Monday, November 30, 2009

"the turn of the century [and my sister] called..."

I wasn't going to update today.  I have followed Andrew Sullivan's advice for blogging pretty much ever since he gave it to me in mid-October, only missing one update.  Due to my current level of stress and work overload I was going to give myself a little break today, and more breaks between the Emilie Autumn concert on Thursday and the end of finals week in three weeks.

My twin sister, however, began harping me about the lack of an update today before I had even taken off my coat after coming back from my blogging class.  I had an appropriately sisterly response: I made fun of her for being concerned about my blog.  She told me that it bothered her that I managed to update every single day in November up until now, but was going to throw in the towel on the very last day.  Her OCD wasn't going to allow only 29 updates out of a possible 30, so I had to update before midnight ruined her self-imposed goal for my blog.

I made dinner instead, and when I came back up to the bedroom we share she demanded to know if I had updated. 

"No Leigh, I haven't."

"What are you waiting for?  POST SOMETHING.  RIGHT. NOW."

She's worse than an editor, breathing down my neck like that and imposing a deadline on me.  That comparison is sure to at least irritate her, because she doesn't even like editors.  Except she's been doing nothing but edit her fiction novel for the past few days, so that must have warped her brain somehow.

Anyway, on to the point of this blog post.  We received free copies of GQ in our blogging class tonight (I got the Clint Eastwood cover!)  While flipping through the Style section I came across a very relevant article to this blog.  One that Joel failed to tell me about.  Thanks Joel.

Mike Albo's article, "The Turn of the Century Called..." is about the explosion of Victorian-styled fashions in 2009.  It's a terrific article. The writer mentions that fashion designers have been borrowing styles from the Victorian era for several years now, but that this trend has hit particularly hard this year: 2009 it reached an apex that put it right up there with disco and grunge.
So have military jackets, ruffled blouses, waxed mustaches and cameo necklaces hit a full, era-defining rebirth like bell-bottoms and platform shoes? Albo suggests it is more of a white collar reinventing of the self as a reaction to the current, downward-spiraling economic situation:
All that distinguished facial hair and sober clothing hark back to another notable time America reached for the reset button.  The country slid from the Gilded Age (the late nineteenth century) toward a massive financial crisis (the Panic of 1893), and the public became outraged over the riches of railroad monopolists and bank barons (sound familiar?)
If that correlation is correct, then we might be able to associate the Victorians with not only economic depressions, but also mental ones.  Of course that is what Emilie Autumn already is doing.  And, come to think of it, so does the heroine of my historical fiction novel.  The Victorians must be the definition of depressing.

What I can say for the article as a whole is: either the author has been paying as much attention to the Victorian fashions as I have in the last four years (which I noticed were becoming increasingly popular while looking at Fall 2005 fashions in ELLE) or he got a useful hint about this trend from somewhere.  I'd like to think it was my blog that gave that hint, as I might have a better chance of getting recognized by GQ than most.  But my ego must admit that I don't actually cover fashion as much as other aspects of neo-Victorian culture, such as music and films.  And certainly not any men's fashion trends.

Besides, the idea is just plain preposterous. *sigh*  Keep dreaming, silly blogger.

I'd link to the article, but it's not on their website.  So you'll have to buy GQ, because I refuse to scan it and post it here for ethical reasons (and selfish ones... I'd like to not fail my blogging class, thank you very much.)

Instead, here's some 19th century-esque eye candy:

image source: Ace Showbiz
And Leigh, if you can see this: I UPDATED!!!!!!!!!!

Now stop yelling at me from across the room and let me finish my other schoolwork.


  1. What years exactly composed the Victorian era?

  2. That depends on who you're asking, but the general consensus is that the Victorian Era was during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). True Victorian culture (or even neo-Victorian culture), seems to be concentrated more around the lifestyles, issues and fashions of 1860-1900. Not that anyone has really said that, but that is what I have been noticing in my research.