Thursday, February 28, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 29e Cahier, 5e Figure

This man is dressed in a winter suit of holland Rateen, lined with satin, and over it a velvet overcoat.  This dress is common among opulent people who have gained a certain age. (1780)

WINTER SUIT, or double Suit, in the fashion principally for persons of an advanced age.

This dress consists of a full Suit, of frised rateen, lined with a contrasting color, trimmed with gold buttons, relating to, and over it an ample overcoat of black velvet, lined with black or fire-colored satin; gold buttons to the waist.

Full wig à la financiere.  We believe that we observe that this type of wig, and wigs in general, are beginning to pass from fashion.  All commit to believing that they will soon become the distinctive costume of certain professions.

However, certain people are still seen wearing full wigs with the épée, but their number decreases each day, and already this costume begins to be ridiculed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 29e Cahier, 4e Figure

Camisole à la Polonaise with amadis sleeves, in striped Indian stuff.  Reaper's cap over a tapé accompanied by a curl.  The flounce of the petticoat is in Linen with little flowers. (1780)

Camisole, or bedgown à la Polonaise, serving as deshabillé.  See on this subject what will be said later, in describing the sixth Figure of the thirtieth Book.  We will only observe here, the long and pointed slippers, which, in these recent times, are retaken in favor.

This fashion had the greatest vogue at the beginning of the eighteenth century.  The shoes lengthen, to the point that they form a type of beak at the end of the foot.  These points took even insensibly to consistency, to the favor of the inner soles or linings that were made to support them, but they were a little blunt; which produced, around 1730, duck-bill shoes.

To this fashion succeeded that of round shoes, cambered underneath, and very narrow above, the end also raised underneath.  That made a rather difficult art of knowing how to conceal, as far as it was possible, the size of the foot; fashion absolutely wanting all Women to have little feet, cute feet.

Heels also experienced diverse changes: they were made squared, round, pointed; there was a time that they had to be of a contrasting color to the shoe.  But since about twenty years ago, white, or a color uniform to the rest of the shoe, became proper for them.  Red heels, among Women, are even become a symbol, an ambiguous attribute; it is thus among the Romans, that the red heel characterizes a Courtesan.

The ornaments also underwent diverse modifications: the braid or passement served first as trim; then one had recourse to embroidery: gold, silver, sequins, large sequins soon made shoes look like real jewels.  Women having ceased to put diamonds on their heads, began to ornament their feet with them, and the shoe became an object of splendor and magnificence.

The manner of attaching the shoes is not less varied: buckles replaced cords, and were in their turn chased by rosettes, which had the most brilliant reign.  But at last they have succumbed, and buckles took possessions of Women's feet again.  The squared form of these buckles, and their vast size, were made to steady the latchets, to wear a uniform different from the rest of the shoe, as one can see in this print.

About colors, there are always reigning colors which have almost the exclusive right to embellish Women's shoes.  The color puce was replaced by the color "Monsieur's prune"; that has disappeared, and left the field free for pale blue; "goose droppings" has come at last, and at the moment we are writing, the color "Paris mud" begins to become the favorite color.

The last fashion consists of wearing neither buckles nor rosettes, and these are the shoes à la Lévite which have effected this revolution.  We have given the description of them in one of the preceding books.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 29e Cahier, 3e Figure

Cloak à l'Italienne.  This fashion was taken in France around the middle of the Reign of Louis XIV, and lasted to 1745 with some variations.  It seems that its convenience made it be adopted anew as generally as it was before. (1780)

CLOAK A LA CAVALIERE, or perfect circle cloak, adopted a long time ago by the French Cavalry.  Collar à la Czarienne, that is to say, wide, scalloped, an edged with a braid, like that worn by Czar Peter I when he came to Paris.

This Cloak was very fashionable during the Winter of 1779, over all by Soldiers, when they were walking in the streets: they threw one of the tails of the Cloak over the shoulder to free the leg; but the great draperies are so inconvenient that no-one presumed that this fashion would be of long duration.  Hat en clabeau; hair short and frised en boudin.  Stockings of iron grey chiné silk, shoes à la d'Artois.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 29e Cahier, 2e Figure

New Circassienne in Italian Gauze, lined with Indian taffeta; it is trimmed in Gauze, pinched in coques with bouquets of delphiniums, the whole edged with an English Ribbon.  The Coiffure is a toque: long hair surmounted with a toque à l'Espagnole, trimmed with Heron plumes and aigrettes. (1780)

CIRCASSIENNE A LA PROVENÇALE, of Italian gauze, lined with Indian taffeta, very richly draped and trimmed, which is explained in the caption.  This Gown produces the most brilliant effect when it is worn by a Woman tall, well-made, and pretty.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Muslin Gowns and Silk Coats

I was looking for ruffles in eighteenth century fiction (as you do) when I came across one reference to a white muslin gown with a lilac petticoat in the Lady's Magazine for 1780.

