Sunday, September 11, 2011
Diane in Bustle Skirt
Victorian fashion comprises the various fashions and trends in British culture that emerged and grew in province throughout the Victorian era and the reign of Victoria, a period which would last from June 1837 to January 1901.
Covering nearly two thirds of the 19th century, the 63 year reign would see numerous changes in fashion.
These changes would include, but not be limited to, changes in clothing, architecture, literature, and the decorative and visual arts.
In the 1840s and 1850s, women’s gowns developed narrow and sloping shoulders, low and pointed waists, and bell-shaped skirts.
Corsets, a knee-length chemise, and layers of flounced petticoats were worn under the gowns.
By the 1850s the number of petticoats was reduced and the crinoline was worn the size of the skirts expanded. Day dresses had a solid bodice and evening gowns had a very low neckline and were worn off the shoulder with sheer shawls and opera-length gloves.
In the 1860s, the skirts became flatter at the front and projected out more behind the woman. Day dresses had wide pagoda sleeves and high necklines with lace or tatted collars. Evening dresses had low necklines and short sleeves, and were worn with short gloves or fingerless lace or crocheted mitts.
In the 1870s, uncorseted tea gowns were introduced for informal entertaining at home and steadily grew in popularity.
Bustles were used to replace the crinoline to hold the skirts up behind the woman, even for “seaside dresses”.
In the 1880s, riding habits had a matching jacket and skirt (without a bustle), a high-collared shirt or chemisette, and a top hat with a veil. Hunting costumes had draped ankle-length skirts worn with boots or gaiters.
Clothing worn when out walking had a long jacket and skirt, worn with the bustle, and a small hat or bonnet.
Travelers wore long coats like dusters.
In the 1890s, women’s fashion became simpler and less extravagant; both bustles and crinoline fell out of use and dresses were not as tight as before. Corsets were still used but became slightly longer, giving women a slight S-curve silhouette.
Skirts took on a trumpet shape, fitting closely over the hip with a wasp-waist cut and flaring just above the knee. High necks and puffed sleeves became popular. Sportswear for women, such as bicycling dresses, tennis dresses, and swimwear became popular.
PICTURES: from the Denman Library
The Beauty of Victorian Women
Victorian Women and Prostitution
How To Make
an 1870s Bustle Skirt
Kato, how come you’ve put me in a bustle skirt?
You look more beautiful in a bustle skirt.
Are you pulling my leg?
Oh no, I’m not. On the contrary, I’m quite serious.
How come you’ve brought up a bustle skirt in the first place?
A good question, Diane. I read the following passage the other day.
A middle-aged woman in the square recalled the story of a beautiful singer in the 1950s who was approached by a drunk.
The drunk yelled out, “I’ve half a mind to screw you.”
The singer wagged her finger at him and replied, “If you do and I find out about it…” That is the spirit of these women.
The men of Sutri appreciate these women. But it is not the beautiful women who draw the most attention. Beautiful women require little imagination. The real challenge is to find the extraordinary in the woman whom others don’t notice.
There is a man in the square who stares at one woman and only that woman. As hard as I’ve tried, I cannot tell what he sees in her. She is amaller than average, has thinning hair and a torso that is more boyish than that of most middle-aged Italian woman. Her posture is less than perfect, and she has large misshapen buttocks.
On a Sunday morning, I was in the piazza with Nicolaia, when the woman walked by us on her way back from the Duomo. Her admirer was on the other side of the piazza and, true to his obsession, was staring at her. Not offensively, but noticeably.
The woman was almost through the saqure when I caught Nicolaia smiling at her. And suddenly I saw what they saw: the deformed rear end. Divorced from its relaqtionship to other parts of her body or how hers compared with the same part of other women—in other words, viewed as a pure form—her rear end was of great merit. There was also a pent-up exuberance about it.
pp.174-175 “Pasquale’s Nose”
(Idle Days in an Italian Town)
by Michael Rips © 2001
and Viterbo (Italy)
Tell me, Kato, what is so impressive about the above passage.
The following part really attracted my attention.
the deformed rear end.
Divorced from its relaqtionship to other parts of her body or how hers compared with the same part of other women—in other words, viewed as a pure form—her rear end was of great merit.
There was also a pent-up exuberance about it.
This part reminds me of the article I wrote on September 26, 2002.
