Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Designs for October, Miroir des Modes, Oct. 1907

My translation of Lauren of Wearing History's article on blouse patterns from Miroir des Modes, October 1907.

[From left to right:]
In Bourdeaux (red) taffeta with Irish guipure

In light blue louisine and guipure

In black marquisette and braid

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Le Miror des Modes, Chronique Parisienne, Octobre 1907

My translation of the scanned article posted by Lauren of Wearing History, from Miroir des Modes, Oct. 1907.  I've done the best that I can, but a lengthy article is significantly harder than a short caption!  Untranslated words have been left in italics (some because I can't make them out, some because they're in my glossary and I tend to leave them untranslated); my notes are in brackets.

Galerie des Modes, 16e Cahier, 6e Figure

Pretty Woman, coiffed with a New Peasant Cap, with an excellent caraco of apple-green taffeta, 
trimmed with Italian gauze, also on the petticoat. (1778)

Caraco à la Francaise, seen from the side, with a matching petticoat over a very rounded bouffante.  The trim of Italian gauze; the sabot cuffs very ample and frilled at their ends.  Large volant equipped with a large band of gauze placed en pouf.

Cap in the new peasant style, leaving the coque or tempérament entirely uncovered, from which escapes a rose held by a ribbon, the favori lying in front of the ear, and two falling curls.

Shoes matching the caraco; large square buckles diminishing the size of the foot; agile heels, always of white, as any other other color is less agreeable: for the men, the red heel is a distinction of etiquette, but it is an advertisement for women.

End of the First Volume


I have examined, by order of Monseigneur the Guard of Seals, La Galerie des Modes Françaises, and the Explanations that precede it; I believe that this Work can be printed.  From Paris, this 25th of April 1779.  ROBIN

The Privilege finds it printed at the suite of Plates.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


By now, you have probably noticed that I haven't posted anything in a few days.*  The reason is: I've finished up posting Volume I of Galerie des Modes, and while I have a buffer of Volume II plates, I just want a bit of a rest and a chance to build it up.  I have a few twentieth century posts in the pipeline – advice from the 1900s on waist-making and skirt-draping, translations from Miroir des Modes – that I'll be posting, but I don't plan to start Volume II until Monday, December 3.

* 11/25: Just noticed this morning that the last GdM plate never went up because I had it scheduled for the wrong day.  Oops!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 16e Cahier, 5e Figure

Young Lady in a Polonaise of indienne, trimmed with gauze, and coiffed with an English hat trimmed with flowers and a black lace.  She holds a bichon under her arm. (1778)

The fashion of carrying a dog under the arm has repeatedly been in effect and then discredited: it was adopted in France, even by men, in the sixteenth century, during the reign of Henri III; Brantome* reported that this Prince gave a Seigneur of the Court the Order of the Holy Spirit for getting him little Turkish dogs which were considered as the prettiest in Europe.  They were put then in little baskets, gallantly decorated, which one suspended from the collar with a cord or ribbon.  These baskets were placed on the left arm for walking, and when one was seated, they were put on one's knee.  The fashion of carrying dogs came back to favor among ladies of the eighteenth century, but the baskets of Henri III's era were supplanted, and little lapdogs had the honor of preference, like the one that can be seen in the Print.

* Pierre de Bourdeille, seigneur de Brantôme (1540-1614); a soldier who wrote detailed memoirs

Monday, November 19, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 16e Cahier, 4e Figure

Young Lady in a taffeta gown of any color, trimmed with spotted gauze; the Parlement of white taffeta, trimmed with spotted blonde lace: an English Cap. (1778)

The Parlement is a type of taffeta, satin, or gauze kerchief, with a hood à coulisse.  This garment has been very much in fashion.  It is completely exclusive to the full parure; also the Figure represented in the Print is only dressed in an informal sacque with a medium hoop, and trimmed with spotted gauze.  This gown is seen from the back; the pleats are caught a little below the collar; previously these pleats were free and in box pleats: a flat, smooth back has since seemed more agreeable, and it is the fashion which remains at present.

Chignon knotted at the bottom with a half-braid; the two ends forming two large curls.  Hair in a racine droite, with two stylish curls, and on the whole a crayfish pouf.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 16e Cahier, 3e Figure

Greek Prince dressed in an Exomis* under which he has added the ordinary suit, covered with a cloak or coat of arms, called vulgarly the Mistress.  This outfit was created in 1776 for Signore Kain, Comedian to the King, by L. N. Sarrazin, Costumer to the Princes and Director of the Salon of the Costumes of the Colisée. (1778)

Greek suit, with all the accessories.  Emperor Charles-the-bald, having a great passion for Greek costume, adopted it, caused his Wife, the Empress, to adopt it, and his whole household.  It even appeared in a national assembly, and the Empress, with this new costume: but there was the inconvenience of hearing the French Lords mutter against this invention, and the Monarch was obliged to abandon it.

