Tag Archives: retro fasion

Who remembers Hobbytex and “creating” your own t-shirts?

At a fun family catch-up this morning – my folks and my brother and I were telling my son Orlando about “the olden days” when you would create your own T-shirts.

These days you can buy such a range of cool kids T-shirts but back in the 70s you’d often make your own and you would often use those tubes of paint – Hobbytex.

hobby tex

Now as far as I can remember – I never wore a Hobbytex painted shirt.

Here’s a photo the type of cool motorbike shirts I would wear! 🙂

Slide1

My mother had some amusing stories – about other families of course!! 🙂

younger bev mum

My son laughed at the stories of how another mother wanted to get her son a Superman shirt and so she got a hobbytex-ed drawing of Superman.

This other mother’s  son proudly wore the hobbytex-ed Superman shirt  – but…other kids kept punching the boy in the guts to see how tough Superman was. My brother – I mean this other boy – had to stop wearing the short because of all the punches.

We told Orlando how lucky he was to have such a range of cool T-shirts and even costumes to choose from these days. Not like the “olden days”! 🙂

O Mr Incredibile

Another story was about another boy who had a super-cool dirt-bike T-shirt with the slogan “Do it in the Dirt!”.

This was a commercially available shirt – not a Hobbytex creation.

This other mother when she looked at the shirt noticed that the attractive young woman riding the motorbike on the T-shirt was wearing no clothes.

Wanting to save the attractive young woman from embarrassment – this other mother proceeded to get out the family Hobbytex kit  and draw a black bikini on the woman! How considerate!!

We hadn’t thought about Hobbytex for decades – but we had lots of laughs this morning!

Out of curioisty, I searched and found Hobbytex is still around.

Here’s a link:

http://www.hobbytex.com.au/products/Products.htm

This is great news – just  in case any mums want to draw in bikinis to make T-shirts more acceptable!!

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

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tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

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Cheers,

Tony

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The benefits of the old-school “Mad Men shave”

The benefits of the old-school “Mad Men shave”

Don-Draper-Shaving

It’s funny how your attitudes change as you “mature” – how what  you once saw as old-fashioned and a waste of time can become an enjoyable ritual.

Take for example the old style of shaving – lathering up shaving soap on a brush.

shaving brush

When I was growing up that was something my granddad did. To me it seemed such a waste of time when you had fast and fancy shaving cream in a can!

Why bother? Get “with it” gramps!

The old–school style started to become fashionable again thanks to TV shows like Mad Men where Don Draper shaves using the old brush and lather technique.

For me, I love the slow-it-down ritual style of this old-school shaving style.

I wonder what the female equivalent of this male ritual is? Please share in the comments section if you have any ideas.

We are often so busy – rushing to get things done. It’s all about speed – rather than “soaking in the moment”.

I love slowing down for the shaving ritual.

Your whiskers get softer if you let them soak for a while and you get a better shave if you flow with smooth gliding movements rather than  fast and short “scrapes”

You should  try a slower shave and see what I mean. YOU can of course use shaving cream from a can – but the brush is even more old-school!

I look it as rebelling against the fast-paced rush rush rush world!

You are saying:  “This in MY time. I’m going to take my time. I will not be rushed!”

Sometimes you can shave in silence. Silence is something we don’t get enough of!

I shave in silence this sometimes –  and I find lots of creative ideas flood in during the “silence”

Other times I like to enjoy listening to the radio. Take your time  –  enjoy the moment!

shaving and radio

I even have my shaving ritual “kit” –  a notebook and pen to quickly capture ideas before they disappear  – and my modern yet  retro-looking radio!

And what about this great old retro ad – what better results are they talking about?!!

shavingold school

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If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

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tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

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Cheers,

Tony

Why we love Mad Men furniture – especially Roger Stirling’s groovy Corona chair?

Don’t you love Mad Men furniture – especially Roger Stirling’s groovy Corona chair?

While many fans may prefer Don Draper as their favourite character – for me Roger Sterling is far superior in the “hip office” department.

