Showing posts from April, 2017

Some (Unasked-For) Advice

So, there's a stylistic issue that's started to stand out to me in 18th century costuming. And you can feel free to disregard this post if you want to; I'm not the reenactment police. The issue is: stomachers and petticoats that match each other while contrasting with the gown. Outlander  here serves as a great example, since so many 18th century films are either set in the 1780s or have anachronistic stomacher-less bodices in earlier decades. But others do it too! The look of a stomacher that matches the petticoat seems to have been really attractive to people through the nineteenth century, and continues to be so up to today! For starters, this illustration dates to only a couple of generations after stomacher'd gowns were being regularly worn: Image of marriage from The Stages of Man, ca. 1815; the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection Many museums have dressed mannequins like this through the years , matching up a gown they own with a lone pet

The Invention of the Fashion Label

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about  re-evaluating the many claims made about Charles Frederick Worth's innovations in the couture industry . It included a paragraph on how there aren't any labels in dresses that predate Worth's career (or, technically, the existence of  Worth & Bobergh , 1858-1871) and on the existence of labels in other items of clothing from the late 18th century, but ultimately didn't come to a conclusion on the matter. A recent discussion on a fashion history board brought the issue to mind again. Lacking documentary evidence for sewing brand labels inside gowns - even  Ingrid Mida  says in  The Dress Detective  that Worth is only "said to have been the first", and  The Opulent Era : Fashions of Worth, Doucet, and Pingat , which might be one of the best sources on late 19th century haute couture, says that "whether this house was the first dressmaking establishment to identify its creations is not known ..."  - I th

Magasin des Modes, 2e Cahier, Plate III

November 30, 1786 ENGLISH FASHIONS. May young people not follow the fashion of the cramped  and stiff attitude of the young Englishman shown in this Plate; may they feel that this young man lacks the liberty, the ease which makes grace, that the French possess more than any other Nation, and which must be recherchée  at least by all the Votaries of Fashion. We only give English Fashions in order that those who will desire it will adopt the costume, which does not allow being piquant , but never in order for them to adopt the discomfort, the contortion, which would give, it is true, a foreign air, but not an agreeable and seductive one. We will never argue here whether English dress is preferable to French dress, which differed so much hardly twelve years ago; whether it makes the body better, pronounce accents better, and give it more grace: we have not yet produced enough Prints of this to establish this comparison, and we lack the space in this Book to give this discussion a