Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Late Victorian Loveliness

This photo, dated 1894, is a perfect example of period dress. The hair of the 1890s tended to be tightly curled with a heavy metal curling iron that may have been heated over an open flame or an oil lamp. The resulting heat was hard to control, and the hair usually suffered damage from the heat. This came in handy as the Gibson Girl era started, when the hair was pulled into an updo that sat under a gigantic hat. Camouflage dress, at its finest!

This blouse shows the classic leg-0-mutton sleeves that were a benchmark of fashion in the 1890s. These sleeves began to be seen in 1893, and grew to enormous proportions. This blouse is a little unusual with its diagonal details -- most blouses of the era had horizontal trims that only accented the huge shoulders more.

Undergarments still included corsets at this time, but bustles were gone by now. The pigeon shaped S bodice wasn't seen yet, so the effect was an hourglass shape that was created by the fairly tight corset and the A line skirt. I think it's really pretty.

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