Empire era

December 18, 2009

The Empire:  1800-1815

The importance of the Industrial Revolution is strongly felt in the economy and lifestyles of all people in the early 19th century.  Since the fashion focus was on France at this time it is natural to consider France an economic power as well.  Actually, England, with its global outreach, extensive trade, and monetary reserves became the most powerful economic center in the world.  There was regular trade with Canada, America, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the Cape and the Indies, Far East, Australia.    There were many improved trade routes.  European textile materials and colorants were the first commodities to benefit from this extensive trade:  cotton from America, wools from Ireland, silks from China, dyes from India, etc

The revival of the textile industry and improved quality of materials woven had a noticeable effect on costume.  White or plain cotton which was of such a good quality it did not need to be printed.  However, by 1805 both sexes wore sumptuous fabrics such as velvets, heavy satins, and taffetas.  Napoleon liked these rich fabrics for ceremonial occasions.  See Figure 2, a painting by Jacques-Louis David, The Coronation of Josephine.  It illustrates the rich fabrics used for court functions, but were not worn as everyday dress

Napoleon did for the textile industry what Louis XIV had done.  He developed it through stimulation of the fashion industry. The sumptuous court activities and costumes, the triumphal ceremonies of the Imperial armies, the embellishment of architecture and costume all contributed to an extravagant way of court life and provided greedy customers for the textile industry.   Napoleon made himself the Roi Soleil.  He dictated that women could not wear the same garment to court twice.  Josephine, his first wife, was very interested in fashion and had her own designer, Leroy.  During the War of 1812 the French trading came to a virtual halt for a time and there was a suspension on court pompous activities.  At that period there was an unemployment crisis in the textile industry.

Once the extreme political and social events became to become more conservative with the rise of Napoleon and the change of the French rule of the Directory into an Empire, the clothing was modified.  Again the French court made important especially with the Bonaparte family in the thrones of allied countries through marriages.   The aristocracy was highly fashion conscious, but not the people in the country districts which favored an assortment of national costumes.  The upper classes were surprisingly homogeneous between nations.

Fathers held the control of both the morals of a family and the money even though mistresses continued.  Young ladies were highly chaperoned, educated at home with their mother and governess, taught the fine arts of embroidery and other needle crafts. The quality and subtly of the embroidery showed one’s breeding. Young men were formally educated.

Popular portrait artists of the time were David, Reynolds, Gainsborough, and Romney.

Women’s clothing:

The Empire repeated the silhouette of the Directory in women’s clothing, however, the fabrics became stiffer and more elaborate.  Generally the women were depicted as having a tall, slender, willowy silhouette.  The fabric used was light, supple, and often clung to the wearer.  The round gown or chemise was a very high-waisted sheath, generally with a square, low-cut neckline covering the shoulders and girdled below the bust with a narrow belt. We often refer to this style as Empire and the highwaisted element in it was revived in the early 20th century as well as in the 1950s.

The round gowns or chemises could be transparent garments with tiny slips underneath and long trains.  Often the women would wet themselves down with oil or water to make the fabric even clingier, like the Greek relief of Nike Adjusting Her Sandal.  A severe epidemic of influenza hit Paris in 1803 and gave rise to calling muslin “pneumonia cloth” since the epidemic was in part due to the wet bodies going out in cold weather.

Shorter garments were needed for the working classes.

V-necks were also known.  The round gown generally reached the feet and had a train, although there are many examples of a tunic style that reached the knees with another garment underneath.  Gradually the train was diminished.  The early round gowns were made with no waistline seam.  Throughout the time period a seam was inserted between bodice and skirt.  This gave a greater variation to the skirt silhouette.  The round gown generally had short sleeves that were set in.  The fashionable style was puffy sleeves. The bodice back was highly structured.

The woman on the left is wearing a round gown with a ¾ length tunic over it.  She also has a dickey in her neckline that is raised at the neck into a ruffle.  Her top hat is from the male wardrobe.  The woman on the right has a round gown with short sleeves.  She is wearing a fur shawl, gloves, and a bonnet in the Grecian style.

Since the round gowns were so light and airy, it was essential that heavier outer garments evolved.  The redingote was the warm outer coat, generally made of worsted wool.  Shawls were highly important and were imported from India.

The central figure is wearing an outdoor coat or redingote.  This particular garment has many versions, but basically it is the outdoor coat used by men and women.  Note that there is more attention to the hem line and embroidery or ruffles at the hem.  When so much attention is paid to one area of a garment, evolutionary changes will most likely make that area change.  In this case the hemline will gradually get fuller and fuller.

Often a betsy, a pleated starched collar worn around the neck, was worn. These could have one layer of fabric or many layers.  The woman in Figure 17  wears a white betsy with her brown velvet gown.  In Figure 16   the woman second from the left has a multilayered white betsy.

The central figure is wearing an outdoor coat or redingote.  This particular garment has many versions, but basically it is the outdoor coat used by men and women.  Note that there is more attention to the hem line and embroidery or ruffles at the hem.  When so much attention is paid to one area of a garment, evolutionary changes will most likely make that area change.  In this case the hemline will gradually get fuller and fuller.

Often a betsy, a pleated starched collar worn around the neck, was worn. These could have one layer of fabric or many layers.  The woman in Figure 17  wears a white betsy with her brown velvet gown.  In Figure 16   the woman second from the left has a multilayered white betsy.

The Empire period also played with different sleeves.  You will note short puffy sleeves (generally the favorite), but also slashed sleeves (Figure 17), long sleeves (Figure 15, virago sleeves (Figure 15 and 22), and double sleeves (Figure 25).

The early round gowns followed the example of the Directory, however, gradually corsets began to reappear.  They were lighter and shorter than the 18th century corsets adding support to only the bust.  These were called braces and could often be seen outside the garment.  (See Figure 18).   However, as the Empire progresses these corsets become longer and boning is added

Undergarments became important.  Chemises and petticoats reappeared towards 1809 and had a great deal of attention paid to their embroidery.

Braces were ribbons passed over the shoulders or crossed over the back.  These were reminiscent of the Greek  girdling. (See figure 18 and 20)  However, about 1811 elastic braces appeared.  These were actually knitted rather than having elastic fibers, but it enabled women to support their petticoats.

Many authors identify the use of pantaloons for women that were knitted and close fitting. These were strictly undergarments and women were embarrassed to have anyone see them.  In the next fashion era, the pantaloons will come out of hiding.

Undress – contradictory term really means modest dressing, like covering in the neckline with a dickey.

Textiles:

At the beginning of the Empire period, muslins were the fabric of choice, but gradually, especially with the rise of the textile industry, many other fabrics came into vogue.  Predominantly the fabrics were light in color and weight.   If the fabric was brocade it was a light brocade, etc

Accessories:

As the garments were rather simplified, accessories became very important.  A variety of shawls, especially the paisley shawls (see figure 27), became important.  First these were imported from the mid-east, but gradually the Manchester mills began to reproduce them.  Muffs were also an important accessory (See figure 26).  Bonnets, fans, and gloves were also popular accessory items.

Transition clothing

Between approximately 1812 and 1825 there was a gradually change in the woman’s costume.  The hem grew wider, the waistline slowly moved to a natural waistline, and the sleeves enlarged.  Figures 30-32 show some of these changes.

