Humility, pride and strength are expressed in this colorized photograph of a beautiful Edwardian era woman. Accompanying our view is the joyfully romantic piano solo of Elize Kaisser.
No less than 100 years separate us from the Edwardian era. High fashion at the very beginning of the 20th century, informed by English King Edward and his circle, nevertheless engage us. And certainly the fashion innovations and evolutions of the period are compelling. Wide brimmed and ornate hats make bold statements about women’s rising status in society. Tight skirts along with narrowing and rising hemlines offer the first siren calls of sexual liberation. Fashionable waistcoats likewise comment on the accelerating struggle for equal rights by adding a certain masculine strength to the female fashion statement.
Perhaps what makes the feminism of this era, and by association the image before us, so compelling, is the context. The context of the woman’s struggle for equality was a desire to contribute more fully to the strengthening of family and society. The goal was not to become more like the man – smart feminism has never been about that – but rather to become a more fully expressed woman. The Edwardian female liberation movement was about fully realizing feminine potential to contribute in family and society.
We see not only humility in our Edwardian beauty’s face, but courage. There is a struggle underlying the perfectly smooth, cream-colored complexion of our lady. She is quite immediately rooted in the more restrictive traditions of her mother and grandmother. She is asked now to step out and assert herself in ways which she must invent. It is clear our Edwardian lady does not cast aside all the good she has received from previous generations, but bravely rises to the challenge of her new world.
The romantic, uplifting piano ramble by Ms. Elize Kaisser offers notes of joy, encouragement and hope for this truly heroic struggle. The track does so in harmonies and melodic phrases which take root easily in an old-school romantic style which can easily be associated with Edwardian times.
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