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#overdressed4life

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Restaurants and bars in Vilnius, the capitol of Lithuania, are reopening as restrictions are lifted. But social distancing is still in place and that posed a challenge for restaurant owner Bernie Ter Braak, “Empty tables inside our restaurant look rather odd, and we don’t have any way to remove them,” he explained.

Then Braak and designer Julija Janus had a brilliant idea! They contacted some local fashion designers and invited them to dress mannequins in their latest designs and place them at empty tables in reopened restaurants, cafes, and bars. Now through the end of May, several dozen establishments are featuring fashions from nineteen boutiques. Information about the clothes and designers is made available for interested patrons.

“The fashion industry is particularly affected by the lock-down,” said Julia Janus. “Local boutiques used to sell the niche, original pieces created by local designers. As they are currently closed due to the quarantine, designers do not have many opportunities to showcase their latest collections, and in general, the consumption is down. We hope that this campaign will move the waters and local designers will gain some visibility.”

In the spirit of collaboration one of Europe’s leading mannequin manufacturers, IDW, showed their support by generously offering to loan their mannequins free of charge.

As I said, this is a brilliant idea and I hope it catches on around the globe. I would definitely have lunch or grab a cup of coffee with a fashionable dummy.

* Images provided by Go Vilnius.

 

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Above is a 1961 photo (postcard) of  the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), which was a separate branch of the US Army until 1978. WAC started serving at the Presidio in 1944, where they worked as clerks, mechanics, drivers, and they took on responsibilities such as repair and public relations.

The uniform these women are wearing was designed in 1950 by Hattie Carnegie, who was known for excellence in women’s suits.

I recently read that one way to honor Memorial Day is to pause at 3pm in a moment of silence for the men and women who died while serving in the United States military.

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Edwardian ladies in lace. 

Society tottered through the last of the pre-War parties, waved tiny lace handkerchiefs, and carried elaborate parasols until the War came with its sweeping changes. 

Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon (1863-1935), British fashion designer.

World War I (1914-1918) brought about many changes in fashion, particularly for women. Long lacy gowns were replace by shorter skirts and jackets in sturdy fabrics. No more excessively large hats but instead close fitted hats with little to no embellishments. Women were now on the move and their clothes had to move with them.

With this Covid-19 pandemic,  we might see our own changes in fashion. Or will we? Truth be told, we really can’t get any more casual. Perhaps we will flip to the other side and want to dress up, but I doubt it. For starters, most people don’t even know how to do that anymore.

One added accessory will be masks. Perhaps more people will want to wear hats, as added protection. Also, gloves. Matching sets! I see a potential for additional pockets in clothing to make things like hand sanitizer quickly accessible. Otherwise, with the distraction of the virus and wanting to keep distant and stay safe, people, now more than ever, are going to want to be comfortable.

Another one of my go-to movies is Miss Potter.

This 2006 film tells the bittersweet story of Beatrix Potter (played by Renee Zellweger) and the challenges she faces getting her children’s books (Peter Rabbit et al!) published  at the turn of the last century, when women just didn’t do such things.

No indeed, women instead must get married and despite Mrs. Potter’s best efforts to introduce her daughter to the right sort of suitor, Miss Potter says, ” I didn’t want to be marrying a man simply because he was rich enough to take care of me!” Then she met Norman Warne a publisher, and someone who connects with and appreciates Miss Potter. Warne is played by Mr. McGregor … a little Peter Rabbit inside joke … that would be Ewan McGregor.

Zellweger’s charming vulnerability is always a pleasure to watch and she does not disappoint in balancing the tenacity with the loneliness of her character, who easily wins our hearts. The costumes, by three-time Academy Award winner Anthony Powell, are an array of Edwardian treats: gored skirts paired with shirtwaists (button down blouses), high collars, belts, and small hats. Tailor-mades too, which were women’s suits made by tailors not seamstresses, who until the 1890s had made all women’s clothing. The men don three piece suits, detachable collars, and ties! I very much enjoy the London street scenes of the early 20th century as well as some beautiful countryside scenes.

There’s a bit of sadness in Miss Potter, but nothing dark and of course it ends on a hopeful note. “Pleasant and unadventurous” is what one reviewer said about this film and funny enough, that’s just my cup of tea right now.

 

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Florence Nightingale is credited for raising the profile of nurses during the Crimean War, 1853-1856.  

 

Today is the last day of National Nurses Week and Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

 

Thank you to all nurses who work so hard offering care, compassion, and comfort. 

 

I have an interest in nurse uniforms. Just for fun, below are some uniform styles of the past.

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James Purefoy is Beau Brummel in Beau Brummel: This Charming Man

The Dandy Style less is more. No wigs, no powder, we don’t use scent. The Dandy wears trousers. The Dandy washes. The Dandy is clean. The Dandy is neat. The Dandy does what he wants, when he wants, where he wants. 

From the 2006 movie Beau Brummel: This Charming Man.

Beau Brummel (1778-1840) was a British fashion icon who is credited with moving men’s fashion during the Regency period from Fop to Dandy.

Fops overdid themselves with wigs, heavy white powder on their faces, and embellished garb, which included breeches, hose, heavily embroidered waistcoats, frills around the neck, and coats all in bright colors. Brummel rejected all that and created a simple look: trousers, waistcoat, cravat, cutaway coat, and a top hat. Not that the Dandy didn’t put as much attention into his look as the Fop, but it was a simpler ensemble. Brummel claimed it was effortless, yet it is said that he took hours to dress.

 

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From afar we wish all mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day.