“The remaining dresses, though they had lost their freshness, still kept the long unerring lines, the sweep and amplitude of the great artist's stroke, and as she spread them out on the bed the scenes in which they had been worn rose vividly before her. An association lurked in every fold: each fall of lace and gleam of embroidery was like a letter in the record of her past …”
“House of Mirth” Edith Wharton
Why do we keep some things in our wardrobes for ever. A special dress, a poignant memory, a longing to fit into it once more. Recalling how special it was to wear. What a success you had been in it. How daring you felt. How expensive it was. Buttons they just don’t make anymore. What a milestone it marked in your life. Faded glory, faded youth. A fabric and colour you just don’t see nowadays. A style you’d never find again.
Sometimes when reading a book, we can be instantly caught by a dress, a hat, a ball gown worn by a character and drawn with such skill by the author that we can see it, feel the fabric between our fingers, imagine what it would be like to wear, what it would be like to be that character. In this latest addition to her “Fashion In Literature” series, join Lise Rodgers for a closer look at some of the most fabulous frocks to be found in print.
LISE RODGERS is an accomplished Melbourne actress whose career has spanned stage, screen and radio. An interest in the world and characters of Jane Austen is the inspiration behind her series of Jane performances.
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956) designed by Charles Frederick Worth (French (born England), 1825–1895) ball Gown (three-piece), 1902 ‘velour de sabre’ collection of the Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti, Florence image supplied