All posts tagged: Orientalism

The 1903 Chinoiserie ensemble – the skirt

I’m sure that when all of you read my post introducing this project you looked at the calendar and though “wait, you have only a week and a half (less really) left to do this.  It isn’t going to happen!” But look…progress! Not just progress, a whole, beautifully made, and almost finished, skirt! For the basic construction of the skirt I used this fashion plate from 1902: And this pattern from Turn-of-the-Century Fashion Patterns and Tailoring Techniques (originally from the Ladies Tailor Made section of The “Standard” Work on Cutting) to draft my pattern: I decided to make the skirt right, and deal with whatever fabric was left for the bodice, come what may.  I drew my pattern out on my skirt: one giant swoop of pattern piece going from centre front to centre back, with no side seams. Felicity helped hold the fabric down: Then I drew a slightly curvier swoosh for my flounce, and pinned it directly to the main body of the skirt, and sewed it on with one raw edge showing. …

A 20th century chinoserie frock

There are dozens of gorgeous historical items to be inspired by for the HSF ‘Eastern Influence’ challenge, it’s cold, and I’m feeling slow,and the only things that are inspiring me are warm and wooly. So…. How about an early 20th century wool suit/frock with chinoiserie influences? I’ve got this gorgeous delft blue wool – beautifully warm, gorgeous drape, and combined with black and white it would look very striking: Problem:  there is only 2.5 metres.  Not a lot for an early 20th century ensemble.  Hmmmm….what if I picked a design that incorporated lots of appliqué and open space, and used that to stretch my wool? I went looking for inspiration: I like the shape of this, and the teeny-bolero would be helpful, but the colour is insipid, and the fabric too light: Oooh…closer!  Still a bit too spring-y though, for all that it is wool.  Also, do I have 5 years to do that open cutwork?  Sadly, no: And this is too heavy, and suit-y, and winter-y, and would take too much fabric: Ditto this, …

HSF Challenge #14: Eastern Influence

The East has had a profound influence on Western fashions for millenia, from the Chinese silks that were worn in Ancient Rome (much to the dismay of the government, who hired notable writers to create anti-silk propaganda in order to discourage people from wearing it), through Vionnet, Lanvin, Chanel, and Schiapparelli: all the great designers of the 20s and 30s borrowed from the East. There isn’t a single period that hasn’t borrowed from the East, and there isn’t a single Eastern culture that hasn’t been borrowed from.  Islamic geometricism influenced Medieval and Renaissance textiles through the Crusades and the Venetian trade.  Indian influence began in the 17th century when chintzes began to make their way to Europe, and florished again from the end of the 18th century when Kashmiri shawls introduced the paisley motif.  The 18th century saw the fad for Chinoiserie, and the Turkish influence, and the late 19th century the rage for Japonisme. Early 20th century fashion was influenced by every possible Eastern culture, from Poiret’s kimono inspired cocoon coats, to Orientalism of the …