Arizona Horizon Banner

January 10, 2013

Host: Ted Simons

Arizona ArtBeat: Fashion of the 1920s

  |   Video
  • “Modern Spirit: Fashion of the 1920s” is an exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum that runs through February 10th. The museum’s curator of fashion, Dennita Sewell, talks about the exhibition and why the 1920s helped define modern fashion.
  • Dennita Sewell - Curator of Fashion, Phoenix Art Museum
Category: The Arts   |   Keywords: art, artbeat, fashion, 1920s, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: The 1920s had a huge influence on modern fashion. And today, those fashions are showing up frequently in Popular culture. Films and television programs like the critically acclaimed PBS series "downtown ABBEY" Are showing off the style of An era that shaped how much Of women's clothing appears today. The Phoenix Art Museum is inviting visitors to step Into that style with modern spirit fashion of the 1920s. It's an exhibition that runs through February 10th.
Dennita Sewell: Fashion designers, others featured in this exhibition, were true artists in their own time. And these are some fine examples in the exhibition that define the 1920s, which was great decade of change and creativity. \M\M The 1920s is the earliest historical period that defines modern fashion. For the first time women wore their hair short, and hem lines were at the knee in 1925. And these clothes with shorter styles and more movement and lighter weight really defined the modern woman and the new active life-style of the 20th century.
Ted Simons: And here now to tell us more about 1920s fashion is the Phoenix art museum curator of fashion design. Thank you for joining us.
Dennita Sewell: It’s a pleasure to be here. There were so many projects going on in recent popular culture, the films, the film, I thought it would be interesting while this creative spirit was in the air with the 1920s as an inspiration, that we would have the real objects on view at the Phoenix art museum.
Ted Simons: We saw a little bit there of what was included.
Dennita Sewell: Tell us more about what is on display? We have four sections. A section of evening wear. A section of day wear. We have art and a lingerie section. Each of these define the roles that women had in society, and some of the things that were going on. You have the classic flapper image, with the pearls, dancing, the Charleston. But also the day wear is there to show that there were many roles that women were taking on for the first time in society. Much of this change had started in World War I era and with the suffrage movement and the right to vote in 1920, so these pieces show all of the movement that was going on and the modernity for women.
Ted Simons: I was going to say, it seems like World War I was literally an earth-shattering event for so many cultures and so many societies, how do you -- was it basically let's break free? Let's get rid of this that happened back in those days? We're in the '20s now. Let's move forward and have some fun.
Dennita Sewell: Well they were called to duty, very serious duty in World War I. Ambulance drivers, went to work in the factories, and they adopted slightly more practical dress for those roles. As they moved into the 1920s, there was a sort of joyousness of the war being over, and that was coupled with these young women who really had come of age in these new freedoms, this new autonomy of having a little money for themselves the first time and new ideas about modern life emerging, and really moving forward with those ideas.
Ted Simons: I want to look at some of the fashion ideas that we have collected. And have you comment on some of these. Because, it is amazing that you -- the lightweight, airy nature of all of this. The first time ever that society accepted above the knee.
