Archive | February, 2014

Fabulous Jewellery for February

15 Feb

‘The February-born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they an amethyst will wear.’

Birthstones were very popular during the Victorian era and each month was given a specific gem. Birthstone for February is amethyst – one of my favourite gems. I find that amethyst looks so opulent, mysterious, powerful yet elegant and fragile. I am not a ‘February child’ but to all of you who are, I wish a happy birthday and I wish that you’ll enjoy beautiful amethyst jewellery I’m going to show you here.

1800s A gold and amethyst necklace, comprising a graduated rivière of oval-cut amethysts in beaded pinched claw settings1800s A gold and amethyst necklace.

1820. Georgian Yellow Gold Amethyst Cannetille Pendant Earrings, EnglishGeorgian Yellow Gold Amethyst Cannetille Pendant Earrings, English.

1820. Gold and amethyst demi-parure1820. Gold and amethyst demi-parure.

1820s This necklace has eighteen octagonal amethysts set in silver alternated with four diamonds.1820s This necklace has eighteen octagonal amethysts set in silver alternated with four diamonds.

1825. amethyst comb1825. comb made of amethyst.

1870. Marquess of Tavistock Amethyst Tiara in the form of vine leaves1870. Marquess of Tavistock Amethyst Tiara in the form of vine leaves.

1880. Austro-Hungarian amethyst, pearl earings1880. Earrings made of amethyst and pearl, Austro-Hungaria.

1880s brooch1880s Amethyst brooch.

1880s broch1880s yet another Amethyst brooch.

1900. Amethyst Brooch1900. Amethyst Brooch

1900s Edwardian cushion-shaped amethyst and diamond stylised lozenge cluster pendant1900s Edwardian cushion-shaped amethyst and diamond stylised lozenge cluster pendant.

1905. Edwardian Bailey, Banks & Biddle Amethyst & Diamond Heart Pendant1905. Edwardian Bailey, Banks & Biddle Amethyst & Diamond Heart Pendant.

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Fashion Plate Friday – 1855.

14 Feb

For this Fashion Plate Friday I choose a dress that caught my attention a few days ago. Beautiful pink tone and long elegantly decorated train have filled my imagination and I couldn’t stop thinking about this amazing dress even for a minute.

1855. evening or court dress, Le Moniteur de la Mode, Winter

This fashion plate dates from 1855. and it was published in magazine Le Moniteur de la Mode. Because of the long train I’d assume this could be a court dress as well. Anyways, this dress enchanted me on a first sight. Really, just look at this gorgeous shade of pink, white lace and long train decorated with leaves and flowers.

Pointed bodice has a wide neckline decorated with lace and little puffed sleeves are fastened into a bow. The skirt has three lace flounces; each longer than the previous and above each one is a row of matching flowers. Train is quite long (unusual for normal evening dresses of the era, but typical for court dresses) and lavishly decorated with white lace and pink flowers.

1860. Enamel Necklace1860. Enamel necklace – this is the kind of necklace a lady could have worn with this dress

Accessorize includes two matching bracelets, skin toned wrist-length gloves and a simple necklace. Hairstyle is quite lovely; hair is centrally parted, sides are puffed and decorated with white feathers and veil made of white lace.

Barbara Johnson’s Fashion Book

9 Feb

I have discovered just today something so wonderful and commendable that I decided to share it with you.

Barbara Johnson (1738-1825) lived in England and she was a reverend’s daughter. Barbara kept a detailed diary of fabrics she bought and dresses she made out of them throughout her whole life. She started her ‘fashion diary’ in 1746. when she was just eight years old. Impressive in many ways, her book, now placed in Victoria & Albert Museum, informs us about everyday fashions for ordinary women in the eighteenth and well into the nineteenth century. Information about Queen Charlotte’s wardrobe is widely known but fashions for 18th century middle class Englishwomen aren’t that much.

Not only did Barbara keep a detailed diary about fabrics she bough and the dresses she made but she also described the sewing process. Luckily for us now, Barbara also wrote notes on current hairstyles, accessorize and she posted fashion plates with matching descriptions and her own notations.

