Translation of Brodsky’s Poem about Autumn and Stockings

November 25, 2012 under Poetry

I finally went to the library to check the book called Collected Poems in English by Joseph Brodsky to see if one of his poems about stockings has an approved translation to English.  He was a Russian poet who was expelled from the USSR in 1972, settled in the US and won the Nobel prize in 1987 and was named US Poet Laureate in 1991.

After consulting some academic sources, I’ve been told that all the poems that he wrote in English and translation of his work by other people that he approved of were compiled in this book in chronological order.  I checked, but the poem I was hoping to find wasn’t there.  In order for you to experience it, I asked Inna, my Ukrainian connection, to translate it.

 

 

 

 

ГђЕѕГђВЅГђ° ГђВЅГђ°Р“ђВґГђµР“ђВІГђ°Р“С’µР“‘‚ чуÐ»Р“ђВєГђВё, ГђВё ГђВЅГђ°Р“‘Ñ‚упÐ°Р“С’µР“‘‚ осÐµР“ђВЅГ‘Е’;

спÐ»Р“ђВѕГ‘Л†ГђВЅГђВѕГђВ№ ГђВєГђ°Р“ђВїГ‘€Ð¾Ð½Ð¾Ð²Ñ‹Ð¹ ГђВґГђВѕГђ¶Р“ђВґГ‘Е’ вокруг.

ГђЛњ чÐµР“ђВј Гђ±Р“ђВѕГђ»Р“‘Е’Г‘Л†Гђµ Гђ°Р“‘Ñ„Ð°Р“С’»Р“‘ŒÑ‚ ГђВІГђВЅГђµ сÐµР“С’±Р“‘ВЏ от оспин,

Ñ‚ÐµР“ђВј Г‘ЕЅГђ±Р“ђВєГђ° ГђВґГђ»Р“ђВёГђВЅГђВЅГђµР“С’Р’в„– ГђВё острÐµР“С’Р’в„– ГђВєГђ°Р“С’±Р“С’»Р“‘Ж’ГђВє.

Иосиф Бродский, 1993 г.

 

She starts wearing stockings, and autumn befalls;

Convergently, nylons are raining as screen.

The harder street pavement is dented with pocks,

the longer runs skirt and sharper the heel.

by Joseph Brodsky, 1993  (translated by Inna)

 

Inna’s Note:  3rd line could also be interpreted as follows: street pavement is raging/angry from/through pocks.  (ГђВІ Гђ·Р“С’°Р“ђВІГђВёГ‘Ð¸Ð¼Ð¾ÑÑ‚и от Гђ·Р“ђВЅГђ°Р“‘‡ÐµР“ђВЅГђВёГ‘ВЏ «Р“ђВІГђВЅГђµ сÐµР“С’±Р“‘ВЏ» – то Гђ»Р“С’Р’С‘ ГђВІГђВЅГђµ сÐµР“С’±Р“‘ВЏ от Гђ·Р“С’»Р“ђВѕГ‘Ñ‚и, то Гђ»Р“С’Р’С‘ ГђВІГђВЅГђµ сÐµР“С’±Р“‘ВЏ, Ñ‚.ГђВє. сÐ°Р“ђВј ГђВЅГђ° сÐµР“С’±Р“‘ВЏ ГђВЅГђµ похож.)

Is there anyone here who would like to put forward their own translation?  We’d love to hear your comments.

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Vintage Advertisement for Artificial Silk Stockings

November 18, 2012 under Vintage

I found this ad somewhere and thought to share it with my readers.  Is anyone nostalgic yet looking at those stockings with reinforced toes, soles, and heels?  Silk stockings, despite their sky high price, were the most desirable accessory for women. Even Coco Chanel said that it’s better to have a wrinkle on the skin than on the stockings.

I was in Washington DC this summer, browsing the Smithsonian district.  I kept on asking if they had vintage stockings since I’ve read on their blog that they do.  Introduction of the nylon stockings was a major milestone in the clothing industry, as you can see from the history section of this blog.

