Fashion Friday: The London Season

1812 Ballroom Gown Template from Ackermann's

1812 Ballroom Gown Template from Ackermann’s

The Ton. The Season. The Fashion.

I love a romance novel that takes place during the height of the London Season (typically January – June) as it’s filled with tons of social activities from balls to the theater to garden parties. It sounds like a whirlwind of fun of and magic…and of course, fashion.

Many regency ladies of the upper crust would spend a fortune on gowns, hats, gloves, and the like all in preparation of the London Season. Sometimes they would only wear the dresses once or twice before being discarded for new designs and fabrics. Below is how the dress pictured above is described:

Ball Dress: a round Circassian robe of pink carpe , or gossamer net, over a white satin slip, fringed full at the feet; a peasant’s bodice of pink satin or velvet, laced in front with silver, and decorated with the same ornament. Spanish slash sleeve, embellished with white crape foldings, and finished at its terminations with bands of silver. A Spartan or Calypso helmet cap of pink frosted crape, with silver bandeaus, and embellished with tassels, and rosets to correspond. A rich neck-chain and ear-rings of Oriental gold. Fan of carved ivory. Slippers of pink kid, with correspondent clasps; and gloves of white kid: an occasional square veil of Mechlin lace.

Even the description sound luxurious! I think the only thing I would change is the hat. I imagine a ballroom without modern AC and packed wall-to-wall with people would not welcome an added layer. Enjoy!

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Fashion Friday: Victorian Dresses

Fashion in the Victorian Era

As a reader of historical romances, I most often am interested in the early Regency era and fashions with muslin dresses gathered below the bust and featuring light and airy colors (for young maidens) and bolder colors and fabrics for those married or of a “suitable age.”

However, once again, Two Nerdy History Girls has caught my interest with the image above featuring Victorian women’s fashion of 1864. The classic silhouettes, bright colors and fabrics, and low necklines seem far less stuffy than one would imagine for the time period and are, actually, very attractive. Additionally, have you taken a closer look at the hats and bonnets? Many of them remind me of what we might find on today’s royalty! I also have come to appreciate some of the more glamourous hairstyles of the Victorian age than the Regency.

This image, originally seen here, is from Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine. The publication was filled with all kinds of information from fashion plates and descriptions, to biographical spotlights and educational articles ranging from crafts to female etiquette and arts and more.

A better description of the publication by Accessible Archives:

The magazine was intended to entertain, inform and educate the women of America. In addition to extensive fashion descriptions and plates, the early issues included biographical sketches, articles about mineralogy, handcrafts, female costume, the dance, equestrienne procedures, health and hygiene, recipes and remedies and the like. Each issue also contained two pages of sheet music, written essentially for the pianoforte. Gradually the periodical matured into an important literary magazine containing extensive book reviews and works by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and many other celebrated 19th century authors who regularly furnished the magazine with essays, poetry and short stories. Godey’s Lady’s Book also was a vast reservoir of handsome illustrations which included hand-colored fashion plates, mezzotints, engravings, woodcuts and, ultimately, chromolithographs.

You can view the complete book of 1864 and get an idea of what women were interested in and learning about during this time period. Happy Fashion Friday!

Victorian Lady's Magazine

An example of some of the fashion ideas and templates in Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine (1864) via Archives.org.

Fashion Friday – Regency Style

I came across this great blog post with some Regency-era fashion templates from roughly 1816. Although the bonnet’s modern form is the fascinator, part of me still wishes we could get away with floral adorned head pieces with colored-ribbons. If you could bring any regency-fashion piece or style to the modern day world, what would it be?

1816 03 Saxe Cobourg full dress 1816 03 Opera dress

 

Some of my favorite Princess Kate fascinator looks! (If I can’t have bonnets, this is a close second!)

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Source used:

Bell, John, La Belle Assemblée (1806-1837) via Regency History Blog

Home Decor Regency Style

Ser2-v1-1816-Furniture-plate-32-Dining-Room

Thought I’d share a fun resource I recently stumbled upon. If you’ve read any of my earlier blog posts, you’ll know I’m a bit of a home decor fanatic. After recently purchasing our first home, I’ve been having a blast scouring shops and online for the perfect pieces.

What was fun to discover, is that ladies of the Regency Era did the same thing via templates in Ackermann’s Repository of the Arts, an illustrated, British periodical of the time. The publication includes stories on current events, helpful tips, and was well-known for its studies and templates of women’s fashion and home furnishing. Looking through these templates really helps set the scene for how many houses probably looked in some of our favorite historical novels. I mean have you see the drapes? All kinds of elaborate and luxurious fabrics and hangings. It makes me yearn for a time period I have never lived in, but so enjoy learning about. Learn more about Ackermann’s and see some of the beautiful furnishings and home fashion of the day!