Photograph of Monica Korab
Monica Korab at Balthazar Korab's first studio
Creator(s): Korab, Balthazar, photographer
Date Created/Published: [between 1937 and 1956]
Library of Congress

Following Some Links

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The other day I heard someone mention a women’s fashion called the “twinset”. I’m afraid the comment was a negative one that expressed the belief that women who wear twinsets are frumpy little old ladies that are dull and uninteresting and should be ignored. My first thought was, “Holy harshness, Batman! Talk about stereotyping and ageism and picking on people for the clothes they wear like a grade school bully.

My second thought was, “What the heck is a twinset?”. I had no clue because the extent of my fashion knowledge, which I learned from my twinset wearing mother, is not to put stripes and plaids together. That’s it. After that anything that happens to appear in my closet, because my wife found it on the clearance rack, is fair game.

So I decided to look into what exactly is a twinset.

For the rest of you clueless brutes out there, a twinset, also called a sweater-set, consists of a cardigan (a sweater that goes on like a coat and zips or buttons in front) worn over the top of another sweater (a jumper or pull-over that goes on over the head). The twinset arrived in the 1940’s and is considered old-fashioned unless of course you are a retro type person in which case it’s wicked cool.

The article said that the twinset was popularized by Hollywood movie stars like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. The later is one of my favorites so I followed a link to learn more about Audrey’s life and career. There I learned that she is ranked number three on the American Film Institute’s top female screen legends list.

That lead me to the fact that Humphrey Bogart is the AFI’s number one top male screen legend. So I looked him up and found out that his grandfather hailed from Canandaigua, a resort town in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. I grew up about twenty minutes from there, spent a lot of time on the lake, and even had a photo studio on Main Street for a while. I never knew that Bogie’s family used to own a cottage on the lake.

This got me thinking about how famous people aren’t always rooted in or do all their work in the big cities that everybody knows. Sometimes they spend their summers in Canandaigua and sometimes, like famous architect Eero Saarinen, they design some buildings in out of the way places like Columbus, Indiana. A town not too awfully far from where I live now.

I had just watched a documentary on TV about Saarinen and that got me thinking that I would feature another image of one of his buildings. Along the way I found other images by architectural photographer Balthazar Korab.

Then I saw this image of Korab’s wife, Monica, and although she isn’t wearing a twinset, she struck me as being of the same era as the twinset’s heyday. Unfortunately Korab gets short shrift on the internet biographically speaking and his wife gets even less air time so I can’t tell you much about her.

However, she doesn’t look dull, uninteresting, or frumpy at all.

Rufe

 

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