Lately I’ve been longing for the past. A simpler time. No debt ceiling crises or unemployment or standardized testing. Aw, who am I kidding? I just long for the clothes! I’ve been watching Downton Abbey on Netflix and I just saw Midnight in Paris at the theater. Both have gotten me drooling over the fashions of the past.
Downton Abbey is set in Great Britain around 1915. The women wear gorgeous, intricate dresses all of the time. Most of the dresses wouldn’t translate well into practical modern styles, but I’ve especially taken note of some interesting neckline and sleeve details that could be incorporated successfully into current styles. There was one especially wonderful and humorous moment when one of the daughters ordered a new “frock” and when she came down to dinner dressed in it, it turned out to be a pantsuit a la Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin. I won’t be recreating that anytime soon, but there are other ideas I’ve gleaned from the show.
Midnight in Paris mainly showcases two eras–the present and 1920s Paris. The dresses from the 1920s might be my favorite of any era. (It’s an era where being petite and non-curvy is actually an asset, so it’s right for my body type.) I’ve never been brave enough to sew myself an ensemble that resembles 1920s fashions, but I might now that I’ve seen how lovely Marion Cotillard looked in a simple dropped-waist dress. What I’m sure I’ll need to experiment with is finding fabrics and embellishments that don’t make it look like a costume.