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I am a Docent and tour guide to the historic Hearthside House in Lincoln, RI. I have a passion for the Victorian era.

I am a lover of the art of drinking tea, having Victorian tea parties, and teaching young girls tea etiquette and proper manners in public.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Fashion Week Rhode Island 2017


Queen Victoria of England set the Victorian fashion trend back in 1830s to 1900s.



The Industrial Revolution bridged Europe and America with regards to travel and fashion.
 
 In order to research fashions of the Victorian era in relationship to today's fashions, one must examine the foundations of the Victorian fashion.




*We welcome lady Estelle, a Victoriana reenactor, donned in her authentic reproduction of the 1880's Victorian Walking Suit.






It's Taffeta close-fitted Waist Coat with a tailed look in the back, show off her bustled full length under skirt layered with a heavily bustled over skirt.  Also donned with a matching hat and reticuleShe finish the look with detachable lace collar and cuffs.
 

  A Victorian lady never showed her legs in public. When she need to lift her skirts to ascend stairs, she would do so showing her handsome ankle boots only, no higher.




 The properly attired Victorian lady is never seen in public without her hat and gloves. The hat is secured to her head with a very long hat pin. 

Remove hat and show hat pin.  

  Note: The hat pin also was a form of weapon or protection from attack in public.------




Lady Estelle will be removing the top layers, with the help of an assistant, to show how the foundation garment create the desired look of the times.


   *The first layer of undergarments of a proper Victorian women. This is her Over Petticoat, often, with an elaborately embroidered hem. It is worn over the layered under petticoats . Sometime as many as six petties, depending on the era.



This is the garment that brings the most fullness to the outer garment.  Made of layers of flounced cotton and a pretty laced hemline----
 Remove this item.

 
*The next item was wore in the 1880's, taking the place of the large hoop skirt. The wired cage.. .This spring steel structures that was very light, rather than imprisoning women in cages (as some of the reports and images suggest) they had a liberating effect. They freed women from the layers and layers of heavy petticoats and were much more hygienic and comfortableThis is called a fish tailed cage.






So you ask, How does one sit in this thing? Well, Very lady like. 

 





She lifts up one corner of her cage and sits down sideways on an arm-less chair.  She gently pushes down on her skirt to prevent it from popping up. Very interesting piece of garment.-------
Remove this garment.



*Next item of clothing is the Under Petticoat, usually quite plain . Often Under Petticoats were made of  flannel fabric and were heavy, bulky and generally uncomfortable. It was mainly for the warmth of the legs. 
The petticoat were also made of light cotton and worn with a corset cover.
 










The corset cover was worn for two reasons. One, to prevent the bones or laces of the corset to show though the bodice or waist coat. The second is to protect and keep the corset clean from clothes dyes. These pieces were easy to wash and were washed often.------
Remove these two pieces


The next item worn under the Victorian dress is the corset which, with its back lacing, has a front busk closure. This style of Victorian corsets were first introduced in the late l840s. Knowing how to lace a corset was necessary to achieve the correct look in Victorian fashion.

 

The lady had to have help getting into and out of her corset.

The modern day Victorian, Lady Estelle, spent many hour learning how to get into her corset by herself and with half the time.
Note: The stockings and boots were the first items that a Victorian lady would put on in the morning. 
The reason is, that once she put on her corset, she was not able to bend down to tie or lace up her boot.------
Remove the corset

*Worn under the corset is the Chemise, an unshaped undergarment which reaches just below the knees and has a drawstring neckline. This garment was close to the skin and also help keep the corset clean. Corset were difficult to wash because of the steel closure and boning.




 Beneath the chemise, Lady Estelle is wearing bloomers.

 The bloomers are calf length with scalloped, embroidered hems. Bloomers were usually wore by young girls and older women wore drawers.
Show drawers in hand.

 The drawers had a back button closure and open legged for convenience to use the necessaryVictoria Secrets has nothing up on the Victorian woman.
Even the Victorian ladies stocking were often made of cotton or silk, decorated with satin bows and lace. It was held up with fancy guarders. No one every seen these lovely little things in public, but the Victorian women knew she was beautiful from underneath.-------


With this understanding of the fashion's  foundation, it shows you the journey that fashion has taken into the 21st century.



Thank you to Lady Estelle for being the keeper of  fashion's past.









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My Victorian Hostess Gown


Honorable Mention:

Costume Contest USA Entry 29.) Dress: Historic Hearthside House Hostess Gown Victorian Costume Contest



Victorian Dress Costume ContestComment by JUDGE Lisa Schnapp: 8/15/2010

"Lovely, glowing creation blended of soft, feminine hues. A stunning gown that embodies Victorian style femininity..."








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