Becoming Dagny Taggart

Taken by Audrey Davis of Audrey Davis Photography. 

Taken by Audrey Davis of Audrey Davis Photography

1950s America may have been short on female role models for burgeoning businesswomen, but not if Ayn Rand had anything to say about it. Regardless of how you feel about Ayn Rand's politics or her 1,000+ page capitalistic opus, Dagny Taggart, the protagonist of Atlas Shrugged, is a role model for women in business and a feminist force to be reckoned with. And thanks to eShakti, an online custom women's clothing retailer, I got to hone to spirit of Dagny Taggart.   

Taken by Audrey Davis of Audrey Davis Photography. 

Taken by Audrey Davis of Audrey Davis Photography

In the world of Atlas Shrugged, Dagny's family owns Taggart Transcontinental, a corporate railroad company. Although Dagny's brother, James Taggart, took over the company when their father stepped down, James' incompetence allows Dagny to truly run the company.

You don't have to see through the eyes of others, hold onto yours, stand on your own judgment, you know that what is, is–say it aloud, like the holiest of prayers, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

When James doesn't believe they should build a new railway line or when the Taggart Transcontinental Board of Directors doesn't approve of her latest vision, she circumvents them and does it anyway. When people tell her she should be in the kitchen and birthing babies, she tells them off. 

She was twelve years old when she told Eddie Willers that she would run the railroad when they grew up. She was fifteen when it occurred to her for the first time that women did not run railroads and that people might object. To hell with that, she thought—and never worried about it again.

Dagny Taggart is the kind of woman who knows exactly what she wants. That's why it's particularly appropriate that eShakti is a custom clothing company. You choose your style, then customize the measurements to fit you perfectly. You can even choose the sleeve, neckline, and length of the dress. Dagny would approve. 

Taken by Audrey Davis of Audrey Davis Photography. 

Taken by Audrey Davis of Audrey Davis Photography

Dagny is too busy being a business maven, captain of industry, and visionary to worry too much about what she looks like. Between bringing faster, more efficient rail lines to underserved part of 1950s America and bucking the patriarchy, who's got the time? Dagny's sense of fashion tends to be all about classic styles and clean lines with simple, yet elegant adornments. 

Lillian moved forward to meet her, studying her with curiosity. They had met before, on infrequent occasions, and she found it strange to see Dagny Taggart wearing an evening gown. It was a black dress with a bodice that fell as a cape over one arm and shoulder, leaving the other bare: the naked shoulder was the gown’s only ornament.

Dagny's sense of style is much like my own personal style. My friends will tell you that I prefer simplicity and am never seen wearing sequins, rhinestones, glitter, or anything excessively shiny. That's why I chose a dress with clean, simple lines, nude heels, a copper-toned metal statement necklace, and a pop of color on the lips. Dagny isn't boring by any stretch of the imagination, but her fashion reflects her priorities--she'd rather spend her time working. 

Like Dagny, I'm often too busy doing homework for my masters degree and working toward expanding my freelance writing business--in addition to having a regular job--to go shopping. And when I do shop, I generally know what I want and how it should look on me. Though I had never shopped at a custom clothing store until eShakti, I'm now a believer. I simply picked out the style I wanted, chose my measurements and specifications--which didn't take long at all--and the dress arrived on my doorstep less than two weeks later. eShakti is great for women who know what they want and don't want to spend hours at the mall hoping someone else got it right. 

Taken by Audrey Davis of Audrey Davis Photography. 

Taken by Audrey Davis of Audrey Davis Photography

Dagny believes in change and progress. She believes in a world where women aren't dismissed because of their sex and people are rewarded handsomely for the work they do. She believes in a world where being a visionary with the means to accomplish that vision is second nature to all, not a privilege for few. She believes in innovation, imagination, and liberation. 

And I'd be willing to bet that Dagny would also believe in a world where clothes look good, feel good, fit right, and make you feel like your best self. Between the ideal fit, the perfect colors, and elegant design, that's exactly how I felt wearing this dress. 

Taken by Audrey Davis of Audrey Davis Photography. 

Taken by Audrey Davis of Audrey Davis Photography

All photos were taken on the railway tracks adjacent to Morris Avenue in Birmingham, AL, which was a happy accident since the road to the Powell Steam Plant, where the shoot was originally planned, was blocked due to a giant football party! As a book blogger, I don't often get to do fashion shoots, but I had such a fun time doing this one. Just putting myself in the shoes of one of my favorite literary characters was inspiring. 

 

Notes on this piece:
Collaborations are a beautiful thing. The photography is courtesy of one my best friends and roommate, Audrey Davis. Check her out at Audrey Davis Photography where she does cool, artistic concept photography as well as commissions. Feel free to share these photos as long as you don't edit or crop the photos, leave the watermark intact, and credit Audrey Davis Photography. 

I received this dress from eShakti for free in exchange for an honest review. And I honestly love it! I had a great experience with eShakti would recommend them to anyone. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for latest deals and fashions. 

Fixed Baroque readers can get an exclusive discount--10% off on all products not including sale/clearance, overstock, and gift cards, to be used as many times as you like between now and 11/27/14--just by entering code "fixedbaroque" (no quotation marks) in the promo code box! 

And if you'd like to read the book Atlas Shrugged, it's been in print since 1957, so get thee to your favorite bookstore. Weighing in at over 1,000 pages, it's a hefty read, but totally worth it. Dagny is irresistibly inspiring and charming.  


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Happy Ask an Archivist Day!

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