Venus of Monpazier
A Bushman woman in the 19th century AD
with a steatopygia (“fat bottom”)
If you take a look at the venus of Monpazier, you might think that this figurine has extremely exaggerated abdomen and buttocks. But, in those remote days, women appeared fat with a sticking-out bottom and a slightly protruding abdomen as you find in the Paleolithic venuses.
Even today, in some parts of Africa, you might be able to meet some women with the shape of the Monpazier venus as shown above.
And there is a good reason why the buttocks stick out like that if you take a look at the above picture.
In the paleolithic days, gathering food must be a crucial task for women and men. If she had a number of children, she would have to carry her baby somehow. The shape of her buttocks apparently helped her carry her baby while gathering some food.
One historian wrote fifty years ago, “The Venuses are “sculptures of feminine form, with the maternal parts grossly exaggerated”.
So, laymen naturally think that those figurines might have come out of imagination.
If we look back to the fairly recent history (though some 3500 years ago), we can take a look at the famous queen of Punt. She is depicted on the walls of the mortuary temple of Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut, who reigned in the fifteenth century BC.
Queen of Punt (an exotic place—what is now Ethiopia or northern Somalia)
Right: Mortuary temple of Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut
(built in the 15th century BC)
Left: the so-called Punt portico
(the southern portico of the second terrace)
To obtain myrrh and incense and other precious goods, and trees to plant in the temple, Queen Hatshepsut sent an expedition to Punt.
For a century scholars have tried to pin down the exact location of Punt, which the ancient Egyptians steadfastly refer to only as a “Holy Land”.
Many authorities think Punt is Ethiopia or Somaliland, but this does not account for the innumerable geological, racial, and botanical anomalies in the realistic depiction on the walls.
Semitic and African races are shown together or in adjacent scenes that cannot correspond to any real geographical site.
Probably, Punt might have included the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. However, if you take a close look at those people depicted in the walls (including the queen), this holy land should unmistakably include part of Africa.
The natives welcomed the Egyptians and brought a variety of goods for exchange.
The native chief is accompanied by his wife, who has generated considerable speculation in her own right. Some scholars consider her to be strikingly, grotesquely deformed. Others regard her as a rare instance of humorous caricature. Yet other scholars think that she suffered from some strange tropical disease. Medical experts have suggested elephantiasis.
Paul Ghalioungui, Egyptologist and medical doctor, believes that the queen suffered from Dercum’s Disease, which resulted in this peculiar kind of deformity. Ghalioungui claims the princess shown in the same relief shows incipient signs of the disease.
More than likely, as you see in the following section, Queen of Punt might have been a member of the steatopygous African tribe characterized by big buttocks. To our eyes, her shape appear grotesque. But in the Paleolithic days, many women might have possessed such buttocks in some region—if not everywhere.
As a matter of fact, in Africa, there are many women who have such buttocks as shown in the pictures at top and below. Let’s go to Africa to meet those women.
a steatopygous or big-bottomed Onge woman
Steatopygia (“fat bottom”) was common among some African tribes—especially among women—such as Bushman, Hottentot and Andamanese, and still is among Onge (one of the Andamanese groups) today as shown in the above picture.
“Fat bottom” is the storage of excess reserve fat in the buttocks. Best known in the Khoikhoi and San (Hottentot and Bushman) people of the south African deserts, it is also known in other populations with a tendency towards dwarfism.
Some scholars believe that a big bottom is a natural adaptation for survival, and that, in the ancient days, steatopygia was advantageous in the African tropical environment because the unpredictable rainfall and the narrow economic base remained a constant threat.
The condition has also been linked to reduced fertility so that its survival in the African context could be linked to the need for population control.
However, others disagree on the reduced fertility. Instead, they propose that an enlarging pelvic region of human females was an evolutionary trend, required to deliver a big-brained baby safely.
On the contrary, they insist, a “fat bottom” helped the woman give birth to more babies.
Three “Venus figurines”
from the European Paleolithic Age
(30,000 – 25,000 years ago)
All show what has convincingly been interpreted as steatopygia
Top: Venus of Willendorf, Austria, chalk
Middle: Venus of Lespugue, France, mammoth ivory
Bottom: Armless lady, mammoth ivory, contemporary with Venus of Willendorf
If the pressures selecting for a particular characteristic last long enough, then that characteristic eventually becomes genetically determined in the general population. This is what must have happened to the big-bottomed tribe women.