I love Roger’’s office – especially the Corona chair, which was very fashionable  in the 60s.( The Corona chair is the one in front of the spot pop art painting)

sterling mad men office

When visiting one of my clients in Sydney I was very excited to see modern replicas of these cool space-age looking Corona chairs. I fell in lust with the look and the feel of the chair.

mad men chair

Being such a fan of retro design, I researched the Corona chair and was interested to find:

  1. the chair, invented by Danish Designer Paul Volther
  2. the design evolved from an earlier model. The horizontal cushions with spaces in between were designed to give support and yet save on materials that were hard to acquire after World War II.
  3. The Corona chair was designed in 1961 and started to go mainstream in 1964

TBMMCW.001

When I help advertising agencies with their pitches and presentations, I like to study the offices of modern day creative teams. It’s amazing to see Mad Men photos and quotes on many of the desks.  I’ve yet to meet an advertising person with an office  as fashionable as Roger Sterling’s office – but I keep hoping.

have seen Corona chairs is building lobbies and it’s interesting to see the number of people who want to test out the chairs.

A modern replica  of a Corona chair. will set you back around $1400 (ottoman included)

Of course I had to test drive the Corona chair I saw in  the  lobby.

mad men chair!

I can vouch that the Corona chair it is comfortable and you feel pretty chic  and stylish sitting in it.

To get that full Mad Men vibe  you just need that extra something that modern offices don’t seem to have – a drinks trolley and a good martini!

Why you fell for the Madmen look?

madmenseas4artworkpic1

Sometimes you just look at  something and you dig it.  It’s love at first sight. You may not know why – but you fall in love with the look. It connects with something you already like – something deep inside you.

I must have been so influenced at a young age by posters for movies like Vertigo.

My mum worked as as movie  “usherette”  – so from an early age I’d be at the movies   absolutely love the movies, milkshakes and movie posters and great poster art work – like this:

Vertigomovie

Later when “I fell for” the music of the White Stripes I also loved the look and the art work.

I love the whole White Stripes music and culture package – links to retro but with a modern edge.(well modern for back then when they were big!) I still dig them.

Hardestbuttoncover

Then when Mad Men came out I fell in lust with the whole “look” of the show – including the opening titles and the Vertigo-inspired Art work.

When I was selecting a theme for this Sentimental As Anything blog I picked a theme that hooked my eye.

Today I bothered to look deeper and I found that the theme is inspired by the style of Saul Bass who created the Vertigo poster.

 

(I’ve since changed the theme!)

I wonder if Saul knew how influential his art style would become.

He  was probably just doing another design “job” – but what an impact!

I love working with creative advertising people – the word people and the art/design people.

It was a Melbourne advertising creative team that first “turned me on” to Mad Men – way back before the show came to Australia.

I was helping the creative teams improve their pitches.

The creative team members  were so excited about this new show coming out. They had seen the Mad Men look from their advertising connections in the US.

They too loved the whole Mad Men look. It was love at first sight!

TBMMCW.001

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony

Did you fall for the Mad Men/White Stripes/Retro Movie poster art look?

madmenseas4artworkpic1

Sometimes you just look at  something and you dig it.  It’s love at first sight. You may not know why – but you fall in love with the look. It connects with something you already like – something deep inside you.

I must have been so influenced at a young age by posters for movies like Vertigo.

Vertigomovie

Later when “I fell for” the music of the White Stripes I also loved the look and the art work.

I love the whole White Stripes music and culture package – links to retro but with a modern edge.(well modern for back then when they were big!) I still dig them.

Hardestbuttoncover

Then when Mad Men came out I fell in lust with the whole “look” of the show – including the opening titles and the Vertigo-inspired Art work.

When I was selecting a theme for this Sentimental As Anything blog I picked a theme that hooked my eye.

Today I bothered to look deeper and I found that the theme is inspired by the style of Saul Bass who created the Vertigo poster.

I wonder if Saul knew how influential his art style would become.

