Just a quickie for Fashion Plate Friday! This one was originally published in Le Follet (a Paris magazine), in November of 1839.
Love the green dressing/smoking gown with the red lining and cap ~ also the little gold slippers. The other two gents are wearing evening clothes (at left), and (at right) what looks like a typical day-to-evening frock (more casual than the dinner tails).
Aside from the clothes, I really love the ghosted-in room decor: the fireplace, candelabra, etc.
Today, just a lovely fashion plate from the February 1862 edition of Le Follet.
I absolutely adore the purple gown with the black sleeves. It looks deliciously sumptuous! Click on the image to see the details better. I like the black gown too, but the copper or brown underskirt seems strange to me (though it does match the muff).
Winter styles have always appealed to me more than other seasons.
And the girl's matching blue booties are also very sweet.
I have been suffering from computer woes this past week, alas, but hoping things will improve shortly.
To tide you over, here's a lovely fashion plate of children's clothing from October of 1875 (source uncertain, unfortunately). I haven't come across a lot of fashion plates for children, which makes this one interesting. Mostly children wore rather amorphous dresses until they were about 7 or 8 years old, then they generally wore miniature versions of whatever was fashionable for adults.
Love the colors: the blue shiny stripes and the gold/coppery combination. It seems I have not posted much from this era, which is interesting since it's so smack-dab into Reconstruction-era America, but maybe I have just been saving this stuff for when I get there. I feel right now like I will never get out of the 1850s. Gotta move this ahead quicker!
Click to see the detail on the pattern of the blue dress ~ it's is amazing! This is from Review de la Mode from 1880 and the colors are wonderfully preserved!
As much as I am itching to get out of the 1850s in my own work, I have to be patient. But it's exciting to see all the beautiful styles to look forward to. The late 1970s and early 1880s remain my favorite period in fashion; dresses were flattering without the craziness of the enormous bustle-to-come. Lovely wedding gown too, I should add.
Today, a lovely piece from the French ladies' magazine Le Monde Elegant. This is the plate from July, 1877 (the late 70s and early 80s are probably my favorite eras in terms of 19th century clothing. The crazy-wide hoops are gone and the enormous ridiculous bustles haven't yet become vogue.
Just a quick update before a weekend in which I hope to have actually paper dolls to post for you! These are some fabulous hats from the French magazine La Saison (1885). These are lovely examples of the typical excess of hair/head accessories in this era: lots of ribbons, bows, lace, feathers, and flowers. Bonnets were long gone and these toppers made excellent stages for all sorts of flights of fancy (including actual whole birds). Will have to find an example of a "birded" hat for you.
Height was the "height" of fashion in the mid-1880s with women's hair and hair accessories jacking upward in amazing ways. Fashionable hair and hats would not come back down until the turn of the century.
My goal this weekend is to get some dolls done so that I can make good on a very long long ago promise that there would actually be original dolls to download and play with. It's taken me forever to make decisions about what I wanted to do with the characters, but I've finally come to the conclusion that it's now or never, so I better get on with it. Also, now that my scanner is working again, I hopefully won't have any trouble posting the work. Yay!
The temperatures continue at a low (we didn't get that crazy storm from this past week, but it's been cold cold cold). And so my internet is still dead dead dead. It's supposed to kick up twenty or so degrees this weekend, so maybe my service will resume and I can get back to more regular posting (there's always something, isn't there?).
In the meantime, here is something quick and fun for Fashion Plate Friday: an engraving of a Victorian bat costume from 1887. Halloween not being a solidly established tradition at this time, it was probably designed for a masquerade or possibly even some theatrical, but it's rather cool either way. There's something especially appealing about the way 19th century costumes were constructed: everything was hand made and generally one-of-a-kind since such things were not mass-produced.
If you had the skill and the resources, what kind of costume would you design for yourself?
For fashion plate Friday I have two lovely things to offer from two distinct periods.
The first, to the left is from the Revue de la Mode (obviously a French fashion journal) from it appears to be 1886 (that seems right given the style of the bustles ~ my eyesight is kinda killing me at this point so it's hard to read the tiny faded print in the lower left.
I love the gold and green dress most, but the evening gown with the satin or velvet bodice and then the contrasting gold overskirt and purplish flowers. It works, I guess, but this is one of those places where I just know my sense of color is "off". I would never imagine deliberately making such a combination!
The other image for the day comes from 1837 and shows various women in evening or mourning dress. Because mourning was such a huge part of the culture, it's always interesting to see how women tried to make it fashionable as well (within reason, of course ~ ostentation would have been grossly boorish).
It's also interesting to note that black was actually popular in fashion during various periods, which helped alleviate it of its reputation for being the color of mourning. Though we still associate it with funerals today, it's also known as common party or cocktail wear: that "little black dress" for any and all occasions.
Today's quickie Fashion Plate Friday is a trio of gents hanging out from a Winter 1856 plate out of Gentleman's Magazine.
We see here a nice array of evening wear, formal wear, and after-dinner wear (a robe for smoking, lounging, etc.). Obviously these are well-to-do fellas who have the leisure and money to spend on fancy clothes and a variety of pieces that would be far above and beyond the casual 19th century man.
Too bad there aren't any fashion plates for the "other half" as the non-wealthy class was termed (though they were hardly half ~ more like 80% or even more). I should look into that and see if I can find more common dress. Typically you can find fashion plates for the "peasantry" of other countries, but I can't say I've ever seen such for America. Also, even the lower classes who couldn't afford fancy clothes tried to dress in the basic style of the rich (where they could). So their textiles might be more pragmatic or even shabby, but the general cut of the cloth was usually emulated wherever and whenever possible. One gets a better sense of the regular clothes of the day from photographs ~ of which I will have to remember to share more!
While wandering around the internet, I stumbled across the following Japanese fashion prints (circa 1888), depicting the empress of Japan in western clothing. The artist is Yoshitoshi, who is considered the last great master of the ukiyo-e tradition. These prints were made at the height of Japan's new "westernization".
The emperor and empress encouraged the adoption of western clothing and customs as part of modernizing Japan and breaking from centuries-old feudal customs.
It was a tough period for Japan and you can read a little more about what it meant to Japanese women at the source where I found these images: Lina's Lookbook.
Perhaps needless to say, the prints are absolutely beautiful (the colors are amazing!). When compared to cheap American prints of the same era, the difference is astounding. But then again, "cheap" American kind of sums up the reason there.
I was looking at images of 19th century Japan mostly out of curiosity; I am watching Shogun (which takes place in the 1600s), but so much of the Japanese style did not change until the 19th century, so I was interested in how constant the clothing had been over the centuries in many ways. When you look at how diverse western clothing is from century to century, this constancy is particularly striking.
And yes, I am sort of playing with the idea of making a paper doll based on the character of John Blackthorn in Shogun, but it's kind of out the era I'd prefer working in, so it was just an idle thought and a few sketches on an energy bill that happened to be handy for scrawling. Nevertheless, I do have two Japanese characters who I could draw belonging to the "proper" era represented in this blog. Eventually. Meanwhile, click on the pictures above to see them in
Meanwhile, I created two dolls over the weekend, but made some really poor judgment choices in inking and painting them, so, sadly, out they go. I will try to make new ones this coming weekend and hopefully have something to share by Sunday.