You'd think that after 12 Years a Slave won all those Oscars, slaves are over. But you'd be thinking wrong, says actress and lifestyle guru Blake Lively, whose dogged pursuit of the joie de vivre associated with slavery is such that she chose to be married on a Southern plantation. According to a Lively-styled fashion spread on her lifestyle website Preserve, the hottest lifestyle for fall is the lifestyle of owning human beings without government interference.
The spread, titled "Allure of Antebellum," features a blonde Lively lookalike sporting a series of wide-brimmed hats, leopard skirts, and stilettos.
What do you think of when you view these images? You think of those final, beautiful hours in the American South before the Yankee aggressors marched into town, trampling countless elegant rose gardens and tracking mud onto everyone's porticos.
Here is Preserve's written inspiration that accompanies the fashion photos; bracketed edits ours:
Georgia peaches, sweet tea, [owning human beings as property,] and the enticement of a smooth twang...we all love a bit of southern charm. These regional mainstays evoke an unparalleled [level of sociopathy,] warmth and authenticity in style and tradition.
The term "Southern Belle" came to fruition during the Antebellum period (prior to the Civil War [in which southern states sought to protect their long tradition of forced labor]), acknowledging women with an inherent social distinction[—being white—]who set the standards for style and appearance. These women epitomized Southern [slaveownership and] hospitality with a cultivation of beauty and grace, but even more with [slaves and] a captivating and magnetic sensibility. While at times depicted as coy, these belles of the ball, in actuality could command [the hundreds of human beings that they owned, and also] attention with the ease of a hummingbird relishing a pastoral bloom.
Like the debutantes of yesteryear, the authenticity and allure still ring true today [much like the many legacies of institutionalized white supremacy]. Hoop skirts are replaced by flared and pleated A-lines; oversized straw toppers are transformed into wide-brimmed floppy hats and wool fedoras[; the keeping of a caste of humans as property has been reimagined as a comprehensive system of impoverishment, judicial and extrajudicial violence, and de facto subjugation.]
The prowess of artful layering—[as much] the southern way [as purchasing and selling human beings]—lies in inadvertent combinations. From menswear-inspired overcoats to the fluidity of soft flowing separates, wrap yourself up in tactile layers that elicit a true sense of seasonal lure.
Embrace the season and the magic [and the centuries-long history of racist subjugation] below the Mason-Dixon with styles as theatric as a Dixie drawl.
Conveniently enough, you can purchase items inspired by America's greatest shame right on Preserve. Try this $335 hat. Looks like we've got some shopping to do.
[Photos via AP, Preserve]