- 2000s energy crisis
- Haute Couture in der Geschichte
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The material is not cut to form sleeves; instead two oblong pieces of material are held together by small fastenings at short intervals, showing upper arm through intervening spaces. The result in appearance is similar to a kimono sleeve. That was some years back. We are a match for England to-day, in the open, but have a long way to go before we wear with equal conviction, and therefore easy grace, tea-gown and evening dress.
Both how and when still annoy us as a nation. On the street we are supreme when tailleur. In carriage attire the French woman is supreme, by reason of that innate Latin coquetry which makes her feel line and its significance. The ideal pose for any hat is a French secret. The average woman is partially aware that if she would be a decorative being, she must grasp conclusively two points: first, the limitations of her natural outline; secondly, a knowledge of how nearly she can approach the outline demanded by fashion without appearing a cari cature, which is another way of saying that each woman should learn to recognise her own type.
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The discussion of silhouette has become a popular theme. In fact it would be difficult to find a maker of women's costumes so remote and unread as not to have seized and imbedded deep in her vocabulary that mystic word. To make our points clear, constant reference to the stage is necessary; for from stage effects we are one and all free to enjoy and learn. Nowhere else can the woman see so clearly presented the value of having what she wears harmonise with the room she wears it in, and the occasion for which it is worn.
Not all plays depicting contemporary life are plays of social life, staged and costumed in a chic manner. What is taught by the modern stage, as shown by Bakst, Reinhardt, Barker, Urban, Jones, the Portmanteau Theatre and Washington Square Players, is values , as the artist uses the term—not fashions; the relative importance of background, outline, colour, texture of material and how to produce harmonious effects by the judicious combination of furnishings and costumes. If you have not done so already, buy or borrow the wonderful Bakst book, showing reproductions in their colours of his extraordinary drawings, the originals of which are owned by private individuals or museums, in Paris, Petrograd, London, and New York.
No wonder Poiret, the Paris dressmaker, seized upon Bakst as designer or was it Bakst who seized upon Poiret? Bakst got his inspiration in the Orient. As a bit of proof, for your own satisfaction, there is a book entitled Six Monuments of Chinese Sculpture , by Edward Chauvannes, published in , by G.
The author, with a highly commendable desire to perpetuate for students a record of the most ancient speciments of Chinese sculp ture, brought to Paris and sold there, from time to time, to art-collectors, from all over the world; selected six fine speciments as theme of text and for illustrations. Plate 23 in this collection shows a woman whose costume in outline might have been taken from Bakst or even Vogue. But put it the other way round: the Vogue artist to-day—we use the word as a generic term—finds inspiration through museums and such works as the above. This is particularly true as our little handbook goes into print, for the reason that the great war between the Central Powers and the Entente has to a certain extent checked the invention and material output of Europe, and driven designers of and dealers in costumes for women, to China and Japan.
Our great-great-grandmothers here in America wore Paris fashions shown on the imported fashion dolls and made up in brocades from China, by the Colonial mantua makers.
2000s energy crisis
So we are but repeating history. To-day, war, which means horror, ugliness, loss of ideals and illusions, holds most of the world in its grasp, and we find creative artists—apostles of the Beautiful, seeking the Orient because it is remote from the great world struggle. We hear that Edmund Dulac who has shown in a superlative manner, woman decorative, when illustrating the Arabian Nights and other well-known books , is planning a flight to the Orient.
He says that he longs to bury himself far from carnage, in the hope of wooing back his muse.
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If this subject of background, line and colour, in relation to costuming of woman, interests you, there are many ways of getting valuable points. One of them, as we have said, is to walk through galleries looking at pictures only as decorations; that is, colour and line against the painter's background.
Haute Couture in der Geschichte
Fashions change, in dress, arrangement of hair, jewels, etc. It is la ligne , the grand gesture, or line fraught with meaning and balance and harmony of colour. The reader knows the colour scheme of her own rooms and the character of gowns she is planning, and for suggestions as to interesting colour against colour, she can have no higher authority than the experience of recognised painters. Some develop rapidly in this study of values. If your rooms are so-called period rooms, you need not of necessity dress in period costumes, but what is extremely important, if you would not spoil your period room, nor fail to be a decorative contribution when in it, is that you make a point of having the colour and texture of your house gowns in the same key as the hangings and upholstery of your room.
White is safe in any room, black is at times too strong. It depends in part upon the size of your room. If it is small and in soft tones, delicate harmonising shades will not obtrude themselves as black can and so reduce the effect of space. This is the case not only with black, but with emerald green, decided shades of red, royal blue, and purple or deep yellows. If artistic creations, these colours are all decorative in a room done in light tones, provided the room is large.
Beyond these points one may follow the outline demanded by the fashion of the moment, if desired.
