~fashion~~~

Any research done in relation to the period of Les Misérables, whether for fanfiction or fanart purposes or otherwise.
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YoungStudentMarius
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:50 pm

So....wow. Oh, my word, I just read through this thread, and it, well, it appears to be exactly what I've been looking for and doing on my own, and with Gervais, of course, so...can I just thank everybody who contributed and posted all those wonderful links, though I know a lot of them don't work anymore? :mrgreen: This thread kind of made my day. And I'd really like to revive it, and if anyone else is interested, maybe we could get it going a lot, again? Because there are so many new sources, now, too, and plenty of old ones, and its just such a fascinating subject, so...

To start off, I suppose, for one, this website, Truly Victorian, while generally much later than Les Mis, is still a fantastic resource, I think, and their patterns, while I haven't tried any of them so far, look pretty amazing, and everyone seems to say they're relatively simple. They do, however, seem to have this 1830s dress pattern, which looks really nice (though I'll admit I went with this one from Past Patterns for mine, and it turned out pretty nicely, I think). Speaking of which, Past Patterns has several 1830s patterns, and lots of Regency-era ones, and just generally a pretty good selection, I think, though I've only tried that one. But it's a whole lot of fun to just look at the others, and see the pictures, even. :mrgreen:

Though, has anyone tried/heard good things about/just know of a good waistcoat pattern? I haven't technically made a historically accurate one, because I've never been able to decide on a pattern, and, well, I'm still learning pretty much all the basics about sewing in general, and patterns in general are just really pricey. :( But if anyone knows of one, well, I'd be happy to hear...

Oh, the Lady's Stratagem book? :mrgreen: I just discovered that recently, and put it on my Christmas list (I know, it's August, but still!), because man, that thing looks amazing, and yet, well, really, really expensive. Though, I have to admit, I'm really interested in Frances Grimble's other books, too, especially the Fashions of the Gilded age volumes, so if anyone has tried them, I'd certainly be interested in knowing what they thought, and if not, well, I suppose I might crack and buy them myself sometime within the next few months. For now I bought volumes 1 and 2 of Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion, and hopefully they'll arrive within the next week or so, so I'm rather excited for those. If anyone else has them, too, it might be fun to discuss, and if not, I guess maybe we'll all be surprised at what's in there, and I'll see if I can type up the interesting parts. :wink:

So...I guess that was long, sorry, but anyone interested in reviving this thread? :mrgreen:
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby Acaila » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:39 am

I'm happy to sit and look at pictures :D
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:52 am

Thank you, Acaila; glad to know that you'd be interested in that, at least. :D

Here's an interesting picture, then, some leather wedding gloves from 1833. I did know that gloves were typical mandatory attire, but I hadn't thought about it at all for weddings; I guess I just figured that they didn't use them, then, but that doesn't make any sense, so...I'm wondering if Cosette had them, now.

Though, may I ask, seeing as you've been upgraded to mod status and all, is this thread just for talking about historical fashions of the Regency and Romantic eras? I mean, is is just for the general time periods Les Mis covers, or may it be used for Victorian/Edwardian, or other eras and historical fashion and clothing as well? Whatever you say is fine, just wanted to ask and make sure either way.


EDIT: One of the books came, it came, it came, the Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion volume 2, covering from around 1860-1940! :mrgreen: So too late for Les Mis, unfortunately, though the other volume will cover all the right times when it comes sometime next week. But it looks even better than I could have dreamed, so far. :shock: I think I just got lightheaded, again. :mrgreen:

EDIT AGAIN: Here's a really interesting quote from the introduction of the book:
Many patterns enclosed in magazines have been preserved in addition to the diagrams and numerous books produced for both home and professional dressmakers which throw light on the way in which patterns were assembled. Paper patterns had been included in magazines in England and France from the 1830s onwards, but the big paper pattern companies where founded in America, where the sewing machine had been invented.