Dennita Sewell: Absolutely. It is really important, this decade of change, the 1920s. For the first time, the hemline is above the knee ever in history. This Chanel piece from 1928 is a stunning example by one of the more vanguard designers, Coco Chanel of the period. She never married. She had her own business. She had affairs with prominent men all around the world. And so she had the spirit of the modern woman herself as her own best model.
Ted Simons: And some of the other -- I guess there is a lot of CHANEL there, because -- very influential.
Dennita Sewell: She was highly influential. These designers didn't create the changes in society but they reacted to them. This dress from 1925, was -- has these wonderful dangling sashes, which would have been great for dancing the Charleston and that movement and that joyous spirit. Her designs always have a great deal of restraint and sophistication in the proportion. And really it is a brand that is still one of the most important brands today and it is largely what she set forth in the 20s.
Ted Simons: Talk more about that. How that style has influenced everything that came afterward?
Dennita Sewell: A lot of these clothes are made like modern clothing, and really this is the first historical period that is still modern today. That these clothes directly relate to what we wear. For example, those two styles just pull over the head. There is no snaps, no zippers, no hooks and eyes. It is kind of a very, very nice T-shirt-style dress. And so much more lightweight. They were wearing layers, prior periods they were wearing layers of corsets and petticoats and pieces underneath. Pieces like this dress --
Ted Simons: Look at the colors on that.
Dennita Sewell: Stunning. A great SYMBIOSIS betwee artists and fashion designers and art movements all mixing in this period for a vibrant and creative era.
Ted Simons: You are talking women's fashion -- but at the same time, we had art deco, automobiles, back in the '20s, still new and exciting and a lot of change was happening there as well.
Dennita Sewell: Absolutely. The automobile had a great deal of influence. A lot of automobile manufacturers were looking towards fashion and they still do today for color and trends and sought already by the 1920s to appeal to women. You will see pieces in the exhibition with pleated skirts and capes and things that were designed for automobiling, getting in and out of the car, going places and doing things.
Ted Simons: Interesting. Look at this. This is an evening coat. Is that what this is?
Dennita Sewell: This is an evening coat. And over these gowns, they needed a grand entrance coat. And this piece has orientalist influences in it. Keep in mind, this era, England and France were very important colonial powers. Not only were ideas flowing back and forth from Paris, which was the center of fashion, and these exotic LOCALS as they were thought of, but also goods and materials. One hat in the exhibition has monkey fur on it.
Ted Simons: My goodness. I will take your word for that one. Where did you find all of these things?
Dennita Sewell: Phoenix Art Museum has an extraordinary collection of fashion design. It was founded in 1966. And through the generous donation of many members of the community, of fashion houses, and purchases by the Arizona costume institute, a friends group for the fashion design department, we have amassed a terrific collection of fashion history. And so that's always the starting point for fertile development of the exhibitions.
Ted Simons: Last question, for folks who visit the museum and take a look at this exhibit, what do you want them to take away from all of this?
Dennita Sewell: Just truly how exquisite these pieces were. I think most people walk in and they say, you could wear that today. And it is true. But you realize these dresses are almost 100 years old now.
Ted Simons: Interesting.
Dennita Sewell: And that these important changes that formed in the 1920s, it is not just about a frivolous fashion, frivolous flapper, but it really created lasting and important changes.
Ted Simons: Thank you for joining us and good luck with the exhibition.
Dennita Sewell: Thank you.

