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Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Stumbled upon this article. And, it is full of stuff that interests me. Hope you will read about women and fashion and being taken seriously (or not.) Also, interesting notes on Duchess author, Amanda Foreman, and woman politician, Margaret Thatcher. – Kimberly

(excerpt from) Times on Line UK

TV ‘genius’ Gail Trimble leads the march of the bluestockings

Gail Trimble has infuriated critics by both being very intelligent and refusing to have a celebrity-style makeover

by Alexandra Frean and Helen Rumbelow / February 28, 2009

Britain has a problem: we are overproducing something that we have little idea what to do with. We can’t get rid of it, and many loathe it unless it’s disguised as something else. The product? Clever women.

This week saw the “victory” of Gail Trimble, the cleverest contestant on University Challenge. Not that you would know we were celebrating.

The reaction to the 26-year-old – who is studying for a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford – swung wildly between gross sexual insults and gross sexual invitations.

The fact that she did not dress like Paris Hilton simply added to her offence. Here was a living embodiment of that favourite female stereotype: the “bluestocking” – a clever woman unbothered by looks or fashion sense… (more…)

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The costumes for the movie “The Duchess” were gorgeous and detailed. The subject of the movie, Georgiana the Duchess of Devonshire, nee Lady Georgiana Spencer, was known for being a fashion plate, and for using fashion in the service of politics. So, it is only appropriate. At the movie web-site, you can see the costumes, created by Michael O’Connor, in unique windows with the ability to zoom in and turn the costume around. If you want to see some pretty 18th century style dresses, you should click on: here. There is also an interesting dress, with a military flavor, which shows how Georgiana would dress up in the colors of her party, the Whig Party.

So, now, The Duchess has received the Oscar for “Best Costume.” Very nice. Hope it brings attention to the story of Georgiana. She was a fascinating woman.

Do you wonder what Georgiana would say about the fact that the movie portraying her life, and her character as “The Empress of Fashion”, won an Academy Award for Best Costume? With Georgiana, the answer is easy.

As noted similarly at several sources, including Wikipedia, Georgiana had the same response to all compliments. The story goes that when Georgiana was stepping out of her carriage one day, an Irish dustman exclaimed, “Love and bless you, my lady, let me light my pipe in your eyes!”, a compliment which she often recalled whenever others complimented her by retorting, “After the dustman’s compliment, all others are insipid.”

Hope you will browse the Georgiana Circle web-site, and leave any of your thoughts about Georgiana, the movie, the Academy Awards, or 18th century fashion.

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I stumbled across this piece when doing on-line searches for Georgiana. The auction site is: here.

It is a beautiful painting of Georgiana, done after her death, but based on the 1787 original from Thomas Gainsborough.

“Ferdinand van Stoopendaal (Swedish, b. 1850), “Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire”, oil on canvas, after the 1787 original by Thomas Gainsborough (English, 1727-1788), 16 in. x 20 in., framed”

A wonderful tribute to Lady Georgiana Spencer, ancestor to Princess Diana. Lady Georgiana Spencer later became the Duchess of Devonshire.

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The movie “The Duchess”, based on the life of Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire, was nominated for some Oscar Awards: art direction and costume design. The story is at Ohio.com.

It was surprising to me, and to at least one other commentator, that Ralph Fiennes was not nominated for an Oscar. Fiennes’ excellent performance as the Duke of Devonshire had earned him a Golden Globe nomination. The story is at the Philipine Daily Inquirer. An interesting story about Oscar surprises and upsets.

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From my other blog…

For the Inaugural balls, First Lady Michelle Obama wore white. Which is sweet, like a young bride.

And, the AP describes her gown in this way:

“…a white chiffon one-shoulder gown…

“Her full-skirted dress had a strap across her right shoulder, a ruched bodice, fluffy appliques and sparkly beading.”

The gown is by designer Jason Wu.

The Los Angeles Times says Jason Wu is an “American designer and up-and-coming talent. Wu is 26 years old, was born in Taiwan and studied at Parsons in New York.”

I wanted to share that one of our Georgiana Circle readers partially predicted what Michelle Obama would wear. We were discussing how Michelle Obama’s choice might be affected by the economic crisis and war, and that she might want to use a vintage dress, or inexpensive off-the-rack, but Betty nailed it:

Betty commented:

Submitted on 2009/01/13 at 4:49pm
[7 days before the big event!]

I hope that Michelle Obama chooses a special gown from a young new designer. This would allow her to have something special to add to the First Ladies Collection (not one that anyone can get off the rack) and, probably, at a more reasonable cost than one from a known designer. OK, it’s not off the rack but if your husband (or YOU!!) were being inaugurated would you really not want to wear something special?

