Monday, September 30, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 55e Cahier, 2e Figure

1. Striped morning coat etc. 2. Round hat trimmed with gances. 3. Jockey hat trimmed with tassels, cockade, and jay, etc. 4. Soft boots à l'Anglaise. 5. Officer Hat. 6. Round hat. (1787)

A "Society of Pedestrians" asks in the Journal de Paris of January 24, 1785, if shoes exist that are "impenetrable, which protect white stockings in all their brilliance and which one can take off and put on alone and promptly in an antechamber".

On February 11, 1785, an inhabitant of Evreux responds that this shoe has existed in Evreux for several years, where it was brought from Arras by an officer.

"These boots are made of goat leather or thin calf, lined with white linen.  They are rather wide so that the shod foot can be put in easily (one takes the measure over the shoe, rather than without it), three or four whalebones support the shaft and prevent it from wrinkling; further, one attaches a ribbon or braid which is passed from a button to the garter of the breeches and fixes it.  The sole, well-sewn, contains another of cork; the whole is however rather light so that one can walk easily without muddying oneself or feeling the humidity.  So that the dust which can cling to the shoe, in crossing apartments, does not dirty the white linen which lines the shaft of the boot, which stained white stockings, one puts on over the shoe a linen slipper made expressly and rather large; - all this is worn and is taken off easily in the antechamber ..."

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Painting Costume Analysis: Pamela Series, Part Ten

X: Pamela and Lady Davers, Joseph Highmore, 1743-4; National Gallery of Victoria 1117-3

One would think that Pamela's troubles would be over after her marriage: after all, most of her problems stemmed from her "courtship". However, Mr. B's family is still a hurdle to get over. His sister, Lady Davers, does not approve of Pamela's entry into their ranks and is convinced that Mr. B has only pretended to marry Pamela in order to get her into bed, anyway.

In the pictured scene, Mr. B has been away with a sick friend for some time, and has asked Pamela to meet him that afternoon at a different friend's house. Unfortunately, Lady Davers arrives with her nephew, "Jackey", and maid, Becks, and pins her up in a parlor. Every time Pamela tries to leave, one of them puts a chair in front of the door and sits in it. (This happens half a dozen times.) Pamela pleads that she has a "pre-engagement" and shows Lady Davers Mr. B's letter asking for her, but Lady Davers accuses her of putting on airs and repeatedly calls her a creature and a wench. At last, Pamela calls to the coachman out the window to have the carriage made ready, and jumps out the window herself to run into it.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 55e Cahier, 1ere Figure

1. Plain taffeta morning gown. 2. Hat à la Harpie.  3. Sabots foures* à la Chinoise. 4. Shoes and Sabots of different types. (1787)

"I am too much of a friend to the beautiful sex not to let them know ... how much I fear them falling from the smallness of the heels in fashion today.  If one supports an ordinary mass on a base, the thinner the support, the more difficult it is to work it: thus, women's heels are today needles, on which it is difficult to walk when the pavement is uneven, they are at every moment in danger of losing their equilibrium and falling, at the risk of breaking their heads, an arm, or a leg, as was once said by the singer, and in a less perilous case:

Little one, little one, your heels are low,
As soon as someone touches you, you fall to the ground.

"The invention, elsewhere, of little heels was poorly done, since the littler they are, the larger the foot seems ... Women's large heels, à l'anglaise, render the foot smaller to the view and gives them a seat which allows them to walk safely: instead the thin ones cannot give any support to the leg."

The Page without Title, September 3, 1775

* Sabot, literally "hoof", was used to describe the ruched ruffles that covered the end of the sleeve in the late 1770s; it also referred to a wooden clog, and came back into high fashion to mean a type of shoe.  I cannot find a meaning for the adjective foure but suspect it might relate to the ruffle around the opening.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 54e Cahier, 6e Figure

Young élégante dressed in a pierrot with pockets and redingote sleeves, plain muslin petticoat, flowered linen apron: coiffed with a beaver hat. (1787)

"... This woman is frisé like men, with three curls on the forehead at each side, a broad, squared grecque, and a large cadogan in the back.

"One sees that the hat is bent over the eyes, the way that we wear it.

"Do we blame ourselves here for this hat form, and this manner of wearing it, as we have done for the chapeau-bonnette?  No.  That allows the greatest part of the face to be seen and uncovers the eye, which can play at sparkling.  The chapeau-bonnettes, falling en toîts* around the head, entirely overwhelming the face:  instead the felt hats, having for the most part turned-up brims, allow it to be seen, and far from damaging it, add most frequently to its éclat, being bent until over the eyebrows.  We all know that a thousand and thousand people only have a handsome face from the eyebrows to the bottom of the chin, whether because their foreheads are too narrow, or because they are too long, or because they are too flat, or because they are too sunken."

