On Fashion, Part I

In a way, time has stopped. An oppressive mist of ugliness has enveloped our path, and only light can be seen at the direction whence we came. The ebb and flow of Fashion has become controlled by other forces than its natural creators, the artistic seamstresses and and artistic women who wear the fashions. In a healthy world, dedicated to the service of Beauty, you would be encouraged to follow the fashion, in suitable form to your self and always in moderation, but nevertheless to follow it. But now in our rotten age, the servant of Beauty does coil in horror from most things that are accepted as fashion. You can pick and choose any period of history for your dressing inspiration, since the fashions which reign to-day are for the most part an antithesis of Beauty. Some restrictions apply – it is wise to avoid the silhouettes of pre-1900’s at least out-of-doors, since they will contrast in a difficult manner with current environment. I do not mean the aesthetics, but the physical properties of our towns and buildings. Hoops and panniers, even when worn most gracefully, would crush or get crushed in the street-cars and omnibuses of today, and cause understandable irritation and unnecessary ogling from the general public.

picture-dress
It requires the exercise of some judgment to decide how far an individual may follow the dictates of past fashion, in order to avoid the appearance of eccentricity, and yet wear what is peculiarly becoming to her own face or figure. In attempting to engraft any part of the attire of olden times upon modern styles, as much discretion and judgement are required as int he modification of an ephemeral fashion to personal peculiarities: in the words of an Eastern sage, it is not enough that we go into the valley of flowers to gather a rose – even there we should not snatch but, select. It is often the best course of action to decide a certain period of fashion as the main inspiration and not try to assemble together different silhouettes, details and ideas.

 

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