Gathering food used to be a critical task for men and women.
However, if a woman had to carry a baby or two, she could not gather food with ease. If she carried her baby as in the manner shown in the near-topmost picture, she could gather food much easier.
Of course, the “reserved fat” in her bottom might have helped when food shortage hit them hard.
How come other African people
lost their big buttocks?
What many such big-bottomed groups have in common is a long-term residence in a tropical deep-forest environment. The African pygmies, for example, are not genetically related to the black people beyond their common humanity but they, too, have been living in a heavily jungled tropical environment for hundreds of generations.
In Africa, the Khoikhoi and San people, unlike the African blacks, have lived in the relatively high latitudes of southern Africa for a long time, whereas the African blacks are relatively recent immigrants there.
Unlike the newcomers, the Khoikhoi and San people retain their age-old way of life: hunting and gathering. So women still need their big bottoms.
On the contrary, most African blacks gave up the traditional life style and adapted themselves to the sedentary and agricultural way of life.
Compared to the hunting and gathering people, therefore, the African blacks didn’t suffer from many more occasions of severe food shortage.
Hence, they lost their “reserved fat”.
(September 26, 2002)
So, Kato, you believe that the Italian man watched the woman with such sticking-out buttocks, don’t you?
Yes, I do.
But I don’t think that those women with big buttocks only live in Africa.
You’re wrong, Diane…’cause I met such a woman in the library.
I’m not joking nor jesting. I noticed Marwa the other day when she came out into the lobby.
Is this the woman you met in the library?
Yes, she is. Marwa came from Egypt and her parents originally came from the northern part of Somalia.
So, you think that she has a DNA for big buttocks.
You’re right on, Diane. Marwa told me that her child liked to climb up on her buttocks.
You must be kidding.
You believe it or not, Marwa’s proud of having magnificent buttocks.
Wow! What formidable buttocks!
I can see that such a rear end might be useful for her to raise her kids, but I doubt that I want to have those big buttocks, though they might attract many men.
Having a magnificent rear end is one thing; romance is another.
Come to think of it, I’ve never met a decent man in my life.
How come I’m always a loner?
I wish I could meet a nice gentleman at the library in my town as Diane met Kato.
Well, they say, there is a way where there is a will.
Have a nice day!
Bye bye …
■“Catherine de Medici”
■“Catherine the Great”
■“I wish you were there!”
■“Jane Eyre Again”
■“Jane Eyre in Vancouver”
■“Jane Eyre Special”
■“Love & Death of Cleopatra”
■“Spiritual Work or What?”
■“What a coincidence!”
■“Wind and Water”
■“Yoga and Happiness”
■“You’re in a good shape”
■“Net Travel & Jane”
■“Madame Riviera and Burger”
■“Roly-poly in the North”
■“Diane in Paris”
■“Diane in Montmartre”
■“Diane Well Read”
■“Squaw House and Melbourne Hotel”
■“Tulips and Diane”
■ 『ちょっと変わった 新しい古代日本史』
■ 『 ○ 笑う者には福が来る ○ 』
Hi, I’m June Adames.
I like a leisurely stroll
while listening to nice music
such as “Sous le Ciel de Paris.”
Sous le Ciel de Paris
by Hideshi Kibi（日本人）
You can find some Japanese musicians in Paris.
Fujiko Hemming also likes Édith Piaf
who sings “Sous le ciel de Paris.”
Sous le ciel de Paris
by Édith Piaf
I like Chanson Française (French song).
How about you?
Kato also love Édith Piaf,
but he considers Juliette Greco’s
“Sous le Ciel de Paris” much beter.
Sous le Ciel de Paris
by Juliette Greco
I believe Yves Montand’s “Sous le Ciel de Paris” is the best of all.
Sous le Ciel de Paris
by Yves Montand
I love Paris, but Vancouver isn’t bad at all.
To tell you the truth, Vancouver is a paradise to me.
Kato thinks that Vancouver is better than Paris.
Here’s a Japanese proverb.
If I translate it literally, it means this:
The lighthouse does not
shine on its base.
It also means this:
The darkest place is
under the candlestick.
I’m pretty sure that your birthplace is a paradise to you.