Reading about Alexander Walker's wonderful book reminded me of a discussion that appeared on this forum about a year ago, called "Victorian Vogue." It's worth revisiting:
This was when Victorian elements in fashion were just making a reappearance. The post introducd an article talking about why the Victorian style becoming popular again today.
Some the observations about the then-emerging trend included:
"Their clothes emphasized the hips and bustline, says Kerri Atter, curator of Denver's Molly Brown House Museum. "It was a very feminine look. The figure was curvaceous."
The information from Walker's book, about what the ideal of Victorian beauty really was, fully supports this observation.
The article's theory about why Victorian fashion retains its popularity seems more valid than ever:
"There's an emphasis on nostalgia -- we're harking back to an earlier time with its positive aesthetics and sentiments," Ogle said. "It's also a reaction to the fact that in recent years we've had more simplistic styles for men and women that were androgynous. So there's a reaction to that, a turn back to more feminine clothing"
(and to more feminine figures -- I hope...)
And incidentally, I still
think that a magazine conceived as a "Victorian Vogue
," with timeless tenets of fashion updated for the present day, and featuring models who embody the full-figured Victorian ideal of beauty, as outlined above, would be the most captivating and compulsively readable magazine in the world.