Perhaps the exhibit was no longer displayed since I couldn’t find it.  But if anyone of you have ever seen it there, please let me know and share your experiences with the rest of us.

Update from 2017: One of my internet friends here, Ian, says that he visited a car museum in England called the Lake’s Transport museum. They had a display of fashion from the 1960s and there was a pair of vintage stockings there by Mary Quant.

Run Resistant Hosiery

October 23, 2012 under Practical

Some Styles of Run Resistant Hosiery are Available at the Shop Section!

This article is by T. Gallagher from USA, an industry expert and a person with great knowledge about different types of run resistant hosiery.  We express such gratitude to him for taking the time to write for Fantasy Stockings blog and share his knowledge.

buy run resistant hosiery for better performance

This is a package of Brooke’s run resistant pantyhose.

See if you can relate to this story. Its Monday morning, you hit the snooze on your alarm clock one too many times, and now you are running late for work. You are in a full blown frenzy desperately trying to get out the door. You rush to brush your teeth, shower, get dressed, do your hair, and get your makeup just right. You open a new package of your favorite pantyhose. You slip your feet in, gently slide the hose up your legs, tuck yourself in, only to realize that you have a huge run up the back of your leg.

Seriously, what business professional wants to be in the middle of a presentation and realize she has a glaring unsightly run up the side of her leg for all to see?  For that matter, who wants to be at an elegant dinner party or wedding and discover a snag has opened up into an unsightly hole or ladder? Ladders, rips, runs, and snags are often cited by women as the main reason they don’t wear or stopped wearing hosiery including pantyhose stockings and tights.

There is a solution: Run resistant hosiery technology. Run resistant hosiery technology does exist and has been around for decades. When manufactured correctly, hosiery that utilizes run-resistant technology is not only more durable it actually increases the appeal and experience of wearing hosiery. Run-resistant hosiery technology is relatively inexpensive to incorporate in the manufacturing process.

For years, the hosiery industry chose to shelve run-resistant technology. Hosiery manufacturers were slow to embrace and invest in new advances in sewing and textile equipment and processes.
They were content with the status quo and followed the short sighted logic that they would lose business and profit if they made hosiery that was durable. "Sell more to make more profit" was the prevailing thought process of most hosiery manufacturers. Instead of making a product that would last, they chose to make a product that was prone to fail. Had the manufacturers incorporated run resistant technology when it first became available, one could argue more women would still be wearing hosiery today.

buy run resistant hosiery

Run resistant technology for hosiery involves a two-step process.

The first step in producing run resistant hosiery involves changing how the fibers and threads forming the hosiery are stitched, machined, or woven together. In regular hosiery (prone to ladders, runs, rips, and snags) the fibers and threads are plain stitched together which is a looser weave or stitch process. In run-resistant hosiery, the weave or stitch is tightened up. Tightening the weave is referred to as the knotting process or lock stitching. In some hosiery, the knotting process or lock stitching is focused on key areas prone to runs including the waistband, panty, crotch, gusset, heel, toes, and the transition point between the panty and leg. In true run resistant hosiery, the knotting process or lock stitching is incorporated throughout the entire product from waistband to toe.

The second step in run-resistant hosiery involves blending the original nylon fiber with another synthetic or natural fiber. Some examples include acrylic, acetates, cotton, lycra/spandex, polyesters, polyethylene, polyurethane, and polyvinyl, rayon, silk, and wool fibers. The most common blend in hosiery is to combine nylon with lycra/spandex. By increasing the amount of lycra/spandex content, the more run-resistant the hosiery becomes. For example, a pair of pantyhose with a 80% nylon and 20% lycra/spandex blend is going to be more run resistant or more durable than a pair with a 90% nylon and 10% lycra/spandex blend. One drawback to incorporating more Lycra/Spandex into the blend is the denier or thickness of the hosiery increases. A true sheer pantyhose blend would have a 86% Nylon and 14% Lycra/Spandex content. Anything more would result in a heavier denier or thicker ‘tights like’ hosiery product.

buy run resistant hosiery for better performance

run resistant hosiery won’t snag easily

A shortcut would be to stop at the stitching process. However, the finished product would be rougher and uncomfortable to wear. Likewise, blending nylon with lycra/spandex fibers alone would still lead to ladders, rips, runs, and snags. To achieve wearable run-resistant hosiery both steps must be utilized.

