Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Paper Dolls

This is a collection of paper doll costumes from my mom and a few from her mother.  They have pieces missing; some are torn. A few are taped together.  The times I was allowed to get them out to play with, were epic memories.  Only mom knew which broken head went to what body, and which doll the clothes went on. Grandma would draw clothes and cut out pretty models from Sear's catalogues to add to the menagerie. Those did not survive.

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So cool, I just got Elisa her first set of paper dolls but they are wood since she is 2...