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Posts Tagged ‘history of fashion’

One of the assignments in the fashion history class I recently completed was to find historical fashion references in current fashion. In magazines I looked for examples covering ancient clothing to the 20th century and matched with historical images from books, plus I had to write a comment.

Gotta love those extreme sleeves of the Late 19th Century.

puffsleeves

Over-sized puffy sleeves on this otherwise simple cotton dress is the descendant of the Leg of Mutton Sleeve, which enjoyed a revival in the 1890s after its debut in the early part of the century.

By the 1890s hoops and bustles were out of fashion. As women were becoming more independent, some fighting for the right to vote, they needed to get around more easily. Simpler skirts paired with shirtwaists (blouses) were the look and when the skirts narrowed, the sleeves expanded.

lom.sleeves

A tailor-made with leg-of-mutton sleeves. c.1895. Image from Survey of Historic Costume (Fairchild Books).

 

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One of the assignments in the fashion history class I recently completed was to find historical fashion references in current fashion. In magazines I looked for examples covering ancient clothing to the 20th century and matched with historical images from books, plus I had to write a comment.

This week we are up to the Early 19th Century: Marie Sleeves.

mariesleeves

 

Louis Vuitton’s pretty puffed sleeves feel very 1820s Romantic. Called Marie Sleeves back in the day, the puffs were created by using tied ribbons. Today, elastic creates the same effect and LV has added touches of lace for good measure.

Come back next week!

 

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One of the assignments in the fashion history class I recently completed was to find historical fashion references in current fashion. In magazines I looked for examples covering ancient clothing to the 20th century and matched with historical images from books, plus I had to write a comment.

This week we have the fluff and frills of the 18th Century Ball Gown.

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This expansive backside and numerous ruffles makes this gown by Marc Jacobs fit for any Rococo 18th Century royal court. (But this model’s tiny head is calling for a tall wig.)

 

ballgown

More historical fashion next week.

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One of the assignments in the fashion history class I recently completed was to find historical fashion references in current fashion. In magazines I looked for examples covering ancient clothing to the 20th century and matched with historical images from books, plus I had to write a comment.

This week it’s the Trunk Hose from the 16th Century.

 

trunkhose

 

I was excited when I found this modern short skirt. It immediately reminded me of the ever popular men’s Trunk Hose. The precursor to Breeches, Trunk Hose initially were short and puffy, but over time they became longer and more narrow. On top a gentleman wore a Dublet, which was attached to the Trunk Hose with laces (called points) threaded through the waistband.  He sported stockings and soft shoes, later boots. In the early part of the 16th Century, ruffs were all the rage to wear at the neck; by the middle of the century Falling Collars were the thing. Check back next week for more on that.

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One of the assignments in the fashion history class I recently completed was to find historical fashion references in current fashion. In magazines we looked for examples covering ancient clothing to the 20th century and matched with historical images from books, plus we had to write a comment.

This week: The Fillet

fillet

 

This hat by Calvin Klein is much like a Fillet from the Middle Ages. Women in that period really loved their headdresses, some were quite sculptural. The Fillet was among the more modest designs and usually had a Barbette, or chin band.

Check back next week for another historical fashion reference.

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Queen Elizabeth I court dress. Paper rendering by Isabelle de Borchgrave. Photo: Andrew Fox

Good news for slow pokes who haven’t yet made it to Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco – the popular exhibit has been extended through June 12th.  A cross between art and fashion history, Pulp Fashion features over 60 historical costumes made entirely of paper by Belgian artist, Isabelle de Borchgrave.

de Borchgrave is a trained painter with a fondness for textiles. In 1994 she began using paper to recreate costumes from early European paintings. The Legion of Honor is the first U.S. museum to host a retrospective of de Borchgrave’s work.

The exhibit was curated by Jill D’Alessandro and is divided into six rooms each housing different themes of de Borchgrave’s work covering 400 years of fashion including: 

  • Renaissance costumes
  • 18th century costumes
  • historical figures
  • examples of 20th century designers Worth, Poiret, Dior, Chanel

And one room is devoted to the Spanish designer and artist Mariano Fortuny.

In addition, de Borchgrave has created especially for this exhibit four costumes inspired by paintings from the Legion of Honor permanent collection.

Detail of Queen Elizabeth I Court dress. Paper rendering by Isabelle de Borchgrave. Photo: Andrew Fox

de Borchgrave uses plain pattern paper that she stencils and/or paints with acrylic ink and shapes into clothing. (For lace she uses lens cleaning paper.) She says she uses paper for its simplicity and purity.

Her craftmanship is impressive to say the least and in photographs de Borchgrave’s paper costumes appear real, however, in person they look like what they are – artistic renderings of clothing.  This is worth noting as the paper medium highlights certain qualities of the costumes that fabric might not. For example, the images on Queen Elizabeth I court dress are more striking than its voluminous shape and the detail of a cord belt or a line of slender buttons on a Fortuny tunic catches the eye more so than the famous pleats. Given that we are looking at paper rather than fabric, we are looking more closely and differently, therefore perhaps finding new things.

Well spaced and placed in imaginative settings, the exhibit offers the opportunity to view the pieces up close. Most are visible at all angles, but for the few that aren’t, mirrors would have been a helpful addition. There are panels with information and a video showing de Borchgrave at work, however, the museum has run out of brochures, which would have been handy to refer to while touring the exhibit. (There is a catalog and other books on de Borchgrave available in the museum gift shop.)

Pulp Fashion is worth a visit to experience historical costumes come to life in an unexpected medium. Bring a group of friends along for a post visit discussion.

Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle Borchgrave runs now through June 12th at the Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave., SF.

Click here for more scoop.

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