Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hags and Whores and Fashion Mores


Footwear 1909, from the Delineator, an article on the technique of the proper walk. Luckily, women had corsets to hold them up in those days, morally and physically, just don't try running for the streetcar! If you visit YouTube you will find some wonderful era footage of city streets in those days. Pandemonium!

Highly dangerous to walk those crazy streets constricted by clothing. That's one reason Coco Chanel claimed her clothing became popular: It freed the working woman up. In Flo in the City I describe how Marion had to take three streetcars to work at her school. Imagine this in winter with all the snow! There were heavy snows in February 1909. I think I will add a scene where Marion tumbles in a snowbank...

Hmm. So here's a picture of stylish footwear from my copy of the Delineator. This style seems 'witchy' to me, since movies and such portrayed witches wearing this style. A witch, in movies made in the 30's and later, was merely an old women, wearing old styles.

A witch today might be an old lady in bell bottom pants! Of course, for a short period in the late 1960's, early 1970's the Granny Look came back, with Granny boots and Granny glasses.

Ain't fashion weird? Of course, nothing is weirder than Madonna bringing back the corset, but wearing it on the outside.

I've decided to read this copy of the Delineator, front to back, for research. have not done so, already, because as a modern girl I find it hard to read such wordy magazines.
But almost every article within it strikes a cord with me and seems useful for my novel in progress, Flo in the City, which I am writing on this blog.
My novel is based on the letters of http://www.tighsolas.ca/ my social studies website.
Remember, the Delineator, unlike the Ladies' Home Journal, mixed fashion news with social activism...and sometimes to odd effect as reflected in the excerpt I reprinted in the previous installment.
Here's a rundown of some of the articles in this August 1909 edition:

Styles of the month
Concerning us all (infant mortality)
The Present Unrest Among Women (Gertrude Atherton article printed in my blog a while ago)
The Art of Mary Cassat (Impressionism!)
The White Peril (Bad Milk)
Saving Sunday for America (I'll write about that next)
The Technique of a Graceful Walk
Good Style in Parasols
Rheumatism: It's cure
The Delineator Child Rescue Campaign
Dauville Days (Social whirl)
And many fashion and dressmaking pages.
I may only have one copy of the Delineator for the 1910 era, as they are expensive to win on eBay...but I feel I have a representative issue.