Thursday, 18 October 2007

Responding to a quote

The ascendancy of the bourgeoisie works a change in women’s wear. Clothing and hairstyles take on added dimensions…it was not long before the old hoop-petticoats came back into favour and full skirts were the thing.
Women, thus accoutered, appeared destined for a sedentary life – family life – since their manner of dress had about it nothing to suggest or seem to further the idea of movement. Hoop skirts went the way of the accented rear. Everything that could keep women from remaining seated was encouraged; anything that could have impeded their walking was avoided. They wore their hair and their clothes as though they were to be viewed in profile. For the profile is the silhouette of someone who passes, who is about to vanish from our sight. Dress became an image of the rapid movement that carries away the world

Charles Blanc, quoted by Walter Benjamin in The arcades project, 1999.

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