Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cooking Up Memories In Vintage Aprons

Whenever I think of kitchen aprons, or see my wife wearing her retro aprons around the house, I conjure up images of post World War II suburban America. Americans at this time had, in the aftermath of war, a renewed interest in "the home" and creating family units, if you will. The family represented everything that war didn't--comfort, safety, security, and a return to traditional gender roles. During wartime, women held jobs that were conventional for their husbands, but in the postwar era, there emerged this strong notion that men should be the primary breadwinners and women should make it their job to cultivate the home and raise the children.

According to a 1954 issue of McCall's magazine: "The most impressive and the most heartening feature of this change is that men, women, and children are achieving it together. They are creating this new and warmer way of life not as women alone or men alone, isolated from one another, but as a family sharing a common experience."

Such enthusiasm in regard to family togetherness generated an overall sense of strength and safety at a time when the threat of nuclear war was on everyone's mind. The nuclear family became a representation of shelter and refuge for America to the extent that, in advertisements especially, it became impossible to separate the image of the nuclear family from that of nuclear warfare and bomb shelters. The droll phrase used in ads at the time, as some of you may remember, was "Fallout can be fun."

It's funny how certain material objects can bring about imagery from another time, and as I mentioned before, this is what happens when my wife wears her retro aprons around the house. I find it a little ironic that she used to wear similar kitchen aprons 50 years ago--only they were a bit more authentic in that context. Now she wears them simply because they're vintage and "fun." She is quite the fashionable 75-year-old, I must say.

Even though I was once after the American Dream myself, and wanted that security of a nuclear family that was so coveted during the old days, I celebrate the fact that there are many different types of family units today. I love seeing my wife in her kitchen aprons, but the fact that she is a strong, opinionated woman who worked as a college professor for most of her life, makes them look even better on her. I couldn't imagine her playing any other role!

Written by Kacy Suther. Designer kitchen aprons, cute retro aprons and vintage aprons designed by Thia Designs on http://www.dlux57.com

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Source: http://www.articledepot.co.uk/

The Apron Book

The Apron Book

Vintage aprons and modern designs are turning up in movies, magazine spreads, upscale shops, and hip retail venues like Anthropologie, whose trendy line of aprons is selling as fast as they can ...

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