Embroidered silk taffeta evening ensemble and parasol
French, ca. 1862–1865
This strikingly elegant evening toilette plays on the theme of the oval, both in the shape of the dress and in its ornamentation. The deep bertha, the sash with its long écharpes (streamers), and the fringe trimming are all stylish details illustrated in French fashion journals of the early to mid-1860s. The large-scale yet delicate intertwined ovals and rectangles trace an unusual pattern against the expansive crinoline skirt and streamers, while the lustrous ivory taffeta sets off the embroidered motifs in polychrome silk floss, black chenille thread, and beads.
To create the elaborate fringe, short lengths of chenille, ending in silk-covered balls, were woven into a passementerie band. This type of ball fringe was known as grelots, meaning small round bells and aptly connotating a shivering movement. As noted in the captions of contemporary French fashion plates, fringes and passementeries were produced in Lyon, the leading center of the European silk weaving industry.
By the 1860s, women's dresses were generally made with both a day and evening bodice. The richness of the silk moiré parasol with matching ball fringe suggests that it may have been part of a carriage ensemble, for which extravagant display was de rigueur. The carved Italian coral handle with a climbing cat and the coral-and-ivory stick are associated with the late 1850s and 1860s. The coral rib tips in the shape of hands suspended from rings are a delihgtfully whimsical feature of these luxurious parasols.
after eight years, I finally updated my huge Historical Fashion Reference & Resources Doc! Now in the form of a MUCH more easily updated Google Doc with better organization, refreshed links, and five more pages of books and online resources.
I know tumblr hates links, but it’s worth it for a doc that I can now update with far more regularity going forward! RIP to the original, you did your duty for far longer than you should have. 😔🙏🏼
Newly exhibited photos from the project Ένδυμα Ψυχής - Raiment of the Soul, collaboration of photographer Vangelis Kyris and Bulgarian embroidery artist Anatoli Georgiev who present Greek traditional costumes, which are exhibits of the National Historical Museum of Greece. The exhibition is currently hosted in the Acropolis Museum, until March.
Attire of King Otto of Greece, 19th century.
Dress from Nisyros island, 19th century.
Dress from Zakynthos (Zante) island, 18th century.
Attire of Dimitris Mavromichalis, aide-de-camp of King Otto.
as you can see in the photos from the actual fucking show, Regency dresses did not actually show your waist. as a result regency corsets did not tightlace you, they were basically a longline pushup bra. it was physically impossible to tightlace a corset until the invention of the metal grommet in the mid 1800s.
so either wardrobe is torturing actresses with corsets that don't fit for no reason, the actresses are lying because "ouuf ouchie my corset hurt so bad" is such a popular chat show topic, or something else is going on. but not a single part of this article is factual. anyone wearing a garment that prevented them from eating, breathing or moving without injury on a daily basis would just die in tbe premodern era. wearing a corset that caused bruises for 10 hours a day would cause infected pressure ulcers which would become septic and kill you. there is no record of this being an issue for victorian women or any other population that used corsets because it just didn't happen
i have to emphasize to you that working class women did hard manual labor in corsets for hundreds of years. this is because working women did not tightlace. their corsets were basically back braces that made holding a lot of heavy warm woolens together easier without elastic, and kept their boobs out of the way of farming and kitchen tasks. tightlacing was considered a fringe activity even in tbe Victorian era. the illusion of a tiny waist was created with moderate corseting and LOTS of padding of the hips and bust. there are equivalent "boobs and belly protection" type garments in most areas of the planet where it's not too hot to wear them. corsets are not equivalent to foot binding, neck stretching, or lip and ear plates. tightlacing is not particularly immobilizing either if you have the right corset, there are thousands of people who are hobbyist or medical tightlacers who do fine.
i think the "corsets were instruments of torture" myth is kept afloat by White Feminism. we (i and my fellow white women) need a justification for victim mentality so badly that we will accept without critical thought the suggestion that our ancestors in the English peasantry did hard manual labor bending over in a field for 15 hours a day in a bit of underwear that caused organ dislocation, hypoxia, pressure ulcers and random syncope because they were just so tough and so glamorous and so oppressed by Male Expectations. somehow this is easier for us to believe than "Hollywood wardrobe direction is so divorced from historical reality they are putting actresses in clothes that don't fit and injuring them". let's all go on jimmy kimmel and talk about how strong and brave Women are for going to a party with a 24" waist, my god
Get yourself a fabric store that will light your fabric on fire for you
No but legit I asked what the fiber content of something was and the guy didn’t know so he cut a chunk off and lit it on fire and felt the ashes and was like. Yeah this is mostly cotton with a lil bit of silk. And that was the moment I knew. This is it. This is the fabric store for me. Also that guy is marriage material. Not for me but damn some person is gonna be so happy with him.
This jacket would have been worn over a woman’s work dress or blouse, most likely while she labored outdoors. Its construction mimics the fashionable hourglass silhouette of the period, with tucks that cinch at the wrists and natural waistline. Denim is typically thought of as a menswear textile, but it was also common in women’s workwear during the 19th century.
in view of Netflix and a few other networks apparently announcing that they are no longer requiring actors to wear corsets/stays, but framing it as the ultimate in feminist allyship against an Oppressive Historical Torture-Garment (and presumably typing their press releases one-handed, if you catch my drift), I have a few things to say:
1. I presume they will also be condemning Spanx, dieting, weight loss surgery, obsessive exercise, breast or pectoral or ab implants, Flat Tummy Tea, editing actors’ bodies in post, etc. since this is all about promoting healthy body image. ...right?
2. Okay, this one is not tongue-in-cheek: if a costume designer forces you to wear massively uncomfortable stays or corsets and tells you your discomfort is an inherent feature of that garment type, they are lying. All the articles on this cited reports from actresses saying they threw up because of Regency stays or couldn’t eat in Edwardian corsets. And while I’m sure some of that is giving interview audiences the sensationalism they want to hear, I believe them in general.
Someone needs to tell them that that’s not normal.
I have worn corsets and stays a lot in my life. I know people who wear them as everyday support garments. And neither I nor anyone I know has been seriously hindered in normal activities by them. There are even photos and videos of women from corset-intensive eras climbing glaciers, playing sports, having snowball fights, doing manual labor...living their lives
Sure, there have always been and will always be people who find corsets or stays inherently uncomfortable- that’s why it’s good to have many support garment options available for people who need them. And there have always been and will always be ill-made, ill-fitting, or extreme examples of the type- I’m not saying corsets are always The Most Comfortable Thing Ever For Everyone, because that’s not universally true of any garment.
But these production companies have been hurting actresses under the guise of “historical accuracy,” and this latest pronouncement is just another attempt to shift the blame.
Don’t let them get away with it.
EDIT: Apparently the Official nature of the source for this announcement is in question, but the gist of the post still stands, so I’m leaving it up. Will edit further if new developments arise.