He  was probably just doing another design “job” – but what an impact!

I love working with creative advertising people – the word people and the art/design people.

It was a Melbourne advertising creative team that first “turned me on” to Mad Men – way back before the show came to Australia.

I was helping the creative teams improve their pitches.

The creative team members  were so excited about this new show coming out. They had seen the Mad Men look from their advertising connections in the US.

They too loved the whole Mad Men look. It was love at first sight!

TBMMCW.001

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony

More on those tacky touristy “trophy” tea towels

tt tas

What do you think of those touristy tea towels? Tacky and trashy, or terrific?

Delightful or dated and daggy?

What memories to touristy tea towels bring back for you?  Today I re-found a treasure trove that brought back so many laughs and memories!

Yesterday I posted about how I hadn’t thought about tea towels in ages until I saw a collection of vintage touristy ones in an antique store I popped into between business meetings.

TB in cafe

tea towels 1

Here’s the link to the original post:

https://sentimentalasanything.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/who-else-loves-kitschy-souvenir-tea-towels/

I was tempted to buy one that I thought was “so bad – it was good!” Can you see the retro appeal?

tt retro

Just the image alone made me want a big fat juicy “Australian” hamburger – with lots of onion and pineapple and beetroot!

The adventure continues – and gets better!

These days, I’ve recently moved back to the same city my parents live in (Brisbane) and I try to pop out once a week – just for a cup of tea and a chat.

We started talking tea towels and the old ritual of families talking as they washed and dried up.

I can’t remember YOU ever washing up – says my dad.

I remember he DID DO the washing up – says mum jumping to my defence- He did it twice!

Everyone’s a comedian!

Then my dad says how the talk of tea towels brought back memories of his aunties in the 1940s doing the “jitterbug” around the sink  while washing up. He hadn’t thought about that since the 1940s!

So many memories – warm and sweet like a good cup of tea!

Next thing my mother gets out a  whole box full of all these tea towels I’d bought for her when I was jet-setting TV journo travelling the world.

There were so many – and they brought back memories of so many work assignments. And they were all in pristine condition.  Never been used! She saved these treasured “good ones” from doing any dish duty!

Trips to Ireland:

tt ireland

and Wales:

tt wales

and of course England:

tt york

tt lake district

To me touristy tea towels may be daggy – but to mum’s generation they are  colourful trophies of having travelled to exotic places or knowing someone who travelled to cool places.

1977 calendar

My mother proudly displayed her trophies one by one  including a cool calendar one – from 1977!

Who would have thought we’d get so many laughs and memories from tea towels!

Best of all – also in the box was something I hadn’t seen in decades –  a real treasure – my  old Spiderman pillow case. I don’t know how that got in there!

spiderman pillow case

Now that’s something even my son will think is ultra cool! He loves retro too. Maybe I’ll pass on this Spiderman pillowcase  heirloom to him – or maybe I’ll use it!  Maybe we’ll  alternate and “share it”! 🙂

Do you remember “calculator spelling” – making upside-down words from numbers?

I hadn’t done this silly juvenile thing for years – but I was trying to help my 8-year-old son Orlando settle into  his new school. To take his mind off his shyness I showed him something that was “cool” when I was a kid – calculator spelling.

You should have seen the big smile beam across his face! I showed him 0.7734.

0.7734 – on calculator displays looks like HELLO.

calculator-spelling-2

O T leaning tower

Then of course there were all the silly  and juvenile schoolboy type words like 8008 and 58008 and 55378008!

 As I said – this hadn’t crossed my mind in ages – calculator spelling that is  – not 58008!

Slide1

Trying to be a “Cool Dad” – Here’s  how uncool dad looked back in the 70s when long hair and calculator spelling were popular. I loved those days of the old schoolyard!

Orlando loves hearing stories about the “olden days”!

Did you ever do “naughty” calculator spelling like this?

calculator-spelling-boobless-55378008

Ohhh we were so cheeky at high school!

