Marie Antoinette, the Duchess of Devonshire, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly – these women have each shaped and inspired history in their own ways.
There is so much beauty and inspiration to be found in history – and I think this is why we always refer back to it. The genius of Alexander McQueen and some gorgeous Christian Louboutin ads are very obviously inspired by art and costume of historical eras.
I’m convinced that fashion is society’s new cathartic salve for the soul, as I write about in why beauty matters. Increasingly we turn back to look for inspiration as we careen ever further into an exciting but steely edged technological age.
My own Dearest Beloved’s family is steeped in history – from his Norman lineage of a landed seat in England to ancestor Thomas Allom’s remodelling of the castle we now know as Downton Abbey and founding of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and more recent historical impacts with his fathers work as music record producer for Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, Kix, and Rough Cutt.
On my families side it is a little less clear, but we know that my English grandmother is a Barclay descendant of maiden name (yes, of the bank lineage) and that the history goes back to Prince Barclay de Tolley. On my chinese side there was a king, a prince and an emperor, which is why we have a village in Guangzhou in the name of our family, Lao.
Knowing these things does help to enrich my life with a feeling of heritage and belonging – knowing that I am one tiny link in a long chain that has so many links going back so far into the past is very humbling.
And there is something immensely beautiful about it too – knowing that there is a wealth of information out there on fashion, art, inspiration and all other areas that were enjoyed by people who lived their day to day lives just as we do. Simply in different times.
Fabulously eccentric TV host, curvaceous model and founder of Hong Kong ’s first luxury corset brand, Pearls & Arsenic. I love sharing my passion for all things elegant and live with my Dearest Beloved and a fluffy Angora rabbit named Lord Pemberly III, who is a ridiculous snob. Find me on IG @RavenTao or FB : Raven Tao ❤
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