"Two hundred years after the era of Jane Austen we are still delighted and inspired by the fashions of nineteenth-century England."
I am a bit of an Austen-geek so I really enjoyed reading this short history of the era's fashions. I love the short detailed annotations along with the illustrations. There are two annotations with illustrations for every month from 1809 to 1820. Usually one is a walking/promenade dress or a morning dress, while the second one is fancier like an evening dress,opera dress, or ball gown. Most of the information comes from Ackerman's Repository of the Arts.
I learned a ton of new words describing these fashions (which I have included below). Here is an example of one of the detailed explanations:
Ball Gown May 1809:
"White satin slip, under a crape dress, made to fit the figure very exactly, cut open in front, and bound all round with white satin ribbon and a row of beads, linked together in front with bands of beads loosely suspended at distances; short sleeves the same. Fan richly spangled. Pearl necklace, with diamond clasp in front; earrings and bracelet to suit. White shoes striped in scarlet or blue. Hair in ringlets on the forehead, and lightly turned up behind with a diamond comb. Petticoats very short."
I was also fascinated by the number of various cultures that Regency fashion took inspiration from - Indian, Persian, Moravian, Angolan, Cossack, Egyptian, Peruvian, Spanish, French, Turkish, Grecian, Flemish, Roman, Tuscan, Chinese, Circassian, Moorish, Sardinian, Russian, Scotch, Swedish, Brussels. I know I, at least, had no knowledge that Britains took fashion ideas from around the world.
Here is a sampling of some more illustrations:
|Walking Dress March 1815|
French Bonnet with Ostrich Feathers
|Carriage Dress January 1818|
|Court Dress July 1820|
Words/Terms that Were New to Me:
My Kindle Dictionary REALLY came in handy during this book!
stomacher - I just knew this as a corset, not that it was in fact part of one
unella veil - I couldn't find anything about this. Does anyone know?
oppenoch -I couldn't find anything about this. Does anyone know?
ribband - What they mean by this is ribbon in a band around the head, not the shipbuilding ribband variety
habiliments - fancy word for clothing
Chinchilli - I *think* this is chinchilla?
yewer - I don't know if this has to do with yew or something else.
bombazeen - I actually knew this at one time but had forgotten.