Monday, 7 February 2011
Victorian Orphan Chic
The last few days have been hugely windy. Great gusts throw whirling leaves and birds into the heavy sky, and stray fragments of wind whistle down the chimney and moan in my hearthplace. A perfect night, in short, to imagine myself as a Victorian orphan in an attic.
I've always loved the Victorian period for styling and verging-on-the-sentimental drama, full of girls bereft at an early age who only manage to pull through due to an overactive imagination and innate sense of right and wrong. In London, it's even easier to identify with these past heroines, as I walk past rows of Georgian houses with the top windows overlooking the sparrows among the chimney pots.
What is Victorian Orphan chic? A hungry look, a pale complexion, a too-short but well made dress from days before poverty struck, and a borrowed book for keeping oneself educated. : )
My two favourite Victorian orphan heroines are Emily (of course) from Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery and Sara Crewe from Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess.
I fancy I have their same roving imaginations, curiosity for all kinds of books, and Emily's literary leanings... unlike Sara though, I have no attic rat to make friends with, since the pest control man took care of our resident mice earlier this week.
P.S. If you only know A Little Princess through the abominable film version, don't let that turn you off. A classic example of a bad American remake. No offense to any Americans, but why does Hollywood have to take other cultures' literary and cinematic treasures, and remake them boring and bad, with a miscast American star? On the other hand, there's no excuse for the awful Canadian TV adaptation of the Emily books. It's our own cultural heritage we were destroying there...
velvet dress: vintage
lace: fabric shop
shoes: Camper (they are really comfy, to the person who wanted to know before, and I believe they're available in the States...)
rings: Whitby and Grannie