Browsing a blockbuster museum exhibit featuring beautiful items of clothing from decades and even centuries past, it’s easy to see them as pieces of art, like a painting. But of course, they were once worn, nestled intimately against a body that’s now gone. Which may give you the faint feeling of a rabbit run over…
When did popular culture start classifying certain clothes as “vintage” and therefore possessed of a certain cachet? Apparently it goes back to a 1950s fad for raccoon coats left over from the 1920s.
Google is expanding one of its umpteen million experiments, Google Arts and Culture, to include fashion collections. What this means for you is an expanded ability to sit at your workplace computer and spend slow summer Friday afternoons staring at lavish dresses and historic hemline detailing.
So you know you’re looking at two very different styles of dress, here. But precisely what decades? When did that waistline move back down? What details are the defining touches of their era? How long were women actually walking around with bustles on their backsides?
Fashion plates are a classic, even stereotypical angle image from the Victorian era, featuring duos and trios of women modeling the latest looks circa 1877. But how did consumers of the time actually use these images? What did you actually do with a fashion plate, anyway?
One scholar will have you know that contrary to received wisdom, Charlotte Brontë almost certainly did NOT underdress for a dinner party thrown by her hero, William Thackeray.
A legend is with us no more: Margaret Vinci Heldt, creator of the beehive, has died at age 98.
If you’ve ever looked at one of those outrageous bustled skirts from the late 1880s and wondered how in the hell any of these women managed to sit down, it’s your lucky day.
More than anything else, late eighteenth century European fashion is famous for ludicrous wigs. Sky-high, powdered, stuffed with ribbons and flowers and whatever trendy, topical confection they could shove in there. And now you can create your own!
Clothing in nineteenth-century Europe and America was so thoroughly dangerous, it’s amazing anyone survived.