I had never even thought of the history of patterns before, but now I'm wondering all sorts of things about how garments would be constructed. :mrgreen: Would they just have to be re-drafted each time, and the general shape already known? That doesn't seem like it makes much sense practicality-wise, but it would explain some of the shapes of pre-1830s periods. And it would explain the value of clothes. But I don't know; it just seems strange. :? The introduction goes on to say, too, that Butterick was founded in 1863, and McCall's in 1870. They didn't include instruction sheets, just a few terse instructions on the paper wrapping, apparently, until 1910. :shock: Can you imagine trying to put together one of those garments with hardly any instructions whatsoever? And being able to do it because you had to learn, and that was one of the main things you were taught? I can hardly even comprehend it.

Thanks for putting up with me, sorry about this.
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby Gervais » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:36 pm

Yay, thread revival! :mrgreen: Pun not intended.

Aw, man, I hadn't thought about gloves for weddings either, but the mental image of Cosette wearing those is gorgeous. The book doesn't mention her wearing them for that, by the way, though I'm sure she would have...

The book! Hooray! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I don't think this was linked earlier; I don't remember seeing it when I read through, anyway; but look, some pretty plates! http://ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/cdm ... /600/rec/2 :D
The links underneath didn't just bring up stuff specifically for 1832, like the year for that one; I think it just search ninteenth-century stuff. But it's all so cool! :mrgreen:
(Here's the full collection, woops: http://ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/cdm ... mode/exact )
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:00 am

Kid leather wedding gloves? That is interesting...I thought that gloves for a wedding would be made of material like satin.

But that's a thought....since fashion and stuff like that is starting to come up in my writing more and more often, and one of the characters just ruined her usual pair of gloves and will have to get new ones. How long did those take to get made?
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby Gervais » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:45 pm

Ooh, an interesting article about kid gloves (though not including what you asked about): http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/hand ... loves.html Some highlights:
They were clearly not intended for use when you were pruning the hedge and wearing kid gloves was the sartorial equivalent of pale white skin, that is, it indicated that the wearer was rich enough to indulge in a life of genteel indoor idleness.

At that time, kid gloves were viewed as rather ostentatious and only suitable for the nouveau riche - much as heavy gold chains might be viewed today.

The Preston Chronicle included this item in February 1837: Mr. Long Wellesley is, also, a man of excellent taste, though he rides in kid gloves, which Brummel used to say a man should be scouted [dismissed scornfully] for doing.

The dismissal of the gloves by the socialite and fashion authority Beau Brummell was enough to send them to the back of the 19th century chav wardrobe.




Still not finding much for time...though, I have found the thing that made glove-making less time consuming, though I can't find a place that says what it reduced the time to.

Wait, here we go:
During the 17th and early 18th century gloves were cut out in factories and sent out to nearby villages. There they would be sewn together by hand with the aid of a piece of apparatus called a ''Glover's Donkey'' The completed gloves were then returned to the factory for distribution. The princely sum of 5/- for one dozen pairs was paid for the great deal of sewing involved – each glove taking three hours to make.
(http://www.kingsmerecrafts.com/page86.html)

That's specifically for leather gloves with the donkey, by the way. There was some sort of sewing machine invented by then, but none of them were really effective for anything if I remember right.

Combine that with some customer demand, and I would think they would be waiting a few days before they got their gloves. Though, I don't know how much leather they would keep in their shop, or how long it would take to get some once they ran out.
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:24 am

Me, too, Aurelia; I wouldn't have thought. Though that is a really good question, actually, which I don't know the answer to. Though ah, thank you very much, Gervais; I hadn't known any of that, but it does make sense, especially the thing about gloves being worn primarily by very high society. The donkey is a really interesting thing, there. Though I admit I can't quite picture it in use. :? And yeah, as far as sewing machines go, you're right; I believe there weren't any real workable ones at the time of the donkey, at least, though to the best of my knowledge, there were several prototypes during just before the 1820s, to the 1830s.

