Monday, April 2, 2012

An 1877 fashion designer on the nature of dress...

James Abbot McNeill Whistler,
Portrait of Lady Meux, 1881

"A dress should never overpower the wearer. It should merely be an appropriate frame for a charming picture, bringing out the beauties of the picture, but never distracting attention from, it. So few women understand this. Why, when I find I can make a costume for less money than, has been agreed upon, I actually annoy clients by telling them so. They think that it can not be as haudsome as it ought to be, and they would rather have more material added, however much the design may be marred, than pay less. I assure you this is a fact. Consequently when I meet ladies who know that dressing is an art, I take very great satisfaction in having them as patrons."
Harper's Bazaar, December 15 1877

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