Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.
29 May 2016
My Top 5 Star Trek Episodes
Star Trek aired on NBC from September 8, 1966 to June 3, 1969.
In its initial run, Star Trek's ratings were low, and it was cancelled after 3 seasons (a total of 79 episodes). It was only in broadcast syndication, several years later, that the series became a hit; achieving the cult classic status it has today.
When I was a kid, reruns played Sunday mornings at 10am on CBC. I have fond memories of watching it with my mother, a bona fide trekkie.
It was difficult to narrow down, but here are my top 5 favorite episodes:
5.The Enterprise Incident
Synopsis: An undercover mission to steal a Romulan cloaking device takes the Enterprise into the Romulan neutral zone. Kirk and Spock beam over to a Romulan ship under the guise of Kirk being insane and commanding the Enterprise into the neutral zone on his own personal accord. Kirk is imprisoned while Spock catches the interest of the Romulan commander.
Why I love it: The espionnage mission, the feisty female Romulan commander, Spock getting romantic... The scenes between Spock and the commander are excellent: the intimate dinner, the subdued and almost cerebral eroticism... This episode is considered one of Star Trek's best.
Highlights: • Kirk's overly-dramatic lash out at Spock • The commander's swanky quarters and bizarre food • Her outfit when she "transforms [herself] into a woman" • Spock's hilariously long-winded "Romulan Right of Statement"
4. What Are Little Girls Made Of?
Synopsis: Nurse Christine Chapel is reunited with her fiancé Dr. Roger Korby, a brilliant scientist who has "perfected" the ability to create android copies of human beings. Korby hopes to replace humanity with these superior, emotionless androids in the interest of removing dangerous emotions from society. Kirk does not agree with this.
Why I love it: This episode is classic vintage sci-fi camp. I've always loved Nurse Chapel, and this is one of the only Star Trek episodes where she is a central character. I love the underlying debate of the android storyline: Would a society stripped of all emotion actually be better...?
Highlights: • Andrea and her criss-cross costume • The spinning "android duplicator" • Captain Kirk's obscenely shaped stalactite • When Ruk gets hit by a phaser beam
3.Is there In Truth No Beauty?
Synopsis: A beautiful woman escorts an alien ambassador so hideously ugly that the sight of him can drive a human insane. When the Enterprise is thrown off-course by a madman, Spock must mind-meld with the alien to bring them home.
Why I love it: I've always loved bottle Star Trek episodes, and this particular one is bursting with color and style. The idea of Kollos the ambassador as a noncorporeal being is intriguing. I also love the irony that Miranda, a woman considered so beautiful, turns out to be blind—literally and figuratively.
Highlights: • Kollos: the light effects used to create him and the visor needed to look at him • The dinner, where Kirk and McCoy drool over Miranda • Her "sensor web" dress • The Enterprise being propelled through the (pink) "galactic barrier"
2.The Doomsday Machine
Synopsis: The Enterprise discovers a weapon capable of destroying entire planets, and a commodore whose crew was killed by the machine jeopardizes the crew on a crazed mission of revenge.
Why I love it: Bold and suspenseful, this is one of the episodes I vividly remember as a kid. Kirk and Spock have an intricate rapport during this episode, even though they are on seperate ships most of the time. The moment where the un-hinged Commodore Decker is relieved of command is greatly satisfying.
Highlights: • The Doomsday Machine itself (and music that makes it seem so threatening) • The love-to-hate Commodore Decker • The ineffective phasers bouncing off the planet-killer's "neutronium" hull • Kirk's plea to be beamed aboard the Enterprise (and him barely making it back)
1.The Tholian Web
Synopsis: When the Enterprise investigates the disappearance of another starship, the crew loses Kirk in a dimensional interphase and must deal with a hostile alien race while trying to recover him.
Why I love it: To me, this is one of the most visually appealing episodes. Though most of Star Trek's adventures take place on "Class-M" planets, this was the only episode to use spacesuits—and that, despite budget constraints. Kirk is presumed dead most of the episode, and it's interesting to see how the crew go on without their captain (including Spock and McCoy's conflict, and Uhura's meltdown). The use of the first-person perspective and unique camera effects adds to the episode's allure.