Men’s Clothing

Men’s fashion which had been so rich and varied before the Revolution now became less interesting.  This followed the mechanization of the Industrial Revolution.  Men became deeply involved with manufacturing, banking, and warfare.  With some exceptions, there was little interest in clothing.  Men still wore the basics:  frock coat, waistcoat, shirt, cravat, and pants/breeches.    The frockcoat had several variations based on the shape at the waist (cutaway) and the shape of the back tail (claw hammer tail).The waistcoat was the most changeable garment for men as they varied in collars, cut, lapels, material.  Often men would wear several on top of each other so you only saw a small edge of the one underneath.

Shirts were rare seen as jackets were always worn over them in fashionable groups.  However, the working man often just wore his shirt. Along with the shirt was the cravat which was a large square folded diagonally then rolled around the neck, tied only with a small knot.  Some men were very fastidious about how this cravat was formed and would take hours tying it, untying, repressing, and retying so that the folds were “perfect.”  Beau Brummel made cravat tying one of the main preoccupations of the Dandies.  Along with the many inventions and innovations of convenience was the col-cravate.  This was a prefabricated cravat that was already tied, mounted to a collar, and just needed to be buttoned to the shirt neckband.

Trousers or pantaloons were very tight and often worn with gaiters attached to the bottom to hold them to the ankles.  Some had a placket at the ankles with buttons.  These were often worn with hussar boots, the tall closely fitted boot with a high front and lower back.


Garrick is the coat or cape with 3 to 5 capes attached to it.  It is often called a greatcoat and is worn throughout the century.  It is identified with coachmen and carolers as the many capes would help keep off the snow.

Hair:

Sideburns were common at this time although not all men wore them.  Napoleons hair shows carefully casual locks and a clean shaven face.

The English dandies grouped around the Prince Regent, the future George IV and George Brummell, George IV’s close companion and advisor.  They gradually imposed the new style of men’s clothing which was studied correctness and impeccable fitting that only the English tailors could do well.  Brummell led English fashion from 1796 to 1816 when he fled the country due to debt. He initiated shoe polish, fresh linen daily, starched cravats, changed clothing 3 times a day.  The dandy at his day wore button waistcoats with pale colors, buckskin breeches and short boots, very tight, ankle buttoned trousers, and low, square beaver hats.

Fabrications:  worsted wool serge, cambric, challis, lace, patent lace which was machine lace but not widely used, cotton muslin of various weights, embroidered muslin and lawn, tissue silk, brocades, velvets.

Movies: War and Peace,

Napoleon and Josephine

Undergarments became important.  Chemises and petticoats reappeared towards 1809 and had a great deal of attention paid to their embroidery.

Braces were ribbons passed over the shoulders or crossed over the back.  These were reminiscent of the Greek  girdling. (See figure 18 and 20)  However, about 1811 elastic braces appeared.  These were actually knitted rather than having elastic fibers, but it enabled women to support their petticoats.

Directoire era

December 18, 2009

Directoire, 1795-1799
The Directoire represents the last 6 years of the 18th century, since after the
French Revolution a governmental structure called the Directory was set
up. It was short-lived and was overthrown by Napoleon. However, the
costume in this period gives rise to the costume of the Empire period.
French Revolution – 1789-1799
Reign of Terror – 1793-1794
Directory (1795-1799

Marat was later assassinated by Charlotte Corday in his
bathtub. The mob cap is sometimes referred to as the Charlotte Corday cap. Note the
front figure in the red hat. Red was an important color for the French Revolution and this
hat is reminiscent of the Phrygian bonnet used by the Greeks. It is seen in Figure 1 as
well.
There were many architectural excavations unearthing the ruins of Pompeii and
Herculaneum and the writing of J. Winckelmann (History of Ancient Art) became
popular, so the costume and furnishings took on a Neo-Classic look. The English had
embraced the classical look.
Some costume items directly related to the French Revolution were the color red, the
cockade (a small ribbon pinned to a hat or bodice), and the sans-culottes (long pants). An
effort to get ride of traditions, habits, language, manners, and customs for something new.
The extremists (Incroyables and Merveilleuses) took the changes seriously and
displayed them in fashion statements (a contradiction of the times).

Revolutionary Dress
The dress of the revolutionary groups was a short lived style, but it did identify them as
part of the resistance. Generally this was seen in the wearing of sans-culottes (without
breeches) which meant long pants, often a Phrygian bonnet, a cockade (ribbon of red,
white, and blue colors), a longer frock coat for men, and a round gown for women. See
Figure 5.

Women’s Costume
The most remarkable characteristic about the women’s costume was the drastic change,
as we saw in 1947 after World War II. People were looking for something different.
There was a sharp reaction to the terror of the revolution and emotional strain.
The English had paved the way with attention to the classics, and the directoire and the
French took that movement a bit further. Greek dress, architecture, and philosophy were
highly acceptable, perhaps because it was so radically different from the artificial,
restricting fashions of the despised court.
Therefore, the tubular dress, or round gown, appeared. It was made of simple muslin, fell
straight to the ground with short sleeves and girdled under the breasts. That is in its
simple form. You can imagine what alterations were made as time passed.

Painting showing a round gown
made of very sheer muslin. Note the lovely draping of the sleeves and across the bodice.
The lowness of the bodice was typical at this period. Her shawl is draped on the nearby
table.

Another painting. Note the detail of the round
gown, especially the tightness across the back and then the very detailed draping from the
raised waist. The sleeve, too, has much detail in its simplicity. Hairdos at this time were
rather simple and natural.

A series of illustrations of
women from the Directoire period. The bonnet is becoming more and more important
and often feathers are put into it. The round gown is sometimes layered with a tunic and
you see in several of these illustrations. The color is predominately white, but may have
some pastels. Often the shawls are a dark contrast.

The round gown with a reticule or purse as an
accessory. Shoes were flat. Embroidery at the edge of the gown started at the end of the
Directoire period and is very important in the next costume period.

Illustration of a Merveilleuse in Directoire style. This
illustration gives a very typical feeling of the Directoire style for women. Her hair is in
the a la Titus style.

A man in a frock coat (that is not large enough
to close in the front, a waistcoat, and striped breeches with a ribbon at the knee. Note the
cockade in this bicorn hat.

Portrait of a man and woman.
The dark costume of the man makes it difficult to see his frock coat, but the outline of his
waistcoat at the neck, his shirt, and minimal cravat are in evidence. Note the shiny hose
and natural hairstyle. Wigs are gone.

Men’s Costume
The men continued wearing a frock coat, waistcoat, shirt, and breeches. However, the
breeches became longer in this period

Fabrications
The materials used are highly important in identifying the directoire period. Most of the
elegant silk damasks, brocades, and embroidered fabrics gave way to plain cotton muslin.
You might recall the stone relief of “Niki Adjusting Her Sandal” in the Greek lecture.
The fashion people tried to emulate that look by wetting down their muslin, by wearing
pink undergarments or no undergarments, by going into public places nearly nude. This,
of course, was not the entire female population, but the extremists. What had happened is
that the conventions of modesty had relaxed, so more of the woman’s body was apparent.
Muslin was also called the pneumonia disease as when the women wet themselves and
went into the cold, they often developed pneumonia.

The
yellow hat is called a bonnet. You will see more of them in the Empire period.