"A Series of Letters: Miss Wallis to Miss Greville", p. 143
Generally, in these periodicals, muslin is white and anything colored is silk.  I went looking for more references to fitted gowns (ie, not chemise gowns) of white muslin with or without contrasting petticoats - the muslin and silk combination is the most interesting to me and what I'd personally like to replicate at some point, but because white muslin is so often considered to have been introduced with the chemise gown, I also just wanted to look for more references to the gowns themselves.  But things will also get tangenty - think of this as a collection of interesting quotes that could lead to further research (or maybe clicks with something else you've read elsewhere, or inspires you in some way) rather than one of my "my goodness, I've discovered something" posts.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 29e Cahier, 1ere Figure

Woman dressed in a plain Lévite edged with a band of pleated Gauze; the Belt in the latest fashion, of spotted ribbon, with knots and fringe at the end; she is coiffed with a turban or toque à la Levantine pulled up with Pearls and surmounted with plumes in panaches on a half-négligée and very relaxed hairstyle. (1780)

LÉVITE A LA DÉVOTE, the bodice closed very high, with a bow matching the belt, from which the collar escapes, almost entirely covering the chest.  Volant uniform with the petticoat; belt tied in a bow, trimmed with a headed fringe called à la JuiveParement of the sleeve en bottes.  Hairstyle low and loose, underneath a Levantine toque, shaded by a panache with four branches, accompanied by an aigrette of heron feathers.

The Man who holds the lorgnette is dressed in an Overcoat trimmed with wood buttons worked in marquetry, very light and very unique.  Round wig à la Jokeis; hat, buttoned in the back; cow-nose shoes, following the ancient fashion, favorable for gouty feet.

The other figure, pressing his lips to a hand which is slipping him a billet-doux, is dressed in a deshabillé or overcoat edged de systéme, in a double row on the pockets.  Vest and breeches matching the Suit; hair à l'espoir with a finger curl.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 28e Cahier, 6e Figure

Dress à l'Insurgente: this gown is a robe à l'Anglaise with pagoda sleeves, which usage has been adopted by the Anglo-American women: it is pulled up as our robes à la Vestale were pulled up in the last CenturyThe petticoat is trimmed with a band in the same color of the lining of the gown, edged with blonde lace and serving as a head for the gauze flounce: around the neckline of the gown a very fine scarf is attached, held in front by a ribbon bow, and which will recross itself finally at the bottom of the waist in the back, the ends of the scarf hanging and fluttering with enough grace when one walks.  The hat is of velvet, lined with white taffeta, trimmed with bands, plumes, and ribbon. (1780)

ROBE A L'INSURGENTE,* the points of the front pulled up and forming revers of a different color.  Flounced petticoat, trimmed on the head of the flounce with a band matching the revers of the Gown.  Sleeves in flared pagodes, held up with bows.  Amadis sleeves with turned-back parements, in the form of boots, trimmed at the head; scarf placed en palatine, uniting at the middle of the bodice, with a bow matching those of the pagodes, forming a necklace, being thrown back on the hips, and falling in back.

Hat à la Mariniere, of the form described in the caption placed below the Print.

* This probably refers to the American Revolution.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 28e Cahier, 5e Figure

Young Bourgeois Actress studying her role; she is dressed in a Circassienne, the petticoat trimmed with a band in the color of the gown: all the trims are bordered with a blonde lace, a volant of gauze at the bottom of the band on the petticoat: the sleeves trimmed with gauze. (1780)

CIRCASSIENNE FRANÇAISE, thus called because it is hanging and trained like the Robes Françaises.

