Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

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.

Advertisements

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.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

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

Fashion Plate Friday – 1907.

31 Jan

1907.Dinner dress and evening bodices De Gracieuse

What’s better for the weekend than a dash of Edwardian era?

I have a special connection to Edwardian era fashion. Story goes back a couple of years ago when I first entered this magical world of history of fashion. The first fashion era I stumbled on was the Edwardian era. It happened without a particular reason but this era has a special place in my heart from that day on.

I feel like almost every fashion plate and dress from the 1900s has a touch of spring to it. Abundance of lace, pastel colour and roses –  spring, right? Edwardian era fashion can seem a little too much sometimes, but this dress certainly doesn’t fit the pattern of over decorated and exaggeratedly embroidered dresses. This dress is just elegantly ‘too much’, but in an enchanting and captivating way.

This dinner dress dates from 1907. and is a classical example of Edwardian dresses. Pastel green colour, symmetric blue decorations, golden bows and lots of lace – key words for this beautiful dress. The hairstyle is sweet and elegant as the whole ensemble and it features roses and a neat blue ribbon. The sleeves are puffed and decorated with a bow. With the emphasis on the dress itself, accessorize is limited – a simple necklace and white opera gloves are enough to complete the look.

Fashion plate Friday – 1880.

24 Jan

I came up with an idea! Every Friday I’ll write a post about my favourite fashion plate of the week or a fashion plate with a historical influence. Sometimes I’ll include a dress that resembles the one on the fashion plate or shoes and matching accessorize. Who knows?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1880. Revue De La Mode, May

This fashion plate instantly reminded me of spring which I’ve been so anxiously expecting. I love spring; scented flower gardens, roses, fresh smell of grass, lazing in a warm sun and watching light blue sky full of magical clouds… Enchanting atmosphere of spring fills my heart with such delight and content. I can’t bare nor winter, nor coldness.

I sure enjoyed looking at this beautiful white evening gown and I muss confess it reminded me of Regency era as well. I’m not keen on 1880s fashion, but princess-line silhouette of the late 1870s and early 80s is really astonishing. The cut of this dress is rather simple and the focus is on delicate white silk printed with little roses. Red roses and white lace are main decorations.

Fluid and clean line of this dress is really captivating, just look at it. There’s no excess detailing, everything is just right. The fabric evokes the spirit of Regency era. It so nice to see historical influence in dresses, I’m always searching for different influences in fashion.

The only accessorize lady is wearing are a pair of golden bracelets on white gloves, necklace with medallion and red roses in her hair. Lady wearing this dress on an evening party must have felt like a princess; the dress is so simple but riddled with elegance and good taste.

Victorian influences in Lolita fashion

16 Jan

I’m not a Lolita, but sometimes I indulge myself and wear cute, pink skirts with plenty of flounces and I often add cute elements to my daily attire. Besides the cuteness, one of my favourite things about Lolita fashion is its Victorian origins. In this post I’ll write about five elements of Victorian fashion in Lolita style.

sweet lolita 3

1. Silhouette

Lolita dresses have a well known ‘cupcake’ shape, but the real shape of these skirts is basically a mini-crinoline. If you look at the late 1850s and 1860s dresses you’ll notice that the shape of the skirts with plenty of flounces and wide hemlines is really similar to skirts Lolitas wear. Of course, Lolita styled dresses are shorter, but they’re still knee-length and that was pretty much the length that little girls wore.

classic lolita 182. Bodice

Shirts and collars worn by Classic Lolitas highly remind me of 1840s and early 1850s day dresses. I’m talking about a simple, white blouse with sleeves tight at the cuff and with neckline decorated with lace or flounces. Sleeves are sometimes decorated with ruffles at the shoulder and buttons can be heart shaped.

lolita old school 5 a

3. Cameos

Cameos are closely connected to shirts and that’s why they’re the next Victorian element. Just look at the two Old school Lolitas above; it’s almost like they’re shouting Victorian. Old school Lolita style is the eldest and it resembles Victorian fashion the most. Both of the Lolitas wear the shirts I’ve been talking about and they’re decorated with cameos. Cameos, worn throughout the whole Victorian era, instantly add antique touch to any attire. Chain watches are fairly similar accessorize and they can be worn instead.

classic lolita 40

4. Gloves

Lace gloves add an antique touch to any attire, but I have noticed that they’re mostly worn by Classic and Old School Lolitas, while Sweet Lolitas wear them rarely. I own a pair of lace gloves and they are the best thing ever. Nice decorations include ‘pearl’ rings or rings in shape of a rose, pearl bracelet with a Victorian miniature portrait or just any cute bracelet.

lolita old school 24lolita old school 13

5. Headwear

Sweet Lolitas usually wear pink or baby blue bows but Classic and Old school Lolitas tend to wear more Victorian based head wear. Headdress is a typical Old school Lolita accessorize and it consists of a wide strip of fabric decorated with lace and bows and is tied under the chin. Headdress resembles Victorian girls head wear. Another popular option among Classic Lolitas is a bonnet in 1830s style decorated with lace, ribbons or roses.

Egyptian influenced jewellery

8 Jan

Egyptian culture was extremely inspirational for 19th century jewellery. Nineteenth century saw Egyptian influence coming in vogue two times – at the beginning of the century (Regency era) and again in the second half of the century. Archeological discoveries were instrumental in introducing new trends, mainly in jewellery. Second half of the 19th century saw revival of many styles; Renaissance, Etruscan, Rococo, Ancient Greek and Egyptian. Egyptian influenced jewellery came back in style in 1920s after the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Characteristics of Egyptian influenced jewellery are vast usage of gold, vibrant coloured jewels, motifs such as tombs, bird ibis, scarab, sphinx, cobra, feathers… These motifs were combined with style at the moment; such as Art Deco in the 1920s and that created something even more fabulous.

