Woman as Decoration


The foregoing chapters have aimed at showing the decorative value of woman's costume as seen in the art of Egypt, Greece, Gothic Europe, Europe of the Renaissance and during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. To prove the point that woman is a telling note in the interior decoration of to-day, the vital spark in any setting, we have not dwelt upon the fashions so much as decorative line, colour-scheme and fitness for the occasion.

It is costume associated with caste which interests us more than folk costume. We have shown that it is the modern insistence on efficiency that has led to appropriate dress for work and recreation, and that our idea of the chic and the beautiful in costume is based on appropriateness. Also we have shown that line in costumes is in part the result of one's "form"—the absolute control of the body, its "carriage," poise of the head, action of legs, arms, hands and feet, and that form means successful effort in any direction, because through it the mind may control the physical medium.

It is the woman who knows what she should wear, what she can wear and how to wear it, who is most efficient in whatever she gives her mind to. She it is who will expend the least time, strength and money on her appearance, and be the first to report for duty in connection with the next obligation in the business of life.

Therefore let us keep in mind a few rules for the perfect costuming of woman:

Appropriateness for each occasion so as to get efficiency, or be as decorative as possible.

Outline.—Fashion in silhouette adapted to your own type.

Background.—Your setting.

Colour scheme.—Fashionable colours chosen and combined to express your personality as well as to harmonise with the tone of setting, or, if preferred, to be an agreeable contrast to it.

Detail.—Trimming with raison d'être,—not meaningless superfluities.

It is, of course, understood that the attainment of beauty in the costuming of woman is our aim when stating and applying the foregoing principles.

The art of interior decoration and the art of costuming woman are occasionally centred in the same individual, but not often. Some of the most perfectly dressed women, models for their less gifted sisters, are not only ignorant as to the art of setting their stage, but oblivious of the fact that it may need setting.

Remember, that while an inartistic room, confused as to line and colour-scheme can absolutely destroy the effect of a perfect gown, an inartistic, though costly gown can likewise be a blot on a perfect room.



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