Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, July 26, 1914, PART TWO EDITORIAL, SOCIETY, Image 16

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A Little 5ermon
on Good. Tast
in Dressing
Lady Du ff - Gord
A "Futurist" Development of tho Silt
Skirt. Turned Into a Grotesque, and
Accentuated In Ita Ugliness by
the Shock of the Cigarette.
By Lady Duff-Gordon.
Paris. Juno 20
HOU have asked me what I think
of tho -Futurist Fashions."
and by that 1 Infer that you
mean the weird Ideas in dress
that have been promulgated from tlmo
to tlmo recently as the kind of clothes
women will wear In the future
There will novor bo any "Futurist"
fashions In this sonso. There aro cer
tain fixed and eternal principles of har
mony to which such conceptions run
directly counter And these principles
of harmony in dress havo been per
ceived by tho eternal woman, and have
been used by her in all stages of tho
world's culture
To my mind harmonious dressing Is
a most Important factor in the harmo
nloua adjustment of ourselves to our
world. It is a part, and a very great
part, of that effort toward perfect
equilibrium that should mark tho striv
ing of every human atom in this thing
we call society.
What wo call good tasto la only a per
ception and an application of these prin
ciples of harmony whether it bo good
taste' in dress, in manners. In furnish
ing the house or what not. Our minds,
unless they are morbid or perverted,
turn as naturally toward happiness, joy.
peace and progress as flowers turn
toward the sun. And this only means
that we, with ail created things, strive
to be harmonious.
A woman who Is gracious, under
standing, charming and delightful and
a man who carries with him the mas
culine equivalents of these attributes
ore thoso to whom everything Is pos
sible because they carry with them har
mony Dress is a symbol of one's per
sonality, tho "outward banner" of tho
Anything that is ugly, that excites in
persons a sonso of absurdity, anything
that shocks the aesthetic sensibilities,
cannot be helpful, and anything that is
not working for lasting good cannot en
dure. That vast englno which is tho
sum total of all human minds clings
fast to and runs along tho lines of eter
nal beauty and goodnoss. Tho ugly
things, the wicked things cannot live.
Thoy dio or they are transmuted into
And so it is of dress. Thore have
been ugly fashions, and there havo
been times of decadence and wick
edness which was reflected in ugly
and wicked fashions. But theso
pass. There is an eternal rhythm
and harmony and a dominant lino
from which woman's dross can
nover for long stray. Its secret Is
In the best of our modern dresses
thero 1b nothing better or more
beautiful than was in tho dress ot
the ancient womon of Greece. Tho
fashions of the women of the Orient
havo been fixed for centuries, and in
our loveliest modern creations wo can
go no further than they.
And the reason for this is that tho
Greeks and tho women of the Orient
discovered thoso slmplo laws ot har
mony, and, having discovered them,
had faith In them and clung to them.
"There is nothing new under the sun,"
said Solomon. The laws of harmony
and of good taste In dress were fixed
before womankind was born. They are
a part of tho law that rules the rolling
of the suns In the heavens and the col
oring of tho tiniest flowers on earth.
Thero are no doubt monster suns borne
Three "Futurist" cos
tumes suggested by Paul
P o I r e t, of Paris, but
which even their Inventor
floes not tako seriously.
It Is said.
in tho universe and
ugly growths among
flowers, but theso do
not last Nature her
self kills them. Life
Is upward toward
beauty, harmony and
Lot your dress,
then, as a rule, bo
slraplo. Thero is nn
infinite variety that
can be obtained In tho
changing of colore, in
fabrica. of tho adjust
ment and selection of em
broidery and laces. The
simple line can bo varied
harmoniously so that there
will nover be an effect of
tedium or of sameness. It
Is really not necessary to
shatter every standard of
good taste in order to be
"dlffe'rent." I know of at
least a hundred ways in
which the girdle and flow
ing robo of the anclont
Greek maiden can bo va
ried, and yet in not one of
them will Its principles of
clean harmony bo violated.