Preface to the Middle Ages
(Western Europe through the 11th century)
In the area we know as Europe, the time period between the fall of Rome and about the
10th century is generally known as the Dark Ages, because in comparison to the many
literate civilizations, little is known about this array of people. Some strong leaders have
emerged in history such as Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, legends about King
Arthur are abundant, and religion changes to the worship of a single God.
See http://www.sbuniv.edu/~hgallatin/hi13le20.html#TOC
Prior to the Dark Ages, from about 100 BCE to about 300 ACE, the Romans ruled
throughout what we now know as Europe and Briton. The indigent people of that region
lived in a very basic condition, even though the Romans came in and built luxurious
Roman towns with baths, markets, villas, etc. There was much resentment towards the
Romans and Roman ideas. Once the Romans left there was little trace of their culture
that remained.

The Romans lived apart from the conquered people and the cultures did not intermix. So
while the Gallic people knew of baths, villas, togas, military discipline, etc., once the
Romans left the area, these ideas were rejected. The villas and baths were left to be
covered by the elements or go to ruin. Link BATH, England.
For further information on the “Tribal Migration” and fall of Rome, see Gerhard
Rempel’s lecture at
http://www.mars.acnet.wnec.edu/~grempel/courses/wc1/lectures/15tribes.html

When fathers died in Frankland, the forerunner of modern France and Germany, it was
not necessarily the first son who inherited. Therefore, when Pipin died in 768 A.D., the
Frankish Empire was divided between Charlemagne and his younger brother. There was
bitter rivalry, but when the younger brother died, Charlemagne turned into a warrior king
uniting Frankland with its rebellious nobility, and extending its territories. He also
became a Christian and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. He died in 814.

Charlemagne had vast “vills” which were estates that supplied his court and his army.
The vills also served as way stations on his almost continuous tours of the realm. Indeed,
at that time it was easier for the court to go where the food was than to bring food to the
court.

The Dark Ages were the times of the Feudal System. In this system there were
basically three classes of people: serfs (peasants, villein) at the bottom of the hierarchy,
the clergy, and the nobility consisting of knights, lords, kings. Obviously there were
many more serfs than nobility. Each serf had to have a lord and became a ‘lord’s man.’
Even though they were technically free, they did vow obedience to the lord to serve him
and to perhaps bear arms for him. A man could be dissolved from his oath of fealty if the
lord tried to kill him, or make him a slave, or stole his property, or seduced his wife. But
then the man had to find another lord.
The serf’s life was a dismal one from our point of view. They were up at dawn and
worked until dusk. They tended the livestock, chopped wood, butchered animals for the
winter, tilled and soil, harvested grain for bread and beer (it was safer than milk or
water), wove their own cloth for clothing, etc. It was rare that a commoner traveled more
than five miles from their place of birth. Roads were difficult and unsafe and there was
no reason to travel as they provided all of their own necessities and most of their families
lived around them. They might have gone to a market several times in their lives, but
large towns were not common until after the Crusades.
People lived in one room huts or houses. These were generally built of wood or stone if
one was nobility, but any two story castle was reserved for the elite of the society. Even
in the castles, the lord would sleep with many of his knights and the lady would sleep
with her women. There was little privacy for individuals. The floors were strewn with
straw as the animals often lived inside. Depending on what people cold afford, the straw
was taken out and renewed annually. Of course, the nobility might do it more often.

Unlike the Romans who bathed daily, the people of the Dark Ages bathed once a year, if
that. It was cold and water was something to be feared as it carried diseases.
The Iron Age is a different chronological year for various civilizations. In Northern
Europe it was about 250 B.C. to 45 A.D. That means during this time period people
learned to forge iron for weaponry. Later they learned to forge links of chain to produce
a protective garment called chain mail.
The costume of the Dark Ages varied from culture to culture (Danish, Vikings, Franks,
Saxons, Britons, etc.). For example, the Britons dyed or tattooed their skin with blue
woad to alarm their enemies and fight off the devil. They wore animal hides, fur that was
fitted to their bodies. Their sandal-moccasin shoes were good quality and sophisticated.
The different tribes were constantly warring with each other, the men were ready for
battle and their garments were functional. Besides the animal skins, they did weave their
own fabrics out of wool and hemp. Generally these were woven in a plain or twill
weave. Some were woven with brightly colored checks. They knew of cotton and silk
through the Romans, but these fibers were not very practical for the harsh life. While the
animal skins might be fitted, the woven fabrics were not as the fraying was difficult to
control and some of the fabric would be wasted; animals were more plentiful. In general,
the women wore kirtles (skirts) with shawls; the men wore braies, breeches or leg
coverings. There were many variations on the breeches. A fabric hose (chausses) which
was a sock-like boot to the calf was often drawn up over the breeches. Other forms of
breeches were tied under the foot or at the ankle. Loose breeches were bound around the
leg with cross-gartered bands. In some cases there is no evidence that these breeches
extended to the waist, but were held up by the cross-gartering. The tunic worn on the top
of the body generally covered the top of the breeches.

The costumes were simple and lacked the elaborate decoration of the Byzantines. The
jewelry was more specific as were their hair styles. These often identified one culture
from another.

Women’s costume for many centuries was based on layers of tunics, a garment similar to
the dalmatica, some fuller than others, or the kirtle and mantle, or cape. There was not
much variation for women’s garments until after the Crusades and the influence of the
Byzantine world. In Figure 9 you should note the back lacing or pointing used to give the
garment more shape. It is rare to see the back of a garment and this is a reproduction of a
garment from the end of the Dark Ages.
A good film for costuming is a 1960’s vintage foreign film, Seventh Seal, Ingmar
Bergman, director.

Early Middle Ages: 10th to 13th Centuries
The dates of the 10th through 13th centuries (900 to 1300 A.C.E) represent a period of
enormous change for European society. By this time Christianity was the main religion
of almost all of the cultures and there existed a religious fervor. The Crusades, a holy
war to gain control of the holy land, was launched at various intervals during this period.
Although most historians agree there were eight Crusades, there were also some very
small ones such as the Children’s Crusade. The Crusades were the uniting element of the
European nations.

The first Crusade was in 1096 AD and while professing to be of religious concerns,
provided a venue for governments to gain political power, the mercenaries to gain
adventure, and the people to have direct communication with other nations. The
Crusaders often brought back fabrics, perfumes, cosmetics, dyes, spices, and other items
that were not readily available in England, France, Germany, and other parts of Europe.
They also brought back cultural ideas, such as roles of women, and technological
developments. These Crusaders must have been in culture shock with the new sights,
new sounds (lute), tastes (rhubarb, sugarcane), textures, colors, perfumes, spices
(cinnamon, ginger), abundance of carpets and cushions, bathing habits. In fact it was
ideas from the Crusades that brought public baths into European cities. Of course, the
Church was outraged at all of this which is why it took so long for many of these ideas to
be put into practice.
Along with the Crusades came the idea of Chivalry, this is an ethical code of behavior of
knights and their ladies. For the Code of Chivalry and the Rules of Courtly Love see:
http://www.astro.umd.edu/~marshall/chivalry.html

These codes were the ideal, but difficult to keep in focus when poverty, plague, wars, and
famine were the daily zeitgeist of most of the commoners. Faith kept the people going at
this time and the promise of a heaven afterlife was full of hope. The Crusades were made
romantic but you need to realize that there were no pain killers, the battle fields were
blood baths, and most people died of some kind of maiming.

Note the use of chain mail, the gray/silver
garment in the center figure. Chain mail was links of forged metal fashioned into a long
tunic. It aided in the protection of the wearer from arrows, swords, and spears. Often it
covered the head, arms, legs, and some knights had chain mail coats for their horses. The
horses, bestriders, were an important part of a knight’s equipment. These large horses
were often trained to bite, kick, and attack in the battle.
The Early Middle Ages laid the foundations for the Gothic style of architecture which
had spires that seemed to reach up to the heavens.