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But remember that a beautiful, interesting room, furnished with works of art, demands a beautiful, interesting costume, if the woman in question would sustain the impression made by her rooms, to the arranging of which she has given thought, time and vitality, to say nothing of financial outlay; she must take her own decorative appearance seriously. Example of the pointed head-dress, carefully concealed hair in certain countries at certain periods of history, a sign of modesty , round necklace and very long close sleeves characteristic of fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
The writer has passed wonderful hours examining rare illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries , missals, "Hours" of the Virgin, and Breviaries, for the sole purpose of studying woman's costumes,—their colour, line and details, as depicted by the old artists. Gothic costumes in Gothic interiors, and Early Renaissance costumes in Renaissance interiors.
We were look ing at a rare illuminated Gothic manuscript recently, from which William Morris drew inspirations and ideas for the books he made. It is a monumental achievement of the twelfth century, a mass book, written and illuminated in Flanders; at one time in the possession of a Cistercian monastery, but now one of the treasures in the noted private collection made by the late J.
Pierpont Morgan. The pages are of vellum and the illuminations show the figures of saints in jewel-like colours on backgrounds of pure gold leaf.
The binding of this book,—sides of wood, held together by heavy white vellum, hand-tooled with clasps of thin silver, is the work of Morris himself and very characteristic of his manner. He patterned his hand-made books after these great models, just as he worked years to duplicate some wonderful old piece of furniture, realising so well the magic which lies in consecrated labour, that labour which takes no account of time, nor pay, but is led on by the vision of perfection possessing the artist's soul. We know women who have copied the line, colour and material of costumes depicted in Gothic illuminations that they might be in harmony with their own Gothic rooms.
She wears a silver girdle formed of the hand-made clasps of old religious books, and her rings, neck chains and earrings are all of hand-wrought silver, with precious stones cut in the ancient way and irregularly set. This woman got her idea of the effectiveness of white against gold from an ancient missal in a famous private collection, which shows the saints all clad in marvellous white against gold leaf. Whistler's house at 2 Cheyne Road, London, had a room the dado and doors of which were done in gold, on which he and two of his pupils painted the scattered petals of white and pink chrysanthemums.
Possibly a Persian or Japanese effect, as Whistler leaned that way, but one sees the same idea in an illumination of the early sixteenth century; "Hours" of the Virgin and Breviary, made for Eleanor of Portugal, Queen of John II. The decorations here are in the style of the Renaissance, not Gothic, and some think Memling had a hand in the work.
The borders of the illumination, characteristic of the Bruges School, are gold leaf on which is painted, in the most realistic way, an immense variety of single flowers, small roses, pansies, violets, daisies, etc. This border surrounds the pictures which illustrate the text. Always the marvellous colour, the astounding skill in laying it on to the vellum pages, an unforgettable lesson in the possibility of colour applied effectively to costumes, when background is kept in mind.
This Breviary was bound in green velvet and clasped with hand-wrought silver, for Cardinal Rodrigue de Castro of Spain. It is now in the private collection of Mr. The cover alone gives one great emotion, genuine ancient velvet of the sixteenth century, to imitate which taxes the ingenuity of the most skilful of modern manufacturers. EEDLESS to say, when considering woman's costumes, for ordinary use, in their relation to background, unless some chameleon-like material be invented to take on the colour of any background, one must be content with the consideration of one's own rooms, porches, garden, opera-box or automobile, etc.
For a gown to be worn when away from home, when lunching, at receptions or dinners, the first consideration must be becomingness ,—a careful selection of line and colour that bring out the individuality of the wearer.
When away from one's own setting, personality is one of the chief assets of every woman. Remember, individuality is nature's gift to each human being. Some are more markedly different than others, but we have all seen a so-called colourless woman transformed into surprising loveliness when dressed by an artist's instinct.
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A delicate type of blond, with fair hair, quiet eyes and faint shell-pink complexion, can be snuffed out by too strong colours. Remember that your ethereal blond is invariably at her best in white, black never white and black in combination unless black with soft white collars and frills and delicate pastel shades. Fifteenth-century costume. It is by Andrea Verrocchio, and now in Metropolitan Museum. We have here an illustration of the costume, so often shown on the person of the Virgin in the art of the Middle Ages.
The richly-toned brunette comes into her own in reds, yellows and low-tones of strong blue. What of those betwixt and between? In such cases let complexion and colour of eyes act as guide in the choice of colours. One is familiar with various trite rules such as match the eyes, carry out the general scheme of your colouring, by which is meant, if you are a yellow blond, go in for yellows, if your hair is ash-brown, your eyes but a shade deeper, and your skin inclined to be lifeless in tone, wear beaver browns and content yourself with making a record in harmony , with no contrasting note.
Just here let us say that the woman in question must at the very outset decide whether she would look pretty or chic, sacrificing the one for the other, or if she insists upon both, carefully arrange a compromise. As for example, combine a semi-picture hat with a semi-tailored dress. The strictly chic woman of our day goes in for appropriateness; the lines of the latest fashion, but adapted to bring out her own best points, while concealing her bad ones, and an insistance upon a colour and a shade of colour, sufficiently definite to impress the beholder at a glance.
This type of woman as a rule keeps to a few colours, possibly one or two and their varieties, and prefers gowns of one material rather than combinations of materials. Though she possess both style and beauty, she elects to emphasise style. Seduisant , instead of chic is the word for this woman.