Art Journal

Nature Ramblings ~ Past Times Time Travel ~ Romancing Daily Life

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Waistlines: A Little Old-Time Revival (Greek Influence on Fashion)

Give me that old-time revival style!
Greek Revival that is....

As all of us time travelin' sewists know.... women just never seem to get enough of that high-waisted Greek look.

The ladies of ancient Grecian times are well known for draping their Doric chitons so that the weight of the primary fabric folds hung from just below the bust, though you'll find other waistline draping effects on Greek artifacts as well (including the no-waistline look ). Their counterparts in other ancient lands may well have draped their frocks in similar styles, but when it comes to these Mediterranean islands we have access to the detritus of their civilization to paw through, and other places - not so much. Relicts of Greek culture have made their way into modern museums, and that gives us an opportunity to window shop through these styles, and pickup a few pointers when it comes to draping and styling fluid high-waisted dresses and tunics.

An appreciation for all things classically Greek inspired people of many eras to try out democracy, create public buildings with columns, and get down with getting philosophical. It has also led ladies of many succeeding historical periods to pull up their waistlines and let their fabric of their dresses flow smoothly and fluidly from just beneath a fitted bosom. What's not to like about a waistline that avoids your waist? 

This classical raised waist image from ancient times, meant that Renaissance ladies like Madonna Lucrezia Borgia, Intimates of Marie Antoinette at  Le Petit Trianon, Napoleon's Josephine, Jane Austen's heroines, Vionnet's put-away-those-corsets Parisian beauties, and Betsey Johnson's 1970's Alley Cat pattern sewists, could shed their corsets and girdles, breathe a little easier, and get comfortable when they pulled a high-waisted frock out of the wardrobe.

We're still sewing 'em today!
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Feeling Like A Little Greek Inspiration?
Hot Pattern's Trudy, has designed a great top and dress pattern, the Metropolitan Verano Dress that is strongly reminiscent of an updated Greek chiton.


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I love using layers in Photoshop! Usually I create my illustrations from my own art work, but it's also fun to incorporate other people's creations as well. In my Greek Revival illustration above I borrowed and incorporated the following free downloads...

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