1800s Egyptian Revival Sphinx Brooch

1800s Egyptian Revival Sphinx Brooch

1880. A sapphire and enamel scarab brooch, the cabochon-cut sapphire with rose cut diamond details, curved wings with green and white enamel and rubies, Austro-Hungarian

1880. A sapphire and enamel scarab brooch, Austro-Hungarian.

1890. LATE 19TH CENTURY GEM-SET EYGPTIAN REVIVAL BROOCH

1890. Egyptian revival brooch.

1890s Fabergé, Russian, Scarab Brooch, Egyptian revival

1890s Fabergé, Russian, Scarab Brooch, Egyptian revival.

1890s Magnificent French Belle Epoque Egyptian Revival Brooch

1890s French Belle Epoque Egyptian Revival Brooch.

1900. An Egyptian Revival gem set scarab brooch, circa 1900. Emeralds, sapphires, pearls, rubies and rose-cut diamonds in yellow gold, partially silver-topped

1900. An Egyptian Revival gem set scarab brooch, Emeralds, sapphires, pearls, rubies and rose-cut diamonds in yellow gold, partially silver-topped.

1920s Egyptian Revival Brooch

1920s Egyptian Revival Brooch

1925. A French Egyptian Revival Art Deco beetle brooch

1925. A French Egyptian Revival Art Deco beetle brooch.

Tragic sisters: Elena and Alexandra Pavlovna

30 Dec

Grand Duchesses Elena and Alexandra Pavlovna were sisters, born only a year apart. They shared not only their parents but their destinies. They were both married as a teenagers and they both died young.

1795. Alexandra and Elena Pavlovna

c. 1795-1797. Grand Duchesses Alexandra and Elena Pavlovna by Louise Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun.

Alexandra was born on 9. August 1783. in Tsarskoye Selo as a third child and a first daughter of Maria Feodorovna (Sophie Dorothea of Wurttemberg) and Paul I. of Russia. Her younger sister Elena was born on 24 December 1784. in Saint Petersburg. The two sisters were very close and they were often painted together.

They received a typical education of a Russian princesses, focused on music, languages and art. Grand Duchess Elena was very beautiful and her paternal grandmother Catherine II. named her after the famous Helen of Troy. Alexandra’s beauty is evident even on the later portraits. In the portrait above she’s shown on the right.

1790. A little Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna dressed in kokoshnik and sarafan

1790. A little Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna dressed in kokoshnik and sarafan.

Unfortunately, their innocent childhood was interrupted by marriages. Alexandra married Archduke Joseph of Austria on 30 October 1799. Her younger sister Elena married Frederick Louis, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin on 23. October 1799. Alexandra was sixteen years old at the time and Elena only fifteen.

When the marriage negotiations started for Alexandra, her paternal grandmother wished her to marry Gustav IV of Sweden. That would have solved the political problems between Russia and Sweden. The young king indeed came to visit his future wife, as he had thought. Alexandra and Gustav had fallen in love at first sight. He declared his love to her and went instantly to ask for her hand from the Great Empress Catherine II.

Empress was delighted but the question of religion was overlooked and that would cause serious problems later on. While reading the marriage contract, Gustav noticed that Alexandra was to keep her Orthodox religion. Furious, he broke off the marriage contract and a year later married Princess Fredericka of Baden, younger sister of Elizaveta Alexeievna, Alexandra’s sister in law. Alexandra was grief-stricken, but three years later she was married off in Austria, in order to cement the alliance between Russia and Austria.

1795. grand duchesse alexandra pavlovna

1796. Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna by Vladimir Borovikovsky.

Her life at the Austrian court was more than difficult. Empress Maria Theresa, second wife of Emperor Franz II, was jealous of Alexandra’s beauty and fine jewels she brought with her from Russia. On top of all that, Alexandra greatly resembled Franz’s first wife, Elizabeth of Wurttemberg, who was Alexandra’s maternal aunt.

Alexandra died on 16. march 1801., a year and a half after the marriage, of puerperal fever after giving birth to a daughter who died the same day. Her early death and her father’s murder at the same time were terrible blows for the Romanov family.

Портрет великой княжны Елены Павловны

In the late 1790s Elena was betrothed to Frederick Louis, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The marriage took place in palace of Gatchina on 23. October 1799. It was a custom for princesses to travel to their husband’s land to get married, but Russian Grand Duchesses were an exception. Tradition for them was to get married in their homeland as both Elena and, Alexandra a week later, did.

Elena and Frederick had two children. Their first child, a son, was born less than a year after the wedding and their second child, a daughter Marie Louise, was born only six months before Elena’s death. Elena named her daughter Marie after her mother Maria Feodorovna. Their son, Paul Friedrich, was named after his grandfathers; the Tsar of Russia and the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

1796. grand duchesse elena pavlovna

Elena found the new court in Schwerin quite different from the opulence of Saint Petersburg. As opposed to Alexandra, Elena was content with her marriage life and was even happier when the baby arrived. The year 1801. was extremely difficult for Elena; her loving and dearest sister Alexandra died and her father was assassinated.

Elena died suddenly on 24. September 1803. after she’d fallen ill the same month. She was buried in Helena Paulovna Mausoleum, named in her honour. Her husband, although deeply in sorrow, married seven years later to Princess Caroline Louise of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. He had three children with her and eventually died in 1819.; sixteen years after his loving first wife.

1802. Elena Pavlovna of Russia

I hope you found this story and tragic destinies of these unfortunate sisters as amusing and fascinating as I did.