Coupé petticoat, that is to say, of a color different from the Circassienne.  Gown trimming en platitude, in the color of the petticoat, with a frame of gauze; little volant, headed with a flat trim in the color of the Circassienne, with a border of gauze.  Plain mancherons; short sleeves, in sabot cuffs.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 28e Cahier, 4e Figure

Robe à la Circassienne, the flat trimming edged with gauze: coiffure belted with a ribbon trimmed with pearls, ending in a bow from which hang tassels: the top of the head decorated with flowers. (1780)

TAILED CIRCASSIENNE, lightly pulled up on the front with a cord with three tassels; flounced mancherons, parement round or en botte; the petticoat trimmed with a plain volant, very narrow.

Coiffure en herrison, surmounted by curls, and a ribbon trimmed with pearls, ending with tassels à la dragonne.*

* a braid tied in a loop on the hilt of a sword, ending in a tassel

Monday, February 18, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 28e Cahier, 3e Figure

Caraco à la Polonaise trimmed with gauze, a colored ribbon on the top of the trim: Devonshire or Spa hat. (1780)

CARACO A LA POLONAISE, the body loose and floating at the waist.  Tour-de-gorge of a reversed Medicis, or raised collar; gauze kerchief, tied en cravate.  Spa hat, seen in profile.  Another view of this Coiffure can be found in the twenty-seventh Book, sixth Print.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Antique Costume"

On Pinterest, I have boards set up for every decade.  Because I use them to get an idea of what people were wearing in that decade, I like to filter out paintings showing people in clothing that would not have actually been worn.  (Also, I've seen enough people with the impression that all portraits depict actual clothing, trying to figure out how the painted garments work, that I want to help out by marking them as costumes.)  I have a board set up for specifically "exotic costume", meaning the Turkish-inspired robes, often fur-edged, which are not very common among the specifically-for-painting costumes, but several types of dress get lumped together under "antique costume", as they were intended to be historical dress.


Lady Mary Fairfax, Philippe Mercier, 1741; Fairfax House PC1994/370
The most common (I don't always even pin them anymore) are the seamless "Classical" gowns.  With no visible openings and sometimes no waist seams, these were most likely not even costumes kept in the studio, but totally imagined - some artists, like Joseph van Aken (1709-1749), were employed just to paint clothing, and it's very possible that they would be practiced enough to be able to produce realistic-looking clothes and drapery from their imaginations, realistic enough to fool the viewer into thinking they're real and trying to interpret them that way.

Portrait of a Lady, John Vanderbank, 1737; York Museums Trust YORAG : 1470

The common aspects of this dress are deep, pointed necklines that show the shift; wide sleeves with no cuffs, often pleated up and pinned over the arm; no or few seams; loose hair with pearls wound into it; and billowing lengths of drapery.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 28e Cahier, 2e Figure

Another Lévite, the petticoat of a different color, the sleeves of the color of the petticoat.  The Lévite like the Circassienne, having only mancherons: in place of a scarf, a ribbon belt.  This figure is coiffed with a fashionable black hat. (1780)

LÉVITE PARÉEBodice with mancherons, the collar forming revers, erupting from the belt; underbodice en fourreau, closing in front, amadis sleeves, with parement à la cavaliere.  The bottom of the petticoat trimmed with a volant, which is headed with a large ribbon.  Flat belt, ending in fringe, tied over the Lévite.  The belt, the collar, the parement, and the head of the volant in the same color.

Green monkey, which has become rather common in Paris for some years, gamboling to catch a pomegranate.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 28e Cahier, 1ere Figure

Lévite outfit trimmed with tassels, epaulettes, and cords: the matching petticoat bordered with a band of a different color, a blonde lace on the edges of the Lévite and two sides of the petticoat trimming.  The hat is of white gauze, and trimmed en pouf with black gauze, belted with black lace and a colored ribbon. (1780)

LÉVITE A PRÉTENTION.  The bodice and the front of the petticoat decorated with oval buttons and tassels placed in garlands.  Collar with revers, sleeves with epaulettes and parements.  The Gown tied with tassels on the chest: the stomacher decorated with cord; the belt in drapery, placed under the Gown.

Platitude in the hand, conforming to fashion.  Thus are called the very flat snuffboxes which were very well received by all men and women who take snuff.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 27e Cahier, 6e Figure

Lévite trimmed with brandenburgs and cords in a sharp color on the parements and on the ground of the gown; the flat trimming of the petticoat is in the color of the brandenburgs.  This figure is coiffed with a Devonshire hat, or Spa hat: this fashion was brought from this city to the Court of France, and was brought there by Mme. Devonshire. (1779)

LÉVITE A LA PRUSSIENNE.  The Gown and the petticoat trimmed with brandenburgs.  Belt in drapery over the Gown, busquée in front,* to free the waist and give it grace.  Sleeves and parements à la cavaliere, opening underneath, following the ancient method abandoned by the Military, because it was inconvenient and because the Minister recognized that it was not economical.

