Lolita was born about 130 years ago, very much in the thick of the Victorian era. For women, it was an era of modesty and reserve. But it was also an era where women were coming into their own with respect to education and civil equality. Lolita’s parents, in retrospect, did a nice job of helping daughters juggle the new rights of the age with traditional values. One way traditional values were transmitted was through Mother’s rules of dress.
A place for everything, and yes, everything in it’s place – that was the way for Mother’s home. And that was the way for dressing daughters (vampire or not!). The proper place for a daughter was inside a form fitting bodice or stays. Mother for one laced herself up daily in a corset, despite the already known health risks. And the goal of both corset and bodice was without question to shape the figure in whatever way was perceived to be most desirable to the men. The fact of a lacing up was in itself a metaphor for social restraint. As Dad was fond of saying, “Stays were a literal symbol of a woman’s uprightness and virtue.”
Lolita understood that the underlying themes of her clothing as a girl and young woman – modesty, reserve, the approval of men, were the fodder for her teenage rebellion. That rebellion led to rather too casual dating and ultimately to the date which made her want blood for eternity. Never mind all that now, though. Lolita was wont to reminisce fondly these days about her Mother’s dress requirements in the context of over-arching concern for all things family.
And anyway, once past the issue of undergarments, the dresses of the day were simply gorgeous. Lolita loved the flowing or expanding hemlines. She loved form-fitting sleeves that relaxed into mutton chops at the elbows. She loved the lace which often decorated shoulder wings. And the hats! Oh, the hats! They were wild affairs, sometimes with entire birds fitted on them. Certainly, as often as not, they were rich in plumage, ostrich or osprey feathers being particularly popular.
The feathered hats actually continued to evolve well into the Edwardian era. We are presenting at the site a stunning colorization of an Edwardian fashion plate in a flowing red dress, head crowned with peacock feathers. This was in fact one of Lolita’s high school girlfriends who went on to a modeling career. You can actually purchase prints of this gorgeous vintage shot on the website. (and we hope you will!)