The term “lord” comes from “loaf keeper;” the term “lady” comes from “Loaf kneader.”
In the economic and political arena, the serfs began to break away from the feudal system
and gathered in towns forming many different occupational guilds, such as the spinners’
guild, weaving guilds, etc. These guilds had their own form of heraldry, symbols
indicating their profession and eventually became quite powerful in economical changes.
The nobility used heraldry to proclaim their family heritage. See Figures 5-7 for
examples of heraldic symbols.

Some of the horsemen are wearing chain mail; they all have on tunics as well
as leg coverings called hose. You might want to link to the following web site to see
more of the tapestry pieces. Tapestry was an important form of art at that time. This one
is embroidered, but many were woven as pile-less rugs and hung on the walls of the
drafty castles.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayeau_tapestry

They are all
wearing girdled (belted) tunics, some with an overskirt. Note the leg coverings. You
will often see these leg coverings (hose) appearing very smooth on the leg, but in reality
they were cut on the bias (knitting machines were not invented yet) and were probably
stretched out and falling down as you see here. The small white hat the man on the right
wears is called a coif; the man on the left has his cape wound around his head, probably
to catch the sweat.
While this period starts with composite garments (part draped and part cut and sewn), it
slowly evolves to more and more cutting and sewing. In general, the clothing of this
period begins to focus on the shape of the body rather than trying to conceal it. (By the
late 16th century the body will become quite a unique shape.) In the early Middle Ages
the shapely focus begins with the women, but by the 14th century it is the men who have
the fashion spotlight. France dictates most of the fashions.
Women’s Costume
The chemise or tunic was the basic undergarment of women. Generally it was not
decorated and not full. Similar to the dalmatica, there was little shape to this garment that
was based on a rectangle with a hole cut for the head and long straight sleeves added to
the armholes. These sleeves might be tapered at the wrist. Over the chemise, the women
wore loosely fitted cotes, which resembled the chemise in shape, but might be more
decorated. They often put a girdle or belt around the waist to give some shape.

Throughout the early middle ages, the female costume evolved into greater control or
more fitting. The bliaut (or bliaud) was developed which was often two pieces of fabric
sewn together at the hipline and generally worn by the upper classes. This took more
technological skill. (The difference between the cote and the bliaut is somewhat like the
theoretical difference between the Doric and Ionic chiton. The bliaut was generally of
finer fabric, was fuller, and more luxurious.) The bliaut was often worn with a corsage, a
very wide waistband holding in the fabric and giving shape to the body. This corsage
sometimes resembled a tight fitting vest reaching down to the upper hip.

At one point in time it became fashionable to extend the sleeve hems to an exaggerated
proportion. These sleeves became so long that they dragged the ground and were often
tied up into knots. Sometimes the length of the sleeve and the length of the train (back
hem of the dress) were dictated by sumptuary laws: the higher your station in society the
longer your sleeves or train.

The woman in
the very full yellow bliaud (with her hand being kissed by a bishop) has very long
sleeves; you can see the edges of a white chemise under it. The female in red appears to
have a more fitted bliaud. Both young ladies are showing braided hair (loose or braided
hair is the sign of an unmarried female), one with a long white wimple (or veil) over her
head. The female in black on the left hand side has her hair covered by a black wimple.
We assume she is a married or widowed female.

The chainse had elements of control in the form of points. Points are like today’s
lacings: long cords with metal tips or points on them. The chainse was cut to a curved
shape with small holes in the center back opening or side openings so that the points
could be threaded through and tightened to give shape to the body. In addition, the chaise
was often pleated, as the Egyptians pleated their garments: the garment was gathered at
the neck and shoulders, soaked in water, wrung out lengthwise, twisted tightly, binded at
the waist, and left to dry. The untwisted garment gave a pleated or crinkled effect.

Tippets were often used to decorate this garment. These were band around the biceps.
(See Figure 18) The bands had a long piece of fabric dangling from it. The importance is
in the focus on additional decoration and increased control of the fabric. The society is
becoming more skilled in cutting and sewing the woven fabric.

For warmth both women and men wore a mantle or cape. These were often called cloaks,
but unlike our cloaks they did not have sleeves, so the likeness to a cape is much more
fitting. If the mantle was fur lined it was called a pelice, pelisse, or pelicon. The pelisse
was fastened at one shoulder or at the center front by a fermail, a brooch.
Head Covering for Women
The women wore their hair long and often braided. In the beginning of this time period,
hair was covered by a long veil or exposed. However, gradually, all female hair was
covered as well as the ears. On explanation is that the culture believed Christ was
conceived through the ear and so women must cover their ears. They also believed that
hair was erotic and wanted to cover that as well. So the women developed all kinds of
bizarre head coverings.

The wimple is the oldest and most common. It was simply a piece of cloth covering the
top of the head. Sometimes it was sheer, sometimes long, sometimes small, but it always
seems to hang down to at least the shoulders. In addition, the women might also wear a
gorget, which covered the woman’s throat extending from ear to ear and filling in her
throat and neckline. A smaller version of this was the barbette, which was a chin strap
going from her ear or a hat around the chin to the other ear or hat hem. These head
pieces are generally white and made from linen or wool. Some of the young women
continued to wear the fillet, but would put on the wimple or cover their hair once they
were married. The fillet was often used to hold the wimple in place.

Men’s Costume
Active men such as workers, warriors or knights, all wore a kind of loose fitting tunic
with leg coverings or hose. These enabled them to be active while keeping them warm.
In addition, they would often wear a capelet which was a short cape pulled over the head
with a hood attached. Think of the classical images of Robin Hood. The tip of the hood
was often extended to exaggerated proportions and was called a liripipe.

An almonder was a pouch in which money or alms were kept. It generally hung from
the belt at the waist. See the center swordsman in Figure 26. It is the forerunner of the
purse.

The inactive men wore the same cote as did the women, sometimes girdled, and generally
a mantle for warmth. The more active men would wear shorter tunics. They all wore
simple leather shoes.

The warriors wore chain mail for protection. This chain mail was links of metal that
could cover any part of the body. Therefore, they were fashioned into tunics, into
caplets, into leg coverings, and even shaped to protect their battle horses. Keep in mind
that chain mail was very heavy and expensive, so not many wore all the pieces at once.
But because it was metal and subject to transferring cold or heat to the body, often a
fabric covering called a hauberk or jerkin.

Movies:
Good films to see for the costuming of this period are Lion in Winter and the Kevin
Costner version of Robin Hood.

Early Victorian era

December 17, 2009

1850-1870
Early Victorian
Crinoline Period
Second Empire Costume

The Victorian period is so named for Queen Victoria who ruled the British Empire from 1837 to 1901. A very long reign. See http://www.pbs.org/empires/victoria for more information on her life and the British Empire. She was married to Prince Albert and had eleven children. Prince Albert dies in 1861 and Victoria goes into mourning for the rest of her life. The dark colors of the mourning dress set the maroon and dark hues we associate with the later Victorian periods.

It is a period associated with strict moral and social codes of behavior and dress, yet filled
with wealthy men having mistresses openly. The image that society saw was
tremendously important.

