding the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. In 1964, the SNCC helped create Freedom Summer, an effort to focus national attention on Mississippi’s racism and to register black voters.

Credit: Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library.

            Meet Mrs. Eddie Polk, a flapper from Venice, California!

This is a found photograph from an antique shop in Georgia. There’s no identifying information but the donor estimates the image was taken sometime in the 1920s.

Submitted by Lisa Henderson (Atlanta, Georgia).

My mom’s friend from high school who had come to the US from El Salvador told her about the glamorous lifestyle in Los Angeles. She said life was so fun because it was easy to find a job and the weather was fantastic. She set my mom, Rosa Haas, up with a job, which made it easy for my mom to get a visa. Her friend had been saving money and paid for my mom’s trip to California.

My mom wanted to come to the States to make enough money to buy her mom and younger brothers and sisters a house. Because she was the eldest I think she felt it was her duty to help out financially. She eventually came to California in 1974.

The job she had when she first got here was as a live-in maid for a family. She stayed with the family Monday-Thursday nights and on Friday-Sunday nights she slept in a shared apartment, this Hollywood apartment in the photo above. She shared this apartment with 5 other live-in maids, including her high school friend. Within two years, my mom had saved enough money to buy her mom a house.

Submitted by Margaret Haas (Los Angeles, CA)

3 years ago 13 notes

Tagged with:  #Latina  #1970s  #hats

These are my maternal great grandparents with their daughter, my grandmother Alice Ishizaki (ca. 1920s) who’s about 9 or 10 years old here. My great grandmother, Uno Ishizaki, mostly made her own clothes so the outfit she’s wearing was probably homemade. This photo was taken in a studio in Los Angeles.

Submitted by Cheryl Motoyama (Santa Ana, California).

Extravagant hats, lace curtains, and deep thought - what’s not to love? (1899)
From the Library of Congress.

Howard University sorority girls in long formal dresses posing at a garden party. The actual date is not known but my guess - from those pancake hats - is sometime in the late 1940s.

This is my grandmother’s best friend, R. Yoshihara. The photo was taken in Los Angeles, California in 1927.

Many thanks to Cheryl Motoyama for being the first to contribute a photograph of a Japanese American flapper! Absolutely lovely.