Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Woolf and fashion’

Virginia Woolf had a complicated relationship with clothing and fashion, one that has been much discussed in academic settings and online.Bloomsbury Heritage monographs

Monographs on Woolf and fashion

Catherine Gregg explores this theme in her Bloomsbury Heritage monograph Virginia Woolf and ‘Dress Mania’: ‘the eternal & insoluble question of clothes’ (2010). She discusses Woolf’s “delight in clothes and interest in conceptions of fashion and femininity” as well as her sense of being an outsider when it came to fashion, as well as her loathing for its artifice (7).

I edited a monograph for Cecil Woolf Publishers, Virginia Woolf’s Likes & Dislikes (2012), that collects conflicting quotes from Woolf’s diaries and letters and categorizes them, including those that relate to clothing. In them she mentions her dislike of buying hats, her love for her fur slippers and her desire for a pair of rubber soled boots to wear on country walks (43).

Magazine offers shopping advice from Woolf

Today’s post on the AnOther magazine website takes Woolf’s “clothes complex” or “dress mania,” as she called it and as Gregg notes, and transforms it into shopping advice. Titled “Virginia Woolf’s Shopping Tips,” the article aims to “take advice from the modernist author on personal style, battling the sales, and the key to surviving the chaos of Oxford Street.” The magazine shared the post via a tweet.

In a nutshell, they are:

  1. Be brave
  2. Enjoy the process
  3. Ponder before you purchase
  4. Quality not quantity
  5. Be open to all possibilities

I think Woolf applied that same advice to her writing.

How to order monographs from Cecil Woolf Publishers

All of the books published by Cecil Woolf Publishers are available directly from:

Cecil Woolf Publishing, 1 Mornington Place, London NW1 7RP, England, Tel: 020 7387 2394 (or +44 (0)20 7387 2394 from outside the UK). Prices range from £4.50 to £10. For more information, contact cecilwoolf@gmail.com.

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Sarah Kendal from the House of Beth sent me several photos from the June 27 fashion launch I wrote about on Tuesday that featured a collection of Virginia Woolf,-inspired fashions.

They look quite Woolfian and writerly to me. What do you think? You can find more photos of the event on the House of Beth’s Facebook page.

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Today I am longing for London. The reason is the House of Beth fashion launch featuring a collection based on inspiring women in history, one of whom is Virginia Woolf.

I got an invite via email today. And the launch is tomorrow, June 27. Which means I can only be there in my dreams. Luckily, I can view lots of images to inspire my nocturnal flights of fancy.

The event showcases collections based on Woolf, Audrey Hepburn and Sappho and will be held at the House of Beth location in the BBC radio building on Marylebone high street. It includes “free drinks, beautiful cupcakes, scrumptious strawberries and a striking new collection inspired by the Ancient Greek love poet, Sappho.”

Detail of dress bodice in the Virginia Woolf Collection

House of Beth describes itself as “an online ethical fashion marketplace selling pre-loved clothes on behalf of charity shops and ethical brands.” The company also styles charity shop clothes into
collections based on inspiring women, such as Woolf, Hepburn and Sappho. The store’s models are of various ages and sizes, and their photos are not airbrushed.

The company also raises awareness of human trafficking and donates 10 percent of its profits to fight it.

Read more about Woolf and fashion.

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I have written about Virginia Woolf and fashion before, but this time is different. This time the garment could bring Woolf’s words closer to our hearts. Literally.

But fashionistas who don the simple sheath dress made out of recycled shipping paper won’t have long to enjoy it. Why, you ask? Because it is designed to disintegrate.

The wearer’s body heat causes the outer shell of the dress to wear away. And what’s left is a layer covered with handwritten quotes from famous folks like Charles Dickens, Dalai Lama, William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Mahatma Ghandi, Agatha Christie — and, of course, Virginia Woolf.

As you can see from the drawing at the left, the Woolf quote is located front and center on the bodice, close to the heart.

Said to mimic “supple leather sheath,” the dress was created by designer Sylvia Heisel, in collaboration with Brooklyn, New York’s Paper No. 9‘s Rebecca Cole Marshall.

Read more about Woolf and fashion on Blogging Woolf:

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