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Archive for October, 2014

Tracing Victoriana’s 21st-century comeback.

The flipside to the freewheeling psychedelia that has filtered into pop culture and fairly saturated the Spring runways? Victoriana, of course. Often dismissed as priggish (perhaps not an entirely undeserved reputation), the six decades of Queen Victoria’s reign were also an aesthetically rich time. Think of the Pre-Raphaelites (John Everett Millais’ Ophelia was, after all, Dries Van Noten’s jumping-off point this season), the sumptuous designs of William Morris, or the era’s fanciful architecture. It’s little wonder that Victorian times continue to resonate today.

Here, a handful of the 19th century’s finest modern-day moments.

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Put a Ring On It

In the latest in its series of Vault exhibitions, Meatpacking District jewelry mecca Doyle & Doyle is showing an array of rings, the bulk of them Victorian, made to commemorate major life events. One 1890 ring marks the loss of a baby’s first tooth by framing it with brilliant sapphires, diamonds, and gold. Another style made for mourning boasts a centerpiece of tightly woven hair and a jet-black enameled Grecian key print. But our favorite is the traditional fede gimmel ring, which was made of multiple bands, showing two hands clasped when closed, and opening up to reveal a heart beneath.
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Mourning Glory

Nearly as famous as the Victorians’ predilections for stoicism and moral fiber is the romantic morbidity that marked the period. The Costume Institute’s Death Becomes Her, which opened earlier this month, looks at a century’s worth of mourning garments, from gowns to jewelry.
Photo: Courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art
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font: Style.com
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