Sometimes it's movies--Out of Africa, Sense & Sensibility, Gone with the Wind--anything with a feisty woman in fabulous clothes does it for me! Lately I've been thinking about historic women. There's Gertrude Bell, who was sort of the female Laurence of Arabia. She doesn't look that dashing in this pic, but she was. She was out there riding camels, talking to heads of state, living in tents--she did it all! And she wore linen skirts while she did it. She was real...
and because of her I've been messing with linens and vintage buttons, old photos, leather goves, and shadowbox art.
Then, of course, there are those fictional women that you can't get out of your head. They flirt, act ridiculous, make scenes, and do it all dressed to the freaking nines! I don't know how many times I've seen GWTW. It's mom's favorite, so it's become a sort of touchstone. I even remember checking books out of the library so that I could read about the costumes. Did you know that the actresses wore real embroidered and flounced underthings? The director and powers-tht-be decided that the women would act more like Southern Belles if they were dressed from the skin out like women from the time. These women are ribbons, ruffles, flounces, flowers, corsets, and hats. I'm still not sure yet what to do with them!
And then there's just the dangerous mixture of fact and fiction, the legends that bloom out of tidbits and second-hand stories. Mary Reade and Anne Bonny, the most famous (infamous?) female pirates from the golden age of piracy. I imagine that they became the terrors they were because they were born in the wrong time--no simpering and taking abuse from any man, waiting at home for someone to own them. They did what they wanted, took what they needed, and when they were caught? well, they pleaded their bellies! These women? They inspire fantasy--looking the girl while kicking ass!
It's all still cooking. We'll see what comes out of it!