Friday, November 30, 2012

Random Weirdness Part 1 - Giant Watches

This is the first post of what I hope will be a recurring theme from time to time: Random Weirdness.  These are photos from Kathy's modeling career that have some kind of bizarre and utterly random - as only 70s fashion can be bizarre and random - feature about them.  And what better way to start than with a very brief, but very intense fashion item from the early 70s called "Giant Watches".

What? you say. What do watches have to do with fashion?  Well these are not just any watches, oh no no no.  These are giant over sized pocket watches meant to be worn outside in full view - obviously to make some kind of statement.  What kind of statement, you ask?  I have no idea.  That's what makes these both random and weird and quite 70s.  Let's start with an example, shall we....

Yea, now you see what I'm talking about.  Kay's weirdly over sized watch (facing the viewer no less) lets us know it's always the right time for fun, funky fashion!  Perhaps, she wore it to draw attention away form how cute Kathy looks in her strawberry accented short shorts (didn't work!).   Perhaps Kathy's massive smile is from NOT having to wear the watch.  Also we are told "to join forces with coordinated pullovers".  Coordinated with what? the giant watch?  And I'm not sure I want to join forces with ANYTHING made of Acrilian Acrylic (whatever that is, sounds like a varnish or something).   Lest you think this pic was just one odd blip in Sears catalog history, let's move on.....

Two photos do make a trend, don't they!  Here Colleen's "panne velvet" shirtdress is perfectly set off with another goofy giant watch.  Huh?  What the heck?  Once again Kathy is kicking up her heels in joy at NOT being selected to wear the watch.  Oh surely there can't be more.  Oh yes there can!

Okay, okay, this pic doesn't have Kathy in it, but it fits the theme.  Here we have TWO giant watches in the same pic to accessorize the corduroy jeans!  One worn by Colleen and another by an unknown model.  And the one worn by Colleen is on a, a, a, what is that?   It isn't a necklace exactly - more like a chain worn by a pimp or something.  Double random and double weird.   I love the chorus girl style lineup of the models.  It is sooooooo natural, especially the middle model staring randomly off into space. 

And then as quickly as the era of the giant watches blossomed, it met its demise.  Perhaps like the dinosaurs, they grew too big and wieldly eventually succumbing to excess of the very thing that made them unique.  Or perhaps they just didn't sell so Sears quickly moved on to something else.
Of course this brings up the BIG, unanswered question: were they functioning watches or just decorative pieces?  I haven't been able to find a pic with a description of these watches so this is an open question.  Anyone out there have any ideas on this?

Ironically, this fashion accessory would make no sense to kids today because many of them can't even tell time using a dial watch or clock (you can thank cell phones and digital clocks for that).  So wearing a giant watch would make about as much sense to them as wearing an abacus.  I know, I know, makes you kind of pine for the silliness of the 70s.  Of course, MY kids can tell time using a dial timepiece.  They can also use a slide rule, write in cursive, and start a fire using flint (no kidding, except for the slide rule, but they have at least SEEN a slide rule and how it is used).

So perhaps we should all channel our inner 70s and don our giant, goofy, pocket watches to freak out the kids, or maybe not.  They just won't see how cool and groovy fashion statements like that can be!

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