Hope you’ll be fascinated as much as I was when I discovered this. How I relished in looking at all the fascinating details and delightful fabric prints! I can’t even describe my happiness, for this will surely serve me well for studying 18th century fashion in England (for example Cathy from Wuthering Heights could have dressed the same way).

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 1

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 2

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 3

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 4

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 8

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 9

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 11

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 10

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 12

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 14

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 15

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 16

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 20

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 27

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 28

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 30

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 30

1753. Barbara Johnson (1738-1825) kept a meticulous diary throughout most of her life of the fabrics she used and details of the garments she made with them 1

1753. Barbara Johnson (1738-1825) kept a meticulous diary throughout most of her life of the fabrics she used and details of the garments she made with them 2

1753. Barbara Johnson (1738-1825) kept a meticulous diary throughout most of her life of the fabrics she used and details of the garments she made with them 3

1813. Barbara Johnson (1738-1825) kept a meticulous diary throughout most of her life of the fabrics she used and details of the garments she made with them

Fashion Plate Friday – Regency Evening Dresses

7 Feb

This time I honestly couldn’t decide for just one dress, that is just one fashion plate but Regency era evening dresses have indeed caught my attention this week so I’ll show you some of my favourites.

1817. Evening Dress, Ackermann's Repository, July

1817. Evening Dress, Ackermann’s Repository, July

1819. Evening Dress, Ackermann's Repository, April

1819. Evening Dress, Ackermann’s Repository, April

1819. Evening Dress, Ackermann's Repository, October1819. Evening Dress, Ackermann’s Repository, October

Those are just three, but I love almost every evening dress I see because every single one is unique and spectacle for itself.

I love the simplicity of these dresses, both in colour and in decorations. First dress is decorated only with pink roses and the silhouette is rather flowing with no restrictions, i love that. I’m also fond of contrast of the short puffy sleeves and long, kind of loose white gloves. It gives the look of negligence and effortless elegance.

The second dress is a bit more decorated but it’s still simple all together. I could look at these short puffed sleeves forever for they are so cute and have a slight sixteen century influence. The hat is a little funny to modern audience but in these days it was something everybody would want to have.

The third dress captivated me because of its frills and flower trimmings, it’s something most adorable. The sleeves are made of three puffs of lace and we see, again, long ‘opera’ gloves. The headdress is spectacular and hair is decorated with small flowers. Accessorize is minimal; two necklaces, one longer than the other.

I found all the fashion plates here – http://www.ekduncan.com/

1770s Hairstyles and Hats

5 Feb

18th century fashion is full of lovely excesses; lots of jewellery, huge dresses, feathers, silk, brocade, flowers, pearls and other decorations; basically everything you can possibly imagine incorporated into amazing dresses and hairstyles. Hairstyles of 1770s are something most amazing I’ve ever seen in the world of hairstyles, such daring and originality hasn’t ever been seen before. Another plus is that these hairstyles were favoured by Marie Antoinette. I can’t help myself imagining her wearing these bonnets and hairstyles .

1776. Hats, bonnets and coiffures 1

Row 1: Chapeau en berceau d’Amour orné de fleurs, et d’une barriere liséreé de tigre, Coëffure en Herisson surmonteé de plumes et de fleurs et ceinte d’une barriere de perles avec un gland

Row 2: Bonnet demi négligé avec deux barbes attachées par derriere, Pouf asiatique avec un fichu à trois pointes

I love the hairstyle in row one on the right the most! Lovely pink tassels and feathers, string of pearls, little yellow and pink rose with leaves; so elegant and cute. And the lady even has a bouquet of pink roses on her bosom. I also like the hat on the left; so enormous and over decorated and the dress and necklace seem interesting too.