Le Magasin des Modes, February 28, 1787

* like the shape of a rooftop

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 54e Cahier, 5e Figure

Young woman dressed in a summer redingote in red wool trimmed with fashionable buttons, chignon à la conseillere with a steel coulant:* straw hat trimmed with ribbons. (1787)

"As far as we've looked into antiquity, we cannot remember having ever seen women's fashion being the same as men's in color, as well as the form of their dress.  Is it that our century, or rather our actual era, was predestined to be one of miracles?  Today, except the coats which still do not replace gowns, and the breeches which still do not replace petticoats, women's dress is the same as men's, both in cutting and color.  Shoes, stockings, gilets, vests, frisure, hats, canes, watches, gloves, shirts, cravats: everything matches in shape as in colors for the two sexes."

Le Magasin des Modes, June 10, 1787

* According to French Wiktionary, a coulant is an iron ring which forms a pincer

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 54e Cahier, 4e Figure

Pretty woman in a morning baigneuse, pierrot with revers and diamond-shaped steel buttons, the petticoat of plain muslin, flounce of the same: she holds a grapevine cane. (1787)

Costume of the Marquise. - "Pierrot and petticoat of embroidered linen, trimmed with lace, pink underpetticoat, kerchief trimmed with seven collars per side; hat à la caravanne, two and a half feet high and five feet in circumference; the hair en Conseiller, shaded by two drapes of three ells of Italian gauze, hanging behind the hat, pink shoes, the soles of which are not 7/12" wide: on the face, 3/24" of white and 2/12" (minus an eighth), of red;* on the ears, spangled rings six inches long; the eyelashes, brows, lips, veins, etc. painted following art; the whitest and best-made teeth that one could find."

Les Chiffons, by Mlle Javotte, mender, Paris, 1787

* I believe this might refer to the depth of what is taken out of the pot

Monday, September 23, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 54e Cahier, 3e Figure

Petit Maître at the Palais Royal in a morning frock coat trimmed with striped, lozenge-shaped steel buttons, leather breeches and morning boots: he is coiffed with an English hat with a high crown. (1787)

Cane. - "It has replaced the sword, which is not longer habitually worn.  One runs through the morning, a badine in the hand; walking with it is more agile and one no longer sees these so familiar disputes and quarrels from sixty years ago and which were making blood flow for simple carelessness.  Mores have worked this grand change despite the law.  One only succeeded in banning the wearing of arms with difficulty: the Parisian man disarmed himself for his convenience and by his reason ..."

Sébastien MERCIER, Tableau de Paris, 1784

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Painting Costume Analysis: Pamela Series, Part Nine

IX: Pamela is Married, Joseph Highmore, 1743-4; Tate Collection N03575

Because Mr. B really isn't supposed to marry Pamela, they need to hide their relationship for a while. He asks her to "dress as [she] used to do; for now, at least ...", which I believe means as she dressed when she was working for his mother, before she decided to retreat back into homespun to prove her virtue. She then goes back to her room and changes her outfit completely:
... and so put on fine linen, silk shoes, and fine white cotton stockings, a fine quilted coat, a delicate green Mantea silk gown and coat, a French necklace, and a laced cambric handkerchief, and clean gloves; and, taking my fan in my hand, I, like a little proud hussy, looking in the glass, and thought myself a gentlewoman once more ...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 54e Cahier, 2e Figure

Redingote of violet taffeta, revers, collar, and cuffs white, steel buttons, striped and spotted muslin petticoat: puce straw hat trimmed with large steel buckles: it is edged and belted with black velvet. (1787)

"Women's clothing must have a sex; and this dress must contrast with ours.  A woman must be woman from head to foot: the more a woman resembles a man, the more she surely loses.

"But women come as close as they can to our practices.  They actually wear men's coats, a redingote with three collars, hair tied in a cadogan, a cane in the hand, shoes with low heels, two watches and a coupé gilet."

Sébastien MERCIER, Tableau de Paris, 1788

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 54e Cahier, 1ere Figure

Redingote of white taffeta relieved à la militaire with a simple collar, petticoat in pink taffeta brocaded with black and edged with white, yellow straw hat with a lilac ribbon striped with white: the ground of the top of the crown striped pink and white. (1787)

"Is there a very great difference between the French and English fashions?  That is not the question that must be proposed.  But can there be a great difference between the French and English fashions?  There is the question that will be admitted for proposition; there is what we must resolve.

