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Old 27th November 2006   #1
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default Ribbons and bows

No, this is not an anticipatory Christmas post, and we will not be discussing how to wrap holiday gifts.

Rather, we have in mind a particular type of hair accessory that was--in a better time--one of the most popular adornments of feminine beauty, and very much deserves to make a comeback.

A tour of the Torrid site turned up the following image of Miss Olson looking utterly ravishing wearing a pair of "bow barrettes." It is simply remarkable how much these diminutive accessories add to her loveliness:

Click to view product page

There was a time, of course, when ribbons and bows were staples of feminine dress--for women of all classes, both noble and common. The effect of these items upon male viewers was legendary, for men in every era have found such girlish adornments irresistible.

Picture postcards from the early 1900s often show young ladies--not just girls, but young women of courtship age--looking enchanting with these hair adornments.

Regular readers of this forum may even recall that we once discussed a scene in the third Lord of the Rings film, in which Frodo's travelling companion, Sam, overcomes despair in the midst of Mordor by holding onto a recollection of his beloved Rosie Cotton--who, he recalls fondly, "had ribbons in her hair." That one particular detail lingers in Sam's memory, like an idée fixe, and gives him solace when he needs it most.

Part of the popularity of this style was due to the fact that it offered innumerable variations. In vintage images, sometimes a bow appears by itself,

while in other cases, the bow ties off a ribbon that has a functional as well as a decorative purpose--holding in place a goddess's thick, luxuriant tresses.

Such an arrangement is doubly seductive. The enraptured viewer knows that it would take but a tug of the bow to loosen the ribbon, allowing the damsel's tresses to spill over her bare shoulders, in a golden cascade.

And sometimes, a ribbon is embellished not with a bow, but with another captivating hair ornament, such as a garland, or a flower.

For the most adorable effect of all, both accessories occasionally appear together.

But perhaps that is too lavish a look--at least for now, until ribbons and bows make a bona fide comeback as a popular trend. In the meantime, Torrid offers rather subtle variations on this theme, such as the barrettes in the top image, or the "Black Satin Bow Headwrap" shown below, which is chic and elegant as well as pretty.

Click to view product page

It would be wonderful to see these timeless accessories re-emerge in contemporary fashion. If they do, young women will be astonished at how much these feminine touches help them capture men's hearts. And models like Kelsey are ideally suited for showcasing these enchanting items, as plus-size goddesses exhibit precisely the sort of soft, unmodern beauty that perfectly compliments these eternally beautiful designs.

(Paintings by Angelo Asti and Emile Vernon, reproduced as vintage postcards.)

Last edited by HSG : 28th November 2006 at 17:47.
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