On Overcoming Obstacles

red-dressCertain principles of art have evolved and clarified themselves in the long journey which textiles, colours and lines have made, traveling through the ages. A great cathedral, a beautiful house, a perfect piece of furniture, a portrait by a master, sculpture which is an object of art, a costume proclaimed as a success; all are the result of knowing and following laws of Beauty. These laws are always the same, even if they are interpreted in various ways according to the character and spirit of each era. A sensitive woman unconsciously exhibits the characteristics of her era in her dress, even when in a most perfect way satisfying the needs of individual and becoming costume. Naturally, in the current era of ugliness, sensitive women must out of necessity either harden themselves, in order to avoid absorbing unwholesome influences, or secede from the world altogether. Neither of the alternatives is perfect, but circumstances are difficult. Exhibiting the characteristics of this era results in very ugly outfits, which only amplify the general ugliness, resulting in a downward spiral. We who are consciously trying to reassert Beauty must necessarily avoid anything too characteristic of this era and instead of reflecting our environment focus on ameliorating the effect of the Cloud of Ugliness with our appearance.
Even today, many decades after the cloud of ugliness descended upon us, it is possible to appear in a neat, dignified and simple suit or morning dress without drawing on much curiosity or amusement (except, to my experience, during warm seasons when wearing a hat and gloves, which seems to cause more amazement than if one was walking straight naked!). People tend to assume this manner off dressing is caused by workplace demands, and accept it without comment. But where to appear in a silk afternoon dress and a veiled hat? Or a brocaded evening dress and long gloves? Or chiffon dinner dress and embroidered opera cloak? The occasions to wear the most beautiful clothes have disappeared, or rather, have been eradicated. A servant of beauty, who wishes to mingle in general society and not appear attention-seeking, may find it difficult to appear in the very clothes that would most delight her and most effectively spread beauty around her. Conscious of differing from most people around her she will timidly always dress-down a notch, subduing herself, avoiding anything too pretty, too feminine, too decorative. This is as understandable as it is regrettable. Be brave! Grab every chance to dress prettily! Being slightly over-dressed is not an offence, but instead a compliment to everyone present.
It takes time and patience to overcome the conditioning of “casualness” and to dare to shine the light of Beauty. The general atmosphere of the society does not favor it. And that is why there are so few well-dressed women. But those who really dare to be well-dressed, enjoy a sense of satisfaction equal to the triumphs of any other art. And they impart a breath of life, beauty and color to things around them. They inspire a love of harmony, of good taste, above all, they are living examples of decorum.

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