Flu Cases on the Rise

  |   Video
  • Maricopa County Public Health Director Dr. Bob England provides an update on the spread of flu in Arizona, which is now categorized at the highest level of activity.
  • Dr. Bob England - Public Health Director, Maricopa County
Category: Medical/Health   |   Keywords: medical, health, flu, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome To "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. Public health officials say cases of the flu are on the Rise in Arizona. The state's flu activity is now at its highest category level. Here with an update of where We stand with the flu this winter is Dr. Bob England, director of the Maricopa County department of public health. Good to see you again.
Dr. Bob England: You always have me on for bad news. The flu happens every year, but all flu seasons are not created equal. This year it is hitting earlier, rising more quickly than it usually does, and at least anecdotally a lot of people are getting walloped.
Ted Simons: Compared to previous years do we know why?
Dr. Bob England: You can't really predict the flu. We be hoping that it will peak quickly and fall fast. It does that sometimes. Sometimes it has a much more prolonged course. We have to wait and see.
Ted Simons: If it starts earlier, it doesn't necessarily mean it will end earlier.
Dr. Bob England: I wish I could say that, but you can't bank on that.
Ted Simons: Compare what we are going through to other regions and why do some regions seem to be getting hit harder than others?
Dr. Bob England: You know, the flu gets around eventually to most places. It typically starts in the east first, in our country. And then seems to move through and we in the west get it a little later. That is what happens almost every year. That's what is happening this time, except it is a little more compressed. We usually don't, you know, head for our peak until later, a few weeks down the road at least.
Ted Simons: I guess maybe a simple question, but I will ask it anyway, why does it always seem to hit in the winter? It is the flu after all.
Dr. Bob England: That is a great question. I wish I knew the answer to that. There are lots of theories. Theories about cold weather, but you know what? Our winter, maybe not tonight, but our winter is generally warmer than some places summer. And we -- it hits the same time of the year for us as well. Theories about relative humidity, theories about the holidays and people getting together and intermixing more.
Ted Simons: Could it possibly be because of the cold weather, your immune system is working overtime to fight off colds and keeping warm --
Dr. Bob England: It is true that certain things circulate -- health care facilities all over are very busy. It is not all the flu. There is a lot of other stuff. There is a lot of other viruses that go around at the same time of the year. But when you throw the flu in on top of it, our health care system can get pretty overwhelmed pretty quickly.
Ted Simons: How can you prevent catching the flu?
Dr. Bob England: Number one, two, and three is get your flu vaccine. It is not an ideal vaccine by any means. It is not perfect. But it's way better than not having it and it is better protection than most. In addition, if you are into this time of the year and you were not vaccinated or even if you were, since the vaccine isn't perfect, common sense measures, washing your hands. Keep your hands away from your face. If I'm coming down with the flu an and I have lots of flu germs and I picked my nose, blew my nose and shook your hand, the worse thing in the world is to put that hand up to your face, eyes, nose.
Ted Simons: Families, one person is sick with the flu, how does that person keep from --
Dr. Bob England: From giving it to everybody else?
Ted Simons: Yeah, everybody else in the family.
Dr. Bob England: Again, hand washing. Cover your cough. We like to teach people to cough into their elbows. Little kids shed virus more and longer than adults do. In fact, the schools are really the place where it gets off and running every year. It starts in the schools. Great outbreaks there and they bring it home to the rest of us.
Ted Simons: There is something called this herd immune kind of activity. In schools, especially, that really applies.
Dr. Bob England: Absolutely. We are missing a golden opportunity. We have a flu vaccine that admittedly isn't perfect, but it is pretty darn good. And if you could get a lot of people, almost everybody immunized, then you -- that germ, that one person's germ has a hard time finding the next person to jump to. And if it does find one more person, it has a hard time finding the next person from there to jump to. So, you get protected, because you never get exposed. Outbreaks can't happen. Your vaccines protection never gets tested, because the germs just don't bounce around and expose so many people. That's why all of those formerly very common childhood diseases are mostly memory is and happen so uncommonly now. It's not because the vaccines are perfect, but it is because we get enough people immunized, like the school immunization requirements.
Ted Simons: It’s like a good offensive line protecting the quarterback, you never get there.
Dr. Bob England: Who get in trouble the most with flus often the very old. If we could vaccinate 80% of school kids so that it didn't build in our community and they didn't bring it home to grandma and grandpa, we would take more than 90% of the flu away from everybody else.
Ted Simons: Where can you get a flu shot?
Dr. Bob England: All over the place still. Some of the mass immunizers have ended their season. Sent their flu vaccine home. But there is plenty of flu vaccine in the valley. Find out where you can get some and go get it. Understand one thing, though, it is never too late to get a flu shot. But it takes a couple of weeks at least to build antibodies to the vaccine. So, if you get your vaccine now and you get sick within the next couple of weeks, it wasn't because the shot didn't work, it was because you put it off too long so that it couldn't protect you before you were exposed. Next year, get it sooner.
Ted Simons: Good to have you here. Thank you for joining us.
Dr. Bob England: Thank you.