I discovered on the internet that there are so many references to the phenomenon of calculator spelling and so many pop cultural references (especially on shows with “nerd”-type characters – BIg Bang Theory etc). Even Metal bands and also The Hollies use calculator spelling!

I was also amused to find out it even has a technical term:  beghilos Z

Why beghilos Z?

– because those are the letter characters you can make with upside down numbers.

beghilos

And you can make different words in different languages. Apparently it is an international phenomenon.

Who woulda thought!

I’ll share more  about the pop cultural significance of calculator spelling in Part Deux!

So who is writing this and why is he so keen on retro?

Hi, I’m Tony Biancotti and I love retro or vintage (if you prefer to call it that!)

fandauots.001

I now work in an often serious job – helping people with serious communication tasks and challenges – and I’ve found  you can connect with people from all different parts of the world and in different parts of businesses through the power of COMMON experiences and the power of RETRO.

TB NASA story

I’ve connected with:

– super-smart computer and engineering types through mutual memories of Star Wars and model planes and rocketships

– top female execs through a common love of Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet

– serious senior army officers and former officers through a common love of Airfix models, toy soldiers, and even 80s drum kit sounds

-a very senior and clean-cut Singaporean exec who turned out to be a massive fan of punk, the Sex Pistols and The Clash from his days studying in the UK.

This responsible and mature exec’s  passion for and knowledge of “punk” caught me by surprise!

He became so engaged, enthused and  full of youthful energy in the session. (You just can’t tell people by their appearance. The more senior people get in organisations the more conservative and alike they all look!)

IO + toy soldiers

(My son loves my collection of toy soldiers – glad I kept them!)

Discussing common retro passions can help create commonality, make training more enjoyable, and connect with the human side of people.

Common passions (especially for retro)  builds credibility and connection.

Lots of my presentation and communication heroes like Guy Kawasaki and Garr Reynolds reveal their retro passions – especially for Star Wars. And they both have a habit of quoting from movies and 80s songs!

My point is  – RETRO is not just about the past and childish passions. RETRO can help you connect and forge FUTURE relationships. RETRO is so powerful.

I’m a very active blogger and the things that get the biggest response are usually about “little things” that bring back strong and positive memories.

orange-ps

If you ever need any communication help, I can help you harness your creativity and hook attention with lots of tips from everyday life for  boosting creativity and hooking attention in everyday situations.

I can also help you improve your presentations and business writing.

I can share with you practical and easy-to-apply tips I’ve gathered over many years working as a:

  • TV journalist
  • political speechwriter
  • lawyer
  • blogger
  • musician and performer
  • coach and trainer in persuasionpositive messagespresenting and better e-mail and business writing.

I’m also a very busy dad and husband juggling my work and travel with family life and our two wonderful kids – Orlando and Cleo.

You can contact me on tonybiancotti@ozemail.com.au    or on Linked In or Facebook. Tony is of course short for Anthony .

 

What memories do you have of transistor radios – especially pocket radios?

What memories do you have of transistor radios – especially those tiny, tinny transistor radios? Listening to the cricket? The ABC news theme? Sneaking your radio under the bed covers and listening to your favourite tunes?

still love to listen to a “retro” radio!

Some generations had the big family radio that was the size of a filing cabinet, then the “portable radio” , then the tiny transistor  pocket radio. I was a transistor radio kid!

I remember it so vividly. Being blown away  – hearing 10 CC’s “I’m Not in Love” on my pocket transistor radio. Even with the ”tinny” single earphone , the songs sounded heavenly – like a choir of angels. I was transported to another place.  Can’t remember the brand name but the radio was black plastic with a vinyl (imitation leather) case.

I also remember having both my eyes bandaged after an accident with an air rifle. I didn’t know if I’d get my sight back in one eye and for days I lived “in darkness” – but comforted by my transistor radio – music, news, talk shows. When you can’t see you really hear better!

I loved listening to the radio as a teenager – especially when I was old enough to drive – cruising around listening to the car radio.