Ah, thank you, there's the time, you found it! :mrgreen: So I guess all that's left, Aurelia, is like Gervais said, the customer demand thing. As to the leather, my guess would be that if they were located in the city, it probably wouldn't be too hard, right? And they probably would be, being a glove maker. Though if it was in the country, I don't know how long. A few days sounds like a good estimate, though.
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:27 am

Hmmm, the story is in Paris. Wouldn't take too long, I guess but still come at an exorbitant price.

But oh this is interesting. Other characters would be wearing kid gloves. Not the narrator (can't afford it, being a working girl after all), who wears rough gloves only out of some necessity.

Thanks guys!
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:28 am

Of course. (Though, Gervais did all the work on this one, so applause and credit for her). But no, you're right, this is really interesting, and I'm thinking that maybe we should do this more often, in a sense, like, come up with examples, whether they're for a story or not, though I imagine many of them will be, because a sort of "fashion in action" discussion like this, I think, just helped us understand gloves at least ten times better, and it would probably work on other things, too. :mrgreen:
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:14 am

Another thought:

Cosette wore over a petticoat of white taffeta, her robe of Binche guipure, a veil of English point, a necklace of fine pearls, a wreath of orange flowers; all this was white, and, from the midst of that whiteness she beamed forth. It was an exquisite candor expanding and becoming transfigured in the light. One would have pronounced her a virgin on the point of turning into a goddess.


So I imagine that this is one of those pelisse style dresses, or one with a similar sort of mantle? And the white wedding dress was not yet de rigeure, wasn't it?
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:59 am

Hannah wrote:Oh, I am not. I gather I ought to be? :D /goes to look at that post!

ETA: Also, as far as I can tell, there is not any such thing as a triple-pleated mushroom collar :'D That or it was so unpopular and lost to obscurity that all non-Bright Star-related references to it have been, idk, squished out of Google entirely, or something. I can find no reference to it that is not a quote from the film. Of course, possibly I am not looking in the correct places ...

Usefulbeauty wrote:To delve further into the mystery of the mushroom collar, I recall looking up something about Regency chemisettes, which led to a forum where a girl was asking for help because the pattern she was using to make her chemisette called for a mushroom pleated collar and she needed to know what one was and how you could make it. The only response she got was something along the lines of, "I don't know how you sew it, but there's one in Bright Star."
...
So perhaps it really is just a super obscure thing?

ETA: Here's the link to the forum I was talking about. I have yet to check out the link she provided (for someone's blog with the pattern on) because I'm a wee bit nervous about clicking links to obscure blogs, but from the images lower down on the page, it looks like she figured out how to mushroom pleat things. Or at least, how to make it look pretty much like the Bright Star collar.
http://inedahl.com/hsf/index.php?topic=447.0

MmeBahorel wrote:I'm getting hits for "mushroom collar" from the 1920s and 1930s on Google Books - nothing earlier that relates to fashion. Which is sort of implying to me that they made it up, because surely a mushroom collar would be mentioned prior to 1927. The bragging rights seem likely to me to come from the difficulty of making the shape, not of the shape in a particular colour. The colour shouldn't matter.

So did the writers/designers gack something from about a hundred years too late? Or at least a term from about a hundred years too late?


