V&A: This 18th century mantua and petticoat are examples of the very grandest style of court dress. The wide skirt sits over pannier hoops and though it forced the wearer to go sideways through doors, it had the advantage of displaying a large area of lavish decoration. This mantua is made from cream silk and has been embroidered with coloured silk and silver threads. Elaborate flower designs such as these were typical of the rococo style of the 1740’s and 1750’s in England. Not only designed to impress the beholder, they were also botanically very accurate.
You know the drill: go get in my closet.
I know I’ve posted this before but I still love it!
This is the description of the first costume: Emile Pingat (1820–1901), Paris, Skirt and polonaise, 1885. Velvet, beads, silk, glass. Collection of Shelburne Museum. 2010-75
Emile Pingat has taken a page from the 18th century, adapting a classical men’s court ensemble and feminizing it. Instead of breeches that match the coat, there is a long velvet skirt finished with a ruffle. The apparent waistcoat is not a separate garment but instead is constructed as two decorative panels set into the coat. Pingat has updated the style and beauty of aristocratic men’s clothing by adding the small pointed zigzag motif in the embroidery. This one-of-a-kind colonial revival style dress would have been worn to a ball or masquerade with appropriate accessories that could have included a wig, fan, and shoes.
”The 18th Century Back in Fashion” exhibit, Palace of Versailles. Victorian take on 18th century dress.
Christian Dior (French, 1905–1957)
Spring/ Summer 1953
The Met says: Dior reveled in the paradox of the natural and the sophisticated. The most telling example is his frequent self-presentation, not as a man who symbolized the authority of French taste, but rather as a simple gardener, farmer, and mill owner.
In “May,” flowering grasses and wild clover are rendered in silk floss on organza. This “simple” patterning of meadow-gone-to-weed is composed of the tiniest French knots and the meticulously measured stitches of the hand embroiderer, suggesting that for Dior, it was not only that beauty resides in the most rustic, but also that the most successful artifice is a beguiling naivété.
Thanks to everyone for your kindness and your encouragement during the Your Wardrobe Unlock’d Competition. In the individual category competition I have made it through to the final round and I should know something after Friday when the voting closes! Everyone has been so kind and supportive and each and everyone of you have been greatly appreciated! Wish me luck!
Wish me luck!
The most wonderful thing happened to me coming home. I am doing a private research project for my internship on nobility in Austria which needs to be completed by next week. I checked out a book about Silk Fabrics in Italian and Northern Paintings but because it was so heavy I decided to just carry it in my arms.
The trains are currently a mess because of the weather coming and it didn’t help that I boarded my train during rush hour, it was so packed you couldn’t even move! I somehow managed to get a seat but I offered it to the little girl next to me standing with her mom and when she declined I made myself comfortable.
The little girl had to be around seven. She was a quiet little thing but I smiled at her and she complemented me on my furry hat. I laughed and let her touch the pom poms on it. She then quietly pointed at the cover of my book and remarked at how pretty the woman was. Then she asked what my book was about. I think I shocked every single person around me when I opened the book and started showing her what it was about.
I started off with the early Renaissance but she knew the most about Henry VIII so I turned to that section. To my delight she knew who everyone was without having to look at the captions. While she told me about the people in the paintings I told her about what they were wearing. I explained what blackwork was and she even picked it out in another painting. Their stop came and when they left the train all I heard was the little girl talking about buying the book.
After she got off the train I looked up and saw that most of the people at the end of my carriage were looking at me and it was silent. I tried to recall what was going on while I was talking to the little girl but all I remember was the quiet. During rush hour traffic in London I had somehow managed to silence a train.
A man standing nodded at me before putting his earbuds back in and two men had turned around in their seats to watch what I was doing. I even remember looking up at one point and angling my book so that the man standing who had just nodded at me could see over the mothers shoulder.
Our responsibility is to nurture the future, to inspire and to educate them. When she turned around to wave at me I suddenly wanted to cry. I recognized that spark of interest in her eyes because it’s the one I carry with me everyday.
“Two pairs of scissors, enhanced by the elegant fabric and ornate gold beading found in many of McQueen’s creations, from Sarah Burton, Creative Director of Alexander McQueen.
“Handcraft and embroidery are integral to my designs but scissors mark the beginning of the process.””
Obviously these are just decorative but beautiful nonetheless.
Women’s Velvet Shoes Story: Lady Mary was the wife of Sir John Stanhope of Elvaston Castle in Derbyshire. After Sir John’s death in 1638 she married Sir John Gell. She seems to have kept her links with the Stanhope family after she married again. Rights info: Non commercial use accepted. Please credit to “Northampton Museums & Art Gallery”. Please contact Northampton Museums Service if you wish to use this image commercially. Location of collection: Northampton Museum & Art Gallery www.northampton.gov.uk/museums Part of: Northampton Shoe Collection Reference number:
Shoes: probably worn by Lady Mary Stanhope (1660)
Made of blue velvet and embroidered with silver gilt thread, these shoes must have been worn for a special occasion. The latchets would have tied across the tongue with a decorative ribbon possibly gold in colour.
Could these shoes have been worn during the celebrations, which took place after the Restoration of Charles II in 1660?
Women’s Velvet Shoes
Lady Mary was the wife of Sir John Stanhope of Elvaston Castle in Derbyshire. After Sir John’s death in 1638 she married Sir John Gell. She seems to have kept her links with the Stanhope family after she married again.
Rights info: Non commercial use accepted. Please credit to “Northampton Museums & Art Gallery”. Please contact Northampton Museums Service if you wish to use this image commercially.
Location of collection: Northampton Museum & Art Gallery www.northampton.gov.uk/museums
Part of: Northampton Shoe Collection