May 17, 2011

Bustles in The Queen: 1875

We acquired 3 bound volumes of  The Queen, the Lady's Magazine, an English periodical, some time ago. I am just getting around to looking at these. They are huge. They are heavy. And they are full of news and stories, weddings, announcements, illustrations of peoples from around the world, everything. And lots of illustrations. More lace patterns, children's clothing, bonnets and hairstyles than you can imagine. Really. It's  overwhelming. These are 2 of the full length fashion illustrations. There are dozens. The thought that these faille gowns are intended for July is a bit daunting even for a bustle dress lover like myself. 

These are of course high style,up to the minute, Paris inspired, English fashions. Dressmakers could be paid to produce these by women with means, or talented seamstresses could attempt them themselves. Patterns could be purchased. But the quantity of silk fabric and handmade lace would have been cost and labor prohibitive for the vast majority of women. Even for those with means, these gowns were investments and worn for more than one season, and restyled as fashion changed. These are like haute couture gowns today. But this type lady's magazine inspired and educated their readers. They were more than Magazines of Shopping, which is what many of the fashion mags are today.     

July10, 1875, The Queen, Carriage Toilette
"Foam of the sea" green faille and point a l'aiguille lace. Also noted that this look works in white muslin with Valenciennes lace over a colored slip. I am sure it did and was a darn sight more comfortable for summer. 

July 01, 1875, the Queen Promenade Toilette 
Heliotrope faille trimmed in Russian lace. Russian lace is lovely, but it's heavy. And I count 3 skirt layers plus a train and sash. So this is a rather stately dress for walking about and posing. 

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