Fashion ain't frivolous, as some might think. While most of ya'll assume fashion began wif' Eve, it were akshully Adam who began the embellishment of yore basic tiger skin toga. Spend a soupcon of time in any moosem of ancient weapons an' see how a plain javelin is a rareity. No, chillen's, what ya'll will find is exquisitely designed, finely wrought instruments of of persuasion an' befittin' attire to complete the image of soldier/sire/seigneur.
The male propensity fer peacockiness of course was meant to convey prowess (handy fer the wooin' of women An' the whomping of enemy egos).
By the time history relegated the King to foppish window dressin', he were sportin' not boots but high heels--a trend we can lose in the mists of the past as fer as Aunty is concerned.
While some done reasonably figgered that heels for men were in the same category as wigs fer men--to give height and hair whar' thar' warn't much--historians think tat fer Western Men of Substance heels was akin to the Chinese fat belly--a sign of leisure and plenty. Let's face it folks, a fella in high heels cain't exactly chase down a dragon and stomp the stuffin' outa the beast.
Them high heels fer Kings and cohorts was a means to sayin', "I doesn't do no sweaty work---summon mah henchmen forthwith!" Others make a point that might git right to the heart of it-- heels for men and women since Pharaoh was a baby is an indicator of status, literally, "I'se higher than you."
Mebbe. Thang is, platforms slipped over the soles was used by all manner of blokes to keep they "good" shoes outa the pig plop until they arrived in the baronial hall whether baron or butcher. (thas not to say that Moi cain't have a pair of Jimmy's Gladiator platforms!)
All this I mention jes' so the fellas readin' this post woan groan an' think this heah is another girly show of clothes and shoes.
The gurus of personal persuasion insist we have jes' three seconds to leave our mark on the brain of another human. Three seconds.
In that amount of time youse givin' visual cues what total up to the all important First Impression.
Or none. Spies, ya' recall, work hard at givin' no cues an' lookin' like beige paint on dirty walls. In that blink of time your status, education, health, age, profession, personality, and a zillion of minor distinctions as to region, ethnicity, clan, tribe is noted by the fella that jes' shook yore hand. His brain is whirrin' at light-speed collatin' and tabulatin' so he can figger out whar' ya fit in the world, how ya fit relative to him, what ya might do fer him, what ya might want from him, an what his strengths to yore weaknesses are and vicey-versa.
What folks see first is faces an posture, followed by clothes an' adornments--or lack thar' of. I 'se inordinately fond of the stories if cracker folk who fool them city slickers, when the latter invest too much faith inwhat he thinks he sees in a dressed down good ole boy. They's particular clues we'uns have amongst ourselves that doan fit no mold, so it's roarin' good fun when a newcomer to our parts thinks he done sized up the lay of the land..then tumbles into a sinkhole. (do NOT confuse "cracker" wif' "redneck"...thas' whole 'nother post)
All of the above is by way of settin' the stage fer Madame Gres. (See Mute Monday in preceding post).
This French designer swathed great bodies and famous names from the 30s through the 1980s. Durin' the 70s my own mama's stacks fashion magazines and the contents of her closet meant she could go from plantin' pansies to presentation balls--in two hours. The transformation was always surreal. (Not unlike James Bond changing a tire an not mussin' up his cuffs.) To mah certain knowedge thar' was precious few designer frocks in mama's closet, a vintage Hattie Carnegie comes to mind--but in her sewing area thar' were patterns sold by Vogue wif' the famous Madame Gres silhouette (Jackie O wore Gres).
Gres knew the feminine form thanks to her first passion, sculpture. An' her famous gowns never failed to entice with a fluidity that ooozed of feminine mystery.
MYSTERY. Madonna doan have none. Britney doan have none. Paris has minus none.
Ladies, fer Maud's sake, leave a poor fella somethin to wonder about, somethin' to work fer....wear a few inches more fabric an' less gew-gaws so that in that first three seconds ya' ain't givin' away the farm. We ladies ought not arrange ourselves so that we's a book thas' read in jes' three seconds. Intrigue ought to be one of the responses--even if yore fella jes' seen ya at breakfast.
Seems to me that designers of old knew more about the space between he an' she and the glory of it. Perhaps that explains the new passion fer vintage look in modern fashioon.