Deadly Victorian Fashions

The Arsenic Ball Gown,

This picture is of one of the items in Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Century, which opens June 18 and runs through 2016 in Toronto, Canada. I wish I could see it but I’ll have to settle for the book by Alison Matthew David, a professor at Ryerson University’s School of Fashion whose decade-long investigation into the relationship between clothing and health inspired the show and comes out next year.

I’ve always been fascinated by fashion, not in the clothes-buying sense as anyone who knows me would know but in a more cultural anthropology “body-packaging” sense so this is right up my alley. How about giant hoop skirts in a crowded city environment? Did you know that “Crinoline fires” killed 3,000 women between the late 1850s and late 1860s in England alone? Women would lose sense of their skirt’s width, step too close to a fire grate, then flames would be fanned by oxygen circulating under their skirts, really. 

The brief article describing the exhibit shows more items and discusses how fashion served to stratify society as well as documenting the ways in which it created health hazards of its own.

Read about it here..

Here are a couple of my favorite books on the topic if you are interested before the one related to the exhibit comes out:

The Unfashionable Human Body by Bernard Rudolfsky, Out of print but worth buying used. 

Body Packaging by Julian Robinson, This was a very controversial book when it came out in the 90’s and I guess it still might be from the reviews on Amazon. 




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On making changes …

Is life that simple? Yes. Is life that hard? Yes. _____________________________________________________



Thought for the day

Thought for the day

Sometimes how you say something IS more important than what you say.

Join me at Kepler College’s Astrology Day Cafe

Join me at Kepler College's Astrology Day Cafe

March 20, 2014 from 10 am to 8 pm Pacific Daylight Time (1 pm to 11 pm Eastern)

Join Kepler College online for an all-day Astrology Café as Kepler celebrates International Astrology Day. Every hour we have a new set of guests who are representative of a wide variety of astrological practices. You can drop in at any time. Hosted by Enid Newberg, Karen McCauley and Donna Woodwell.
Below is our schedule of speakers (all times are Pacific Daylight Time)
10:00 am Choosing Your Moment, Electional Astrology with Faye Cossar and Christine Arens
11:00 am The Future of astrology education, with Nicholas Campion and Ena Stanley
12:00 pm Visualizing Astrology, with A.T. Mann and Adrian Duncan
1:00 pm Evolutionary Astrology and Soul, with Mark Jones and Laura Nalbandian
2:00 pm Astrology and China, with David Railey and Gisele Terry
3:00 pm Negotiating with Planets (aka Remediation), with Tamira McGillivray, Kenneth Miller and Andrea Gehrtz,
4:00 pm What’s in an Archetype? With Michelle Gould, Margaret Gray and Inga Thornell
5:00 pm Healing with the Stars: Medical Astrology with Lee Lehman, William Morris, and Judith Holloway
6:00 pm Astrological Mystery Dessert of the Day, with Bruce Scofield, Ronnie Dreyer and Georgia Stathis
7:00 pm Astrology’s Ancient Roots, with Robert Hand and Chris Brennan


Welcome Spring!

The Equinox Tradition:

Spring is the dawn of the new zodiacal year in the Northern Hemisphere. Don’t you just love the word “equinox?” I have to decide each time whether to say it with a short or long “e”. The equinoxes are the two times during the year when the dark of night and the light of day are in balance or equal. Another name for the Vernal Equinox is Ostara, from the name of a German Goddess of fertility, Oestarae.

She is the deific equivalent of the Greco-Roman goddess, Aurora, the personification of the sunrise. Consider that the Sun rises in the East and her name is where East and Easter both come from. The Christian Easter date was decided by the Council of Nicaea to fall the first Sunday after the first full Moon occurring on or after the March Equinox. This effectively removed its observance from conflicts with either Ostara or Passover.  Read the rest of this entry »



Quote for today: The only thing scarier than change is regret.



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