US Airways Merger

  |   Video
  • Robert Mittelstaedt, Dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, talks about the proposed merger between US Airways and American Airlines, and what it could mean for the Valley and the airline industry.
  • Robert Mittelstaedt - Dean, W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University
Category: Business/Economy   |   Keywords: mittelstaedt, US airways, merger, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: A merger between U.S. airways and American airlines Is considered a near Certainty by many industry observers, but it may take A while for a final decision. Here with more on what a Merger would mean to Arizona And the airline industry is Robert Mittelstaedt, dean of ASU's W.P. CAREY school of business. Good to see you again.
Robert Mittelstaedt: Good to see you.
Ted Simons: Where do we stand on this proposed merger?
Robert Mittelstaedt: The markets believe it is going to happen. Stock of American airlines which exists as a penny stock has doubled in value in the last couple of weeks. And so the outside world believes it is going to happen but it is a very complex situation because of the bankruptcy, because of all of the unions involved, various negotiations, creditors, everything else.
Ted Simons: Is that why it seems to be dragging on so long?
Robert Mittelstaedt: It is much more complicated when you have a company in bankruptcy and creditors to deal with as opposed to just a board and stakeholders if you wanted to do a merger otherwise.
Ted Simons: Could American airlines be purposely dragging this out to perhaps get out of bankruptcy and change the whole dynamic?
Robert Mittelstaedt: There are people who believe that is what they are doing. They, in fact, seem to be doing better financially and operationally the last few months. So, they're in a better position both to negotiate a merger or avoid one if they can show great operational performance. On the other hand, I don't think that is what they ought to be doing. Somebody has classified this as the last great American airline merger, not the airline, but the country, because it is clear that American and U.S. air are both not anywhere nearly big enough to compete against the big global airlines now.
Ted Simons: With that in mind, what are the chances that American gets out of bankruptcy and emerges as an independent company and again either goes its own way or changes -- perhaps somebody else decides they want to get in on the merger talks.
Robert Mittelstaedt: It is all speculation at this point. I think it is unlikely that American will be independent for much longer. They may remain independent. They may be the winner, but they are probably going to merge with somebody now or relatively soon.
Ted Simons: And that is the best way to stay competitive is to get that merger going.
Robert Mittelstaedt: Yes, it has gotten to be an industry that is very good globally and with all of the connections that you need to make control of your -- keep control of your passengers, stay in control of the revenue base. They would prefer to do that with a large global airline of their own rather than having to do it through the alliances that they have. They will still use the alliances but they need a bigger reach.
Ted Simons: Impact on the airline industry as a whole, if the merger happens. In the industry as a whole, of course, American and U.S. airways would be bigger in total than united continental. They would be a clearly a very significant global player. Largest airline, make them the largest airline in the world by passenger count. And it -- it is just part of the airline both industry both consolidating and remaining fairly competitive.
Ted Simons: It seems as though, and I could be wrong here, but it seems in the past that many of the big-time mergers, airline mergers, they have all sorts of trouble. Even when it goes well it seems like there is some trouble. First of all, is that accurate? Secondly, if so, how do this deal stay away from that trouble?
Robert Mittelstaedt: It’s Nontrivial to merge information technology systems and operating systems, because this is a heavily regulated industry, even the systems by which the pilots have to operate the airplanes may be slightly different, may be flying slightly different variations of the airplane and you need approvals and training and all kinds of things to go on behind the scene. A complex arrangement. Even if you had two airlines in great shape with everything going smoothly, putting them together is not a trivial issue.
Ted Simons: U.S. airway -- that particular merger went better than most. If that is true, does that mean that experience helps this particular enterprise?
Robert Mittelstaedt: U.S. air, American west merger went pretty well operationally and from a passenger perspective. They still have the two pilots unions still fighting with each other about seniority, now, what, seven, eight years later. That is an indication of how complex these things are. I think that America west -- I think U.S. air is in a good position, though, because the have improved operationally. They are in some dimensions rated by the public and the government better than American now in some areas. And so I think that that bodes well for them if they do put together a merger.
Ted Simons: And U.S. air is more profitable than ever, correct?
Robert Mittelstaedt: U.S. airways is doing well financially, yes.
Ted Simons: Let's talk about the impact of the valley. Tempe in particular, you have Arizona, the valley, whole nine yards. Losing the headquarters, what does that mean?
Robert Mittelstaedt: I think it is more of an ego thing. One spin that I would put on this, it is not just about losing the headquarters, the bottom line is if you have an airline that is not competitive in the world long term, you may lose more than just the headquarters down the road. TWA was a non-competitive airline, eventually absorbed by American and has virtually very little presence in St. Louis any longer, which is where it was headquartered previously. So, I think that this is an opportunity for U.S. air to merge and be stronger and to maintain the presence that it has here, less the headquarters, which is probably going to be a few hundred jobs lost and still stay strong in other ways in employment and all kinds of presence in the valley.
Ted Simons: What about the impact on valley travelers?
Robert Mittelstaedt: I think valley travelers would have even more opportunities than they have now. If you put American, which already has lots of Latin America and European routes -- together with one of U.S. airways biggest hub, a large hub in the southwest, you might see more routes to Latin America from here, for instance. U.S. air has some service there now but nearly as much as American does. Instead of flying from here to Miami to go to places in Latin America, you might start to get direct flights from here. There is a chance you could see an increase in the number of destinations that you would get from Phoenix.
Ted Simons: With that in mind, merger is going to happen and when do you think it is going to happen?
Robert Mittelstaedt: Odds are just a guess. I'm not on the board. They were talking about that yesterday and today I think. I would say there is a better than even chance that this merger will happen.
Ted Simons: In the coming months, later this year? In the next couple of months.
Robert Mittelstaedt: Next couple of months.
Ted Simons: Good to have you here.
Robert Mittelstaedt: Nice to see you.