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Ouida as a Dress Reformer

♦ The Ltdy's Bealm for November b«s a obiraoteriitio paper by 0 aid a on Drew. Her opinioDß are deoided and outspoken. Bhe iayi:— 'The only roally beautiful form of drees which it our own invention, and which is at pace modern yot artistic, ■sd has olose affinity to the Greek, is the toft towc, which has in it many of. the best graces of the Greek robe, with a brilliancy •nd adaptability all of its own. There is • regrettable tendenoy now visible to make the tea gown too tight ; if it loses its ease, •nd its undulating liner, it loses with them •11 its individuality, and a!l its oomfort, io those physical conditiona to wbioh L?maitre rightly considers lbs Greek gewn WU so favourable. Moreover, the «tnpid prej'idicei which rale society do not allow the tea gown to be considered otherwise than a deshabille, •nd moat unhappily exclude it from the dinner table and the evening gatherings, whilst the extremely ugly and immodest decoiette is still considered tbe ' ne plus ultra' of elegance and etiquette. The 'do COtotto'glwn U unbecoming to every wcfflMit however perfect of form and f^.ce. Toenodity of ebonldere and butt is ou Of keeping with the extreme ligh'.n^sa »< tbe rest of tbrboiicc Na graoe is possible |0 It, and iti general tooeptsiue is a for*

cible proof of how usage and examplo | warp the taste and deaden tbe sueoeptibiHties. Lemaitre, in speaking of London, evidently does not know of, or at least takes no note of, the Gorgon of the bicycle, or the Medusa of tha reporter' bench. It be did not know them he would certainly become aware of a large number of women who utterly neglect every physical charm of their sex; who are ignorant of repose, of gracr, of obarm ; *od whose sole idea is to copy an*i worry out of is existence the male sex, which they detest, whilst they servilelj'imitate it in nil its nglieat lines and all its silliest feature*.' It ia pre-eminently neces»ary and desirable to see in tbe streets aod in the salons some male attire which shall combine utility and ea»e with laws and lines which de not offend the educated taste. Tbe cut of the George 11. coat ebould be lenewed, and made in black velvet it wonld Ho perfect for evening wesr. Tbe George 11. waistcoat, gold embroidered, wad, if [ r<member rightly, revived by the late Dike of Olarenoe, and bad he lived some improvement in male drees would piobably have been eeen in England.' Onida tnpes the democracy will not be so foolish as '0 follow the ludicrous and ugly fashions of 'the classe'.' She seem* inoliced to reverse the tendency, for she says ; — ' Turn over any volumes on costume that yon will, and you will riad that the most suitable to Work acd weather were the costumes of peasant and artificer in the time of tbe Piantageneta and Tv lora, the Valoi*. They were not on'y pleasant to thseyc, bat they were sonsnle, arLpled ro work, aDd excellent for battle.'

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Bibliographic details

Ouida as a Dress Reformer, Southland Times, Issue 13974, 12 February 1898, Supplement

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Ouida as a Dress Reformer Southland Times, Issue 13974, 12 February 1898, Supplement

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