If the Greek costume had been then as rich and noble as that represented in the Print, it would have been very pardonable for Charles-the-bald to have tried to introduce it in the Estates; but the contrast between the new costume and that usually worn among the French was too large for one to be able to hope suddenly for a revolution.  The changes the fashions experience, work in a near-imperceptible manner: this is only by degree the one can bring a people to renounce entirely their former costume, as their old prejudices.

* the exomis was the basic Ancient Greek male garment, covering one shoulder

Saturday, November 17, 2012

McCall's Magazine for September 1921

Last night, after trying fruitlessly to scan in the 1834 Godey's (it just doesn't lie flat - I might just transcribe the fashion descriptions), I decided to photograph the fashion images from one of my McCall's - it's too big for the scanner.  And they are so gorgeous that I just have to share them.  As usual, you can open them in a new tab to see them at full size, and I think they're mostly legible.

Galerie des Modes, 16e Cahier, 2e Figure

Young Lady on a couch, coiffed with a round Cap of brocaded linen, a band tied negligently around it; she wears a satin pelisse lined with fur over her deshabille. (1778)

Camisole with amadis sleeves of Indian muslin, lined with pink fabric, with a matching short petticoat.  Furred pelisse with cordon, covering the body; round cap, held in with a wrapped band, only showing one curl and the racine of the coque or front hair; filet lace fichu, shoes with bows.  This is, in few words, the outfit from this Print, which represents a young, careless woman who has become a mother.  One says careless, because she allows her chest to be uncovered when a nice muslin kerchief should protect it from the intemperate air.  This outfit can be put in the rank of morning négligés: it is the same as the previous degree of négligé but with a head without curls.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 16e Cahier, 1ere Figure

Young Lady coiffed in a baigneuse with a satin pelisse lined with fur; the petticoat is trimmed with a sprigged linen flounce gathered in pipes. (1778)

 Half-parure, or winter négligé.  This Outfit is very sought-after by Ladies, in the morning when they are obliged to go out, whether to go shopping or for some other reason.  It consists of a pelisse, thrown without pretension over an elegant bedgown.

The Figure shows a young Lady, dressed in a bedgown with long linen sleeves, lined with a very yellow fabric, with a matching petticoat and volant; over the whole, a vast pink pelisse with a white cordon, positioned negligently and not fastened.  Her collar is decorated with a kerchief knotted in cravat style; medium cap with lappets pulled up in the back and trimmed with a boiteux ribbon, which is to say, one of two non-matching colors; brush in the coque; little muff in her hand, matching the cordon of the pelisse.  English shoes, easily maintained, and overall an air without pretention, to better impress it on the vulgar.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Planning and Research are the Best Bits

It's been a long time since I made a post that wasn't just a translation, hasn't it?  Well, I have been doing some things.

- I did finish hemming the demi-polonaise!  Here it is in its untrimmed and unironed glory:

It has to be over my thesis gown, because this dress form is a little too big.  Even with a shirt balled up under it as a makeshift bum pad, it's not quite staying at the waist.  Well, soon I will order a Uniquely You form and have one that I can actually use.

- I've been working on my 1920s presentation for Dress U (though not so much this month), and buying magazines off eBay to do research.  It's totally necessary that I have a Delineator from 1889 for this project, you see.  Um.  Anyway, I hope to scan them in entirely and host them someday, but I'm not sure when that will be - in the meantime, individual pages and prints will more than likely work their way onto here, because they're too interesting to just stay in hard copy for my eyes only!  Especially the 1834 Godey's, which I am almost too frightened to touch.

- Probably the most disruptive is National Novel Writing Month.  I did it every year when I was in undergrad (although I only won once), but I had to give it up while I was at FIT and writing my thesis, because if I'd thought it was hard making time before, it became completely impossible to even think about it then.  It's looking like I'm going to finish this year, which is good, but it means I don't have a ton of time after work.

- Because of NaNo, there's really no chance I'll get to sewing before the end of the month, but in the meantime I'm trying to make sure that I actually get on sewing in December by picking out patterns and fabrics.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to use this 1918 VPLL skirt pattern and this 1912 waist pattern, altered for a lower, wider waistline.  You can see in these two pages from my 1921 McCall's and a 1920 page I got from eBay (the .jpg, I mean, I didn't buy the page) that the same skirt silhouette was in vogue, with extra width or free-hanging panels on the sides.  Crossover fronts were still worn, and elbow-length sleeves.

