Author Topic: Elements of style  (Read 22897 times)

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Offline zlata nikolaevna

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Elements of style
« on: January 16, 2013, 06:52:56 AM »
I don't know if this subject has been discussed before.

One of the things that attracts me to the era, is, apart from the history etc., the style of it all. Mainly the edwardian part of it, but also the perfection of Maria Feodorovna's image.

I was thinking, what elements of style could we adopt in our modern lives, elements that wouldn't be inappropriate or out of date. The classic quality that we can keep out of all that grandeur, opulence and luxury.

In terms of home decoration and/or personal style. Has anyone ever been influenced in such a way, and if so how?

For example, I bought pearl studs and discovered they are very becoming, although I never used to wear them.

Any thoughts?


Alixz

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Re: Elements of style
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 09:41:05 AM »
With the modern sense (in the US anyway) that everyone should dress "down" as much as possible and the uniform of choice is torn jeans, sloppy sweatshirts and t-shirts "hoodies" and athletic shoes, I doubt that much can be done in the way of clothing style.

I am a bit older than many who post here and I miss the days when women wore dresses and skirts to work and heels and even hats (like the Duchess of Cambridge).

I love the Duchesses style in public and although I know that she must also "dress down' she certainly knows how to dress "up" when she needs to.

We had a 90th birthday party for my mother early last year and I was disgusted by how many guests came to the restaurant in jeans and t-shirts and those annoying caps (baseball caps) that men seem to think they have stuck to their heads.

Even for important events like weddings, guests show up in the most abominable outfits.

I wish it weren't so, but I think that style is dead.


Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Elements of style
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 09:44:56 AM »
I've started to collect late Victorian/early Edwardian gentlemen's stick pins. 

Offline edubs31

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Re: Elements of style
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 10:12:56 AM »
I agree with Alixz.

What we see now are fashion 'trends' but nothing, from what I can tell, that suggests true style indicative of the era. Which, as it turns out, is indicative of our era where there really is no style. Nothing consistent at least, and nothing that a hundred years from now someone can look at and say, "that Scarlett Johansson dress is quintessential for it's mid-2000s to early early 2010's period".

There seems to be a lot of 'retread' fashion out there. Bringing back clothing that was trendy from yesteryear and putting a slightly new spin on it. Basically a hodge-podge. Thick rimmed glasses have somehow made a comeback. And speaking of baseball caps that flat brim look which used to be considered incredibly dorky is now the "it" thing. I heard just recently that braces are now trendy and that many kids are foregoing the more technologically advanced invisible brace lines in favor of multi-colored metallic jaws, lol.

I too find it rather appalling how people dress when they attend formal gatherings or even go out to eat in a nice restaurant. Fathers in ratty old jeans wearing baseball caps at upscale restaurants (who don't enforce a dress code but should). I wore my baseball cap all the time as a kid when I was out playing around but my parents never would have allowed me to do so in public buildings or restaurants.

But with the propensity of our society to make everything 'old' new again, perhaps an early 20th century fashion revolution is right around the corner :-)
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Maria the Beautiful

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Re: Elements of style
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 02:06:09 PM »
While all of you who answered before me referenced styles of clothing/furnishings, my first thought when I read the question leaned towards the intangibles, like courtesy and etiquette.   I'm not a stuffy person by any means, but I can't get used to the rudeness of so many people these days - young and old.   It's pretty sad when you can single someone out for politeness.   It should be the other way around.   While I don't believe we need to be as uptight as the Victorians/Edwardians, I'd like to see a little of their "rules of behavior" come back for another go around before I leave this earth.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 02:10:08 PM by Maria the Beautiful »

Offline Vecchiolarry

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Re: Elements of style
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 11:30:33 PM »
Hi Maria,

I agree with you 100%.
Common courtesy is parampunt to a solid civilization.  "Please" & "Thank You" & "Your Welcome" are the foundation of good manners;  but sadly are rare to hear now-a-days...

Larry

Offline zlata nikolaevna

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Re: Elements of style
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 02:43:56 AM »
I agree with all the previous comments. I was thining about fashion, home and manners.

So how would you go about it, borrowing from that era?

As far as manners are concerned, of course respect and a polite way of speaking to people is essential. Also charity and generally helping when there is need, even if it is the smallest thing. A smile, or cheerful behaviour is also a good thing, and not sulking all over the place if you have personal worries.

