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Old 16th December 2005   #1
M. Lopez
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Join Date: August 2005
Posts: 587
Default Victorian Vogue: ''The figure was curvaceous''

I just came across a marvellous article about the rediscovery of Victorian fashion that is taking place right now. Here's the URL:

http://www.dcexaminer.com/articles/...16victorian.prt

The article describes some of the pieces that make up the current Victorian look:


"Lace blouses, velvet and brocade jackets, skirts with ruffles or bustles, ribbon trims and accessories such as cameo earrings, jet and pearl necklaces "


And more interestingly, it offers some suggestions about why this trend is so popular. The article all but comes out and acknowledges that there is an aesthetic restoration happening in today's culture:


"What makes women melt at the sight of such sweetness? Jennifer Ogle, associate professor in the department of design and merchandising at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, said the Victorian vibe is catching on for several reasons.

"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." "



The article also specifically mentions that these styles were specifically designed for fuller figures, AND it equates femininity and voluptuousness:


"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." "


I love the continuing evolution of the New Femininity in fashion. It's so much more interesting than decades of nothing but career wear! Curvy women have never had it so good - at least, not in my lifetime.

In case the above link disappears at some point, here's the bulk of the text:


.....................................


Fashion - Victorian vogue

By Suzanne S. Brown
The Denver Post


It's fashionable to deride Victorian style as over-ornamented, cloyingly sentimental and uptight. But it's also unabashedly feminine, and that's why a new generation of women is falling for its charms.

Lace blouses, velvet and brocade jackets, skirts with ruffles or bustles, ribbon trims and accessories such as cameo earrings, jet and pearl necklaces are showing up at holiday parties.

Lindsay Lohan models a high-necked Valentino blouse on the cover of the winter issue of Teen Vogue. Rachel Zoe, who styled Lohan for the cover and works with other young celebrities like Nicole Richie, said she finds the look "very Victorian and of the moment."

Designer Jessica McClintock revisited the era because she appreciates both its history and femininity.

"My great-great-grandparents came from England and Wales," McClintock said in a phone interview from her San Francisco headquarters. "I made clothes with Victorian details and went through a phase of doing blouses in the 1970s. So many women have come into my stores and asked why I don't do them again."

While best known for her prom dresses, McClintock said she and her son and business partner, Scott, were looking for ways to expand the definition of special-occasion wear when they came up with the idea of Victorian-inspired separates.

"I wanted to offer other choices for dressing up. I live in the city where Gap and Levi's are based, and I know how much Americans are into casual clothes and jeans, so I experimented with jackets, skirts and blouses they could wear in a very modern way."...

Such manufacturers as Necessary Objects and retailers like Anthropologie are on a similar track, offering jackets with peplums, blouses with high necks and such combinations of fabric as lace, crochet and Swiss dot.

What makes women melt at the sight of such sweetness? Jennifer Ogle, associate professor in the department of design and merchandising at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, said the Victorian vibe is catching on for several reasons.

"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."

Women entering the work force world in the 1980s adopted a masculine style of dress to fit in, Ogle added. Two decades later, "women have come so far along, maybe they don't need to do that to be taken seriously any more," she said.

Women are picking and choosing the elements of Victoriana they want to adopt. A bustier can be worn as an outer garment rather than be hidden under an outfit. A velvet jacket teams with jeans and heels for the office.

"To borrow from the past is a way to add uniqueness to your wardrobe," Ogle said. "In the Victorian era, there was one way to look. Women today have much more variety."

The weight of history

By Suzanne S. Brown
The Denver Post

The fashionable Victorian woman cut quite a figure in the high-necked, full-fronted, bustle-backed styles of the day.

Her outfit could weigh 11 pounds, five of them in undergarments alone. She needed a maid to help lace her corset. Her hats were accented with stuffed birds and ostrich plumes, her neck encircled in velvet ribbons and cameos.

"The idea was that women were fragile and the emphasis should be on their femininity and modesty," says Jennifer Ogle, assistant professor at Colorado State University. "They were expected to marry and raise children, and that was reflected in their dress."

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."

Heavy ornamentation was also the rule. "It's similar to what you see in their houses. It's rich, elaborate, decorated," Atter says.
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