1776. Hats, bonnets and coiffures 2

Row 1: Nouvelle Coëffure dite la Frégate la Junon, Hérisson d’un nouveau gout orné de plumes fleurs et rubans avec des glands

Row 2: Chignon en Croix de Chevalier surmonté d’un Bonnet au fichu bordé de perles, Chignon noué en trois parts, surmonté d’un Bonnet au fichu

From this fashion plate I would have to choose the hairstyle from row one on the right. I mean, just look at those wide ribbons decorated with tassels and diamond decorations, huge feathers, big roses… Everything is so enormous but amazing.

1776. Bonnets and coiffures

Row 1: Coeffure a l’Irlandoise avec des fleurs, Bonnet aux Berceaux d’amour

Row 2: Coeffure en fleurs mélées dans les cheveux, Bonnet au fichu attaché par devant

These four hairstyles are quite romantic and sweet; perfect for spring. I can’t even choose the favourite one. Hairstyles in row one feature pink ribbons, lace trimming, pink roses with little leaves and daisies. Hairstyle in row 2 on the left is very ‘simple’; wreath of flowers, roses and little green leaves are its main decoration.

1778. coiffures for women and young men

Row 1: Bonnet d’un gout nouveau et élégant avec des perles, Nouveau Bonnet a la Draperie avec deux rangs de grosses perles

Row 2: Petit Maître avec un Chapeau a la Suisse et un gillet à la Turque, Chignon à deux tresses accompagné de 4 boucles de côté à la Chanceliere

I simply could resist hairstyles in row one. They’re enormous, almost triangle shaped. You can see that colourful flowers, white kerchief and pearls were all the rage. Pearls and roses are bigger than ever before. Hairstyle on the left is even more elaborate; the top is entirely covered with decorations.

1776. french hairstyles 1

Row 1: Chapeau Anglais, le Pouf à la puce

Row 2: Bonnet au Chapeau galant, Bonnet anglo-américain

These hairstyles, on the other hand, are rather playful and funny. Second hairstyle shows slight Turkish influence and I think it’s my favourite out of them all.  The third hairstyle is almost absurd; there’s a hat placed on a hairstyle, crazy but fully embodies the eighteenth century spirit. The last hairstyle is so enormous I almost can’t believe somebody wore that.

1778. a la rein french hairstyles

Row 1: Nouvelle Coeffure en plumes, Coeffure de la Reine

Row 2: Bonnet au fichu, Bonnet aux Aigrettes

First two hairstyle are really a 1770s classic and that’s why they are my favourite; these hairstyles can be seen on many French royal portraits of the time; Marie Antoinette’s coronation portrait and Marie Therese de Savoie’s portrait in 1775. These hairstyles are elegant and not too much daring or too big so even the least fashionable women could be wearing them.

1778. bonnets 1

Row 1: Baigneuse, Bonnet dun nouveau gout

Row 2: Chapeau d’un nouveau gout, Bonnet au mystere ou Chien Couchant

1776. Row 1-Bonnet à la Victoire, la Candeur

Row 1: Bonnet à la Victoire, la Candeur

Row 2: Bonnet au Levant, le Parterre galant

1778. Coiffure de l’indépendance ou Le triomphe de la liberté Marie Antoinette

The last hairstyle is obviously the most opulent and most luxurious out of all. I don’t even believe somebody could actually wear this, I suppose, very heavy hairstyle. But all in the name of fashion, I suppose. But what a great idea, when you think about it? It seems like the politics can have influence on fashion.

Fashion caricatures

3 Feb

Sometimes fashion can be funny and this was the case many times in history. I decided to share some of my favourite caricatures of the 18th and mostly 19th century.

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1829. Modern Oddities by P. Pry Esq., Plate 1st- The Sleeves Curiously Cut

1792. Compare and contrast 1556 v 1796

1556. and 1796. fashions ‘To much and to little’

1792. fashion caricature 1

1792. fashion caricature 2

1850. A Splendid Spread, satire on an early inflatable (air tube) version of the crinoline by George Cruikshank

1857. fashion caricature

1876. From the Danish Punch, satirizing the general fashion

1877. Cartoon 'Veto' by George du Maurier from Punch, satirizing the tight dress styles

1878. Cartoon by George du Maurier from Punch, May 25