In France the Second Empire was under the rule (1852-1870) of Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie. Both of these couples (Victoria and Albert and Napoleon and Eugenie) were important inspirations for the fashion trends. http://www.En.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_French_Empire Napoleon III was as ambitious as his uncle. Like Louis XIV and Napoleon I, he used the textile industry to further the French economy. Charles Frederick Worth (considered the first couturier) came to Napoleon and Eugenie with his designs. Worth had many connections in the textile industry and convinced Napoleon that he would use those connections in his designs. Needless to say, when Eugenie wore a Worth gown the rest of the society fell in as well.

In the U.S. the most dominant event was the Civil War which starts in 1661 and ends in
1865. It took its toll on the resources of the country. http://www.historyplace.com/civilwar

Technology is bursting: electricity, photography, steam power, telegraph, telephone,
aniline dyes, and sewing machines. The technological changes between 1850 and 1900
are astounding. The rapid pace of these changes parallels the rapid changes in fashion.

Women’s Clothing
The Early Victorian, Crinoline, or Second Empire costume is what you should envision.
Think of the movie Gone with the Wind. It is a narrow shoulder look, small waist, and
extremely large hem sweep with a supporting hoop or crinoline underneath the dress.

In the Romantic period the sleeves were full at the biceps, that fullness moved down the
arm and opened into a funnel like shape called pagoda sleeves. In Figure 4 note the
striped trim on the bicep portion of the sleeve and the striped trim on the open funnel
portion of the sleeve. This sleeve is often worn with a full sleeve (gathered at the wrist)
under it.

The circular hoop or cage was an intricate device. Some folded up, some tilted, there
were cords attached so one could pull adjust easily. The Thompson cage was one that
was not circular but extended in the back. It put more attention to the back of the
garment and gradually leads to the bustle.

Hairstyles
The hairstyles changed from the Apollo knot to more sever styles, parted in the middle
and often pulled back into a bun. However, softness was added by having long curls
(Shirley Temple style) hanging from the sides of the head.

Bloomer Costume
In the midst of the exaggerated hem sweeps of the skirts, tightly corseted waists, and tight
bodices came a call for dress reform. Over the past two centuries there was an outcry of
justice for the working classes and now, it seems, it was the start of an outcry for
woman’s rights. There were several magazines for women and one such magazine, Lily,
featured a costume that would be practical for women and still stylish. It was called the
Bloomer Costume (Figure 21) due to the woman, Amelia Bloomer, who was the editor
and occasionally wore the costume. The costume was NOT universally worn, however.
Later on, it would be used as a bathing costume.

Men’s Wear
The clothing for men did not change very much during the last 50 years of the 19th
century. The curved waistline of the Romantic period straightened out into a boxy look
and the men generally wore longer jackets that were even in the front and back. They
looked more like today’s suits.

Often the jacket and pants did not match. When they did match as in figure 25 they were
called ditto suits.
Hats worn were top hats, Figure 24, or bowlers, Figures 25. Canes were still important
male accessories.

While facial hair was very common, men were clean shaven, had moustaches, beards,
and a natural looking hairstyle. In Figure 26 you can see a white shirt, white brocaded
waistcoat, and purple jacket. The collar stands up with the help of a black tie.

Children
The children wore similar clothing to the adults, but with much more freedom than they
had in the 16th and 17th centuries. The skirts and knickers were short for the children and
got longer as they got older. Figure 27 shows a young girl with a shorter skirt than her
mother but still with the tiny waist and full hem.

Movies: Gone with the Wind
Little Women
The Piano
Great Expectations

Discussion:

During the Early Victorian period, technology boomed more than ever. Technological advances in electricity, photography to capture the moments (also use of documentation and primary source), Steam power, telegraphs and telephones as a means of communication, and last but definitely not the least is the sewing machines. Before the sewing machine was invented, most of the sewing was done by hand. During the Civil war, the use of a sewing machine was demonstrated and soon became the epitome of the RTW business. Without the sewing machine, it would have been impossible for designers to produce large quantities of clothing for the American growing population. Not only did the sewing machine save time and effort, it made certain garments popular because it was already made. The invention of the sewing machine made it easy for the work of an individual designer to make a certain type of garment. An example of the use of technical advances came the Crinoline cage. Crinoline is a stiff like type of fabric used mostly in petticoats for women’s skirts. The cage was made so that the women’s skirts would stay in place and hold out. Still during this period, corsets were still in, but the Crinoline cages were considered undergarments as well and was used for the shaping of the full skirt. This made it easy for women to move more freely under their garments.

Technology today is still an important aspect in fashion. Sewing machines are more advanced and used widely in garment factories. But what happens when you mix a unique designer and the use of technology within a garment? Designer Hussein Chalayan fused both fashion and technology into one during a spring/summer collection in 2007. He took bits and pieces of garments from different eras and decades and “cross pollinated” certain garments together. He looked at what elements he could use from one era and somehow incorporated it into another era to make the garment piece look unique. Hussein definitely showed a futuristic type feel and encapsulated evolution within the garments he presented. Here in the picture, Hussein turned a simple dress into a Victorian dress making it look like she has a crinoline-like cage underneath.Technology is definitely still advancing today, and garments are getting more and more complex as time progresses. As much as we say history repeats itself, fashion is taking a different tone with designers and their unique ideas with combining fashion from the past and making it their own with a more modern day twist for the future.

During the Early Victorian period, technology boomed more than ever. Technological advances in electricity, photography to capture the moments (also use of documentation and primary source), Steam power, telegraphs and telephones as a means of communication, and last but definitely not the least is the sewing machines. Before the sewing machine was invented, most of the sewing was done by hand. During the Civil war, the use of a sewing machine was demonstrated and soon became the epitome of the RTW business. Without the sewing machine, it would have been impossible for designers to produce large quantities of clothing for the American growing population. Not only did the sewing machine save time and effort, it made certain garments popular because it was already made. The invention of the sewing machine made it easy for the work of an individual designer to make a certain type of garment. An example of the use of technical advances came the Crinoline cage. Crinoline is a stiff like type of fabric used mostly in petticoats for women’s skirts. The cage was made so that the women’s skirts would stay in place and hold out. Still during this period, corsets were still in, but the Crinoline cages were considered undergarments as well and was used for the shaping of the full skirt. This made it easy for women to move more freely under their garments.


Technology today is still an important aspect in fashion. Sewing machines are more advanced and used widely in garment factories. But what happens when you mix a unique designer and the use of technology within a garment? Designer Hussein Chalayan fused both fashion and technology into one during a spring/summer collection in 2007. He took bits and pieces of garments from different eras and decades and “cross pollinated” certain garments together. He looked at what elements he could use from one era and somehow incorporated it into another era to make the garment piece look unique. Hussein definitely showed a futuristic type feel and encapsulated evolution within the garments he presented. Here in the picture, Hussein turned a simple dress into a Victorian dress making it look like she has a crinoline-like cage underneath.Technology is definitely still advancing today, and garments are getting more and more complex as time progresses. As much as we say history repeats itself, fashion is taking a different tone with designers and their unique ideas with combining fashion from the past and making it their own with a more modern day twist for the future.

Romantic period 1820-1845

December 12, 2009

Romantic Period or Restoration: c. 1820-1845
This period is called the Romantic period because such writers as Keats, Shelley (his wife wrote Frankenstein), Byron, Austen, and composers such as Brahms and Tchaikovsky wrote and composed based on emotion and adventure and exhibited artistic freedom. . It was also the restoration of the short lived monarchy (1814-1830) in France. This is a continuing period of progress in industrialization and trade with the further development of the railways and fast transportation. The appearance of cheap press, modern advertising, and fashion magazines all produced major changes in the economy, social life, and in fashion.

