Monday, September 3, 2007

Kitchen Kouture: Aprons strings tie me to my past

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Aprons strings, those humble yet powerful domestic symbols, tie me to traditions, evoking memories of all the cooks in my family who have shaped my everyday meals and holiday feasts through the years.

To kick off the fall season, I asked Brooke to draw a new illustration - - - a modern, fresh, stylish woman who embodies the Toast and Table reader. When Brooke finished the drawing and showed it to me, I loved it immediately and loved the fact that she included an apron!

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My great-grandmother, Sarah, was a fabulous hostess - - - while stirring, simmering and sautéing she’d wear her “practical apron” and then she’d slip into her hostess version to serve the food and mingle. I swear she probably had a different apron to go with every dress, they were clearly her fashion accessory. These aprons by BellaPamella is a modernized version of her aprons.

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The apron's threatened demise has as much to do with changes in fashion as it does with changes in meals. Who needs an apron if you're wearing casual clothes that can be tossed in the washer? And who needs an apron to microwave a frozen dinner or open a Chinese takeout carton? It doesn't matter if I'm ordering takeout or cooking in, when I want to feel sexy in the kitchen, I turn to my apron by Jessie Steele. Great news!!! If you head over to "Life in a Venti Cup" you can enter to win a hip Jessie Steele apron with matching oven mitts.

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No longer tied to the concept of a mere uniform for domestic chores, aprons have become a wardrobe essential. The new generation of domestic goddesses demanded stylish aprons and designers were paying attention. Needless to say, some of these aprons, like the ones shown above by Delilah Crown, are more about looking fabulous than they are about keeping sauce off your skirt. And there's nothing wrong with that!

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(lst row: camel apron, waffle apron, leaf apron; $65.00; Virginia Johnson)
(2nd row: vintage apron top; $165.00; Camp On Perry)

Fall kicks off the holiday season, so as reach into your drawers or closets for a protective covering to tie around your waist, may you feel a connection with the past, and a kinship with those before you who took pride in the endless details of homemaking. I know I will.

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(above: Ivy League apron; $61.60; Kitsch n' Glam)
(1st top photo: Needle Art Apron; $24.00 - $32.00; Anthropologie)


Julie at BV said...

Hi Sarah,

I love this gorgeous selection you posted here. Especially the Virginia Johnson aprons.

P.S.Thank you for the mention of my blog in your Moroccan style on the table and your beautiful comment.

Oh Happy Blog! said...

I love that you posted on aprons... I recently decided that I would search one out... as I am embracing my domestic ties during the holiday season... this post inspired me to finally get serious about it... and consider them more of a fashion statement than a baking accessory... You've just spawned one happy hostess..

Sarah Jennings said...

Fascinating commentary on the apron! My mother in law is always so dismayed to see that my sister in law and I do not like to wear aprons. Aprons are an absolute must in her life. I may have found a wonderful birthday gift for her with this selection of aprons (I like the camel one...I wonder if she would?)

Sarah Dennis said...

Hi Julie, thanks for stopping by. Virginia Johnson is great isn't she!
I like her design aesthetic. She creates her textiles using watercolor paints on paper. That would explain why they pop - - - great color, great graphics!

Sarah Dennis said...

Danielle, let me know what you decide, no proper hostess should be without a fabulous apron this holiday season. *smile*

Sarah Dennis said...

Sarah, I think an apron would make a perfect gift for you MIL. My great - grandmother would always say, "you can never have to many handkerchief or aprons"!

katiedid said...

These are great! I entertain alot during the holiday season and am always in am apron it seems. It would be nice to have something "fashionable"!

At home with Kim Vallee said...

Your new illustration looks great. I envy talented artist like Brooke who can draw so easily.

The Needle Art Apron is one of my favorite color palettes. I spotlighted it on a mini board for a retro chic baking party.

Life Info Zone said...

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