1/01/2009

Fashion of the week - Evening wear of 1830


This evening costume dates to the year 1830 – and was first shown in the French fashion magazine Costumes Parisienne. It is actually just one dress, and supposedly it is the same girl too, shown in different angles. It is the same hair-do and the same jewellery on both figures.

Typical of this time are the very broad sleeves and the very slim waist – there were a lot of women who would never have managed to squeeze themselves into something like this. But since it was a drawn picture, it was quite easy to show off an ideal of a woman-figure. And the fact that it was a drawing did not stop women from trying to look as close to pictures like this as absolutely possible. This is, after all, the time of the corset – in a way that it had not been just ten years earlier.

The picture shows off the dress quite clearly, after all you can see both back and front of the dress – it happens on fashion-plates from time to time, but it is not that common. The dress in itself is quite typical of the day both in model and colouring. Bright and light colours on eveningwear (for women, of course) were a common theme throughout most of the 19th century. A few other common themes for parties and what to wear to them are also the long gloves, the deep neckline that showed quite a lot of skin, the fan and the ballet-like slippers. What is less common for the 19th century in general is the hair-do. It is high and complicated and must have been quite headache-inducing (if it was ever worn like this in real life, it is quite possible that the reality made women wear something inspired by this picture – but at least somewhat more practical).

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