Fashion Plate published in a ladies magazine. New advances in the textile industry enabled more people to buy fabric at affordable costs. The cotton industry, woolen industry, textile printing, and weaving were all impacted by technological improvements. The manufacturing of clothing was changing as well. Although the majority of garments were made-to-order, there were emerging signs that the mass production of clothing was on its way. Tailors, for example, no longer received their materials from their customers but bought their own. Many tailors pre-cut and sewed part of the pants for sailors who did not have sufficient on shore time to make an entire garment from scratch.

The role of the woman changed again in this period. During the Empire many women took on public roles, but they suddenly went back to the house and became more involved with the household matters. They had time to indulge in making themselves into butterflies with ribbons, trims, laces, and corsets. The corset emerged again developing into the wasp waist (remember Crete?). Some men wore corsets under their shirts as well. (The number of patents for corsets in 1828 was 2. That number increased to 64 by 1848.) The ideal body shape was the hourglass figure.
While the fashions of the time were extremely feminine, romantic, and ephemeral, there were those who had the freedom and self-security to do the opposite. One such person was George Sand, a female author, who took on a man’s name and wore trousers in an effort to strike a blow at feminism and, it is imagines, for publicity. Her actions and the actions of a few others were the beginning of the woman’s rights movements which came about in more force at the beginning of the 20th century.

Department stores developed. Prior people bought their goods from specialists such as the meat vendor, the fabric vendor, the cobbler, etc. While the development of the department store does not radically change consumption at this time, it will eventually.

Women’s apparel
The evolution of women’s costume from Empire to Romantic is a good example of a slow evolution. Those costumes between 1815 and 1825 will be called “transition costumes”. There are three areas to take note of: the shoulders, the waist, and the hem.

The woman’s dress in Figure 8 is called the Restoration Costume and it consists of a bodice with a boat line neckline that ended off the shoulder; large puffy sleeves, a tiny waist that was just a bit higher than the natural waistline, and a very full skirt that was short enough to display tiny feet. The garment is made from light weight and generally pastel colored fabrics and prints and is embellished with ribbons and bows. As women changed their attire often so it would be suitable for their activities, the dresses were called “morning dress,” “tea dress”, “walking dress,” etc. The pelisse is a coat dress and is made to keep the wearer warm, but looks like a dress.

Both the wide shoulders and the wide hem emphasized the smallness of the waist. Necklines were further emphasized by pelerines and other neckline devices. Sleeves are of paramount importance in this period. Generally they are called gigot sleeves, but had all kinds of other names: Marie, Imbecile, elephant ears, and many other names. They were quite often double layered with a sheer sleeve over the solid one, they could be gathered, they could be full at the top and narrow at the bottom, they could be gathered like virago sleeves, they could be cut to the wrist, the elbow, or shorter. Tortora and Eubanks have some excellent illustrations. A bridal dress from the period. Sleeves are full on top and narrow at the wrist. Note that the sleeve does not start at the shoulder but is dropped and starts a few inches down the arm. This is an important characteristic because in the Late Victorian period this large sleeve will be seen again and will start at the shoulder/arm juncture. They did not have zippers but relied quite heavily on cords and ties.

Hairstyles
The hairstyle, Apollo Knot, is a strong characteristic in identifying the Romantic period. It was composed of piling the hair on top of the head in a large knot or bow-like form and adding ribbons. Apollo knots were often worn with hats. The use of lace in the hats was typical. Figure 16. Portrait of a woman in a bonnet or hat. Again note the lowered shoulder/arm seam. The dropped or lowered shoulder/arm seam made it difficult to raise one’s arm, especially if it were fitted a tight as this one is. Therefore it would be difficult for these women to do many kinds of physical work. Ladies in afternoon dresses from cotton prints, and wearing bibi bonnets. These had a front rim that helped protect their faces from the sun.

Textiles
The textile industry was booming during the Romantic period so many kinds of textiles could be produced. The fashionable textiles were the light weight ones: silk taffetas, cotton voiles, cotton calicoes, cotton batistes, wool challis. While solid colors were used generally in pastels, small prints were popular as well as plaids.

Undergarments
Corsets were worn as well as undergarments that gave shape to the structure of the sleeves and the dresses.

Men’s Costume

The men’s costume silhouette did not change much throughout the 19th century. They continued to wear the frock coat and it did take on some variations. They continued with the waistcoat or vest, the shirt, the cravat and the breeches or trousers. A tight fit was fashionable as well as a small waist. Man in blue frock coat, yellow waistcoat, red cravat, white breeches and a top hat. Note that the breeches have a strap or stirrup that attached to the hem of the leg went under the foot instep and to the other side of the hem. This kept the pant leg smooth and tight. The “stirrup” pant was revived in the 1960s and used for woman’s pants. This would be the extreme of fashion of the day, not generally worn by all men. The common man wearing a frock coat, waistcoat, breeches. The top hats are a bit shorter. The intricate patterning and fitting of the frock coat is evident from the center figure. Boots and shoes were worn. Canes were a popular accessory.

Movies: Jane Eyre
Impromtu (Chopin)

Not only was this period called the Romantic period because of writers, composers, and  art, this period was also romantic because of their clothing. Corsets were still popular during this period, the hour glass shape was ideal for women and men encouraged it. Shoulders were also exaggerated along with the tiny waist. The Apollo Knot was a strong characteristic for this was when women would gather their hair at the top of their head in a large knot or bow-like form and add ribbons. The tying of the hair gives a sense of romantic feel for the neck and back may be more visible. Due to more advanced technology, fabrics became more refine. Silk taffetas, cotton calicoes and lace as lightweight fabrics were used. Lace was more used on items such as the bibi bonnets to give a more feminine look. The bonnet was an item I thought was unique because it added to a woman’s feminine look. Colors such as pastels were used to give a more soft touch to the womanly bodice. As for the men’s costume, the frock coats still existed and continued to wear tight fitting clothes with small waists and a cane as an accessory.

Reoccuring garments

December 4, 2009

In the Empire period, A betsy is a pleated starched collar worn around the neck just like in the 16th century during the Elizabethan Age. The older version of the betsy was also worn around the neck and was also starched and pressed to make the ruffle around the neck. This garment was called the cartwheel ruff. During this time, the corset was also a reoccurring garment that appeared in the empire period. The corset was to form fit the women around the bodice so that a dress may be worn with a skinny waist and a wide skirt. The corset still exists as of today, but with a modern twist to fit today’s styles. The long headdress veil was adapted from the Greeks and worn over women’s short hair. And braces, also known as ribbons were reminiscent of the greek girdle to support their petticoats.

As much as we say history repeats itself, clothing also repeats itself but with a more refined look. Reoccurring garments and accessories keep repeating because the consumer is willing to buy this garment. In order to keep the garments new, and fresh, designers revise it to put a different style or feel so that the consumer can keep coming back for more.

In today’s society, clothing is reminiscent of dress from history. For example:

Men in today’s society do not wear togas, but a circle scarf in modern day times represent some kind of resemblance to the clavi that is usually sewn on a tunic or toga and would represent the rank that person is in society. Through it is unsure if the picture of a roman man is accurate, I think the thickness or thinness of the clavi is similar to the circle scarf just by itself and not attached to the tunic or toga. The reason why the circle scarf is probably popular today is because instead of a regular straight scarf wrapping around the neck a dozen times, it is easier and more convenient to wrap the circle scarf around the neck. These circle scarves are sold in RTW stores like Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, and Forever 21.