"Between two nations as perfectly rivaled as ours and that of the English, between two nations which have their eyes constantly fixed on each other, which spy on each other with much attention, whether for imitation or applause or censure, which also makes a mutual exchange of commercial objects, morals, opinion, and manners; between two nations, in a word, whose nearest vicinity forces them to a sort of habitual society, it is impossible that there would be a great difference in their dress, in their fashions.  There can only be variations ..."

Le Magasin des Modes, December 30, 1786

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 53e Cahier, 6e Figure

 Young Elégant dressed in an embroidered coat with a vest of the newest taste. (1787)

Knight's Costume. - "Coat, vest, and breeches of a silk stuff appropriate to the season: on the sword, a cabbage bow which prevents the hilt from being found; very long curls, and overall extremely large, because they mingle better; the hair very enlarged, very crimped, the toupet strongly in front, and the sides very large; so that there is only the cap to put on to make a woman's coiffure."

Les Chiffons, by Mlle Javotte, mender, Paris, 1787

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 53e Cahier, 5e Figure

Young Lady dressed in a morning chemise gown and coiffed with a hat à la Calonne,* over her hair in hanging curls à la Conseillère.** (1787)

" ... The woman's hair is curled only on the toupet, which is covered, to two inches from the head, by the cap.  At the bottom of the toupet descend two large curls which hang on the breast.  Behind, her hair hangs à la Conseillère.  All her hair is of its natural color, and has no powder at all."

Le Magasin des Modes, November 20, 1786

* Charles Alexandre de Calonne (1734-1802), Controller-General of France from 1783 to 1787.  He was initially very popular when he proposed extensive financial reforms, but was later unfairly blamed for the crown's debt and dismissed.
** "counselor", which may refer to Calonne as well - compare to his portrait

Monday, September 16, 2013

Montgomery Place Picnic

This past Sunday, the Empire State Costumers core group met up for a Victorian picnic lunch on the grounds of Montgomery Place, at Annandale-on-Hudson. We decided not to pay for a house tour and just stay on the grounds, so I don't know very much about the house's history - but it's a Livingston property, like Clermont.

I drove down to Julie's house in plainclothes, and got dressed up there. Julie's man Dan (also dolled up!) drove us over to pick up Rebecca, and then we all went off in the sunshine, in a car stuffed as full of food and bustles as possible.

A handy docent took our picture on the front porch. (I went with an adolescent hairstyle because I am routinely taken for a teenager. And it was simple.)

Galerie des Modes, 53e Cahier, 4e Figure

Young Lady dressed in a redingote buttoned to the bottom with fashionable buttons: she is coiffed with a bonnet-chapeau. (1787)

"We have said ... that women hardly go out in the morning in night caps, when they are not fully dressed; we must add here that many put on a chapeau-bonnette over their night caps.  In this manner, they give an air of being half-dressed which redeems this very great négligé that presents to the eye simple night caps, which are never tolerable without fashion.  How was this fashion able to be taken?  We widen our heads to imagine it and we do not succeed.  It is even impossible for us to conceive it, when we think that there are so few women who have a seductive air in a night cap.  All that we can find is that women have consented to renounce pleasing during this part of the day.  Could we acknowledge this beautiful invention, without fearing that we are reproached for pronouncing some blasphemy against the ladies' taste?"

Le Magasin des Modes, November 30, 1786

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Painting Costume Analysis: Pamela Series, Part Eight

VIII: Pamela greets her father, Joseph Highmore, 1743-4; National Gallery of Victoria 1116-3

Driven to a frenzy, Mr. B attempts to find any letters to her family that Pamela has secreted on her person, asking if they are inside her stays or pockets and threatening to strip her; he starts to unpin her handkerchief and then to check her garters, but then allows her, due to her begging and crying, to go up to her bedroom and bring them down.  She writes him a note to give her until the next day, then sits down and unstitches them from her underpetticoat.

As he reads them, Mr. B finally says that she can go home to her family - but while traveling back, Pamela realizes that she is in love with her captor, and is given a letter where Mr. B confesses his own love and asks her to come back to marry him.  Are we surprised when she does?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 53e Cahier, 3e Figure

Young Lady ready to ride horseback: she is dressed in a great redingote à l'Allemande* with a galant hat. (1787)

"We have seen, under the preceding reigns, dances, entire ballets executed with horses.  It would be rather pleasant for fashion to bring back these amusements.  The taste that our beautiful Ladies begin to take for equestrianism and the one which suits their sex for dance, will perhaps carry out this singularity one day."

