Monday, 22 September 2008

The Perfect Gymslip?

Probably not, but very nice nevertheless!


Greetings good readers, from a still half-blind Garth Toyntanen. post my laser sight correction surgery of last week I now think that one eye is recovering faster than the other, or something similar. Whatever the reason, one eye is an awful lot better than the other at mid range and this difference is causing visual disturbances. It's probably not worth my purchasing reading glasses until my eyes settle down So for now I'm soldering on as best I can. It's all a bit annoying though as I'm about five days in from the surgery and I was led to believe that after 24 hours or so my vision would be very much back to normal.
There are various points within the story arc so far developed in INSTITUTIONALISED volume 1 and that will continue to develop into the upcoming volumes two and three, wherein a young lady, despite her apparent maturity and physical development, is put in school uniform. Although the story is clearly sat in the present world, or at most a very recent past, the point is that those school uniforms are without exception not only juvenile in design but also both strict and anachronistic in appearance, and therein hangs a great deal of that all-important element of humiliation. Although I have always done my best to paint a picture in words, and will continue to do so of course, for many I fear that the imagery still leaves much room for misconception and puzzlement.

One of the most intractable problems I have had in creating and writing the INSTITUTIONALISED series has lain in getting the modern reader to understand exactly what is meant by the term ‘gymslip’ as pertains to the various encounters portrayed in the books. More specifically the problem has been how best to put over the image of the garment as I see it on the girls in my mind’s eye such that the reader shares the same viewpoint and perhaps understands the mental anguish and bitterness the girl feels in it, particularly having previously viewed herself as being a young woman of some independence and even sophistication. By way of an example; in volume 1 it is recounted how one particular young lady is delivered to the institution’s door in a rather strict example of an English boarding school uniform of a bygone age of a rather juvenile appearance and featuring a rather brief knife-pleat skirted gymslip. In some ways the American ‘jumper’ has come to the rescue to some extent as I expect quite a few readers have come across such garments on the Internet in various ways.

Here a reader’s contribution can lend a helping hand; the contributor known only as ‘Domestic discipline’ has again provided some wonderful vintage illustrations of English school uniform for which many thanks go out to him.
If one keeps in mind the bodice of the example at the top of the page, and considers the second of the two pictures above to be the view from the side (yes, I know it's a different girl in a completely different gymslip, but bear with me) and if you now think of the skirt as being flared and sharply knife-pleaded, coming to perhaps mid thigh, then you are beginning to see the image that I had in mind in that scene in volume 1. One should keep in mind, also, the starched stiff collar, school tie and hat of the first picture -and, of course, the young lady's cheeks, apple-red with embarrassment - in conjuring the picture.
The photo on the right I've included by way of contrast and intending to illustrate exactly what I don't mean by the term gymslip in my writings - this is the type of thing more typically thing seen and depicted in the spanking / discipline literature world but is something I think I would tend to refer to as a gym tunic rather than a gymslip per se as I intended depicted in volume 1 (yes I know the gymslip, as I describe, was originally derived from such gym tunics, see wikipedia for more).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the work. Long live the gymslip. Please keep the writing up.