Accidental Icon: Women on the Move

One of the things I love about fashion is its ability to present strangely compelling ideas that pull us out of everyday life. Fashion makes us want to tell new tales about the life we are living and the characters we are.  Fashion also inspires us to develop new characters, those who might drive the trajectory of our stories forward in unanticipated and exciting ways.

Lately, as you know, I have been pre-occupied with the romantic notions and latent sensuality of moody Victorian inspired looks. The melancholy elegance of the period suits my current mood. The rainy overcast days we have been experiencing here as we move into October provide the backdrop and set the scene for this week’s look.

The reality one faces when performing stories inspired by fashion is that we are performing in the context of living our real life.  This creates the styling challenge of avoiding looking like you are wearing a costume (even though you are) and making runway inspirations functional for the everyday roles and tasks of women. We try to keep balanced on the edge of contradictions. So the line we are teetering on here is how to place Victoriana in a modern "mise-en-scène". Questions posed might be “how does one reference corsets yet remain comfortable and free?” “how might one wear lace to work?” and “how might one dress chastely yet project one’s sensuality?”

History frames fashion and good students of fashion know they must know it. So my inspiration this week comes from women who actually lived in the Victorian Age. Working women and athletes who proposed, designed and wore more practical and comfortable clothing began what was known as the ‘dress reform movement’.  These were “women on the move” and as feminists they argued brilliantly ahead of postmodern thinking, that a thoughtful change in fashion could change bodies and create a social movement that would subsequently change the position of women. Thanks to them we now wear less restrictive undergarments, pants and other clothing that allows us to move through our life narratives comfortably, practically and most importantly with freedom and grace.

How do you adapt fashion and runway fantasies for everyday living?




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