 

An early example of a run resistant hosiery brand that I remember was the Brooke Shields Forever Sheer Non-Run Pantyhose. Brooke would sell her brand of hosiery on infomercials only. During her half hour commercial she would take knives, forks, staples, scissors, and other sharp objects to her hose and show they would not snag or run. The visual demonstrations were quite effective and consumer response was strong.

More recently, Microfiber technology has been incorporated in the manufacturing of hosiery as a way to increase run resistance. Microfiber technology is also a process of blending fibers. Microfibers are more commonly synthetic fibers although some natural fibers have been incorporated in the process. The shape, size and combinations of synthetic fibers are selected for specific characteristics, including: softness, durability, breathability, thermal regulating, and wicking properties. Microfiber is also very elastic, making it ideal for hosiery. Microfibers allow for stronger more durable hosiery at lower denier or thickness. Not only does microfiber technology enhance run-resistance… Microfiber technology increases overall comfort, durability, fit, and feel of hosiery. Have you ever felt hot or tend to perspire wearing hosiery? How about a binding sensation or itchy feeling from a pair of pantyhose? Ever have a pair of pantyhose or tights lose their shape, sag, or bunch up/wrinkle at the ankle? Thanks to the incorporation of microfibers into hosiery those problems can also be a thing of the past.

buy run resistant hosiery for better performance

Example of a hole in run resistant hosiery. This specific one is from Forte run resistant tights by Fiore.

High end manufacturers of hosiery in Europe were the first to incorporate run-resistant technology including the use of microfibers in their hosiery products. Brands like Wolford, Falke, Kunert, Gypsy, Gerbe, Filodoro, Elbeo, Cette, Pretty Polly, and Transparenze all have incorporated run resistant technology and the use of microfibers into their product lines. United States brands like Hanes, Berkshire, Just My Size, Leggs, No-Nonsense and Silkies were soon to follow. They all have released run-resistant hosiery in their product lines. Asian manufacturers have also started producing lines of run resistant hosiery.

One can only hope that hosiery manufacturers have learned from their mistakes of the past… opting for the wise choice to embrace improved processes and technology that lead to better products for their customers.

 

Have you tried or do you have a favorite brand of run resistant hosiery? Tell us about it and share your story below.

 

Vintage Youtube videos for Other Run Resistant Pantyhose

1990 Run Free Pantyhose commercial

K-tel “Perfect Pantyhose” commercial

*Friends, please check out the shop section, this is what funds this blog. At the moment Gatta and Fiore run resistant hosiery is available to buy.*

“Blue Stocking” – isn’t it time for a new definition?

July 18, 2012 under Vintage

I am posing in a styled outfit and blue stockings with the Science World Dome in the background.

Historical Meaning of “Blue Stocking”

In some languages this is quite a common phrase, it usually refers to a completely unattractive woman who only cares about her studies or work and nothing else.

Let’s look back in history to see where this figure of speech came from.  It seems that at least all around Europe this is usually directed at a highly intellectual woman to ridicule her a little bit for her nerdy outfit.  The meaning of this expression is quite vague, depending on the country or era.  This term in German is known as Blaustrumpf, in Dutch as blauwkous and in French as bas-bleu.

Falbala stockings are beautifully decorated with gold and silver studs and ribbons.

Even though this phrase is used to describe a woman, it originated in Europe as a nickname for Benjamin Stillingfleet in the 17th century who was a botanist, translator, and an author from England.  He was a very intellectual man and without him there was no more interesting discussions.  However, he paid no attention to fashion, wearing blue stockings instead of silk black, as it was common back then.  Other sources may say that silk was too expensive, so he wore blue worsted stockings instead.

