Posted by The Mysterious H.C. on August 27, 1998 at 10:35:45:
In response to The Woman in Fashion, Sizing, written by Patricia Bingham on August 26, 1998 at 21:32:36
] ...of appearances suggesting Leisure I have some examples. Conspicuous consumption is manifested in materials difficult to to obtain and laborious to produce; rare trimmings, lace, jewelry and furs. There are also, if I may be paradox, subtle forms of Conspicuous Consumption. The pure white lawns, muslins, and gauzes whiched looked so disarmingly unpretentious after the French Revolution actually required the perpetual attention of laundress and ladies maid; a rich silk would have been far less crushable and easily soiled. Similarly, the canezous and perelines of the 1830 were embroidered by hand with minuteness for which laborious is an inadequate term, but so discrete is the effect that the luxury of the garment would only be conspicuous among the elite.
By the way, of the Jane Austen heroines, it is only Emma who would have been at all likely to have a personal maid to wait on her alone. And the servants turned away from Sotherton by Mrs. Rushworth in Mansfield Park for daring to wear white (gasp! what presumption above their sphere!) wouldn't have had one either of course..."She was quite shocked when I asked her whether wine was allowed at the second table, and she has turned away two housemaids for wearing white gowns."
-- Mrs. Norris, talking of Mrs. Rushworth
- The White Wedding Dress P. Bingham 16:00:55 8/27/98 (0)
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