Welcome to my Friday Fashion episode.
Have you noticed how various parts of our body come into fashion from time to time and must be highlighted in every possible way? In the last twenty years lips and breasts have taken a center stage, augmented to exaggerated proportions with the help of plastic treatments. In the ‘60s the legs took all the spotlights with Mary Quant mini skirt. Fashion doesn’t dictate only what to expose, it dictates what to cover as well.
Once the arms have been under scrutiny.
In the roaring “20s, women could not go anywhere with bare arms, long gloves covered their arms up to the elbow and even higher. A respectful woman without gloves was considered vulgar, untidy, impudent and of easy virtue. Both men and women have worn gloves through the centuries. They were highly decorated or simple in style, with lace, pearls and bejeweled with precious stones, made of leather and fabrics, short and long.
Gloves completed the garment, which covered the arms from scrutinizing eyes.
Sleeves also had the same functions as the gloves. Often they were overly decorated to establish social status, rarely made for functionality unless they belonged to dresses for the working class. One of the details for both men and women was the ornamental cuff attached and hanging at the end of a sleeve, considered also a hand protector. In the German culture of the XVIII century to wear large cuffs at the end of the sleeves was incompatible with the use of the sword, thus the provenance of the expression, which is still in use today that “to have cuff” meant to be scared. No wonder duels were carried out wearing a simple white shirt with no frills.
Women of higher status whose daily job was only to look beautiful wore cumbersome cuffs with delicate lace, stacked in layers and since the cuffs moved at every little movement uncovering the forearms, the gloves was the companion that completed the garment.
I took inspiration from the French “engageantes” the large lace cuff of the XVIII century and I designed my creations for the modern woman. My cuffs are not for the “want to look beautiful” only, but for every dynamic woman.
Find them in my online shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/ValentinaExpressions
These cuffs will embellish a simple t-shirt, the sleeves of a simple dress and basically they are versatile garments for any moment of the day. Slip them on to change the look from common to fabulous! Ciao,
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Copyright © 2015 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola is a creative master in the art of living who makes little distinction between work and play. She expresses her creativity in the homes she designs and decorates, in her book on colors, in the accessories she designs, in her cookery books, when she talk about setting style and in the way she influences people with her energy. Check out her three books on