RESTIF DE LA BRETONNE, Monument du Costume, 1787

* "in the German style"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 53e Cahier, 2e Figure

Young woman preserving herself from bad air: she is dress in a redingote à l'Anglaise and coiffed with a cap à la matineuse. (1787)

"Here is Fashion and she comes herself to instruct us.  For at least fifteen days, retrench the plumes and your coiffure.  While you murmur about it, and while I myself complain about it, it is necessary to obey.  You will take them back again in a little while; but during this time, they must be deposed.  Your head may only be covered with a Chapeau-Bonnette whose brim falls rooflike all around and whose crown, very puffed and very large, is tied with a ribbon, forming a large bow in the back.  There is your whole coiffure.  This hat may be of blue gauze, or if you like it better, pink gauze; it may be of a very light blue or pink taffeta, and tied with a violet ribbon, or a white ribbon; but there may be nothing more: I want it.  I only change what is in your parure; but it pleases me to change it."

Le Magasin des Modes, July 15, 1786

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 53e Cahier, 1ere Figure

Young Lady dreaming on sweet mystery: she is dressed in a pretty redingote with steel buttons and a hat à la Contat.* (1787)

"There are some days that we have seen at the Palais Royal an elegant petit maîtresse, superb, dressed in a redingote and a coupé gilet, in the manner of those worn by men with a cravat on the neck instead of a handkerchief, to replace the corset and gown.  We do not doubt that fashion will soon take it up if three or four women adopt this dress.  Whether the novelty, elegance, grace, or taste, we confess freely that this new manner of dressing oneself has pleased us infinitely ..."

Le Cabinet des Modes, June 15, 1786

* Louise-Françoise Contat, see previous references.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 52e Cahier, 6e Figure

Young Lady in a Caraco-Pierrot, with a black Scarf.  She is coiffed with a Hat à l'Anglomane* trimmed with Pearls, Ribbons, and floating Plumes. (1787)

"The caraco can only make up the morning toilette, when it is still too early to dress and one wants to go out and make a tour of the promenade before noon; or the evening toilette when one has spent the whole day at home and at seven or eight o'clock one wants to take the air to be seen in public."

Le Cabinet des Modes, June 15, 1786

* The -mane suffix means, essentially, "fan".

Monday, September 9, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 52e Cahier, 4e Figure

Young Bourgeoise seated  in a public promenade, counterfeiting as a Lady of quality in simpering with her dog: she is in a large hat with bows and large buckles à l'Américaine. (1787)

Rouge. - "If women could abolish this outrageous daubing of white and too-pronounced red, they would have destroyed the poor taste of their mothers, and would enjoy the advantages that nature gave them; they have no need of diamonds and jewelry, displays of luxury and opulence; diamonds share the attention owed to their real beauty and the most piquant charm of a beauty is in ignoring that she is one."

Sébastien MERCIER, Tableau de Paris, 1783

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Painting Costume Analysis: Pamela Series, Part Seven

VII: Pamela in the Bedroom with Mrs Jewkes and Mr B., Joseph Highmore, 1743-4; TC N03574
This scene is similar to Mr. B's last nighttime attack on Pamela's virtue.  However, while Mrs. Jervis was a somewhat unwitting participant - truly believing in her employer's good intentions - Mrs. Jewkes takes on a more active role.  She dresses Mr. B in a maid's clothing, has him pretend to be asleep in the corner, and then encourages Pamela to take her own clothes off so she can get in bed ... and be ravished by Mr. B.  (The attempt fails.)

Pamela's shift is arrayed artistically over her torso, but I believe she is still in an underpetticoat, as there is a tightness around her waist that indicates a waistband.  Her stockings are held up with pink garters, and there is a blue ribbon around her cap - the same cap she wore in part six, but with the ribbon in a different configuration.  Her black leather shoes fasten with buckles, rather than tying.  The blue silk gown on the nearby chair is probably hers.

Mrs. Jewkes's nightwear is mostly covered, but we can see that there are no ruffles at her elbows.  Her nightcap covers her hair, much more than the cap she wore during the day in part six.