Footwear of the Romans were these sandals. Though the Romans sometimes did not wear sandalis or solea at all. Places like urban outfitters sell the modern day roman sandals but with a modern day twist. Mostly all are made of leather and display many straps and different lengths reaching as high as the knee. The reason why sandals are probably popular today is because during the spring and warm weather, these sandals gave a different type of style to the RTW business.

Along with the Roman sandals, the women of Rome wore Stolas. This type of dress can be seen worn on the red carpet or at any RTW place selling elegant dresses. This type of garment is repeated probably because of the smooth rhythm of the drapery and the asymmetrical balance of the one shoulder toga. The white color of the garment represents the importance of rank during the Roman period, but as of today, there is no symbolic means of ranking, just the elegant feel of the garment.

The importance of the Industrial Revolution is strongly felt in the economy and lifestyles of all people in the early 19th century. Since the fashion focus was on France at this time it is natural to consider France an economic power as well. Actually, England, with its global outreach, extensive trade, and monetary reserves became the most powerful economic center in the world. There was regular trade with Canada, America, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the Cape and the Indies, Far East, Australia. There were many improved trade routes. European textile materials and colorants were the first commodities to benefit from this extensive trade: cotton from America, wools from Ireland, silks from China, dyes from India, etc. Figure 1. Map of Europe 1805 The revival of the textile industry and improved quality of materials woven had a noticeable effect on costume. White or plain cotton which was of such a good quality it did not need to be printed. However, by 1805 both sexes wore sumptuous fabrics such as velvets, heavy satins, and taffetas. Napoleon liked these rich fabrics for ceremonial occasions. See Figure 2, a painting by Jacques-Louis David, The Coronation of Josephine. It illustrates the rich fabrics used for court functions, but were not worn as everyday dress. . Figure 2. Coronation of Napoleon, David. …… ……………. Figure 3. Josephine Figure 4. Napoleon I by David Napoleon did for the textile industry what Louis XIV had done. He developed it through stimulation of the fashion industry. The sumptuous court activities and costumes, the triumphal ceremonies of the Imperial armies, the embellishment of architecture and costume all contributed to an extravagant way of court life and provided greedy customers for the textile industry. Napoleon made himself the Roi Soleil. He dictated that women could not wear the same garment to court twice. Josephine, his first wife, was very interested in fashion and had her own designer, Leroy. During the War of 1812 the French trading came to a virtual halt for a time and there was a suspension on court pompous activities. At that period there was an unemployment crisis in the textile industry. Once the extreme political and social events became to become more conservative with the rise of Napoleon and the change of the French rule of the Directory into an Empire, the clothing was modified. Again the French court made important especially with the Bonaparte family in the thrones of allied countries through marriages. The aristocracy was highly fashion conscious, but not the people in the country districts which favored an assortment of national costumes. The upper classes were surprisingly homogeneous between nations. Fathers held the control of both the morals of a family and the money even though mistresses continued. Young ladies were highly chaperoned, educated at home with their mother and governess, taught the fine arts of embroidery and other needle crafts. The quality and subtly of the embroidery showed one’s breeding. Young men were formally educated. Popular portrait artists of the time were David, Reynolds, Gainsborough, and Romney. Women’s clothing: The Empire repeated the silhouette of the Directory in women’s clothing, however, the fabrics became stiffer and more elaborate. Generally the women were depicted as having a tall, slender, willowy silhouette. The fabric used was light, supple, and often clung to the wearer. The round gown or chemise was a very high-waisted sheath, generally with a square, low-cut neckline covering the shoulders and girdled below the bust with a narrow belt. We often refer to this style as Empire and the highwaisted element in it was revived in the early 20th century as well as in the 1950s. The round gowns or chemises could be transparent garments with tiny slips underneath and long trains. Often the women would wet themselves down with oil or water to make the fabric even clingier, like the Greek relief of Nike Adjusting Her Sandal. A severe epidemic of influenza hit Paris in 1803 and gave rise to calling muslin “pneumonia cloth” since the epidemic was in part due to the wet bodies going out in cold weather. Figure 5. The headdress in this illustration has been adapted from the Greeks. Short hair was popular, the high waist in this muslin round gown is emphasized by the colored edging. Edging also emphasizes the drape of the fabric. Small starched ruffle has been placed around the neckline edge. Figure 6. Modest round gown worn with a shawl and bonnet. Figure 7. Primary source round gown in muslin with embroidery at the hem and short puffy sleeves. A shawl serves as an accessory. Tiny shoes peek out under the hem. Figure 8. Portrait of Madame Raymond de Verninac, J-L David. 1800. The “Grecian look” gave its inspiration first to the Directory and then continued to the Empire. The clingy and transparent nature of the fabrication used at this time was at its extreme between 1803-07. See figure 35. Figure 9. Madame Recamier, by J-L. David, 1800. If you look closely at the woman’s dress you will see that the back of the bodice has many seams and is raised slightly. This round gown has a long train that was popular at the beginning of the century. Gradually it diminishes. Figure 10. Comical illustration of English middle class in the Empire period. Shorter garments were needed for the working classes. V-necks were also known. The round gown generally reached the feet and had a train, although there are many examples of a tunic style that reached the knees with another garment underneath. Gradually the train was diminished. The early round gowns were made with no waistline seam. Throughout the time period a seam was inserted between bodice and skirt. This gave a greater variation to the skirt silhouette. The round gown generally had short sleeves that were set in. The fashionable style was puffy sleeves. The bodice back was highly structured. Figure 11. Illustration of young people playing kissing games. The fabric appears to be very clingy in this illustration. Figure 12. Wedding dress Figure 13. Two summer walking round gowns with bonnets and a shawl. Figure 14. A fancy court garment with a train, shawl, brocaded material, a feather in the hair, and a fan. Primary source garment. Figure 15. Illustration of three young women. The woman on the left is wearing a round gown with a ¾ length tunic over it. She also has a dickey in her neckline that is raised at the neck into a ruffle. Her top hat is from the male wardrobe. The woman on the right has a round gown with short sleeves. She is wearing a fur shawl, gloves, and a bonnet in the Grecian style. Since the round gowns were so light and airy, it was essential that heavier outer garments evolved. The redingote was the warm outer coat, generally made of worsted wool. Shawls were highly important and were imported from India. Figure 16. Illustration of four women. The central figure is wearing an outdoor coat or redingote. This particular garment has many versions, but basically it is the outdoor coat used by men and women. Note that there is more attention to the hem line and embroidery or ruffles at the hem. When so much attention is paid to one area of a garment, evolutionary changes will most likely make that area change. In this case the hemline will gradually get fuller and fuller. Often a betsy, a pleated starched collar worn around the neck, was worn. These could have one layer of fabric or many layers. The woman in Figure 17 wears a white betsy with her brown velvet gown. In Figure 16 the woman second from the left has a multilayered white betsy. Figure 17. Portrait. The Empire period also played with different sleeves. You will note short puffy sleeves (generally the favorite), but also slashed sleeves (Figure 17), long sleeves (Figure 15, virago sleeves (Figure 15 and 22), and double sleeves (Figure 25). The early round gowns followed the example of the Directory, however, gradually