Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What Is A Burgher? And Why Is It Having Courtly Dreams?

Burghers?
Young Woman Playing a Guitar - Johannes Vermeer

               If you’ve arrived here looking for a food blog, I’m sorry to say that you’ll be sorely disappointed by the content here. No, I did not misspell the great American fare that is enjoyed at every grill-side party here in the States, rather I’m an old-fashioned girl who spent her college years immersed in art history and discovered the world of Dutch burghers through the brushstrokes of the golden age masters. Though the middle class in the Netherlands and elsewhere are no longer called ‘burghers’ I consider myself to be a modern day equivalent. When Rembrandt, Rubens, and Vermeer were painting pieces of and for the rapidly expanding middle class, the burghers themselves were dreaming of luxurious fabrics and vast estates upon which to spend their earnings. After throwing off the governmental yoke of Spain, the Dutch were without a ruling nobility, and although the House of Orange established itself quite nicely in the Hague, the time had come for the burgher elite to become just as courtly and noble in spending and mannerisms as the landed classes of Europe. The courtly burghers were born.

The Caterpillar’s Question


               My name is Eileen and I’m a recent graduate who is currently living in Connecticut and working for a fashion retailer. In college I majored in art history and minored in East Asian studies. I spent 6 months living and interning in Japan – two months in Kyoto as a curatorial assistant for the Kyoto Costume Institute, and four months in Tokyo at Sophia University. My focus within my major has always been textiles so it does not come as a surprise that fashion and clothing will take up as much of this blog as it has my life.

Content


               My hope is that this blog will chronicle my fashion and lifestyle as it relates to the clothes I choose to wear. After taking an extended nearly four year absence, I am slowly but surely becoming enamored with Lolita fashion once again. For those of you unfamiliar, Lolita fashion hails from the fashion-forward Tokyo neighborhood of Harajuku and essentially modernizes and celebrates the romanticism of Victorian and Rococo clothing and textiles. The bodices are form-fitting and occasionally corseted, the skirts are cut to the knee and volumized by layers of petticoats, and the motifs are often whimsical or nostalgic in nature. There is something about wearing beautiful clothes which have been made with the utmost care and from the most sumptuous of materials that I think appeals to the little princess in so many women. We all dreamed those fairy-tale dreams, and sometimes it’s the best medicine to bring those magical moments to life on the most ordinary of days. As a student it was hard to find the funds and the occasions to wear such an alternative fashion style, but as a graduate I find myself loving the challenge of incorporating my favorite pieces and my favorite style into something which is at once beautiful and relatable to the everyday.


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