I do not mean by thla
that there is not a uso for
what is sometimes called
the bizarre. It has its values Just as
dissonance has Its value in music, but
It must bo sparingly used. Its purpose
should bo to emphaslzo harmony or to
gather up tho chord of tho dress into a
climax. And every woman should have
at least one or two perfectly gorgeous
dresses to fit what I call the "Imperial
mood." It is well for women to have
A Charming Fashion Which Is Taken Out of Its "Harmonies" by the Pipe
Shaped Cigarette Holder and Mannish Attitude of Ita Wearer. '
The Real Tragedy of the Blond Eskimos.
TUB London Lancet in an unusual editorial
ralsos some picturesque questions concerning
the now famous blond Eskimos discovered by
Stefansson in tho far Arctic. It is believed that thoso
blond Eskimos are the last remnants of tho vigorous
Icelandic colony ot Norsemen who disappeared in tho
sixteenth century. Tho writer in the Lancet says:
To medical men tno death or decay of white races
in hot or distant climates Is not less Interesting than
the degeneration of a family or ot individuals. Tho
"Poor Whites" of the West Indies, who are the deca
dent descendants of Cavaliers sent into slavery by
Oliver Cromwell, survive lugubriously, pathetic rep
resentatives of a once high-hearted class; but other
white races have completely disappeared, leaving
behind them only a ruin or two, a few graves, a tra
dition vaguely repeated by savages, an occasional
racial cast-back among yellow or dark-skinned sup
planters. We are thinking more particularly of tho Norse
men of southernmost Greenland, who flourished for
6ome 300 years, then fell into decadence, and utterly
disappeared toward the close of the fifteenth cen
tury. Hlstbry records that in about the year 985
A. D. Eric rtaudl. the Red or Ruddy, an Icelandic
outlaw, founded two colonies. Wester and Oestre
Bygd. to tho west of the southern cape of Greenland,
a name of hopeful sound adopted by him to attract
Eric the Red was a pioneer among European ex
plorers. Though a pagan, he seemed to have been a
singularly good man. and he was a careful explorer,
It was his son Lelf who is credibly supposed to havo
discovered "Vine-land tho Good," or America, with
which his people afterward traded. They consti
tuted, in fact, a flourishing trading republic, keeping
un their connection with Ilercen nnd with Iceland
tor centuries.
In 1448 a fleet of "heathen," supposed to bo Eng
lish, attacked them. Then In successive waves they
wcro Invaded from tho north by tho Eskimos, at that
time ferocious, and by tho Black Death from over
seas. Their connection with Europe ceased, and
though in 1492 nn effort was made to reopen commu
nications with them nothing came of it. In 1496 a
bishop, appointed to tho Greenland see, sailed, but
could not reach It. Tho last of their bishops died In
Europe In 1540. He had nevor visited them. Their
civilization probably flickered out after 1450
"Darkness falls says Mr. William H Babcock,
their latest historian, "but the uncertainty and the
marked pathos of this chapter of old history makes
any Item (of Information) very welcome"
One such Item is a mysterious story of voices, for
tho colonists wore perhaps heard, though not seen,
by an Icelandic bishop, Amund of Skalpolt, In tho
sixteenth century, who was driven by stress ot
weather so close In shore that his ears caught, or ho
believed so. from the deck of his ship voices of
Norsemen on some track near by, and the passage
of cattle and sheep. This was at Herlulfsness, now
an Eskimo settlement, with an Eskimo name. Tho
voices from the shadow were the last sign of Ufa
given by perhaps the earliest European colonists,
forerunners of Columbus.
In 1585 John Davis, the explorer, found thetr set
tlements in the hands of the Eskimos, who retained
a few dim traditions of whlto men. Thoy had left
behind them a fourteenth century church tho Cathe
dral of Gardar some seventeen anclont houses, ono
or which, from its decorations, has been identified
as that of Eric the Red, and a few coffins containing
European corpses, with faces wrapped in coarse an
tique cloth. In 1721 the "Apostle of Greenland."