I'm looking into fabrics, but I have a lot to choose from and I don't know what I want.  Waist possibilities: hunter green gingham, red-striped blue oxford, blue check with a little woven ladybug, peach/sterling check, and a green-tufted white cotton.  Skirt possibilities: taupe with white stripe, olive and black twill, dark olive oxford suiting, navy cotton, and jade green lawn (either as an overlay or for just the side panels).  I'm leaning toward the peach/sterling check and the navy cotton, what do you think?

The nice thing about 1920s court dress is that you need to have a train and white plumes, but there's not really a set form it needs to take (compared to the robe parée).  There are court robes de style (1, 2) and there are court dresses that are basically ordinary - but couture - evening dresses with trains (3, 4).  I like this evening dress:

I don't have a pattern to approximate it, but I think I could drape that.  I think.

Galerie des Modes, 15e Cahier, 6e Figure

Young Lady coiffed with a Herisson with two curls, not touching, on each side, and with a Queen's Pouf trimmed with a black tuft and girded with a blue satin ribbon, in the coque is a rose and crescent of diamonds.  She is dressed in a grand ceremonial gown on a hoop, of brocaded Indian taffeta in sky blue; matching trim.  Shod with a white shoe edged with pink, English buckles. (1778)

Sacque, on a little hoop, with a parement in a box-pleated band: both edges of the parement are trimmed with épis and juliennes,* or a narrow lace.  Very little sabot cuffs.  Kerchief trimmed all around, caressing the shoulders entirely and leaving the chest almost uncovered.  The two sides of the gown come very close under the contentement, and spread at the bottom of the waist, in order not to cover a little Peruvian vest which is in the place of a compereVolant with a simple head, with trim matching the parement.

This neglected beauty has recourse to a salutary flask that her Doctor gave her, to chase away the vapors.

* Both words have botanic meanings: an épi can be an ear of corn or a sheaf of wheat; juliennes are flowers in the Brassicaceae family, such as julienne des dames (dame's rocket).  I'm by no means certain, but judging by the picture I believe it may refer to a type of fly fringe.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 15e Cahier, 5e Figure

Elegant young lady coiffed in an English Cap and dressed in a pouf Polonaise trimmed with gauze with a streaked ribbon; matching petticoat. (1778)

Negligée polonaise: these gowns fasten simply over the chest like the current polonaises,* not extended to the waist, having long wings and a very short tail.

The polonaise shown in the Print is trimmed with a large band in box pleats, with a narrow, spotted ribbon placed in the center; the first head in box pleats, the second in poufs.  On the shoulders, a kerchief à la Genlis, knotted in front, under a gauze contentement, called the "comet with two tails".

English cap, in organ pleats, positioned mostly in the back; papillon with four wings, held in by a bouillonné ribbon below a second wrapped ribbon; peasant-style lappets.  Negligée hairstyle, the phisionomie raised and separate, two curls on the side, the favori in front of the ear.

* See the seventh book, first plate.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 15e Cahier, 4e Figure

Woman in a pleated Caraco of changeable taffeta in "pigeon's throat", the trim in very light gauze poufs, the hat trimmed in poufs as well. (1778)

Pleated caraco, or français caraco, seen from the back, trimmed with flounces; the volant is headed with a matching trim.  The sabot cuffs flare in the middle and taper at the ends, and are trimmed with two poufed bands.  Hat à l'Italienne, almost entirely concealing the top of her face; two oblique curls, braided chignon held up with a bow at the back of the head.  Shoes match the color of the caraco, fastened with rosettes.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 15e Cahier, 3e Figure

Costume taken in the reign of Louis XVI, invented by P. N. Sarrazin, Costumer to Their Royal Highnesses the Princes who are Brothers to the King.  This outfit pleases His Majesty, who appeared to want it to be adopted by the Grands of his Court.  It was taken in use for the Queen's balls under the name "Henri IV's Costume."  It was very richly ornamented in the detail of those made for the Opera.  Its greatest vogue was during the balls of 1774, 1775, and 1776. (1778)

Costume in the style of Henri IV.  France, at the accession of Louis XVI, hoped that it would enjoy a happy reign; the people gave themselves over to transports of the most lively and purest joy; they believed they could not better show their love and hope, exclaiming that good King Henry delivered it.  The young Monarch seemed, in effect, in all his approaches, to be taking that Prince for a model; he did not lack in the resemblance, but to return to the clothing of that King, who, using the expression of the greatest Genius of our century, was to the French conqueror and father.*

It is that which gave M. Sarrazin the idea to re-establish this costume as is presented in the Print.  It is composed of a doublet without basques, closed and slashed; the bands embroidered in chains.  The trunk hose pulled up with bands and slashes, trimmed with ruffles at both ends; the embroidered bands, like those of the doublet.  Doublet sleeves ending in knife pleats; the cuff retaining its manchettes.  Silk stockings ending under the ruffles and stopping at the knees with garters tied in bows.  Shoes with red heels, attached with a rosette with a diamond or large sequin in the center.