Etc. Sorry to be about three years late, here, but as to the question of the "triple pleated mushroom collar," I haven't seen Bright Star, but did find the talk concerning it really interesting, and was inclined to agree that it probably didn't exist. However, my new book just arrived (Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1), and apparently it does. :mrgreen:
Image
It's called a "treble mushroom-pleated frill," but it does appear to be the same thing, and pretty much just a collar on a chemisette. I don't think it would actually be worn out on an evening dress like it looks in Bright Star, though, maybe that was the point of the "only triple-pleated mushroom collar in two counties," or whatever it was (sorry to not be more familiar with the context). "Mushroom" is, in this sense, yes, just a method of pleating, though there's rather limited information on it, online, but apparently it's just very tight and vertical pleats. Here's the pattern piece, if you're interested, though I know you can't read it in the picture, but here's what it says:
A white cambric chemisette with three mushroom pleated frills forming the collar. These frills are made of strips of cambric cut on the straight grain, 1 1/2" deep at the centre front widening to 2 1/4" at the centre back and 90" long. They are mushroom pleated onto 1/16" wide tapes and then stitched to the neck band which is a crossway piece 15 3/4" long. The top frill is right on the edge of the band and the bottom one is almost on the neck seam.
An 18" long tape [36" full width] is attached at the centre back and passes through the hems to tie at the centre front.
Make small tucks on the shoulder to fit the back.
The neck fastens with 1/16" cords 9" long.

So...yeah, it apparently existed, even if it wasn't a very prominent thing, and would have been worn, according to Patterns of Fashion, from 1800-1825, which does match Bright Star's date of 1818, I think. :D
(There's also a double mushroom-pleated frill, by the way).

Aurelia Combeferre wrote:Another thought:

Cosette wore over a petticoat of white taffeta, her robe of Binche guipure, a veil of English point, a necklace of fine pearls, a wreath of orange flowers; all this was white, and, from the midst of that whiteness she beamed forth. It was an exquisite candor expanding and becoming transfigured in the light. One would have pronounced her a virgin on the point of turning into a goddess.


So I imagine that this is one of those pelisse style dresses, or one with a similar sort of mantle? And the white wedding dress was not yet de rigeure, wasn't it?

Huh. That's a really interesting idea, Aurelia, but the pelisse was an 1820s thing, mostly, right? Actually, this is a really good thing to look at, Cosette's wedding dress, because she got it from Gillenormand, didn't she? And he had gotten it from his grandmother. Which would mean that it was probably...at least eighty years old, if not a hundred, or more, right? O_O So...it very well could have been one of those robes à la française, or even something earlier, perhaps? That's a very interesting thought, actually. As to color, I admit I haven't exactly specifically researched wedding dresses in depth, but from all I can tell, the most common thing to do in the 1800s was simply wear your best dress to your wedding, no matter the color, though white was definitely preferred if you could afford it. Often, people didn't have the resources to get a new dress for their wedding, and didn't have one that was specifically designated for it forever like we do today, though Cosette would certainly be more than able to find a white one, what with all her inheritance, and Gillenormand's old dresses and things, and tendency to shower with gifts and try to make the wedding perfect, and all.

EDIT: So, apparently Binche guipure, which Cosette's gown was made out of, was very popular in Paris in the 18th century, but practically died out by the beginning of the 19th. So it certainly would have been a very old dress, though in what style, I don't know. Here's a couple pictures I found of 18th century Binche lace, though, so maybe we can kind of get an idea of the texture of her dress:
http://www.lynxlace.com/images/lace1c.jpg
http://www.lynxlace.com/images/lace493.jpg
http://www.lynxlace.com/images/lace342.jpg
Though those are probably a bit too early, more beginning of the 1700s.
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:04 am

From what I read, pelisses were still around in 1830 but they were more of mantles than coats by that time, thanks to the need to accommodate those huge sleeves.

What bugs me about the 1830s, more than the dresses, is the *hair*. There's just no way I can imagine anyone wearing that on a daily basis. I understand it was false hair a lot of the time. Did those come in pre-formed styles, or did those things come like hair extensions?
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:23 am

Ah, that makes sense, thank you.