The "lack of fashion" idea was later emphasized by a French painter Honore Victorin Daumier in the mid of 19th century who painted humorous series called Les Bas Bleus to mock the blue stockings society. These paintings had a satiric nature to them, showing women in a repelling and androgynous way, completely immersed in philosophical discussions and oblivious to the mess and dirt around them.

 

Meaning of "Blue Stocking" in different countries

Germany:  This was a way to tease those who tell on others (snitch or tattle teller), thus making a reference to street policemen who wore blue stockings.

Italy:  Probably this is the only country with a positive meaning for this expression.  InVenice in XV century blue stockings were only reserved for scientists and academics.  It was an attribute of an educated person.

France:  For French this expression would be a synonym of being a slob.  It implied that one would be so immersed in intellectual development that would not pay any attention to fashion and household chores.

Eastern Block:  In former USSR this is a way to call a woman without any charm who only focuses on her work or academics.  But this is probably all coming from the French.

Could this be the reason why navy blue hosiery is so rare these days?  Could it have the negative connotation dating to the middle ages in Europe?  It is time for an upgrade.

Blue Stockings Lounge is a place to visit for unforgettable cabaret shows in South Wales.

Have you seen women wearing these at all lately?  This is 2012 and when I look at educated women, they are rarely in stockings to begin with!  There is even rarely a dress code in science-oriented companies and most women come in blue jeans, not in blue stockings.  Why can’t a woman in blue stockings be a smart and trendy lady who knows how to present herself well?

Let me share some responses here that I got from people about blue stockings.

Falbala:  There is also a UK online store called Falbala that offers hand made decorated stockings and a lot of them are blue, Karen, the owner admits that blue and gold is her favourite combination.  Their products are actually very unique and trendy, thus re-defining blue stockings as a modern fashion accessory.  I asked her how to wear blue stockings in a stylish way and this was her reply " I wear them with black denim shorts, patent black heels and a royal blue top with a gold necklace".

 

Bluestocking Lounge:  This is in fact quite a trendy burlesque lounge in South Wales and for sure they are not lacking any style.  To answer my questions about why they chose this name, this is what they had to say on Twitter about this:

"This exactly what we are about – going against the norm and doing the unexpected.  Our guests feel like they’re a secret society!  A name is just a name until you fill it with meaning by however you use it.  I took it (the name) from Bluestocking Society, the 1400s society founded in Venice by erudite men and women."

Tricity Vogue photographed by Gavin Mecaniques

Tricity Vogue :  Another interesting personality is a jazz and cabaret singer, Tricity.  She is also the co-founder of the Blue Stockings Society cabaret and burlesque sorority in London, UK.

I asked about what this expression means to her and this was her reply on Twitter: "To me blue stockings mean a combination of clever and sexy, with a healthy dose of rebellion thrown in."  What a perfect way to put it!  She wrote the best detailed history article of what blue stocking really means and where it came from.  You can read it here.

 

Links

Thank you to those who contributed to this post:

Falbala Stockings – a source of crafty and fashionable stockings in many fashion colours, including blue.

http://www.falbala.co.uk/ (UK online store)

Blue Stockings Lounge – a dynamic burlesque and alternative cabaret lounge offering a variety of shows, events, classes/workshops and custom parties.

http://bluestockinglounge.com/ (South Wales)

Tricity Voque – one of a kind vintage jazz and cabaret singer, ukulele player, co-founder of the Blue Stockings Society in London.

http://www.tricityvogue.com/ (London)

Blue Stockings Society –  London’s cabaret and burlesque sorority, founded by a cabaret performer Tricity Voque and an international burlesque clown Audacity Chutzpah.  They are a regular Time Out Critics Choice and their nights have been dubbed "London’s most celebrated sorority" with "the best line-up in town."

http://bluestockingssociety.wordpress.com (London)

 

*Friends, the only funding for this blog is from the shop.  Why not see if there are any fancy stockings that catch your eye?*