Friday, 19 February 2010

Turning Japanese?

Don't forget to check out the newest caption contest! Winner will be posted on Wednesday! (it's a few posts down- go check it out!)

What's this? A Theme? An honest to goodness THEME around here? Woah... This weeks theme is Orientalism. In my travels as an obsessive picture collector, I sporadically come across women from the 1890s on wearing 'Geisha Fashion.' They are fairly uncommon and are purposefully posed photos- not everyday clothing. But if you look at the artwork from the late 19th century (namely the Pre-Raphaelites) and the new Modern Dance's offspring- dance based on images found in ancient Egyptian and Indian artwork, you'll see a definite interest in All Things Eastern and it's Mysterious Beauty.

This, from what I can tell comes in three main forms- first, the afforementioned Geisha Fashion, or Japanese kimonos. Second, clothing modeled after that worn by Chinese women (although notably WITHOUT the foot binding). Thirdly, the idea of central Asia, where women wear long flowing skirts, shirts that bare their midriffs, long decorated veils and lots of golden bangles and reclines on a pile of cushions. (This last I have only ever seen as either part of modern dance or more risque images of women decked out as 'belly dancers' or 'slave girls.' (most of which will never make their way here, due to my endeavors to keep this pg rated.)

1913 Frances Smith in Oriental Costume by Louise Halsey

1913 Japanesque by Alfonse Van Besten

1873 Tea Merchant (On Duty), Xie Kitchin, by Charles Dodgson

Lorina and Alice Liddell, by Charles Dodgson

1892 Beth Michener and Emilie L. Truesdell, Walla Walla
(I'm not certain if Walla Walla designates a place
or a personal title for the photograph)

1907 "Geisha Fashion"

1908 "Geisha Fashion"

1908 "Geisha Fashion"

1905 Yes, even children were occasionally dressed up like little 'Harem Girls'

1913 Ruth St. Denis in her production of Bakwali
(Ruth will eventually get her own post,
and I'll tell you aaaaaaaall about her then)

1 comment:

The Collegiate said...

Walla Walla refers to a place. May I ask where you found this photo? I could use it for some research.