joi, 20 august 2009

la boheme - the beggining

Today, the term boho chic is usually used to describe a certain style: loose floral dresses accesorized with waist-belts, head-scarves, dirty leather boots, furs and gipsy-hats, long silver necklaces and body-cross bags. However, the definition of this style has its roots in the parisian bohemian lifestyle back in the 19th century.
The parisian young artists had several things in common: they disagreed the bourgeois lifestyle and rejected all material values; they didn't have a steady home and they lived only for their art. I guess this was the period when being idle was a true distinctive and valued characteristic in this counter-culture.
Writers, musicians and painters lived in glasses of wine, on drug beds, along with their muses, the so-called grisettes. During the day they worked on their art, while at night inspiration came in large amounts of alcohol.
Their fashion reflected their lives: messy, chaotic and defined by contrasts. They combined different textures and patterns, different materials, adopting a subversive attitude which completed a very special, emerging category: the young, carefree artists that turned their poverty into a statement and a lifestyle into a flourishing culture.

"...wild whimsical characters, bearded, long-haired, dressed in every fashion except the reigning one, in pea-jackets, Spanish cloaks, in waistcoats a la Robespierre, in Henry III bonnets...and this in the middle of Paris in broad daylight".
Victor Hugo, Hernani


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