WOMAN DECORATIVE IN HER MOTOR CAR
T is not easy to be decorative in your automobile now that the
manufacturers are going in for gay colour schemes both in upholstery and
outside painting. A putty-coloured touring car lined with red leather is
very stunning in itself, but the woman who would look well when sitting
in it does not carelessly don any bright motor coat at hand. She knows very well
that to show up to advantage against red, and be in harmony with the putty-colour
paint, her tweed coat should blend with the car, also her furs. Black is smart with
everything, but fancy how impossible mustard, cerise and some shades of green
would look against that scarlet leather!
An orange car with black top, mud-guards and upholstery calls for a costume of
white, black, brown, tawny grey, or, if one would be a poster, royal blue.
Some twenty-five years ago the writer watched the first automobile in her
experience driven down the Champs Elysées. It seemed an uncanny, horseless
carriage, built to carry four people and making a good deal of fuss about it.
A few days later, while lunching at the Café de Reservoir, Versailles, we were told
that some men were starting back to Paris by automobile, and if we went to a
window giving on to the court, we might see the astonishing vehicle make its start.
It was as thrilling as the first near view of an aëroplane, and all-excitement we
watched the two Frenchmen getting ready for the drive. Their elaborate preparation
to face the current of air to be encountered en route was not unlike the preparation
to-day for flying. It was Spring--June, at that--but those Frenchmen wearing very
English tweeds and smoking English pipes, each drew on extra cloth trousers and
coats and over these a complete outfit of leather! We saw them get into the things
in the public courtyard, arrange huge goggles, draw down cloth caps, and set out at
a speed of about fifteen miles an hour!
A portrait of Mrs. Thomas Hastings of New
York painted by the late John W. Alexander.
We have chosen this--one of the most
successful portraits by one of America's
leading portrait painters--as a striking
example of colour scheme and interesting
line. Also we have here a woman who carries
herself with form. Mrs. Hastings is an
physique is poised so as to give that
individual movement which makes for type;
her colour--wonderful red hair and the
complexion which goes with it--are set off
by a dull gold background; a gown in another
tone of gold, relieved by a note or two of
turquoise green; and the same green
appearing as a shadow on the Victory in the
We see the sitter, as she impressed an
observer, transferred to the canvas by the
consummate skill of our deeply lamented
A Modern Portrait By John W. Alexander
The above seems incredible, now that we have passed through the various stages of
motor car improvements and motor clothes creations. The rapid development of the
automobile, with its windshields, limousine tops, shock absorbers, perfected
engines and springs, has brought us to the point where no more preparation is
needed for a thousand-mile run across country with an average speed of thirty miles
an hour, than if we were boarding a train. One dresses for a motor as one would for
driving in a carriage and those dun-colored, lineless monstrosities invented for
motor use have vanished from view. More than this, woman to-day considers her
decorative value against the electric blue velvet or lovely chintz lining of her
limousine, exactly as she does when planning clothes for her salon. And why not?
The manufacturers of cars are taking seriously their interior decoration as well as
outside painting; and many women interior decorators specialise along this line and
devote their time to inventing colour schemes calculated to reflect the personality
of the owner of the car.
Special orders have raised the standard of the entire industry, so that at the recent
New York automobile show, many effects in cars were offered to the public.
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