Sunday, August 17, 2008

Living in the Past?

Would you live in the past? Why or why not?

What if you could bring the past to life in your world today? Not as a historical event or weekend reenactment, but really infuse your life with history?

In Britain last week, they ran this TV article called Time Warp Wives. (Since I don't live in the UK, I did not actually see the show.) They had 4 women on the show, each living their lives as if it were the 1950s, 1940s or 1930s. They dress in period clothing, are homemakers, take care of their husbands, and reign over their domestic domain.

Their homes reflect the decade's styling, complete with appropriate appliances and furnishings. These women AND their spouses even integrate contemporary ideas into their everyday living, such as men are the breadwinners while the women take care of the home, as well as proper etiquette of the time.

Now, I've read several opinions that think these women are living in a fantasy world; that they need to "get real" and come back to reality and the present day.

But I find these women fascinating. Truly.

I admire them because they are taking the initiative to live their lives how they want to live - not what the world or society tells them how they should live.

Your home is your castle - a place to rest, revitalize and renew. We each make our home special as to how we want it, with furnishings and items, sentimental pieces and crazy finds, so our house reflects what we think of as good, meaningful, and inspiring. Your house reflects your individual personality.

Heck, even if you work outside your home, you've probably displayed at least one personal item to make your work space "yours." The things you gather and collect represent who you are.

So if you like the 1950s, why not collect items from that decade?

What if a particular hairstyle from 1923 calls to you and you decide to chop your locks and go short?

What if your figure looks best in full skirts and a belted waist? Dior's "New Look" might be one to try on....

Little by little, we start accumulating articles that we love. This happens especially to those of us who love historical clothing and are living history reenactors.

I am a civilian Civil War reenactor. I am always on the lookout for household "stuff" made from glass, wood and metal. No plastic!

I love the romance of the Victorian era. The "pretty-ness" of it all. If you've read my bio at Cloak & Corset, you know I feel born into the wrong time.

But that's just it: Only the glossy, happy feelings and beautiful artifacts from a bygone era is what I truly want to create in my life. I'll keep my indoor plumbing and modern medicine.

These Time Warp Wives have decided to go gung-ho and collect articles from a particular past decade. It's even gone so far into their clothing and attitudes. However, they have taken only those "glossy feelings and beautiful artifacts" of the past and infused them into their modern lives. I'll bet they still have their flush toilets and computers. :-)

The 1930s, '40s and 50s were not all rosy, especially in Europe. These women are not including that negative, cruel history into their lives.

And one more point: This was a TV show. Producers will find the most controversial topics from their subject to play on the show and write in press releases. It sells more advertising. We can't judge these women simply from a brief written article or a hour long show. They may be more modern than we think.

They've just learned how to make the past come alive in a very real way.

If you are making and wearing historical clothing, you are also making the past come alive. Your unique personality is crafted into your period garments. Now all you do is take the attitudes from that time period and you will be living in the past - for as long and as authentic as you please.

Make it your very own!

To read the write-up on the TV show go here.

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