Its Fashion Flash Monday!

fashion flash logoMaryLou Floyd  of Secod Lives Club is an expert on  reinvention and I am so excited that she is hosting Fashion FLash at a time when we are looking  forward to the changes and opportunites of a new year.  She is looking to profile women who have made major  career choices after  50 and is  looking to profile them.  If you  taken big steps in the second half of your life, please contact her at Second Lives Club.

Fashion Flash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review: London Society Fashion– The Wardrobe of Heather Firbank

I was  in London last month and one of my first stops is always the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Featuring  fashion, furniture and china, the V& A  lets  me  view history though  the way people  lived.  I always head first to the current  fashion exhibits and  look for the clothing of Heather Firbank.  Whatever the theme of an exhibition, the V&A curators would  pull a few items from their  stock of items from the  Heather Firbank collection. A wealthy socialite  at the turn of the century, she loved fashion and  carefully saved every expenisve and beautful item  she acquired and gave her entire collection to the A&A. It became an incredible resource for designers.  Cecil Beaton  copied her clothing to dress Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.  More recently  Suzanne Buxton, the costume designer of Downtown Abbey,  studied  (and copied)  the beautiful clothing  to dress the  characters on the  iconic  series.

This year I was  so happy to find out that  the V&A  had  collected photos and letters of Heather Firbank  in one glorious book.  I loved the opportunity to look at the  clothes  that  a proper Edwardian women would find in her closet. But unlike Downtown Abbey where new  romances were  always  just one episode away, the real  life of Heather Firbank was  sad, dull and  lonely. Her once wealthy family lost  most of their  money  after her debut in 2018.  She had a “scandelous” romance with a married military man and spent the rest of her life  living alone  in hotels and woman’s clubs.   While the clothes are glorious,  the story of her life is a stark reminder that fashion and beauty  should be a part and not the focus of a life.

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