Hello my dears! Today has been nothing short of frustrating. Some days I really wish I could go and hide away from the idiotic tedium, annoyances, and horror of this modern world*… but then that would mean leaving behind wonderful things like interacting with you, my delightful readers! And being able to research and learn about fabulous things such as the how and why of dressing ourselves in the wonderful objects we call clothing.
After the thoughts I shared in my last T.O.D. post, some things in life have changed: I have become a mother, my thoughts on some clothing styles have shifted**, and I have had some chances to experiment (or at least contemplate experimenting) with some new-to-me styles. So, I wanted to share a few musings on different fashion ideas and styles that have been warring inside my head.
First, there is what I like to call the more “modern” style. I don’t know if you have noticed the fringe trend towards classic, almost folk/peasant inspired garments that has been on the rise lately, but it certainly has intrigued me. Ever since I discovered Son de Flor, Pyne and Smith Clothiers, and Rennes, I have felt a draw to garments that have a relaxed fit, but a feminine/folky feel to them. The only problem with this is, I do not like how most relaxed fit dresses look on me***. I greatly prefer to have a defined waistline, and a good fit to my clothes. I just don’t feel comfortable, or “me”, otherwise. But there is that ever present curiosity as to “what if?” What if I tried it? Would I like it? If I didn’t have to invest time and/or money to try this style, I probably already would have, but alas I have not. And then there are the other styles I have been contemplating… such as…
Dirndls! Oh, and the random Russian Sarafan, which I absolutely LOVE the back style lines of. Dirndls pretty much sum up everything I like in a dress: heritage, gorgeous fit, beautiful details, the option of a front closure (nursing friendly in other words), and you can switch up the look by wearing different blouses underneath. And there are SO many style line options. My only quibble with my love for Dirndls is I’m not Austrian. However much I love the style, it doesn’t feel entirely “me”. I absolutely LOVE the Dirndl Gabe made me, and intend to make more to wear, but I feel the need to adhere less to the traditional idea of a dirndl, and instead take the concept and make it my own.
But then, you see, there is just one more style, or should I say era(?), that has been tugging at my mind (and fabric) for years now…
Ah! The 1910s, and the idyllic view of motherhood that started forming at that time. There are many delightful illustrations and photographs from the late 1910s, through to the early 1920s, of mothers with their children. The mothers look so fashionable, yet so, I don’t know, “home-like”. The type of person you would have wanted to run to as a small child, and sit in their lap as they read you a story. I have loved the 1910s for years, but the particular “motherhood” aspect of that era has become more of a draw to me of late. I am a mother now after all. I want to be “like that”. I suppose these women are a sort of role model to me in their gentle appearance, and motherly attitude.
And I know, the lady carrying the baby in a sling is not from the 1910s, and neither is the lady in the blouse and skirt; but they have that feeling I am trying to grasp. That effortless elegance. That “wrinkled enough that you are wearing your clothes, rather than your clothes wearing you.” I suppose the late Edwardian and WWI era styles possess a similar feeling to that which I talked about first: the relaxed fit of today’s dresses. The bloused tops and the a-line skirts of that bygone time are so practical, so feminine, and lend themselves to a plethora of delightful details.
Sigh… so many choices… so many differing passions…
But, you know what? I think just sitting down and writing about these three styles has brought me to a conclusion. I am going to try all three. Not in their pure form necessarily; but in a “Brijee” form. I am going to take what I like about each one, and blend them. I can see now their common theme: Clothes that belong to the person wearing them. Clothes that express who the person wearing them is. I suppose in a way, I want to create what they call in Arles, France, a “Costume”.
This quote from Nicole Niel, a defendant of the folk costume of Arles, Provence, France, sums up my thoughts better than I can: “Giving equal weight to the personality of the woman, her body, and the way she holds herself, and, something which is very important, this thing which grows inside oneself: The Costume”. This is what I want to do. This is what Brijee is about.
What do you think of folkwear as fashion?
What do you think of the notion of what you wear being a “costume”?
Which of these three styles would you try?
*Life, no matter how you slice it has all those things anyways I suppose… well, let’s hope it at least doesn’t have horror. 😉
**Don’t worry! I’m not going all blue jeans and a t-shirt on you all. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not my style… funny though… I am wearing my version of that as I write… 😛
***I think I have tried on, or worn, a total of two dresses without waist definition that I have actually liked.