Soul Sunday with KNAGUI: Vintage is the New Black

KNAGUI-Fossil2C’mere; let me whisper three little words in your ear…Black – Is – Beautiful.
And this is exactly what I’ve come to learn about vintage.

If you’ve ever taken a look at my bio here on TLC, you’d know that I dug “vintage” long before the Ladybug taught me what it was.  The craftsmanship, love, attention to detail and quality of materials is undeniable.  It’s no wonder how much accessorizing with or wearing a vintage piece enhances your look- or how hard our heads turn when we see a classic/antique car on the street or how far an emotional trip your soul takes when you hear a heartfelt old school record.

KNAGUI-UrbanFox (vintage)

Vintage makes you smile and want more because, in this financial climate, it’s affordable (for the most part) and gives you an opportunity to be a bit more expressive than the average Joe/Joanne.  It’s like they say, “the Blacker the Berry, the Sweeter the Juice.”  At least that’s what the smart designers, marketers and retailers are hoping you understand.

Everywhere you look these days, you’re seeing more and more vintage and vintage inspired things- on the racks, on the road, in music, magazines and even in advertising. I was in a bottom of the barrel big box store, Wal-Mart, not too long ago and even they had gotten into the “vintage game,” advertising frames in their optical department.


Hints of this “trend” are everywhere… all over the world, and I’ll tell you why: because “Black Don’t Crack!!!”  There’s something to say about things that lasts for years, takes a break and comes back again- relevant, powerful, impressive and engaging just as it had when it was introduced.


Think of what’s trending in fashion… color blocking, natural materials… bangs… all of these things are taking us to the memories of bygone eras.  Just go to the cinema or turn on the television and you’ll see what I mean.


When I first noticed this production of remaking old movies and TV series, it really irritated me because I thought creativity and imagination had gone out the window, but then I realized what was going on.  The industry isn’t being unimaginative (half cocked belief), they are only trying to evoke nostalgia and reignite the feeling of strength and security from a rich and fruitful past.


Remake TV like Hawaii Five-O and Dallas (which I can still make audiences chuckle with a single phrase from the stage) or retro-inspired shows like the short lived Pan-Am, Playboy Club or sensational Mad Men and all of the sequels and prequels based on highly successful films are all examples of how we’re not only being given classic escape routes, but are also being lead to places that make us feel better by reminding as where we’ve been and give hope for where we’re headed.


Vintage can be life changing, inspiring, connecting, enlightening… I’m all about it these days.  I see it everywhere and in everything without even looking for it.  So I challenge you… introduce someone you know to this lifestyle because vintage is the new black – and you know what they say about black…
“Once You Go Black, You Never Go Back!”


Happy Black History Month

See you “next Sunday.”


The Ladybug’s First Butterflies of 2012: Pan Am Lands In Italy!

I don’t watch TV. I stopped watching Italian television many years ago when I realised that it bored me and that it was just a waste of time. I prefer reading or listening to music… But I do make some exceptions.

The first one is “Mad Men.” Since the first episode I completely fell in love with this TV series- the first “vintage” series. The vintage femininity and the obsessive attention to details made it one of my favorite series ever! The 1960s (along with the 40s) is definitely my preferred era of the past: hair, make up and accessories in “Mad Men” are absolutely perfect… even if the female’s role has been criticised a lot (especially in the States). ‘Women are often relegated to secretary or wife roles and they can only dream of power.’ I found these critics a bit superficial because, in my opinion, women in “Mad Men” are often the silent center of the man’s world: they hold the real power and their emancipation is clear. The beauty is in how they disguise their power and let men believe they are the docile puppet while he is the master of the universe! (It seems that things haven’t changed that much since men… I mean then!) Anyway, this is the point when I think KNAGUI would interject singing, “This is a Man’s World” by James Brown. Listen carefully to the lyric if you choose to give it a listen.

Knowing my love for “Mad Men,” last summer KNAGUI proudly announced the premier of ABC’s newest series “Pan Am” for Fall 2011 in the States. Pan Am is, without question, the most important American airline company, setting the standard for appearance and customer service for airliners throughout the world.  The company began in 1927 and continued their expectation of excellence until their closure in 1991. The new TV series was created around the lives and experiences of a Pan Am cabin crew during the 60s. I was even more excited when KNAGUI came to Italy in October with the pilot episode of the series downloaded from iTunes! It was love at first sight! I recognised the same attention to costumes and details that I appreciated in “Mad Men” (the stewardess’ uniforms are to die for! If you know where I can find one…), but with something new: women are not relegated to the background, they are the dominate roles. They travel, they are independent, the four actresses (Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie and Karine Vanasse), go to bars and restaurants together and much like their SATC predecessors they “talk men!”  Two great quotes from the first episode come during the final scene.  The first comes during a “Sex in the Cityish” table chat about Laura being on the cover of Time Magazine when Kate says: “This is not you, it’s the promise of you…THIS is all of us.” The second came while Ted was pointing out the table of the stewardesses and said, “That is natural selection at work! …they don’t know that they’re a new breed of woman, they just had an impulse.”  It’s easy to relegate these quotes to only serve the show or its subject, but in the universal call of life and art imitating each other, this was a moment of acknowledgement from the present of the past.

They represent the Jackie O’ model: always elegant in heels, pearl necklace, and gloves. They take care of men, they are always kind and smiling and they have values. I found them reassuring and incredibly stylish!

I wonder, however, if the great success of these “retro-series” in the States are being used to represent and drum up a nostalgic view of the glorious ghost of America past. The American History is often present in both series (the Cold War, Kennedy assassination) and the Pan Am Stewardess’ private stories are often linked to both the American and World history.

Since that first episode I’ve been going online every week to watch the other episodes but, finally the new year has “Pan Am” landing in Italy on Fox Life! I guess it’s time to turn on my silent television again!

ps We here at TLC are joining the fight to “Save Pan Am.”  Please do one or all of the following:

Follow: @SaveOurPanAm

Follow: @PamAmABC and tweet, “Bring Back Pan Am!”

You can also visit: