Monday, January 4, 2010

4 January 1956 “Spring Suit and Woman’s Roles”

vogue feb 56 I think I have found my February Sewing Challenge. I saw this image on one of our followers sites (check out the new links page on the website) Isn’t this simply Deevy! Though, I have to say I can begin to see the ‘slight’ look of the models as we grow closer to 1960 as opposed to our shapely girl from 1950. Even this Dior from 1955 (last year)dior 55 Seems a little ‘fuller’.

This dress, by the way, is also so Dreamy! I don’t know what it is, but I just cannot get sick of a full skirt.  I will be talking about this more on the website on the sewing page, when I make the pattern and before then on the Fashion page.

I think the website shall really give me the ability, that I did not find on the blog, to elaborate over time on specific topics, such as this move from 1950-1960 of the female form and the thinning of  the silhouette. This could make it helpful if I decide to do a book (as I might do from last years 1955 project) from this year, I shall have so much categorized and laid out for me. It seems an interesting idea.

I think that my blog, here, however seems a good place to still hash out and propose ideas that then can be elaborated more on the website. They shall aide one another nicely, I hope. Will you, as my readers, find it odd to have both the blog and website? Does it seem redundant?

On that note, I figured I would also post my first ‘doodle’ here as well as it can also be found on the Challenges pages.drawing2 copy The initial idea was just to do scribbles, but for some reason I keep seeing them as cartoons, not sure why.

I had a follower ask me today if I thought I would have had as much success and fulfillment from this past year in 1955 had I not had such a sympathetic husband. It really got me thinking. I certainly think it would have been harder, but it is a tough question because I am not sure I would be in a relationship with someone who was not supportive of me.

Of course, I also have a very, “I’ll just jump into a project headfirst, care I little where I land” mentality, so I tend to not hear or pay attention to others when they say, “That’s silly, stupid, odd”.

I am definitely happy that hubby is so sympathetic to the idea and we really seem to have hit a sort of easy running momentum. I think clearly defined roles in the home are not a bad thing. It is not as if either of us were forced into the roles we now have, as we chose them, so that is good. Yet, having freedom means not throwing out what works, therefore roles THEMSELVES are not bad, only if we feel forced into them. Thus, it makes sense if one has the freedom to choose the roles, then the roles themselves still work. One person the breadwinner, the other the manager caretaker. It makes for much more free time together and a much smoother running home.

I cannot imagine having a child normally, but since I have had this project my heart goes out to working mothers. It must be SO hard to both be out working and also have a child. I suppose if one could afford a nanny or some live in help, it might not feel as bad as you would feel your child has some constant and similar attention, but to have to work, shop, cook, take care of the house and the child, I am not sure how modern woman does it. We may scoff at old roles of womankind, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

Again, now we have the CHOICE, but when the choice arises, do we really have the choice of the old workable roles? I am not sure, as I have heard from SO many woman over this past year that would love to be SAHM or SAHW and yet feel they do not have the choice. Be it money or what have you. Again, I feel if we could ,as a society, look at what is important to us we might find that most of the THINGS we are working for our plastic/media/easy use items that are replacing our own free time and enjoyment. Are we working harder so the new flat screen TV with 150 dollars worth of cable a month can stay  home all day while we toil away at jobs we hate? Are those premade frozen foods happy and content in the freezer while we are out working so they have a nice cool home to live in? I don’t know. I think if many of us ask that question and really evaluate our lives we may be surprised at the answer.

If I may go back to the aspect of fashion, as an example, as we move closer to the 1960’s the feminine form is becoming slighter and more masculine. Soon, pants will be the norm. Now, I am not saying, again, that we should not have the CHOICE of what to wear or that we should be DICTATED to what the female form is, but the early 1950s silhouette is much more feminine in that is has a fuller look which is actually how women look. Certainly High fashion exaggerated this, but the daily outfit of a middleclass homemaker was a comfortable dress that allowed movement and yet still made one feel pretty and feminine. Do our current fashions dictate the role of woman as a free woman or as a sham version of a man who, in fact, also has to have the babies, cook the food and clean the house? It would be an interesting study, don’t you think.

I think the more we evaluate what is important to us as individuals, then a family and then a community, we will begin to see that focusing on rather or not this or that is fair we should be focusing on what makes sense and works efficiently. We then can be happy individuals who make a happy family of caring nurtured people who then go out happy into the community and want to help out there and be neighborly. I just feel somehow we have become consumer clones mindlessly trying to fill the void of our sadness with more items, having to work more to continue that practice and then no one is home to help and foster a better feeling at home. Then this breeds a sort of laziness of body and spirit. We might work hard at work but then in our own private lives we are lazy where we should be spurred on the most to make our home life wonderful and important to us. We deserve it and yet it is ‘easier’ to just veg in our ‘comfort clothes’ eating our prepackaged food watching others lives go by on tv. I really do think this action, which we have been told is our ‘reward’ , (we “deserve to relax now after work” )is just part of the lie of the 21st century. It is robbing us of our lives and happiness.It allows us the luxury of excuses which will never let us fulfill and make our own happier lives. We can spend a lifetime of excuses of why we did or didn’t do this or that, but why should we? Don’t make excuses, make a home. Then, whilst there you will be happy doing more and more and find yourself more in control and happier over all. And THAT is contagious in a good way. That is a pandemic that would really help this country and the world.

So, let’s not look at roles, such as homemaker, as an oppressed position but as a choice that SOMEONE needs to make in order to foster a better home and community. If we don’t want a country and life ruled by the corporate ideal or the media-fed version of life, then we had better pay attention and choose some role rather than letting the roles be chose for us.

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