First of all, I would like to thank you all for the great reception that you have given to the entry about Edgar Allan Poe and his work The Raven . I have been overwhelmed by the number of visits and above all very flattered by the reviews about the blog that have appeared in other blogs and pages related or not to Victorian aesthetics and culture.
For the first time, since its opening, La Casa Victoriana has become a fashion house, in a parade that will take a brief tour of 19th century men’s and women’s fashion, their hats, shoes, ties and underwear.
In the network there are many and very good pages related to Historical dresses like Victorian fashion with abundant and detailed information, so here I will summarize with brief brush strokes and definitions a century of men’s and women’s fashion, trying to briefly expose one of the outstanding characteristics of a society who discovered in fashion not only a mere aesthetic vehicle but also used it as a differentiating method between social classes.
Dressmakers, tailors, fashion houses, the first designers and catwalks and of course the merchants saw in the passion for fashion a great business, which helped to create the germ of the development of the textile industry in the 20th century.
We begin by making a brief summary of women’s fashion from the beginning of the century to the dawn of the 20th century.
Around 1800 the style of dress that was in vogue in Europe was the so-called empire style – empire gown – more identified with the Regency period than with the Victorian Era.
The design was simple, with a very high waist, knotted under the chest, without marking the figure, with a length to the ankles revealing the feet. Short lantern sleeves or long fitted sleeves. Under the dress, made with very fine fabrics such as muslin, light cotton petticoats and a kind of bra called a zone to support the breast were used.
To protect themselves from the cold, the ladies wore fine wool coats; one of the most used models was a short jacket of the bullfighting type, usually with puffed sleeves and double-breasted. At other times the dresses were covered with scarves – shawls .
The mobcaps or white cotton caps so popular in the eighteenth century and the first years of the nineteenth used to cover the head in the interior of the home and later used by the service, were gradually evolving into the bonnets , a wide-brimmed hat that was tied with a bow under the chin. The bonnet was made in various styles: the cottage bonnet, a peasant-type bonnet, made of straw and decorated simply, the sun bonnet , wider to protect the face from the sun’s rays, the drawn bonnet , a more elegant and elaborate hat, typical of victorian city ladies, the poke bonnet, or bonnet with a very fine veil covering the face and the elaborate and ornate tall-crowned bonnet , with the higher back and highly ornamented with flowers, bows and fabrics. The materials used to make them were velvet, satin, cotton, gauze and straw.
As time progressed and industrial society acquired a higher purchasing power, the suits became more ornate, with colorful embroidery, striking and expensive fabrics such as velvet and colored silk, while bows and jets provided a spectacular finish. to suits such as flounced dresses , dresses with layered skirts or ruffles. These dresses, contrary to the empire gowns , were very tight to the body, with long sleeves marking the waist with narrow jackets and fitted at the waist. The wide flight of the skirts was achieved with hoops or crinoline petticoats . Its length was long, without revealing the feet of the ladies.