The Victorian Era- Fashion, Dating & Furniture
One might wonder where the connection between fashion, dating and furniture lie, really it quite simple, but first consider some common occurrences during the 21st Century specifically the year 2010.
First, what do people, especially women, wear on a formal night out?
Second, when on a first date, where might the two participants go?
Finally, when formally dressed, for a first date, where is the couple sitting?
All answers to these questions are vastly different in the year 2010 versus common replies during the Victorian Era (1830-1900). So ladies, imagine yourself getting ready for a night out-formal attire of course-and you’re reaching in your closet for that great black slim fitted gown, but instead you’re pulling out the heaviest piece of clothing in the world, that has a crinoline frame and is nearly six feet in diameter. Forgetting the fact that you’re clothing weighs twenty pounds and is made of the heaviest fabrics-cotton, flannel or wool-you now have to figure out how to maneuver through your home.
A positive note in this is your home is designed on a larger scale, the bigger the better, your status in society depends on this. The staircases have been widened to make maneuvering easy for your wide dresses. As you come downstairs you wait for your date to “call on you”. While waiting you take notice of your decorating scheme. Forget the modern/contemporary era of simplistic furniture, clean lines, and bold colors, you’re staying in the height of fashion so your home reflects one of three popular styles: Renaissance/Italian, Medieval/Queen Anne or Gothic Revival. You take pride in the fact your home incorporates the light colors, frescoed ceilings, chandeliers, elaborate ceiling cornices, pediments above doors and marble fireplaces of the Renaissance theme. And in keeping with era, disregard the clutter because every available surface space is filled with trinkets-china, wax flowers, stuffed birds and boxes-again, your status in society depends on this. No wealthy individual wants a bare room, yuck!
Finally your date has “come to call” normally, or modernly, your date would arrive, ring the doorbell and out the door you go for a night out. Instead you are immediately gathered into the formal sitting room of your home, with a necessary chaperon nearby. Now comes the biggest challenge of the night, sitting. Your dress is heavy and average-male-height wide so sitting should be a graceful art form. Luckily seating during the Victoria ear has been made with you in mind.
Double seats called tête a tête are designed for women to sit comfortably with their skirts spread about them without crushing the fabric. This furniture is also ideal because it allows you to flirt comfortably with your date without sitting too close. Other pieces of furniture found during this time have separating backrests that prevent touching while a couple is getting to know each other. Suddenly you flashback to a date last weekend at the local movie theater where the arm rests can be lifted between seats to make dating more personal, go figure.
For more articles from the historical perspective follow the link below
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