Hans Egede, made determined efforts to And "the
lost people" along certain green inland fiords be
yond the Icewall ot the coast. Southern Greenland,
tt should be remembered, has tho climate ot Iceland
or of northern Norway He found nothing, nor did
a subsequent explorer. Lieutenant Holm, in the last
Recently, however. Horr V Stefansson has re
ported the existence of whlto Eskimos on Coronation
Gulf, far to the north of the original Icelandic settle
ments. It Is said that some of those tribesmen have
light hatr and that their language contains Norse
word 8.
Romantic as this may seem, it is not Impossible,
nor yet improbable Disease, the mediaeval Black
Death, may very well have decimated the ancestors
of these people and their weakened remnant may
hav been absorbed by Invading savagery and carried
northward, Many instances are recorded of similar
absorptions. An Indian town in Chill, to tako one
case. Is known to be mainly descended from Span
lards, who there held a fortress, erected by 5 viceroy
for the purpose of overawing the natives.
The Norse Grecnlanders in their day produced
the "Lay of Atll," and perhaps contributed to the
verso Edda. Thoy thus formed part of the grand
literary movement, which In Iceland producod the
"Prose Edda." that sublime and little-known poem.
To tho scientific psychologist tho mental changes
taking placo In a vanishing raco aro as interesting
as physical decay to tho pathologist.
When did theso white Eskimos, supposing them
to bo descendants of Norsemen, begin to forget their
traditions and tholr origin?
And who among them was tho last to remember
that ho was of a white race?
Cojurrlcht, 1911. by tba Star Company. Great Britain nights Reserved.
this mood now and then to feel tho
full power and beauty of dominant
womanhood. It is a soul strengthened
and when she feels it her dress ought
to vibrate in unl3on with her thoughts.
But the mood which would find its
Interpretation In some of these cos
tumes which are called "Futurist" could
only bo madhouse moods, and. as such
cannot live, and should not live. In a
world whose constant trend is toward
a finer sanity.
It thoughts are things, as I believo
thoy are, a true dress is thought's sub
stance. Words form one way of cloth
ing our thoughts a great picture Is tho
clothing of a vision, a great poem is tho
clothing ot another vision.
Dresa is, In its spiritual essence, the
clothing of what psychologists would
call "our complex."
Why it is ugly to have a dress ot full
length on one side and ot quarter length
on the other and nothing else, or why
some lines are attractive and others of
fensive one cannot prove by mathemat
ics. Yet we know it is so.
Certain colors blend and certain
others do not. And the reason for this
lies in the vibrations we call color. Tho
vibrations do not harmonize. Lines, no
doubt, are only vibrations also, and this,
I think, is the true secret of right com
position or form. Things are ugly be
cause they aro unharmonious. They
are beautiful because they harmonize.
If I have dwelt too much on harmo
nies, it is because I believe that In thla
world harmony Is. tho most Important of
things. What' we call success is only
being, in harmony with the dominant
principle of nature, which constantly
strives for achievement What we call
luck, Is only harmonies which we attain,
without recognizing them. In propor
tion as ono is on harmony with tho
forces that cqntrol lifo, in justthat pro
portion -1b he or she successfuL I do
not mean only successful in a money
sense, but also in the sense ot being
able to command the love and trust ot
our fellows and of being a truly helpful
Unless our dress is harmonious we
are liko discords. The good forces
which can help us and desire to help
us are held away there is a barrier be
tween our minds and them. .
All of us recognize this, oven thought
we do not put that recognition Into the
shape of thought or words. It is the
law that we cannot alter, and, like all
eternal laws, it is a- good law.
And for this reason as the years go
by we will not find womankind clothing
herself in the absurdities called "Futur
ist." Here and there perhaps one .will.'
or a group will, but these are only Utile)
back eddies in the main stream.
Woman will be faithful to the laws
that the Greeks knew, and before tho
Greeks many otheT civilizations.
There Is such a thing as ugliness, and
there is such a thing as beauty, and la
the great Purpose, as I humbly dare to
define it, there Is no intention that
beauty shall be' slain by ugliness- "