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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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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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