Monday, June 6, 2016

Fashions for June 1855

Monday, June 6, 2016
June 1855 fashions
Loretta reports:

Last month we looked at some 1840s fashions.

This month we move into mid-19th century, where the skirts seem to be belling out more widely. Since Victorian fashion is foreign territory to me, I'm at a loss for intelligent observations, let alone clever ones about these steel engravings from Godey's' Lady's Book for 1855. I do love the flowers and lace framing the ladies' faces, under hat brims.

Given my ignorance, it  would be fun  to at least be able to do some compare and contrast with British fashion magazines from the era. Unfortunately, as is the case with the 1840s, it’s not easy to find fashion plates online, or when one does, they lack descriptions.*

Re today's descriptions: Guipure, for those of us who are ignorant of dressmaking terms, is a lace. Blonde, as my readers will be aware, is also a lace, the handmade version being quite expensive and thus an excellent way to display wealth.

1855 fashion description

*Warning: Rant follows in brackets

[While I’m grateful that somebody saved colored fashion plates, and they ended up in museums and libraries, it would have been much better had the entire magazine been preserved, to provide valuable insights into the time period. If saving the whole magazines was too much, people might at least have saved the descriptions, drat them!—end of rant]

Those of you interested in U.S. Victorian history and fashion may wish to subscribe to Accessible Archives, which has the complete Godey's collection online.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Christina Mitchell said...

In the 19th century there were several British magazines depicting fashion plates. Fashion plates were originally French. Godey's used French plates at the start of its publication. The Ladies Companion and The Ladies Gazette of Fashion are two British publications.

LorettaChase said...

Thanks, Christina. I have a long list of titles of Victorian-era ladies' magazines, French, British, and U.S. They can't all have been destroyed, can they? They must be somewhere, mustn't they? But I've had limited luck finding them in online collections. Where would one access the ones you suggest?

Christina Mitchell said...

Hi Loretta

Here are some links to online collections that might be helpful:!Late/field/covera!covera/mode/all!none/conn/and!and/cosuppress/

The Illustrated London News has a subscription service to its online collection;


Brit said...

You may already be aware of this blog but the writer does a deep dive into the fashion of each decade of the 19th century. Here's the article on the 1850s:

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