Ah, so true! 1830s hair is just...well, ridiculously ugly, most of the time. And very difficult to take seriously. I have to wonder, yes, if it was worn on a regular basis, or hopefully just for special occasions. As to fake hair, I don't know much about complete hair pieces, as much, like all done up and with the embellishments and things, but I do remember reading about extensions, false curls, Apollo's knots, caps, and things, curls and knots especially as being very common. Here's an example of an 1830s false hair piece, and the very interesting post on a museum blog with it. Some especially relevant parts:
Wigs were almost always made of human hair, however, while the false hair cap is made of dark brown silk thread masquerading as human hair. Silk threads are twisted together to imitate human hair and then manipulated into a “fabric” of interconnected loops that formed the cap, following the lines of the wearer’s head. The front of the cap would have framed the wearer’s face, dipping down on the sides to cover her ears and form two sets of three ringlets. As far as objects go, this one is pretty obscure—we’ve only ever heard of three similar objects in other museums and don’t have any historical records for them.

While not full enough to replace an entire head of hair, the loops that formed the “scalp” served to cover limited hair loss, while the ringlets at the neck added stylish volume for hair too short, brittle, or thin to curl into the popular styles of the day. Popular hair styles in the mid 19th century required ringlets peaking coyly out from beneath fabric caps and bonnets, and the false hair cap could provide those curls for women who lacked them naturally.

Diagram
Apparently, baldness in females was attributed to their very unladylike attempt to engage in "intellectual pursuits." *sigh* It'd be funny if it wasn't so depressing.

Here's another example, however, of just a false hair front, so the curled bangs over the forehead:
Image
Image
It was an ebay listing a couple years ago:
A unique 1830’s false front hair piece that comes in its original box. The hairpiece war worn by Mrs. Warren Birds. Her name and information on how she wore it is written on the bottom of the box. According to the note the piece was worn with a day cap and a large bonnet of the time period. The light brown hair has an auburn tinge. It is attached to netting and has a tie back closure. The hair piece is in very good condition. There is some breakage on the box cover and some age spotting. A very unique item to add to your collection.

http://extantgowns.blogspot.com/search/label/hair (The first post is about 1850s curled hairpieces, individual curls that were fastened in, but the second is about the above 1830s hairpiece, though there's not too much more to add).

There's also this, from The Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History,
Like men, women added false hair to achieve certain styles. Hairpieces to enhance a hairstyle or cover thinning hair were common among women who could afford them. A hairpiece called an Apollo knot, worn during the late regency periods, was styled into coils, loops, or braids, then placed on a wire frame that made it stand high on the head.

(One other thing it says was that the sale of products to prevent baldness was especially high in the 1830s).

Also, it's probably just coincidence, but the fact that this, a (reproduction of an authentic [to the best of my knowledge]) 1830s paper doll set, with interchangeable hair, exists, does kind of make me wonder if you are onto something there, Aurelia. I don't know why older women especially (after reading that article) wouldn't wear a pre-styled wig, if baldness was such a source of shame, or they didn't want to continuously insert and style various hairpieces.
Image

...So, yes, apparently, while much of it must have been real, wealthy woman would also wear hairpieces, it seems, to supplement what they had or provide ease in styling, but it doesn't seem like complete, styled wigs were used as much. :D Thinking about it, it would actually be really interesting to try and make an 1830s hairpiece, huh? Especially because it'd probably be easier nowadays. Anyway. It's kind of interesting.
Last edited by YoungStudentMarius on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:36 am

Hmmm....this is interesting. Seems as if I'm doomed to write a perpetually unfashionable heroine. :lol:

And ouch about the thing with ladies 'going bald because of intellectual pursuits'. That suddenly puts a whole new painful spin to something.

Interesting choice of thread versus false hair; but wouldn't that be easier to spot from up close?
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Re: ~fashion~~~

Postby Gervais » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:24 pm

Aurelia Combeferre wrote:
Interesting choice of thread versus false hair; but wouldn't that be easier to spot from up close?

It seems like it might, especially if someone knew a lot about false hair anyway, though I personally think it looks more natural-looking in the close-up diagram photos than in the large ones in the article, so someone might think it was a little "off," but maybe not "Oh, that's not real hair!"

What I want to know is how often people got them just a shade or two off. :lol:
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