Sunday, 30 June 2013

match and mix

matching fact to fiction
On The Dress of Women
MODESTUS - Bath, Feb 18, Upper Crescent.

Ackermann's Repository 1825
When ever I think that I am taking this all too seriously  I just read some of the text of the period - this is from La Belle Assemblee 1806.
 Presentation of the self was incredibly precise and important. Was this more so for women? Conformity or at least acceptance by 'society' seemed to be so crucial - especially when husband or status hunting.

The next idea is to start with the period idea of an item of clothing showing how it would be as a part of an outfit, hopefully with a detailed description, and then matching with a similar existing piece. Just to make this harder I want to be able to trace the real garment to make sure that it is period rather than a modern reinterpretation. But it is so hard to tell some of the new from old - images get circulated so quickly and often lose their original credit and source.

museum of costume

This should not have been too difficult an ask but even not-anywhere-near-perfect matches seem very elusive. This shall have to be an ongoing thing - fashion plates and garments will be added as and when I find them, (or when others point them out!) The first two are fairly standard issue - high waist, same shape skirt, high, full sleeves ornately decorated. Neck lines are square and wide and the front of the bodice has angled lines down to the waist drawing attention inwards. The quite a heavy band of ornamentation at the bottom of the skirt  stops it looking top heavy and creates balance. The fashion plate has a rather coy, simpering miss, who seems somewhat taller and narrower than the real garment, but the exaggerations are not excessive ( remembering the dress making patterns of my youth - this is a very understated illustration!). The pose of the mannequin is also restrained - self effacing, modest, with the hands behind. Proper Regency young lady!

Queen Louise of Prussia - (I think that this may be a reconstruction  for exhibition - lost the link so can't be sure! There is another portrait of her on my pinterest boards in the same coat but it behaved so badly when putting the blog together I removed it in a tantrum) Very masculine and military in style - The Napoleonic campaigns and conflicts of the time involved most of Europe and this was reflected in the fashions throughout the era. Riding clothes and outdoor wear seemed be heavily influenced, of course the spencer was a development of the tailless short jackets made popular by Earl Spencer - becoming the mess jacket, and the redingcote or redingote from hunting coats of the English aristocracy in the previous century. The two below are both based on Hussar uniforms - a la Hussarde- or a la Hussar! These were bad weather winter coats so fastened to the neck covering the dress, worn for walking, carriage travel or riding. There is a full description of each at the link. On both the front panel narrowing and swelling to mirror the garments' silhouette emphasises the waist very neatly, the fitted standing collar is also uncluttered and clean, giving poise to the head carriage. In the fashion plate the lower collar and dominant ruff do tend to separate the head from the body! The overall impression is quite business like and formal - but the ornament is there - the same coloured working blends in elegantly.

1817, from Wiener Modenzeitung                                             


No comments:

Post a Comment