All posts tagged: 1878

Sunshine, spring flowers, and Jeanne Samary

My friend Theresa, who modelled in Pompeii to Paris, is in town, and she asked me if we could please, please, pretty please do a photoshoot while she is here.  And could she wear the Jeanne Samary dress?  And since she asked so nicely, and since it is Theresa, and since she is gorgeous, of course I said yes! Unfortunately we both had scheduling issues, so I wasn’t able to arrange a full photoshoot with a decent (e.g. a lot better than me) photographer.  So we decided to just keep it really low key.  We dolled each other up and ran around in the Botanical Gardens with my camera on a Friday afternoon and hoped we got something good. The photos themselves were a bit tricky as the light was really difficult, but the afternoon itself was a blast; the perfect way to spend a day with a good friend. These are my favourites: And the very best one of all:

Rate the Dress: blue plaid in 1878

Last week’s 186os child’s party frock created the usual divisions I’ve come to expect with historical children’s clothes: some of you liked it for a child, many of you thought it would be much better on an adult, many of you wanted it for yourself, and a few of you questioned if it was appropriate for a child.  But overall, you liked it, and it rated an 8.6 out of 10.  I agree, but only if you take off that hideous overskirt.  With the overskirt my vote is only 4 out of 10! For this week’s rate the dress my jumping off point is last week’s poll which asked you what your favourite fabric colour was.  An overwhelmingly large percentage of you said blue (25 out of 52, compared to 11 out of 52, for green, the next runner up).  Now I want to know if this abstract liking of blue fabric translates into liking an actual garment, or at least helps you to like it more. So I present this blue trimmed blue tartan princess dress …

Jeanne Samary and her dress

Interestingly, while numerous paintings of the late 1870s and early 1880s show women in low cut, almost sleeveless natural form evening gowns, like the one worn by Jeanne Samary, and fashion plates also show this style of gown, very few examples these gowns have survived. Were they cut apart and modified for later styles?  Did they become so soiled at balls that they were not worth saving?  Did women tend to have only one evening gown, and a selection of reception dresses (the ones with low square necks, and 3/4 length sleeves) ?  Is it because wedding dresses were reception dresses, not ballgowns, and wedding dresses represent a disproportionate amount of the extent historical garments? Whatever the reason, I can only find one extent ballgown for every 10 reception dresses, so here are the ones I can find.   I’m infatuated with the orange/goldenrod colour of this dress, and the bodice is very similar to Jeanne’s dress in some ways.  And the skirt, well, how can you not love metal embroideries of daisies!?! Looking at …