Cape, fastened under the collar, creating an oval in its fall and descending to the back of the knee, lined and bordered with spotted ermine, open on the right side, pulled up with tassels over the left arm.  Lace ruff in three rows, matching the manchettes.  Hat trimmed with its panache; sword with a large guard in the antique style; simple hairstyle with two curls; hair in the back tied with ribbons of several colors.  This dress could become the ceremonial dress of several grand Officers, whose rank seems to demand a richer, nobler, more distinguished costume than that which serves them at present.

 * Written of Henri IV by Voltaire in the Henriade (1723).

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 15e Cahier, 2e Figure

Young Lady dressed in the Austrasian style,* sleeves in sabot cuffs called à l'Isabelle, with a Peruvian-style vest, over which passes a bandolier belt.  This Costume was born in 1778; it is called the Jeanne D'Arc outfit. (1778)

 Jeanne D'Arc outfit.  It would often be rather difficult to justify the names given to certain outfits, and in this case one can [arrange?] the outfit it refers to.  Jeanne D'Arc, better known under the name "Maid of Orleans", wore a man's clothing, which then consisted of a tunic or very short gown, with a hood, braies or trousers, shoes that lace, hair in a round cut above the ear: clothing which certainly has no similarity with that of the Figure.

Anyway, this Figure is dressed in a gown called à l'Austrasienne; it is a type of polonaise that is very open in the front and which is thrown entirely to the back, where it is held very high; under this gown is a vest à la peruvienne, surmounted by a contentement matching the bows on the sabot cuffs.  The trim winds around the collar in the shape of a demi-medicis: the whole is cut by a ribbon placed like a baldric; very full volant, trimmed at the top and bottom with plain ribbons like the baldric.

Medium crest cap, trimmed with flowers, serving to crown a racine droite hairstyle in installments; above it, a brush, and the favori bent in front of the ear.

* Austrasia was the north-eastern part of the Merovingian Frankish kingdom, considered the homeland of the Franks.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 15e Cahier, 1ere Figure

He is dressed in a hazel coat with a black velvet collar with two gold buttonholes, the buttons and buttonholes of the Suit are the same; a vest of cerise tricot with a gold braid; breeches of black velvet, grey silk stockings.  The young person has only a simple petticoat and white stockings, and her stays are covered with yellow batiste. (1778)

It is not enough to present the exteriors of clothing, it is important to make known the interior pieces: often it is these which make the prestige of the fashions, and the more they are hidden, the more interesting they are to uncover.  It is that which has been attempted in this Print.

It offers a young person, trying on a corps piqué, or corps de baleine:* people have complained much, these days, against this interior part of Ladies' dress.  Some Doctors have alleged that it is disastrous, especially for the young; others have wanted to to establish its use among old men; but despite all these complaints, Ladies continued to wear stays, and they have not become weaker, nor less well-made.  Experience demonstrates, to the contrary, that well-proportioned stays are nearly always useful; its only imperfection can make it dangerous.

Stays are of diverse types; some have straight straps, like that shown in the Drawing; others have off-the-shoulder straps: these only serve for Court dress, and always lace in the back.  There are also stays without straps, these are heavily used in England; they lace in the front or the back, or on the sides, like the first.

The two sides and the back of the stays are composed of several fabrics sewn together, with whalebone.  On the front, there are two channels to pass two other whalebone stays through: these are called the busks.

The corset is also an interior fitted garment; it replaces the stays and serves the same use, but it is more flexible: the two busks are the only whalebones in it.

The stays offered in the Print are a corps à la Française, laced in the back, with aiglets on two sides to hold petticoats, and a little lace on the front to give the chest the necessary space for breathing.

This fitted garment is placed immediately on the shift, and it is to it only that women derive their torsos' rounded shape, pointed at the bottom; a unique shape, and which always, before marriage, can be regarded as one of the distinctive attributes of honor.

* According to Heileen and Diderot, the corps piqué is a set of stays where the channels are visible, while the corps de baleine (or corps baleiné, or corps couvert) is covered with an unpierced outer layer of fabric.