The book helps explain, as described in the first chapter, “The Victorian Aesthetic Mindset.” This is an aesthetic some some may think of as Wretched Excess or clutter, because it seems so busy to the 21st century eye.
But it reflects a time of burgeoning consumerism, expanded international connections, and the many “technologies, discoveries, and opportunities bursting out of the Industrial Revolution.” Even without fully understanding the aesthetic, however, we can appreciate the beauty and workmanship of these garments. This book lets us get up close and personal.
We’re treated not only to close views of design details but instructions for making them as well. The photographs and illustrations are simply spectacular, and made me wish I had the skills to try recreating some of the adornments. You can view sample pages hereand images from the exhibition here.
Do check out the dashing Art Nouveau coat (back view second from left in first photo, front view at right of fourth and fifth photos). That's my favorite. Which garment do you like best?
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.