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A Fashion Feast: The New Victorian


A Fashion Feast: The New Victorian

Erin Burke

Fall Winter 2015/2016 runways were wrought with the revival of Victorian styles, a refreshing refrain for winter fashion and falling perfectly into alignment with our first theme The Feasts’.  The Victorian era was based on British history, a period of Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837-1901 and was defined by peace, prosperity and a newly refined sensibility.  It also brought with it a veering away from the rationalism of the Georgian period which preceded it, ushering in ideas of romanticism and mysticism both culturally and religiously.  There was a strong focus on moralistic and straight laced behavior which literally reveals itself in the buttoned up, high collared fashions of the day. Even as family life changed becoming more compartmentalized, people being able to afford to both marry younger and move out of a multiple family unit into a home shared only by the nuclear family, the idea of privacy was introduced into what had become yet another new concept, the middle class.

Bourgeois existence was a world of interior space, heavily curtained off and wary of intrusion, and opened only by invitation for viewing on occasions such as parties or teas."The essential, unknowability of each individual, and society's collaboration in the maintenance of a façade behind which lurked innumerable mysteries, were the themes which preoccupied many mid-century novelists."

While the Victorian era was a time of great peace, the idea of façade has come to define this period. Lofty ideals of proper society prevailed as prostitution and child labor lurked in dark corners.  

The romanticized ideas we saw on the runways were tapping into the best reinterpretations of this era.  High collars, ruffles, and lace all made an appearance as a nod to the era but bright colors, leather details, and sexy silhouettes added some modern flair. At Giles, Alberta Ferretti, Roberto Cavalli, Rodarte and Altuzarra the spirit of 19th century England was resoundingly music to our ears, and perfect attire to celebrate the Feasts of the holidays that are upon us.  

Photo: Alexander McQueen FW 2015/2016

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