Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Cameras, Greek Philosophy and Me

Yesterday I posted a bit on the capricious nature of fashion from the 1910 Everywoman's Encyclopaedia and illustrated it with a 1908 cover of the Delineator featuring a Grecian Style dress.

Today, I'm writing a following bit about how fashion can serve a woman and illustrating it with a 1906 cover from the Delineator that shows another sort of Grecian style dress but has as its catchphrase When a Woman is at Her Best. Very apt as that what the selection is about...making the best of your looks.

But first, a rather long digression:  Here's the new camera I got a Christmas, a Canon Sure Shot, I think it is called. I took its picture with my old Cannon, purchased (for a lot more money) in November 2006.

I know it should be the other way around: I should be taking a picture of the OLD Camera with the NEW camera, but I don't quite know how to use the new camera.

 I don't know where the memory chip is stored. And besides, my husband says this new improved Canon camera works wirelessly (or will work wirelessly as soon as he can figure out how to put it up on our network) so I don't need to keep opening the slot in the camera where the memory chip is to post a picture each day on my blog, which is good because I broke the cover on the slot on the old camera. It doesn't close properly and often slides open as you are taking a picture, causing the camera to shut down. (So it goes.)

I really do have to read the instructions on the New Canon Camera before I start using it. I bought the old Camera before a trip to Europe and never really figured out how to use it on that sojourn. That's why I have no nice videos of my aunt in England, which is very sad.

I've only started using the old camera to make videos a few months ago, which is even sadder, and soon after, I realized I needed a brand new camera because the biggest chip it holds is 2 GIG. (Is that the term?)

Now, back to the fashion business.  As I wrote at the beginning, in the post before this one, I uploaded a cover of a 1908 Delineator Magazine with a cover showing a Grecian Style Dress.

Grecian Style is no frivolous style. It's a very loaded style. I know, I've been watching I Claudius on YouTube, and listening to various lectures on Roman Culture on In Our Time on the BBC Radio Four and also downloading Livy, Pliny and Artistotle's Poetics off Gutenberg and putting these books on my Kindle.

I've had the Kindle for three years but only discovered the other day that you could download PDF's and Kindle files onto it. (The fact that Gutenberg had Kindle files should have been a dead giveaway.)

So, that being the case, last night I decided to download my work in progress School marms and Suffragettes onto my Kindle to read it more easily... as well as to LISTEN to it but that option doesn't work on a PDF, so I went to the ebook on my Kindle USING YOUR KINDLE, the one that tells you how to use your Kindle (I did this for the first time) and I learned that I can send a Word document to FOR FREE and they will convert my novel-in-progress to Kindle format.


So I did just that and I listened to my story School Marms and Suffragettes(based on 1910 letters) and found this a useful way to edit. I can HEAR how my words sound and HEAR my mistakes.

If I am going to eventually try to sell my story on Amazon, I might as well learn how it reads in a Kindle. The Medium is the Message...

I have some French poetry in the story (by Victor Hugo) and the voice reader does a very funny job of it, which is fitting as the protagonist is also English and can't pronounce the words.

Here (finally) is the bit about The Servitude of Fashion from Everywoman's Encyclopaedia, 1910-1912 era, the era of Tighsolas.

Now we come to a consideration of dress so chosen and arranged that it shall enhance the good points of the personality and minimise the inharmony of the bad points.

To do the first well is often to accomplish the second. It sometimes happens that an artist has a more difficult task than this.

Good points must be minimised so as to allow a few good points to gain some position.

The wise woman who must on a limited income be her own artist, will have to view herself in a mirror as an artist about to paint his own portrait would view himself - and she must, if she wants to make her dress an aid to whatever beauty she may possess, ruthlessly put herself in the more difficult position of the artist in dress, and from this no whim of fashion can cajole her.

She may consider and use fashion - indeed she must, or otherwise she will defeat her own object and make her dress disagreeably and inartistically conspicuous, but she must never forget to modify a fashion where it may be likely to prove cruel to her defects, and to do this she must know some of the general rules of ornament. There are five, repetition, alternation, symmetry, progression and confusion.

..To be continued.

 Now, when the author writes "personality" he clearly means "figure".

Figures come in and out of fashion too. I myself am built along Renaissance lines, but that kind of body isn't the fashion today and wasn't in the sixties either. (I remember a young man at college coming up to me and saying, "You are built just like Botticelli's models." So I smiled in agreement. He added. "I HATE Botticelli women, they are FAT."

 Oh well.

So a defect in one era is an asset in another. Although the Greeks would say that can't be the case, beauty and truth are eternal.

And this blog post would not please Cicero, it's all over the place. I bet the five rules for fashion could also go for essay writing.

Venus on a mural at Pompeii. Now in my bathroom, which I have decided to re-decorate in the Roman Style, because that would mean I can leave the OLD BROWN TILES where they are.