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Woman as Decoration

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Woman as Decoration is intended as a sequel to The Art of Interior Decoration (Grace Wood and Emily Burbank).

Having assisted in setting the stage for woman, the next logical step is the consideration of woman, herself, as an important factor in the decorative scheme of any setting,—the vital spark to animate all interior decoration, private or public. The book in hand is intended as a brief guide for the woman who would understand her own type,—make the most of it, and know how simple a matter it is to be decorative if she will but master the few rules underlying all successful dressing. As the costuming of woman is an art, the history of that art must be known—to a certain extent—by one who would be an intelligent student of our subject. With the assistance of thirty-three illustrations to throw light upon the text, we have tried to tell the beguiling story of decorative woman, as she appears in frescoes and bas reliefs of Ancient Egypt, on Greek vases, the Gothic woman in tapestry and stained glass, woman in painting, stucco and tapestry of the Renaissance, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century woman in portraits.

Contemporary woman's costume is considered, not as fashion, but as decorative line and colour, a distinct contribution to the interior decoration of her own home or other setting. In this department, woman is given suggestions as to the costuming of herself, beautifully and appropriately, in the ball-room, at the opera, in her boudoir, sun-room or on her shaded porch; in her garden; when driving her own car; by the sea, or on the ice.

Woman as Decoration has been planned, in part, also to fill a need very generally expressed for a handbook to serve as guide for beginners in getting up costumes for fancy-dress balls, amateur theatricals, or the professional stage.

We have tried to shed light upon period costumes and point out ways of making any costume effective.

Costume books abound, but so far as we know, this is the first attempt to confine the vast and perplexing subject within the dimensions of a small, accessible volume devoted to the principles underlying the planning of all costumes, regardless of period.

The author does not advocate the preening of her feathers as woman's sole occupation, in any age, much less at this crisis in the making of world history; but she does lay great emphasis on the fact that a woman owes it to herself, her family and the public in general, to be as decorative in any setting, as her knowledge of the art of dressing admits. This knowledge implies an understanding of line, colour, fitness, background, and above all, one's own type. To know one's type, and to have some knowledge of the principles underlying all good dressing, is of serious economic value; it means a saving of time, vitality and money.

The watchword of to-day is efficiency, and the keynote to modern costuming, appropriateness. And so the spirit of the time records itself in the interesting and charming subdivision of woman's attire....