Mr. B's costume resembles what Pamela wore in part four: a brown gown with white apron and kerchief, and ruffles on his shift sleeves.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 52e Cahier, 5e Figure

Beauty of the Pantheon, dressed in a Robe à l'Asiatique in blue Satin, pink Petticoat and pink Collar.  She is coiffed with a Hat trimmed with Pearls and varied Ribbons. (1787)

Cadogans. - "It is necessary that we detail how cadogans are made.  They are not all tied like those of men; at one end of the hair, instead of being contained within the cadogan, it escapes and falls in curls; and at the other, the hair is tied and contained absolutely like men's cadogans.  If you have seen the long hair of the People of the Robe,* pulled up on the head with a comb, that is how the newer cadogans are made, with the exception of those that are caught at the bottom with a bronzed iron ligament that is called a pin à la Cagliostro.**

* The Nobles of the Robe, the Second Estate, untitled aristocrats who inherited judicial or administrative positions through ancestral lines.
** See Book 45, Figure 1.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 52e Cahier, 3e Figure

Lady of quality, a bouquet in her hand, breathing the good air at the Champs Elysées: she is in a hat à la Dorothée, trimmed with pearls and aigrettes, caraco à la Praslin edged with black with a trained petticoat. (1787)

"Today felt hats are made of wool, very light, with tints of different colors.  The most fashionable are the canary's tail yellows, the sky blues, and the apple greens.  They are of a great size and have brims seven inches wide.  They are trimmed around the squared crown with two wide colored ribbons which are tied to make a large rosette on the left side.  With the canary's tail yellow hat, violet ribbons are worn; with the apple green, pink ribbons; with the sky blue, white ribbons.  Under the rosette, three or four large colored plumes are attached.

"A very great assortment of these felt hats are found in the shop of Sir Donnet, hat-merchant of Paris at the rue Saint-Honoré, next to that of l'Echelle, who has already sold a great quantity to our Ladies, which appear very well."

Le Magasin des Modes, July 25, 1786

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 52e Cahier, 2e Figure

Lady of distinction in a morning fourreau with a brocaded gauze belt: she is coiffed with a galant hat, her hair in little curls and her chignon hanging. (1787)

"Ladies still dress in very long fourreaux.  It is not permitted to make them, as at other times, in silk fabrics, or in colored linen: they can only be made of white linen, or plain white muslin; still, those of muslin are very rare.  One dares sometimes to wear them over pink, blue, green, or violet transparens; but the best, and the most fashionable, is to wear them without transparens."

Le Magasin des Modes, 1787

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 4e Volume, 52e Cahier, 1ere Figure

The beautiful Omphale walking at the Arsenal: she is in a little vest with revers with two rows of buttons over a petticoat trimmed in the newest taste: she is coiffed with a hat en pouf à la Luxembourg. (1787)

"Ladies actually wear a turned-down collar, as on our frock coats, with their gowns en chemise, made of white gauze, of white muslin, or others, which are always fashionable.

"Many, under their redingotes or robes à la Turque, wear a corset which, being neither buttoned nor laced in front, is fastened at the left side with four polished steel buckles, where contrasting ribbons pass through which are fixed on the right side.

"Some wear a large belt, fastened in front with large buckles or plaques, like the belts of the Swiss Guards."

Les Magasin des Modes, July 15, 1786

Monday, September 2, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 51e Cahier, 6e Figure

Young Dancer dressed in a Pierrot caraco with a striped petticoat trimmed with gauze: she is coiffed with a straw hat trimmed with plumes, ribbons and flowers.  1. Black hat trimmed with aigrettes. 2. Hat en pouf. 3. Straw hat with 2 steel buckles. (1786)

"It is the greatest fashion today, overall for the morning promenade, when it is the best weather, to wear the fourreaux, the robes à l'anglaise, and the long caracos of solid white linen, with a matching petticoat and a white petticoat on top.*  Besides these blue, pink, violet, etc. transparens that are worn under the white muslin, gauze, or linen petticoats."

Le Magasin des Modes, 1787

* The text uses dessous, underneath, but this is one letter away from dessus, on top, and there are more than occasional typos in the reprint.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Myth of Chanel and the 1920s: X - Rising Hems

As hem lengths rose and flowerpot hats moulded themselves to the side of the head, a voluntary simplification of clothing spread across a wide spectrum of society.

The hemline was on a slow rise from the beginning of the twentieth century.  The stereotypical Edwardian skirt, for example, had a shape like an upturned lily, with a train even in daywear.  According to Vogue, the skirt began to shorten in 1907, due to some sort of alleged American influence - however, looking through fashion plates and advertisements, the change is more gradual than sudden.  It is not until 1909 that fashion truly got rid of the train and showcased narrower skirts, and not until 1910 or 1911 that the top of the foot was exposed.

(This post is fairly image-heavy - I feel the point's best made by showing specifics.)

Debenham & Freebody advertisement, April 1915; NYPL 816928
Bradleys advertisement, September 1916; NYPL 816904
Bonwit Teller advertisement, Harper's Bazaar September 1917; NYPL 816925