21st August 2005, 15:30
I saw something in ElleGirl magazine this month that relates to the Old World trend that people have noticed lately (I admit I sometimes look through ElleGirl, but I always wish it would use plus-size models). There was a really beautiful page about fairy-tale fashions. And it had little inserts with paintings and old illustrations. It even included a copy of the Grimm Fairy Tales, I mean the actual book, placed in between all the dresses and accessories.
I don't know if I like all of the styles on the page. But they're unique. They're more for winter, I think. And it is just such a beautiful page to see in a magzine. Very artistic. I would LOVE to see Torrid do ads on this kind of theme. It seems so perfect for them.
21st August 2005, 23:55
<br>Here is a scan of the page to which Renata is referring. If you wish to see some of its intricate details, click on the image to view it at a considerably larger size:<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/oldworld/ellegirl01.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/oldworld/ellegirl01a.jpg" border="0"></a></center><p>The attire is boldly historic, and it is thrilling to see a magazine embracing the aesthetic restoration so completely. Even in your wildest dreams, did you ever think that you would see a mass-market fashion glossy for young ladies featuring images from art archives, and from museum collections, as part of its editorial pages? This is a fascinating trend, and we hope that it continues.
Note in particular the detail of the castle in the background:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/oldworld/ellegirl01b.jpg"></center><p>Astute readers will recognize this as the former <a href="http://www.berliner-schloss.de/start.php?setLang=eng&navID=66" target="_blank">Berliner Standschlo▀</a>, the Berlin City Palace, which was to Prussia what the Louvre was to France, or what Buckingham Palace is to England. For centuries, this was the residence of the country's ruling dynasty, the Hohenzollerns, and was only destroyed by the East German communist regime <i>after</i> the war (even though it withstood years of Allied bombing, and survived the war damaged, but intact). The fact that this castle no longer exists, except in the memories of the Prussian people, gives it a once-upon-a-time quality that is both fitting and poignant.
And any magazine that features a collection of literature as a fashion accessory deserves our most enthusiastic applause:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/oldworld/ellegirl01c.jpg"></center><p>However, for those who are truly interested in discovering the Grimm Brothers' magnificent fairy-tales, we highly recommend Bantam's complete and unabridged <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553382160/thejudgmenofpari/" target="_blank">edition</a>, which preserves the tales in their original form. This collection will come as a revelation to anyone who is more used to the watered-down, sanitized versions of these literary gems. And after a century during which these tales have been modernized, politicized, deconstructed, and misconstrued, readers will be astonished to find that the <i>original</i> versions are far bolder and more original than any postmodernist revisions. Their moral/ethical compass is refreshingly at odds with current sensibilities, and embraces a much older world-view.
The familiar stories are all included in the Bantam collection, but we especially admire some of the lesser-known tales, such as "The Three Spinners."
And incidentally, nothing could be more relevant to the topic of this forum than the Grimm narratives. Beauty, and its fate in our world, is one of the core concerns of the tales. In particular, the stories frequently examine the divergent ways in which people react to beauty--how it inspires admiration and reverence in some, and bitter envy in others--and what these reactions reveal about people's individual characters.
The tales also demonstrate how beauty often prompts resentful individuals to resort to desperate measures to suppress it, even while beauty also attracts protectors and defenders--even in its darkest hours.
And the climax and resolution of the Grimm tales often occurs at the exact moment when suppressed beauty is finally recognized, and restored to its rightful place of prominence.
Indeed, for those who are interested in the themes of timeless beauty and cultural restoration, these tales are practically required reading.<p><center>* * *</center><p>To give <i>ElleGirl</i> credit, the entire issue features attractive and very feminine styles, many of which are inspired by historical designs. If one could simply re-shoot the entire issue with curvy vixens instead of waifs, one would have produced a very attractive plus-size fashion magazine.
Here is just one example--a page showing the current vogue for lace-dominated "bridal chic." The Kate Bosworth dress in the centre would be a <i>perfect</i> adornment for a fuller figure, as would Hilary Duff's outfit, which, on her wasted frame, only shows how tragically emaciated she has become (a sad but predictable fate for what was once a genuinely attractive young lady).<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/oldworld/ellegirl02.jpg"></center><p>And in a nod to the growing congruence of art and fashion, note the way in which this page describes the opulent necklaces that are currently in style:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/oldworld/ellegirl03.jpg"></center><p>The more that young girls regard their bodies as artistic canvasses, as <i>masterpieces,</i> the less inclined they will be to ruin their figures with dieting or with gym torture, and the more they will love themselves, just as they are.
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