corsets began to reappear. They were lighter and shorter than the 18th century corsets adding support to only the bust. These were called braces and could often be seen outside the garment. (See Figure 18). However, as the Empire progresses these corsets become longer and boning is added. Figure 18. The woman on the left is adjusting her braces. The illustration in the top center is a dickey with ruffled neckline. Figure 19. Illustration of braces and corsets being adjusted. Figure 20. If you look closely at this original garment you will note at the biceps on the left that you can see the strap of her braces. Undergarments became important. Chemises and petticoats reappeared towards 1809 and had a great deal of attention paid to their embroidery. Braces were ribbons passed over the shoulders or crossed over the back. These were reminiscent of the Greek girdling. (See figure 18 and 20) However, about 1811 elastic braces appeared. These were actually knitted rather than having elastic fibers, but it enabled women to support their petticoats. Many authors identify the use of pantaloons for women that were knitted and close fitting. These were strictly undergarments and women were embarrassed to have anyone see them. In the next fashion era, the pantaloons will come out of hiding. Undress – contradictory term really means modest dressing, like covering in the neckline with a dickey. See Figure 15 and 16. The length of the skirts and trousers often told the age. Figure 21. Illustration of a family group. The length of the skirt was longer as the child advanced in years. The same was true of boys. Their pants were longer as they got older. Illustration Figure 22. A family portrait.. The pantaloons are visible for the young girls. Often the pantaloons or pantalettes were taped to the knees and did not reach the waist as we might imagine. Figure 23. Primary source garments. The young man is in court costume or breeches. He has been dressed as a miniature adult (including wig). While this practice still goes on, children are most often dressed in more comfortable clothing. Figure 24. J-L David, 1804. Shawl and hairdo. The natural, short hairdo for women is called al la Titus. Obviously it is based on the ancient Romans. Textiles: At the beginning of the Empire period, muslins were the fabric of choice, but gradually, especially with the rise of the textile industry, many other fabrics came into vogue. Predominantly the fabrics were light in color and weight. If the fabric was brocade it was a light brocade, etc. Figure 25. J-L David, 1812. Fabrics gradually changed to velvets, embroidered muslins, and light weight cottons. However, there was not a heavy look to the fabrics used. Accessories: As the garments were rather simplified, accessories became very important. A variety of shawls, especially the paisley shawls (see figure 27), became important. First these were imported from the mid-east, but gradually the Manchester mills began to reproduce them. Muffs were also an important accessory (See figure 26). Bonnets, fans, and gloves were also popular accessory items. Figure 26. Illustration of a woman with a fur muff. Figure 27 Mme. David, by David. Figure 28. Illustration showing a woman with a fan, gloves, turban hat with feather, shawl, and a revival of the Medici collar. Her hair is short in the a la Titus style, she wears a round gown with short puffed sleeves and embroidery at the hem. Figure 29. Woman with a fur scarf, fur muff, bonnet, and reticule. Primary source garment. The reticule was the first purse. Transition clothing Between approximately 1812 and 1825 there was a gradually change in the woman’s costume. The hem grew wider, the waistline slowly moved to a natural waistline, and the sleeves enlarged. Figures 30-32 show some of these changes. Figure 30. Figure 31 Figure 32. All three of these illustrations show evidence of change. Men’s Clothing Men’s fashion which had been so rich and varied before the Revolution now became less interesting. This followed the mechanization of the Industrial Revolution. Men became deeply involved with manufacturing, banking, and warfare. With some exceptions, there was little interest in clothing. Men still wore the basics: frock coat, waistcoat, shirt, cravat, and pants/breeches. The frockcoat had several variations based on the shape at the waist (cutaway) and the shape of the back tail (claw hammer tail).The waistcoat was the most changeable garment for men as they varied in collars, cut, lapels, material. Often men would wear several on top of each other so you only saw a small edge of the one underneath. Figure 33 Illustration of a couple. The man is wearing a cutaway frock coat (it is cut straight across the waistline at the front), breeches, a waistcoat (the gold garment under the frock coat), a shirt with cravat, and a top hat. Figure 34 Illustration showing a man with top hat, frockcoat, blue breeches, and hussar boots. Shirts were rare seen as jackets were always worn over them in fashionable groups. However, the working man often just wore his shirt. Along with the shirt was the cravat which was a large square folded diagonally then rolled around the neck, tied only with a small knot. Some men were very fastidious about how this cravat was formed and would take hours tying it, untying, repressing, and retying so that the folds were “perfect.” Beau Brummel made cravat tying one of the main preoccupations of the Dandies. Along with the many inventions and innovations of convenience was the col-cravate. This was a prefabricated cravat that was already tied, mounted to a collar, and just needed to be buttoned to the shirt neckband. Trousers or pantaloons were very tight and often worn with gaiters attached to the bottom to hold them to the ankles. Some had a placket at the ankles with buttons. These were often worn with hussar boots, the tall closely fitted boot with a high front and lower back. Figure 35. Portrait showing military dress. Figure 36. Portrait showing military dress (hussar boots, breeches, and military jacket. Gloves and bicorn hat are accessories. Figure 37. Napoleon in the bicorn hat. This was his trademark. Garrick is the coat or cape with 3 to 5 capes attached to it. It is often called a greatcoat and is worn throughout the century. It is identified with coachmen and carolers as the many capes would help keep off the snow. Figure 38. Illustration showing various coats. The central figure is in the Garrick or greatcoat with the many layered capes. Double breasted coats became popular as well. Figure 39 Illustration showing a double breasted coat and a garrick or greatcoat. Both men wear top hats. While the French dominated the style and cut of women’s clothing, the English tailors with the subtle cut of silhouette, dominated the trends for men’s wear. Figure 40. This illustration shows the continuation of tailoring that went into a man’s garment. The men put emphasis on their frock coats and outer coats fitting very well. One way they achieved this is through the intricate seaming in the back of the bodice. . Hair: Sideburns were common at this time although not all men wore them. Napoleons hair shows carefully casual locks and a clean shaven face. The English dandies grouped around the Prince Regent, the future George IV and George Brummell, George IV’s close companion and advisor. They gradually imposed the new style of men’s clothing which was studied correctness and impeccable fitting that only the English tailors could do well. Brummell led English fashion from 1796 to 1816 when he fled the country due to debt. He initiated shoe polish, fresh linen daily, starched cravats, changed clothing 3 times a day. The dandy at his day wore button waistcoats with pale colors, buckskin breeches and short boots, very tight, ankle buttoned trousers, and low, square beaver hats. Figure 41. Illustration of man and woman. Figure 42. Primary source material. Court Frock Coat. Note the embroidery on the pockets and sleeves. The court dress did not differ from the court dress of the 18th century. Figure 43. Illustration of a man and woman in court dress. Note the beginning of puffiness at the tops of the man’s sleeve. Figure 44. Woman and sailor. Figure 45. English man with daughter. Fabrications: worsted wool serge, cambric, challis, lace, patent lace which was machine lace but not widely used, cotton muslin of various weights, embroidered muslin and lawn, tissue silk, brocades, velvets. Figure 46. Group of people both peasants and upper class. Can you detect the difference? The group on the left is the lower class and the woman in the white round gown is upper class. Figure 47. The left side of this illustration is the same as Figure 16. However, the two figures on the right side are transition garments leading into the Romantic costume period, 1825 -1845. Movies: War and Peace, Napoleon and Josephine