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A Glamorous Fashion Revolution

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 1131205. New York Public Library

“The finest clothing made is a person’s skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.” Mark Twain (1835-1910)

I like to see the end of the nineteenth century as a marvelous revolution in dress. The signs aren’t completely evident. We do have some stiff, high-collared Edwardian conventions to get through. Perhaps I can make an analogy with July. We celebrate Old Glory on the fourth and head off for the beach. New waves are coming and we want to be in position to catch them.

Masculine bathing suits, soon to be following by a comparable swimming costume for women, announce the coming liberation. A warm sun beats down on those who wade into the water. The human body can be seen beneath the clothes worn for propriety’s sake. Once human activity conceives of clothing that can support the body in its exercise, we’re on a road that leads to the future we all take part in. July speaks to us of holidays, vacations, and a break from work. July’s a month for dreaming…isn’t it? p.s. Fifthy per cent more people viewed the Michael Jackson memorial service than President Obama's inauguration. Never underestimate the power of pop culture...

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