Highlights: • The Tholian ships spinning their forcefield "web" • Those campy spacesuits! • Tholian commander Loskene • Kirk's ghostly apparitions • Chekov going mad
images: (1 and 7) montage by author (2) io9.gizmodo.com (3) memory-beta.wikia.com (4) tos.trekcore.com (5) trekmovie.com (6) flickr.com/photos/birdofthegalaxy
adapted from 'jammersreviews.com' and 'memory-alpha.wikia.com'
One of the most magnificent books on Expo 67 ever made has to be the hefty Official Memorial Album. Packed with photos and beautifully-written articles, the book remains, to this day, a sought-after addition to any Expo 67 afficionado's collection. I've seen bidding wars on eBay, with the final price going for well-over 100$...
At the time of its release, the album could be pre-ordered for 20$, which included shipping (it's over 8 lbs — I weighed it!). The 6¢ postage-paid order card pictured here invited interested parties to reserve their copy, without sending money, with 10 days after delivery for returns.
Interesting to note, the book was published in 1968, and the card here states October 15th as its release date...
"The bedside book for those who visited Expo, and those who envy them!" image source unknown
The gorgeous main hallway with stunning staircase.
When my grandparents immigrated to Canada in the early 1950's, two of my grandfather's siblings were already here: a brother in Montreal, and a sister in Toronto. This Toronto sister had a daughter, and the daughter got married in 1950.
In the late 1960's, the couple acquired a Volkswagen dealership. In 1970, they had a gorgeous 2-level home built in the prestigious Thornhill neighborhood of Markham (just north of Toronto).
Fast-forward 46 years and the impeccably cared-for house has been sold. Pretty much untouched décor-wise, the house is pure vintage eye candy: carpet, wallpaper and chandeliers galore!
A powder room, just off the main foyer.
The formal dining room.
The master bedroom...
... with adjoining "makeup area"
... and ensuite bathroom!
Sumptuous bedrooms... 5 in total.
One of the bedrooms was made into an office (worthy of Don Draper...!)
I remember staying at the house on a family trip to Toronto when I was a kid. I was fascinated: it was the late 1980's, and the décor already felt like it was from another era... Yet it was all strangely familiar to me: like my grandmother's house, but on a much grander scale.
Check out the orange shag carpet going up the basement bar! Imagine the parties!
I was completely in awe of the groovy basement bar and swanky indoor pool. The 1960's sound system had a reel-to-reel tape deck! And, oh, the pool... Imagine my childhood delight of being able to go swimming in the dead of winter! I remember the pool area having changing rooms and a sauna. I even remember sun-tanning lamps, which I was warned not to try.
Uncle Joe explained to me that the pool had to be built first, into the foundation, before the rest of the house was built over it...
The Ethiopian pavilion at Expo 67 was a striking 90-foot, tent-like structure, located on Île Notre-Dame near the pavilion of Morocco. The pavilion shone during the day and glowed softly at night, its shape recalling ceremonial umbrellas of the priests of the ancient Ethiopian city of Axum. A golden lion (the symbol of Ethiopia) topped the scarlet tent, while 12 lion heads anchored its points. Soaring white towers reminiscent of those that marked ancient tomb palaces flanked the entrance.
Upon entering, visitors were led directly to the second level 'Lion Coffee Shop', where hostesses served famed Ethiopian coffee and other specialties. The interior roofing of the pavilion was covered with paintings on canvas that illustrated the history and legends of Ethiopia.
The coffee shop looked down on the main exhibit area, which included a replica of the Church of St. George at Lalibella; its interior contained ancient crowns, jewels, manuscripts, and other treasures.
Another area showed ancient Ethiopian artifacts and tools, some as old as 500,000 years. Other exhibits included modern examples of filigree gold and silver work, seen on military and religious capes, swords, and shields. Animals and birds native to Ethiopia were displayed. Slides showed scenes of Ethiopia.
A 26-minute film entitled 'Man in Ethiopia' was shown continuously in the 'Queen of Sheba' theatre.
The Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, presented the city of Montreal with 2 lion cubs, named 'David' and 'Bess'. They took up residence in a cage near the pavilion on May 18, 1967, and were very popular with Expo visitors...
During the first 5 seasons of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, main character Mary Richards lived in an attic apartment in an old Queen-Anne style Victorian house in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
While the show itself was filmed in Hollywood, the exterior shots used were of a real 3-floor, 9000-square-foot house located at 2104 Kenwood Parkway, Minneapolis. In the real house, the space occupied the behind the window that was "Mary's apartment" was actually an unfinished attic area.As on the show, the real house had been divided into apartments for a time, but renovations in recent years have returned it to a single-family dwelling. (Click here to see more on the house today.)
Mary Tyler Moore during the filming of the show's opening credits. Interesting to note, Ms. Moore never actually entered the real house.
When fans discovered its location, the Kenwood Parkway house quickly became a popular tourist destination. According to Mary Tyler Moore herself, the woman who lived in the house at the time was "overwhelmed by the people showing up and asking if Mary was around". More than a decade after The Mary Tyler Moore Show ended, the house was still attracting up to 30 tour buses a day...
A behind-the-scenes studio shot (top), a floorplan of Mary's pad (bottom).
Mary's apartment was conceived as a large 1-room studio, with a small kitchenette and a walk-through closet area leading to the bathroom. She rented the place for $130 a month.
The set's Victorian moldings, Palladian window, and vaulted and beamed ceiling.
The architectual details on the set were in keeping with the Victorian style of the real house: elaborate moldings, a brick chimney rising through the space, an ornate Franklin stove, etc. The window on the real house was closely measured and photographed in order to reproduce it as faithfully as possible on set. The only architectual element out of place in a real attic space would have been the sunken living room.
Mary's eclectic décor mixed various thrift shop finds. I love the shag carpeting...!
Mary's character was a single, working girl. She was smart and had a good eye for decorating, but she also would have been on a tight budget.
Her furnishings were an eclectic mix of investment pieces, like her brown velvet hide-a-bed, and thrift store finds: wall-mounted jewelry racks, empty glass bottles, second-hand dishes, wicker pieces... and let's not forget the iconic "M" that graced the wall beside her front door...!
Mary Richards made sleeping on a hide-a-bed seem so exciting...!
It was the set designers' attention to detail that made Mary's apartment so special, defining the Mary Richards character nearly as much as Mary Tyler Moore's acting. As in real life, Mary's interior changed over time, reflecting the character's evolution, as well as shifting tastes and styles.
When Mary Richards moved to a new, high-rise apartment at the beginning of the show's 6th season, much of her furniture followed her. The set designers reused and reupholstered Mary's furnishings, as Mary would have done in real life. Some pieces survived from very first episode of the series to the very last.
Mary's tiny kitchenette. A stained glass screen could be lowered for privacy.
Mary Richards' apartment on The Mary Tyler Moore Show is arguably one of the most famous rooms ever built in America, setting a standard that sitcom set designers try to meet to this day. In 1995, Entertainment Weekly deemed Mary's apartment "TV's most famous bachelorette pad"...
Founded in 1869 by Timothy Eaton, the 'T. Eaton Co. Limited' was once Canada's largest department store. The first Eaton's catalogue appeared in 1884 — 34 pages with no pictures, and nothing more than the item’s name and price.
Canada's population was mostly rural at the time, so catalogue and mail order retailing was ideal: it offered isolated settlements a selection of products that were otherwise unattainable. Needless to say, the arrival of the latest Eaton's catalogue in these communities was a major event...!
As Eaton's grew, so did the catalogue, and it would become a Canadian cultural icon found in almost every household in its heyday.
For their fall and winter 1966 edition, Eaton's presented an "exciting preview" of Expo 67. On backgrounds of artists' conceptions, an array of coats, clothing, luggage and cameras were shown, with the suggestion: "Plan to visit Expo 67".
Oddly, I don't know why Eaton's didn't wait for the spring 1967 catalogue for their preview. Most of the clothing shown would have been way too hot for a typical summertime Expo jaunt... (Rabbit fur, anyone?)