In addition…I had previously written favorably about another woman who wore white for a big political event. From my “Women and Politics and Fashion, etc.” post:

This political season, I also learned another great fashion trick for women politicians. The woman I am supporting for President of the United States is former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. At Ms. McKinney’s big event – the Green Party Presidential Convention – she wore a white pantsuit which stood out in the crowd like a bride’s dress. Combining professionalism, with one of the most common images of a woman at the center of an event, was a great maneuver. When Cynthia McKinney gave the political speech of the season and celebrated on stage after winning the nomination, the whole crowd was with her in a unique and mesmerizing way, and you couldn’t take your eyes off of her.

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I loved Aretha Franklin’s inaugural hat.  And, a news story reported it was one of the most buzzed about and blogged about items from today. My husband said it was a real “going to church hat.”

Here is what I wrote about it on my other blog, where I live-blogged the day:

Aretha Franklin was wonderful. I think by her repeating and intoning, she wanted to give the blessing of and emphasize “protect” and “let freedom ring.”

Ms. Franklin wore a beautiful and unique hat, exactly what should have been worn at an occasion like this, by the Queen of Soul. Her hat was sparkly and had a big bow, but all of it — even the bow — was in gray flannel, for the season and solemnity of the occasion.

[Later in the Democracy Now! coverage, Alice Walker notes that by including Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, in the ceremonies, President Obama has acknowledged and connected with the Divine Mother.]

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I will try to do a longer, summary post late tonight or tomorrow about the choices all the characters in this Inauguration Day wore.

Some early impressions:

Many people are noting that while the focus today will be on Barack Obama and his speech, the focus tonight – the socializing part – will be more on Michelle Obama (and her dress.)

For Inauguration Day – which includes a church service – Michelle Obama wore “a sparkling gold sheath dress with matching coat by Cuban-born American designer Isabel Toledo” (from AP story.) People are calling the dress yellow or gold-yellow. And, the color is said to symbolize hope for our country. It had an elegant, long coat. Barack Obama is dressed like any male government official, trying to look plain and authoritative in a black coat. He has on a dark suit, white shirt, and red tie.

I hate to be catty…but…I am not sure it was proper on a day like today for Jill Biden – the wife of the new Vice President – to wear shiny, high boots. Being even more catty, I did the math, and she is pretty young, younger than me. So, maybe this is her assertion of her youth and beauty!

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(More is coming soon, with the series on politics and fashion. For now, seems like everyone has Inaugural Fever. So, had to share this…)

Article with great suggestions and photos of green gowns and fair trade fashion that Michelle Obama (or you) could wear…

At Inhabitat: here

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My prettiest tote bag. It's handmade.

Betty Wood (r) presents Kimberly with a hand-sewn tote bag

What can one woman do to carry herself, her family, and her country safely through the current economic crisis?

Each day, more and more people are starting to feel the economic crunch. For some people, it is the loss of a job. For others, it is a home in foreclosure. For others, it is a general sense of less money, and more caution related to purchases such as food, gasoline and clothing. This holiday season brought us less shopping and less things, including less new sweaters, hats and mittens for the cold months.

In addition, there is a sense of lack brought on by the wasteful wars our country is engaged in over in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, the sense of grief and compassion for the civilians in those countries, and for the victims of the blockade and war in Gaza.

How can we respond to these events? How can we help to fix these events?

My solution is to make a partly symbolic and partly meaningful shift in the culture with a new fashion trend: applying frugality and voluntary simplicity to women’s fashion. (more…)

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There is a super article in the archives over at The Philadelphia Enquirer about fashion and politics. It includes suggestions of the meaning of certain wardrobe color choices, and what those colors convey to the public. And, the article gives some specific gossip and critique about who wore what where (Was that Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Michigan) looking soooo eighties at the 2007 State of the Union speech?)

(excerpt from) The Philadelphia Enquirer
State of the attire: Powerful prefer pastels
By Elizabeth Wellington, Inquirer Fashion Writer

If it’s true that politicians use every means at their disposal to make a point, the adoption of lighter colors could signify a desire to connect with a disenchanted public, experts say.

“When people wear soft, pastel colors, the message is one of approachability,” said Leatrice Eiseman, author of Color, Messages and Meanings (Handbook Press, $39.99) and spokeswoman for the Seattle-based Pantone Color Institute.

“It’s a completely different message from the red, power tie. . . . They are saying, ‘I’m really one with you.’ The pastel colors are not so much in your face.”

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