7/10/2008

Fashion of the week - English coats, 1860

Three walking-costumes from Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, November 1860. This is of course an English picture, showing English fashion - but it differed little from the latest from Paris at the time. The text over the title of magazine states that this sketch was designed and executed for this magazine. This is not so strange as it might seem. This was not a time when designers could make their dresses, take photos of them and spread to the world. Instead the power was left in the hands of artists to capture what was modern at the time and tell through magazines of this kind. But to come up with original ideas was sometimes hard and it is not unknown of artists who copied others works. This should not be the case now.

The picture in itself presents few surprises. The dresses has the typical form of the late 1850's and early 1860's and the coats are made to fit a wearer in the hostile climate of an English winter, being of the long and sturdy kind. The blue dress in the middle is more to show how a dress beneath such a coat could look like - it was not expected of a proper English woman to walk outdoors in the wintermonths with nothing more than that. But she still has the gloves and bonnet that was expected if you were to venture outdoors. The bonnets look very much like the ones you would wear the rest of the year and not very special for the season.

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