Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Woolf fashion’

Women have always served as inspiration. Now some of the most famous have inspired a line of wedding gowns. Among them is Virginia Woolf.

The Virginia Woolf gown as it appears on a bridal website

You will find the Virginia gown, along with long fancy white dresses inspired by such literary favorites as Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson at this link on the Carine’s Bridal website.

And in an interview with Rebecca, bridal designer for Carolina Herrera, you’ll learn why the Virginia gown is the designer’s favorite in the spring 2011 collection.

A special thanks to Kristin Czarnecki of Georgetown College for sending both links to the VW Listserv.

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Hannah Teare is a London-based fashion stylist whose credits include Virginia Woolf.

Yes, the fashion editor for the society magazine Tatler was the stylist for a series of five fashion shots named after Woolf. I’m not sure why they bear Woolf’s name, but I’ll try to come up with some connections.

In four of the five, the model is posed outdoors in country settings. Could be Sussex. In the fifth, she curls up in a narrow bed. Could be Clarissa Dalloway’s — or Woolf’s own at Monk’s House.

In each photo, the dark-haired model is dressed in fashions that range in color from deep purple to periwinkle blue, but in my opinion, only one of the outfits seems a likely bet for Virginia.

My choice features a long embroidered jacket that looks like something Vita may have brought back from Turkey, a mid-calf-length skirt with what might be a bit of slip peeking beneath the hem and sensible shoes that seem capable of tramping about the South Downs.

The photos, taken by Hyung-Won Ryoo, were published in Tatler.

You will find more about Woolf and fashion here.

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shoesSince I have been writing on the subject of Woolf clothing and accessories lately, here comes another addition to the author’s imaginary wardrobe. This time, it is shoes.

But these are not just any shoes. These are shoes with artistic value. These are shoes with meaning.

I found this information online a few days ago, and now it has reappeared via the VWoolf Listserv. Rather than wait for the third time to be the charm, I decided to blog about these shoes on the second sighting.

The shoes are ceramic, and they are one of 10 pairs created by West Footscray artist Rowena Hannan for the “She Who Explores” exhibition at Deakin University in Australia until May 23.

The pair created in Woolf’s honor detail her relationship with husband Leonard and lover Vita Sackville-West. The sole of each shoe features the beginning and ending of letters.

Poignantly enough, Woolf’s shoes are filled with small porcelain stones, reminders of the stones she slipped into her coat pockets before drowning in the River Ouse. There is something quite sad and lonely about the way these shoes sit side by side, looking as empty and worn as Woolf may have felt before she headed across the Sussex Downs on her last walk.

“It’s about dialogue, essentially between lovers or people that are intimate,” Hannan is quoted as saying in the Footscray, Yarraville, Braybrook Star. “The shoes are supposed to be about the letter, or the dialogue, that’s between the beginning and the ending enscripted on the bottom of the shoes. The shoes reflect their relationship and who they are as people. It was a lot more about research than anything else. If you dig deep enough, you find out some amazing things about people.”

Deakin University’s Web site describes Hannan as using “porcelain to transform mundane objects into repositories full of suggestion and evocation.”

For more, download the exhibition program.

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Ah, Google. It is such an amazing resource.

While doing a Google image search on another topic, I found the two images included in this post. Both are intriguing.

The first photo, titled “self portrait, virginia woolf dress,” is the basis for the second image, a graphite drawing on rag paper titled “every girl needs a virginia woolf dress …” that was offered for sale here. The artist says the dress reminds her of of Woolf “because it has pockets so deep that you could lose yourself within them.”

Sadly enough, the original Woolf dress sketch is sold now, but other drawings by the same artist, Jessica Ann Mills, are available.

self portrait, virginia woolf dress

self portrait, virginia woolf dress

every girl needs a virginia woolf dress ...

every girl needs a virginia woolf dress ...

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trenchFor the second time in recent months, I have found an online connection between Virginia Woolf and the modern day fashion world.

These connections always surprise me because of Woolf’s lack of confidence about her appearance and her sense of style. She often agonized about what to wear, then later regretted her choices.

This, even though she was advised about fashion by friends and fashion writers Dorothy Todd and Madge Garland, according to Anne Pender in her 2007 article “‘Modernist Madonnas’:  Dorothy Todd, Madge Garland and Virginia Woolf.”

Nevertheless, British designer Christopher Bailey said he wanted his new fall collection for Burberry Prorsum to be “very poetic and inspiring,” a celebration of “great British icons” such as Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf. Fittingly enough, the collection includes practical Burberry trench coats that one might imagine Virginia wearing on one of her long treks around London. (For more about Woolf and walking, read Anne’s post.)

Late last year, a Telegraph article about French fashion designer Nicole Farhi speculated that Woolf would wear her designs. You can be the judge by clicking here.

These are not the first times Woolf has inspired the fashion world. Back in 1994, Australian designer Richard Tyler said the Bloomsbury group, including Woolf, was the inspiration for his fall collection. Tyler explained that Woolf’s set helped to inspire his Norfolk jackets, fancy vests, hand-beaded borders and muted tweeds that year. 

Tyler was a bit ahead of the 1996 revival of 1920s fashion that Brenda Silver discusses in Virginia Woolf Icon. In that book, Silver dissects the meaning behind Woolf’s connection to the changing  world of fashion. According to Silver, when the fashion industry connects its products to Woolf, it promises more than intelligent, sophisticated designs. It promises strength, independence, and fearlessness as well.

That’s a tall order for any garment.

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