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Walking dress, 1817-20 UK, the Victoria & Albert Museum
Echoes of military uniform give this walking dress a masculine flourish. The curving satin bands applied to the front of the spencer are reminiscent of the parallel lines of braiding which extended across the breast of many uniforms. Passementerie in the form of crescent-shaped moulds, looped cord and balls covered in floss silk replace the gilt or silver buttons on some regimental coats. The tassels on the collar ends and cuff bands evoke the tassels adorning boots, hats, sashes and cap lines of military accessories. In place of epaulettes, puffed oversleeves composed of linked bows emphasize the shoulder line.
The infusion of military styles into fashionable dress in Britain was largely due to the influence of the Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815). Among other factors, contact with foreign troops had a strong impact on civilian as well as regimental dress, and military ornament was translated into stylish trimmings on women’s hats, bodices, spencers and pelisses. The uniforms worn during this period were some of the most elaborate in the history of military dress, and their bright colours, frogging, braid and tassels fuelled the imagination of fashion for years to come.
Although this walking outfit is not based on any particular uniform, some garments closely followed certain styles. The uniform of the hussars, who were light cavalry, was particularly flamboyant as it was derived from Hungarian national dress. In her memoirs, Elizabeth Grant describes the admiration she received when she ‘walked out like a hussar in a dark cloth pelisse trimmed with fur and braided like the coat of a staff-officer, boots to match, and a fur cap set on one side, and kept on the head by means of a cord with long tassels’.
I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while - this term paper is trying to take me down! I’ll return as soon as it’s finished, though. God willing!
Silk Pelisse, Museum of London, c. 1823
A pelisse or pelisse-coat, a kind of women’s outer garment which could be made in everything from the lightest silk to heavy fur. It was worn over a gown but could look like a gown itself, especially when floor length like this garment. The pelisse was made for a trousseau in 1823 for the wedding of the grandmother of the donor.
The intricate decoration is made from rouleaux applied in floral shapes, and trimmed with wire wrapped in silk thread which stands out from the garment in loops at the ends. By the 1820s the high ‘Empire’ waistline is starting to drop towards the natural waist again. The ‘Vandyke’ style of the pointed shoulder pieces are one of the historical clothing references fashionable at the time.
Evening Dress, V&A, c. 1821-23
Check out the low, sexy back! I can’t wait to make one like this.
Irene Castle in Madeleine Vionnet, c. 1922
Elizaveta Fedorovna, c. 1880s-90s
Russian court dress ca. 1900
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art
I own these three lovely babies! Peterson’s fashion plates from 1871 (from the top): May, July, and November.
Now that I officially own fashion plates, I want to make at least one dress from each plate..
The lot is the contents of an attic trunk, including four 1930s velvet and satin evening gowns, peasant-style embroidered blouses, two 1950s ballgowns, assorted gloves, petticoats, etc.
Click to go to the absentee bidding page. This Kerry Taylor auction will end October 16th at 10:30 AM GMT (5:30 AM EST). You will need to register to bid ahead of time.
Robe retroussée dans les poches, ca 1780 France, KCI
In accordance with the English custom of walks in the countryside and relaxing in the open air, it became popular to dress up in clothes derived from the work clothes and townwear of ordinary people, who, by their nature, put great importance on freedom of movement. One of these so inspired style is the “retroussée dans les poches”, as seen here. The gown’s hem is pulled out from slits in either side, and draped on the back. The red and white contrasting pekin stripes also heighten the folds’ effect.
“Pekin” stripes are textiles originally made in China of equal-width striped patterns of differing colors and weaving methods. Along with the expansion of interest in chinoiserie, around 1760, Peking striped fabric was even produced in France and became popular. As Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin(1699–1779) painted (“The Morning Toilette”, c.1741, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm) , women of the rich bourgeoisie often wore this kind of striped pattern.
I don’t care how many times I post this.
Ballgown, 1780-85 France, Musée des Tissus de Lyon
This dress, also called “robe parée”, is a ball dress. The skirt is worn over a pannier which, early 1780, was less ample than the one used under the dress “à la française”. The decoration consists of appliqué painted flowers, gauze flounces and extremely refined embroideries. It exemplifies the dresses Rose Bertin, Marie-Antoinette’s dressmaker, used to create for the queen.