When a woman of the XIX century was getting ready to go out had many things to coordinate for her outfit. The parasol, a pair of gloves and a hat, the fan to disguise her blushing at the compliments of a man and a shawl.
By then, the woman dressing ensemble had become a little less complicated than the previous centuries, nonetheless feminine frills still continue to exist. One accessory she couldn’t forget to take before leaving the house was the “Ridicule”.
It was a small purse in the shape of a sack with a long silk decorative cord, worn hanging from the arm. Inside the Ridicule, the woman used to put a lipstick, a handkerchief and a mirror, which by that time was a popular item to carry in the purse.
If the woman of the XIX went to dance, one important item was kept in the Ridicule and it was a little book where she noted the names of the men who asked her to dance. She would tell which number each man was, in turn she would accept their gallantry and took center floor.
Last night going to the masquerade ball, you know is Carnevale at this time of the year, I wore a Ridicule too with my costume. I found it a few years ago in an antique shop in Italy. I wanted it so bad, but the price was so high that I had to let out my bargaining skills in order to get it somewhat at my price. Back to the masquerade ball of last night, I was wearing a beautiful Pompadour purse in my hand and the Ridicule hanging from my rhinestone-studded belts. Of course a few people were curious to know what was that thing hanging from the belt. Telling the story of the Ridicule last night was an experience all by itself.
It was a bit of history of the costume lesson, a bit of story-telling, quiet a few laughs, but the important part was that my Ridicule became an ice breaker with people I met for the first time and a conversation piece. The modern woman (me) was carrying business cards and cellular phone in the Ridicule, no name of any man waiting to dance with me. How times have changed!
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Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
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Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer in business since 1990 and a former Fashion Designer. She blends well fashion and interior in any of her design work. Being Italian born and raised, Valentina’s design work has been influenced by Classicism and stylish, timeless designs. She will create your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away a comfortable living.