All posts tagged: 1880s

The 20th Century Girl

Oh the 20th century girl! What a wonderful thing she will be! She’ll evolve from a mystical whirl A woman unfettered and free; No corset to crampen her waist, No crimps to encumber her brain: Unafraid, bifurcated, unlaced, Like a goddess of old she will reign! She’ll wear bloomers a matter of course; She will vote not a question, of doubt; She will ride like a man on a horse; At a club late at night she’ll stay out; If she chances to love she’ll propose; To blush will be quite out of date, She’ll talk politics with her beaux And out talk her masculine mate. She’ll be up in the science of things; She will smoke cigarettes; she will swear If the servant a dunning note brings, Or the steak isn’t done to her care. No longer she’ll powder her nose, Or cultivate even a curl, Nor bother with fashion or clothes, This 20th century girl. Her voice will be heard in the land; She’ll dabble in matters of State; In Council her word …

The 18th century wedding dress: then, and now

The 18th century was the dawn of the modern wedding dress: it saw the first emergence of white dresses as a trend, the first dresses specifically for weddings, and it is the oldest century from which we have a reasonably large selection of extent dresses. The 18th century is also a very popular era among this blog readers, and is a stunning, and unusual (at least at the moment) era to draw dress inspiration from. So let’s look at some 18th century wedding gowns, and some more recent 18th century inspired wedding gowns. First, a complete ensemble with excellent provenance, from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  No, it’s not white.  And most modern brides aren’t into bonnets, but it still has so many elements I would instantly steal as a wedding dress designer.  That fabulous quilted petticoat…  The pinked fabric framing the face and bust…  The beautiful sleeve ruffles… Or you could just wear the dress exactly as it is, as it’s already a thing of beauty. Next, another coloured wedding dress.  The shape …

Gosh Dagmar, you really liked your pearls, didn’t you?

I’ve posted about Dagmar of Denmark, known after her marriage as Maria Feodorovna of Russia, before.  While I was researching her I noticed something.  Maybe it was because of her rather impoverished childhood, maybe it was a family weakness for completely OTT necklaces, maybe it was because she had already cried her share of brides tears well before the wedding, or maybe she just liked the things.  Whatever it was, man, that girl had some pearl bling going in all her portraits! From Dagmar’s diary*: 6 June 1867: A man came today to take my portrait with the new camera technology.  How fabulous!  I knew exactly what I wanted to wear: my favourite bow headband and every single pearl necklace I own.  Also the bracelets.  I looked fabulous.  One of my ladies in waiting suggested that it might be a bit much as I’m not even 20, but I told her to stuff it.  The nerve! 25 September 1874: The happiest possible news!  The doctor has just confirmed today that I will be confined for …