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Neo-Victorian
Neo-Victorian

Neo-Victorian is an aesthetic movement which amalgamates Victorian and Edwardian æsthetic sensibilities with modern principles and technologies. A large number of magazines and websites are devoted to Neo-Victorian ideas in dress, family life, interior decoration, morals, and other topics.


Many who have adopted Neo-Victorian style have also adopted Victorian behavioural affectations, seeking to imitate standards of Victorian conduct, pronunciation, interpersonal interaction. Some even go so far as to embrace certain Victorian habits such as shaving with straight razors, riding penny farthings, exchanging calling cards, and using fountain pens to write letters in florid prose sealed by wax.

Neo-Victorians often wear the fashion of the victorian era, eg long dresses, floral prints, lace collors, corsets and boots for women, and for men, obviously, they would wear victorian style suits, in a way that is more like actual victoriana than aristocrat or Ouji/Kodona.

For most, the Victorian period is still a by-word for sexual repression. Men's clothing is seen as formal and stiff, women's as fussy and over-done. Clothing covered the entire body, we are told, and even the glimpse of an ankle was scandalous. Critics contend that corsets constricted women's bodies and women's lives. Homes are described as gloomy, dark, cluttered with massive and over-ornate furniture and proliferating bric-a-brac. Myth has it that even piano legs were scandalous, and covered with tiny pantalettes.

Of course, much of this is untrue, or a gross exaggeration. Men's formal clothing may have been less colorful than it was in the previous century, but brilliant waistcoats and cummerbunds provided a touch of color, and smoking jackets and dressing gowns were often of rich Oriental brocades. Corsets stressed a woman's sexuality, exaggerating hips and bust by contrast with a tiny waist. Women's ball gowns bared the shoulders and the tops of the breasts. The tight-fitting jersey dresses of the 1880s may have covered the body, but they left little to the imagination.


Home furnishing was not necessarily ornate or overstuffed. However, those who could afford lavish draperies and expensive ornaments, and wanted to display their wealth, would often do so. Since the Victorian era was one of extreme social mobility, there were ever more nouveaux riches making a rich show.

The items used in decoration may also have been darker and heavier than those used today, simply as a matter of practicality. London was noisy and its air was full of soot from countless coal fires. Hence those who could afford it draped their windows in heavy, sound-muffling curtains, and chose colors that didn't show soot quickly. When all washing was done by hand, curtains were not washed as frequently as they might be today.

There is no actual evidence that piano
legs were considered scandalous. Pianos and tables were often draped with or cloths -- but if the shawls hid anything, it was the cheapness of the furniture. There are references to lower-middle-class families covering up their shawlspine tables rather than show that they couldn't afford mahogany. The piano leg story seems to have originated in Captain Frederick Marryat's 1839 book, Diary in America, as a satirical comment on American prissiness.


Victorian manners, however, may have been as strict as imagined -- on the surface. One simply did not speak publicly about sex, childbirth, and such matters, at least in the respectable middle and upper classes. However, as is well known, discretion covered a multitude of sins. Prostitution flourished. Upper-class men and women indulged in adulterous liaisons. Then of course there were the artists and bohemians, as well as the lower classes.

As they live in the way the victorians do, neo-victorians listen to classical music and read victorian literature.

Neo-victorianism is quite seperate from victorian goth, Aristocrat, victoriana, and steampunk, and is more loyal to the era itself.

Aside from the second, and the last two paragraphs, which are mine, the info comes from wikipedia. Art is from DA.
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