Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sepia Saturday 216 : Hidden Beneath Layers Of Sepia Serge

Our Sepia Saturday theme image this week features a trio of men in suits. My submission matches the trio and there is one suit featured, but there the similarities end. My photograph is a Victorian Cabinet Card which I bought at an antique centre for either £1 or 50p and for that I acquired a fine old photograph and a moment captured in time.

As I look at the photograph, more and more I see three lives confined within Victorian starched cloth and Victorian starched mores. They are like real three dimensional faces pushed through holes in wooden pre-painted screens. Victorian times were strange times : times when flesh and thoughts and hopes and passions were hidden beneath layers of sepia serge. Even by the time of our theme image (the 1930s) men were still confined within the discipline of never-changing style.

In my wardrobe hang half a dozen suits and I don't think I have worn one of them in the last six months. Some days my trousers are red, some days blue, some days green and some days brown. There rarely is a jacket in site, but if there is, it is guaranteed not to match. My clothes are unfashionable, a touch scruffy, sometimes a little loud, and slightly eccentric. They match me perfectly.

Take a look at what others are doing this Sepia Saturday by going over to the Sepia Saturday Blog and following the links.

23 comments:

  1. The older woman looks as though she's trying not to smile, bless her. And look at the waist on the younger woman! Beautiful bows.

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  2. I'm afraid it's the same around here! I wouldn't want to have to wear all that stuff.

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  3. My thrill comes from the blur of the falling (blown by the wind perhaps) part of the wide ribbon bow on the young woman's chest...it's as if all the planned stiffness has been laughed at.

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  4. Red trousers? Now that sounds very un-Victorian! ...and very fashionable.

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  5. That's funny. When I looked at the photograph I thought all three looked very relaxed and ready to smile, especially the woman on the right. The clothes were pretty confining though.

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  6. I'm with Alex. Look at the daughter's (I'm assuming) waist - so tiny! Her expression looks a bit breathless. I wonder how tight her corset was laced?

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  7. Their faces do look separate; poked through a space in a scene. I wonder if I would have noticed that.
    Going through old family photos I have always smiled at the men in full dress suits out on a picnic at the beach or in the piney woods.

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  8. I can't quite put my finger on the expression on the lady (sitting). She looks like she is either keeping in a smile or she is in pain--we will never know!

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  9. An excellent photo for only 50p. I think the woman is holding in a giggle as her husband has just made a witty remark and then puffed himself up in that silly way that he knows will always makes her laugh.

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  10. Cool hats on these dudes. One wonders what they may be talking about.

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  11. I'm glad we don't dress like that now, Even the hair style was so severe.

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  12. I think the young lady is the youngest daughter who's still at home with her parents. I like thinking about the people in these old pictures.

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  13. I wish I lived near enough to places where I could pick up a photograph like that - a wonderful portrait!. What struck me were the tightly confined clothes and high collars and yes - that waist on the younger woman!

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  14. Why do men in suits so often grasp the lapel/side of their suits? What are they trying to hide?

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  15. I really laughed about " three dimensional faces pushed through holes in wooden pre-painted screens" because there are family photos that we have that look just like that. I suspect we are far more comfy today than they appeared. Oh those tight stitched clothes and underneath the corsets for women, yuck...

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  16. I wonder whether people who lived in the Victorian era were ever relaxed and casual, or if they were constantly formally dressed. I have yet to find somewhere to buy interesting old postcards here in Melbourne!

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  17. When the photographer said, "Hold still! Don't breath!" I believe the woman on the right was caught in mid gulp. Did she explode when he told them they could once again move?

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  18. Those dresses must have been a bear to iron, and yet not a wrinkle in sight.

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  19. All I can think is that the young woman must be wearing some corset to cinch her waist like that. Ouch! This is a great photo and I also love the expression on the older woman's face. To me she looks like she just got her way about something.

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  20. I actually find this quite disturbing. They look quite modern don't they? I wonder who they were.

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  21. Victorian clothing looks so stiff and painful to me. I much prefer your wardrobe I am sure:)

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  22. It reminds me of the American Gothic painting by Grant Wood.

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  23. The sitting woman has quite an expression on her face...
    Repressing a smile that might have come naturally otherwise?
    As far as clothes go, in my younger days,
    I had a wardrobe for every occasion: office, formal, going to clubs,
    informal dressing for casual gatherings and clothes for home.
    Nowadays, you can sum it up as simply as "jeans and t-shirts".
    How things change!!

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