The paper is velvety soft from age and use. They are getting fragile - acid free didn't exist yet. I don't get them out to look at very much, but when I do, the texture of the memories come back. I imagined
how the cloth felt and what sound it would make as it swished around the elegant and shapely legs of one wearing it. Starched cotton, slick silk, elegant fur, shiny satin ~ all had distinct sensory input far beyond the mere one dimensional printed paper.
As a simple country girl, the elegance and grandeur of the clothes fascinated me. This was a different world than mine. Trying to imagine where these costumes were worn was as impossible as wondering what happened after a kiss.
Was the lace possibly from Belgium or France? Handmade needle lace from an old woman by the light of a candle. The velvet trim seemed softer than the fur on my kitten's belly.
It was enticing to wonder what underclothes might be worn underneath all these layers. What accessories would match? Jewelry? Hair styles. The coats with muffs still attached were special treasures. A girl with her delicate hands in a muff would certainly have a beaux, or several. It was the highest pinnacle of sophisticated romance.
Imagination is still free. Memories last forever. Playing can't be replaced with anything else.