Thursday, August 3, 2017

Fashions for August 1852

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August 1852 fashions
August 1852 fashion description
Loretta reports:

Last year, in my 1850s fashion post, I lamented the dearth of complete magazines, with fashion plates, online for the Victorian era. It seemed that Godey’s was about all there was, with one or two Petersons. Since then, I’ve found a nice collection of the London and Paris Ladies’ Magazine of Fashion on Google Books. The magazine is rich in fashion prints. For August 1852,  I chose Plate 1 because it shows a court dress, which tends to be quite a different fashion species from other clothing, even evening dress. While the plumes tend to give it away, court dress also stands out in prints like these because it’s so elaborate.  This one is clearly so, dripping with jewels.

Plissé refers to fabric with a pleated or puckered finish. Interestingly, the Merriam- Webster dictionary lists a “first known use” of the term in 1859,” yet here it is in 1852. I’ve had this same experience many times, finding earlier usages in 19th century books online than the OED or M-W list.

Barège is a thin fabric made of silk and cotton or wool.

To compare and contrast actual dresses with prints, you might want to look at some early 1850s fashions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s online costume collection here, here, and here.

Images from The London and Paris Ladies' Magazine of Fashion, ed. by Mrs. Edward Thomas, via Google Books.

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.


Cynthia Lambert said...

It's the first time I've heard knots referred to as nœuds, but French was used a lot in couture. A very elegant court gown, with obvious references to the 18th century.

Michaela said...

If you need more extant magazines, try Hathi Trust.

Here is a full list of Petersons:

Arthur's Home Magazine:

If you can't find the fashion plates to go with them, I usually cross-reference the Casey Fashion plate collection. Type in the date, then sort them by month. Within the month/year, they do have the publication labeled.

Loretta Chase said...

Cynthia, lots of French in the descriptions, where it would have seemed easy enough to use English. In some magazines, the entire fashion section is in French, possibly lifted from a French publication. Michaela, thank you: I didn't know about Arthur's home magazine. If you don't know the name of the publication, you don't know to search for it. This was how I missed The London & Paris Ladies Magazine for all these years since it went online. Also thanks for helping with a quicker method for tracking down images at LAPL. The Casey fashion plates can be really helpful when one has only a description, or, say a black and white image when a color one would be better. It's helped show me how much magazines "borrowed" from one another,too. But oh, don't you wish they had saved the descriptions when they saved those beautiful plates?

Two Nerdy History Girls. Design by Pocket