I still find the ABC news theme stirring and yet comforting. These days I  sing it with my kids including our additional lyrics for the last four notes ‘ “Here – is –  the  – news!”

I get to listen to lots of radio these days as I run around getting the kids ready for school. My wife is a radio morning newsreader on 97.3 in Brisbane and we listen to her read her bulletins. Then when I drive my son across to the other side of town (to a school that better suits his active action boy learning needs) we listen to mum’s news and the Robin Terry & Bob show. On the way home the 3 PM pick-up.

I must say when we lived in Sydney, I couldn’t stand listening to commercial radio – but both my son and I enjoy listening to Robin Terry & Bob – and “mum’s news” of course.

After I drop my son off at school, I switch over to my old favourite the ABC.  I get to listen to lots of radio these days  – I still love it!

Then of course there’s this classic song about the joys of listening to the radio!

Why retro flight bags are “cool” and stylish

Are you a fan of the retro flight bag? What memories do flight bags bring back to you?

For me – the retro flight bag always brings back images of The Beatles jumping on and off planes with their flight bags – often photographed emerging from the plane doors or walking down the stairs.

Back in the 1960s – flying was glamorous. It was a status symbol to fly and the flight bag (that was often given away to passengers) was a sure sign you were a jet setter.

with retro Qantas bag – the cane was not a fashion accessory but from back when I recovering from a torn Achilles tendon!

I love collecting retro flight bags and over the years I’ve picked up some real bargains for $20 at op shops and markets. These days bags can fetch high prices as there is a generation of people out here around the world who dig retro flight bags – probably for similar reasons why I love them so much – the image of glamour of the era when flying was something special! I fly around the world a lot for work these days. Even ‘though flying isn’t as glamorous these days – I do enjoy taking a retro flight bag on the plane!

another classic retro Qantas bag in the background!

I always loved stories like how Jimi Hendrix said he always carried a book of Bob Dylan lyrics in his flight bag – and I could imagine Jimi high above the clouds getting inspired by Dylan’s words. It’s interesting because now you can buy a Hendrix-inspired flight bag

and Beatle’s inspired flight bags.

In researching the appeal of the retro flight bag, I  found  a site for lovers of retro fashion and retro music who also love the glamour of Pan Am.

Here is a link to the site: ultra swank retro adventures!

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If you dig the whole retro glamour of flying you will love this site.

This era was lovingly captured in the movie Catch Me if you Can.

And it isn’t just the retro flight bags people love – many fans (both male and female) also love the retro airline hostess outfits – ultra groovy – but that’s the subject for a separate post!

What memories do you get from flannelette pyjamas?

This post was inspired by a lot of comments I saw on facebook this morning about whether people should wear flannelette PJs out in public – and it got me thinking about flanno PJs.

What memories do flanno PJs bring back for you?

I grew up in  hot North Queensland (like a lot of my FBFs) so flanno PJs were a novelty – something I didn’t  really get to enjoy till I moved south.

I also associated flanno PJs with punk-ish anti-style statements – like the bass player who wore PJs in the video for The Dickies version of The Banana Splits Theme.

Then of course there was one of my keyboard-playing heroes – Johnnie Fingers from the Boomtown Rats. Remember his fantastic playing in I Don’t Like Mondays? Wearing PJs on stage was his trademark.

What really got me back into the PJs was the TV series Madmen.

Here’s a great link to a fashion piece about PJs and how a dapper English Gent even had his tailor make some double-breasted PJs for him!

was-the-the-mad-men-era-really-defined-by-pyjamas

These days I love when the kids are all freshly bathed and in their flanno PJs and we have our winter night ritual of hot Milo.

I hope this  ritual gives them some warm memories of the PJs.

I love my flanno PJs – but I have never worn them in public….yet!!!

Here’s that cool clip with the bass player wearing PJs.

Maybe if I’m playing bass in a future gig the flanno PJs would be a good look?

Then again, maybe the audience wouldn’t get the “statement” and just think I escaped from a hospital!

Please share what memories PJs bring back for you and – should PJs be worn in public?