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Ben Yƻsuf, Anna / The art of millinery: a complete series of practical lessons for the artiste and the amateur

Lesson XVI: The designer in the workroom,   pp. 236-240 PDF (1.8 MB)

Page 236

              LESSON XVIII 
 DESIGNER'S work in the millinery workroom, 
       as in that of the modiste, is to evolve new and 
       beautiful ideas, using the fad or fashion of the 
hour as a keynote, and varying its application in un- 
limited designs. 
  Most designers have some special style of chapeau in 
which they excel; one is more happy in her bonnets than 
in hats; another gives us finer designs in large hats; 
another seems to evolve lines of most artistic beauty in 
the draping of toques, etc., etc.; rarely does one find a 
designer who is equally excellent in every line of head- 
wear, and it is well that it is so. 
  But though one may have a prolific brain, when it 
comes down to sifted facts we all imbibe ideas-maybe 
unconsciously-from outside sources; from the designs 
of others, from old or modern paintings and drawings, 
and a hundred and one various inspiring visions. 
  Paris is still, as it has been for many centuries, the 
fount of Sartorial Art. It was not always so; before 
the eleventh century Italy led the fashions of the then 
civilized world, but with the advent of the first- traveling 
tailor and costume maker (who was a Frenchman) the 
tide turned, and from then on France led in the cut and 
make of clothing both of men and women. 
  It was, however, the men in those days who wore, like 
the birds they robbed, the gayest plumage on most pic- 
turesque hats. The headdresses of the ladies for several 
hundred years were disfiguring rather than enhancing 
to the wearer; but by degrees the hideous caps and horns 
disappeared, women showed more of their hair, and its 
dressing and decoration became an art, leading in time 
to the other extreme, when the structures of hair and 
the added trimming, such as feathers, bows, flowers, 

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