Neoclassicism, 2016

Woman with red hair with 1950s style waves in a drapey blue chiffon dress and gold sandals, standing in front of a brick and ivy wall in Chicago. Chicago vintage blogger.

I described this outfit to Brian as a modern take on a costume from a 1950s movie musical about a showgirl in the 1920s doing a production set in ancient Rome. I don't know that that's actually an accurate description, but it's long winded-enough to be really fun to write out.

And here we see why I can do chin-ups, but I end up selling half my dresses because they don't fit through the shoulders...

And here we see why I can do chin-ups, but I end up selling half my dresses because they don't fit through the shoulders...

Lately I've been poring over paintings from the late 1800s and early 1900s, which is not all that unusual for me - I feel like every year around this time I become obsessed with white marble and pink flowers and blue skies and diaphanous chiffon. To me, that's like the platonic ideal of summer, and I always find myself striving to recreate it.

Aren't those paintings dreamy? The top is by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, one of the best known painters of the Victorian era. He and other artists of his school (like John William Godward, who painted the second piece) were obsessed with ancient Rome, and their paintings contain meticulous architectural details from ruins that were being excavated in their lifetime. Apparently classical scholarship was so widespread during this period that you couldn't keep your standing as a painter if you tried to make up architectural details, which seems sort of funny to me. I thought half the point of being a painter was just making things up...

I'd hoped to get some white marble and blue skies of my own in here, but the constraints of time and weather thwarted that ambition. Not that I mind - slightly crumbling brick and ivy make a pretty good substitute, I think.

My draperies were pretty appropriate for the heat (it was about 90 degrees out the day I took these), but I will admit to feeling just a tad overexposed. I actually tried to wear a cardigan for a little while while I was walking around, but since I didn't want to get heat stroke it ended up coming off. I really hate sometimes that we still have to deal with street harassment in this day and age, but there you have it. Sometimes you just have to say fuck it, and maybe wear some headphones to you can't hear the gross things guys will say to you.

The real questions is, to bring everything full circle, would you see the 1950s musical that I'm clearly in? I'm thinking I'm a gold-digging, cynical show girl who's really very soft-hearted, and proves it when she meets the right man. I've got a wicked tap dancing number and a voice like an angel, but everyone agrees my monkey sidekick stole the show.

Dress: forever21
Shoes: Modcloth