As far as fashion is concerned, here are my thoughts. The idea of a well groomed person is no longer something people aspire to. It's not a matter of expensive clothes and jewelry at all. It is a matter of being dressed for the occasion, elegant and well put together. To translate their style to modern life it takes some thought. Pearls are impossible to wear the way they wore them, but you might have a pair of simple earrings, a discreet necklace, or a broach. Diamonds, the same way. They don't even have to be real, because there are such good imitations out there. Make up, there is the art of wearing it to appear natural and fresh. Thank heaven we don't have the restrictions "ladies don't wear makeup" any more! The same goes for corsets, I am so greatful we don't have to wear them. However, their walking suits can be translated to a pair of becoming jeans with a blazer on top, and comfortable shoes that are not athletic shoes, but elegant and ladylike. For better occasions we have suits, skirts, trousers, dresses etc. For formal wear we have cocktail dresses with hints of lace, velvet, silk etc. I believe we can get in their mood while being modern and elegant at the same time. It's also important to be active and healthy in the modern world, because not everything from that era was fine. If you eat today the way the rich or the poor ate back then, you'd have health problems in zero time.

As for perfume, I have read some topics on the subject here in this forum.

Well groomed is the key phrase here. There are several videos on line, from previous decades, and I have read some etiquette books from times past, but how can we transfer all that to modern times? I am a very modern person, but I still want some beauty in my life. Sometimes I think that we are urged    to make our life the ugliest possible.

As for the home, I was was thinking white cutwork linen, lace and beautiful objects. Glass and crystal, and silver if you can afford it. The simplest thing in the more beautiful form you can have. For example, your telephone book with a nice cover. Details make the difference.  A general atmosphere of warmth and beauty.
And icons of course, which I already have anyway, being a Greek.


I would love other members' opinions and ideas, because this is something I have been wanting to do for quite sometime (redo my home's decoration and adjust my wardobe), but I don't have a clear idea in my head. So any help is welcome!

Offline IvanVII

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Re: Elements of style
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 02:57:24 AM »
I think society would benefit from a "return to style". Lord save me from saggy pants. As a child if my pants slipped at all I was told, "Pull up your pants and put a belt on". That was a long long time before the  current sag fad.

25 years ago sagging pants were the sign of a criminal street gang member, now every kid from the suburb does it.

About a year ago two very dear friends of ours got married. They had the wedding at the Queen Mary in Long Beach CA. It was themed as a retro 40's era wedding. Everyone was dressed with a sense of style. Most of the men (me included) had fedoras. My wife even made a very nice flowered hair pin for herself. We had a great time and most amazing was even the younger generations who showed up and dressed up acted much more mature than was normal. After the reception we went to the "Observation Bar and Art Deco Lounge" on board the ship. There were about 20 of us from the wedding including the bride and groom. All of us were dressed for the part. All the other patrons in the bar just stopped for about 5 seconds when we walked in and gawked. We received numerous compliments through out the evening.

I think there is something to dressing with class and how it makes you feel and act overall.

Offline zlata nikolaevna

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Re: Elements of style
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 03:06:53 AM »


I think there is something to dressing with class and how it makes you feel and act overall.

I agree with you. Other people as well react to it in a positive way.

One day, me and my girlfriends were drinking coffee in a coffee house in Athens. We were sitting at an outside table, being a glorious day. An older gentleman, very well dressed, three piece suit in the middle of the summer (!) and carrying a walking stick, stopped and told us this:
I would like to congratulate you young ladies, for not smoking!
Obviously he was outraged at girls smoking in public, and he just had to say it  :)
Now, one of my friends was actually a smoker, but she didn't dare object, hehe! Apparently she liked the compliment.


Everytime I have dressed in a well groomed (but modern) manner, I have seen positive and respectful reactions, even from the younger men, not just the older ones.




Offline Превед

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Re: Elements of style
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2013, 12:22:30 PM »
Regarding the baseball cap rants in this thread:
Isn't its ubiquity strikingly similar to the widespread use of caps in Imperial Russia among males? In Western Europe mostly working class men wore caps (berets in France, sixpence caps in the UK - white collar workers wore proper hats), but in Russia every chinovnik, from petty official to general, wore a cap, didn't the?
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Mike

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Re: Elements of style
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2013, 08:36:02 AM »
Visor caps were part of officials' everyday uniform. With their dress uniform, they wore cocked hats.