The collar, the parement, the belt, the trimming, and the volant, of a sharp color different from that of the Gown.  Spa hat, seen from the front.  See the third Figure of the following Book, where this hat is shown from another point of view.

* Busquer hasn't turned up recently.  I need to go back and look at the previous uses and Heileen's comments, but this is more explicit in suggesting a downward-pointing curve at the waist

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 27e Cahier, 5e Figure

Dress called à la Créole, composed of what the French Ladies in America wear: it is a large muslin gown with fitted sleeves that tighten at the cuff; the gown is a little fitted at the waist and freed around the throat in the taste of a shift: it is however very easy and open in front; it is fastened at the top with a pin where one wants to join it, and at the waist with a ribbon like the Lévite; over this is a hooded caraco without sleeves; those of the gown form amadises.  This figure is coiffed with a hat called à la Grenade. (1779)

BALL DRESS, called à la Créole, because it was used in the Ballet of the Créoles, in a foreign Theater.

It is composed of a Caraco à la Lévite, the collar and revers of a color matching the belt.  Simple sleeves, no longer than the elbow.  Simarre* of striped muslin, open in front, the edges of the muslin trimming in crevé pleats, with two rows of faveur** in the color of the belt, designating the head of the trimming.

Plain petticoat, matching the caraco.  Plain amadis sleeves, matching the simarre.  Large ribbon belt, ending in fringe.

Grenada hat, thus called because it was imagined when the French took the Isle of Grenada, and because the stone or button which holds the panache is a grenade.***

* A robe worn by magistrates and professors
** a narrow and light ribbon
*** either a button with a flaming grenade on it, or a pomegranate

Monday, February 11, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 27e Cahier, 4e Figure

Young Lady holding her infant in her arms; she is dressed in a caraco à la Polonaise with bands and piping in another color: the bands are edged with a little blonde lace.  She is coiffed with a pretty straw hat edged with ribbon, with a trimming of gauze in the shape of a mushroom, and a twisted ribbon. (1779)

CARACO A LA POLONAISE, trimmed in bands, and crossing in front, with sleeves en parement in Peasant style.  The petticoat is cut by a half-apron, equipped with pockets and trimmed with gauze around the perimeter.

This young mother, who is walking her infant, has pierced ears furnished with little rings, called "night rings".  Hair en chien couchant, hanging chignon, with falling curls on top.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 27e Cahier, 3e Figure

Robe à la Turque or type of Circassienne, but different than the others; it has a collar like a Lévite, and a very large white scarf knotted at the waist: the petticoat is coupé: no trimming.  This gown, which we will show in profile and from the back, attracted all the eyes of the Public, when it was seen for the first time at the Palais Royal in the month of last July 1779. (1779)
Robe à la Turque, called the Turquoise.  It was in the beautiful path of the Palais-Royal that this Gown was seen for the first time, thus is it shown in the Print.  The young Beauty who was dressed in it held all gazes, and the Public, always intrusive when presented with something new that pleases it, having, so to speak, enclosed her in a circle with a diameter that shrank without ceasing, would have suffocated her if the Swiss Guards had not hastened to her aid, and had not given her the facility to escape from this so-dangerous acclaim.

It is a type of dolman that is fitted in front, without pleats and very narrow, with a folded-back collar holding to the Gown, and funnel-shaped sleeves.  The underbodice is separated from the petticoat, and pleated like the fourreaux à l'Anglaise.*

Draped belt, knotted on the side, around the hip, and allowing the waist to be seen in all its lightness.

Amadis sleeves matching the petticoat, the parement à la cavaliere, matching the Gown.  Kerchief knotted en cravate, hair en tapé, with a hat en champignon.**

We will have occasion to show this pretty Gown in the first two Prints of the thirtieth Book. 
* Chatty footnote: I've been trying to figure out what exactly is meant by "fourreau" and how back fitting-pleats were described for a while, because I'm not 100% sure that they're always the same thing.  In this case, though, it does kind of sound like the underbodice is fitted with sewn-down pleats in back.
** en tapé relates to flattened, dried fruit; en champignon is "mushroom-style"