Nevertheless, the layout is pure 60's fashion and Expo 67 eye candy. And, judging by the images below, we see that "Jade green" and "Camel" were hot colors for fall 1966...!
"Far left: Two-piece walking suit in soft wool diagonal. Long demi-fitted jacket has a detachable fur collar of bleached and tipped racoon. Flap pockets with one fake pocket on right side. Rayon satin lining and interlining. Slim skirt with back leat is fully rayon lined. Jade green only. Misses sizes 8, 10, 12, 14, 16.
Near left: Sleek two piece dress in wool double-knit to stand out in any crowd. Straight and simple — with a rolled bias collar ending in flip ties. Top has long back zipper; skirt has side zipper. Jade Green or Winterberry Red. Misses' 10 to 18."
"Far right: Sophisticated demi-fitted coat of wool diagonal has horizontal welt stitching and wrist length set-in sleeves. Ornamental fabric trim conceals two-button closing. Slash pockets. Rayon satin lining, interlining and chamois. Jade green only. Misses 8 to 16.
Near right: Fashion-bound two-piece suit in printed wool double-knit. Demi-fitted jacket with pointed collar and five button closing has set-in sleeves. Body of jacket and slim skirt are Rayon lined. Jade green print only. Misses' 10 to 18.
Fur felt velours fedora, grosgrain ribbon trim. Up to 22½-in. headsize. Jade green."
"Kodak Brownie Fiesta outfit 1. The family fun camera. All you need to start taking good pictures — in one low-priced outfit. Take black-and-white or colour prints, or colour slides with economical 127 film. Two batteries; one 4-shot Flashcube; one roll 12-shot black-and-white film. With gadget bag. Anscomatic Super 8 zoom camera 2. Trouble free cartridge loading... shoot 50 feet without reloading. Fast f/1.7 zoom lens takes you right in where the action is. Electric motor drive. Built-in CdS electric eye exposure meter. Reflex through-the-lens viewing; with one Kodak Super 8 colour film cartridge. With pistol grip."
"Youthful chic in a fun fur Dyed rabbit in a striking imitation of lynx. Double-breasted with sparkling buttons. Rayon satin lining, underlining, inside pocket, ties. Optional simulated leather belt. Beige with white. Misses' sizes 10, 12, 14, 16. Streamlined fashion classic Coat of wool and camel hair. Saddle stitching trims the tailored lapels, envelope pockets, front closing, the shoulder seams and the optional tie belt. Rayon satin lining, interlining, chamois. Camel only. Misses' sizes 10, 12, 14, 16, 18."
Expo 67 preview: (top) "Main entrance gate to Exhibition"
(bottom) "A permanent display — the Montreal Aquarium"
"Pick your Skyway luggage here and be on your wonderful way! 1 to 5. True-to-life buffalo hide? No. Koroseal vinyl, so forget all about stains and scratches. No more fussing with keys either. Just set and remember combination locks. (Use your lucky number.) Lift-O-Matic hinges; secure tongue and groove closures; inside, cushy, quilted linings; removable pockets. Busy bag re-lined in plastic; petite case fitted with mirror, brush, comb, toothbrush. Ready to go? Try and stop you! Topaz Gold; Dresden Blue; Cardinal Red."
Expo 67 preview: (top) "Government of Canada exhibit"
(bottom) "Classically designed Swiss pavilion"
"Detachable collar tops suede Exciting newcomer to the fall and winter fashion scene! An elegant coat of soft suede leather (sheepskin), with a detachable shawl collar of striking, natural lynx. Styled with three-button closing, three-way belt, horizontal flap pockets, set-in sleeves. Rayon satin lining, interlining. Comes in sable (medium brown) only. Misses' sizes 10, 12, 14, 16, 18."
Expo 67 preview: "Fountain and sculpture designed by Gerald Gladstone"
"1. The dress. Fully rayon lined. Detachable checked hip belt, long back zipper. Beige mix or Red. Misses' sizes 10, 12, 14, 16. 2. The Skirt. Pleated tattersail skirt, side zipper. Colour as shown. Misses' sizes 10, 12, 14, 16."