Favorite decades: 1910's, 1800's, 1870's
Favorite artists: Anthony van Dyck, Giovanni Boldini, Henry Fuseli, Thomas Lawrence
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Mourning parasol, 1895-1900 US, the Metropolitan Museum of Art
A beautiful as well as large parasol, it is decidedly for mourning. This fact is evidenced by the hidden mourning crepe found in the middle layer between the taffeta and the densely ruched mousseline de soie. The handle is also extremely refined.
Photo of Bessie Emma Miller (1870-1931), sister-in-law of one of my great-uncles, ca 1895 US (North Carolina - Lincoln or Cabarrus County)
Cartoon from the Aug 7, 1895 issue of Puck: “The bicycle - The great dress reformer of the nineteenth century!”, 1895 US
Corset, 1890-95 England, the V&A Museum
Improvements in design, equipment and materials meant that corsets could mould the figure to suit the latest fashions. The straight busk on this corset creates a vertical line from bust to abdomen which complemented the less rounded, more angular silhouette of the 1890s. It was also supposed to relieve pressure on the internal organs while supporting the stomach. Shaped pieces (five on each side) have been seamed together and bust and hip gussets inserted to give the corset its distinctive shape. Strips of whalebone follow the contours of the hourglass silhouette, creating a rigid structure to emphasise the smallness of the waist. Each strip is enclosed in a bone channel formed by neat rows of machine stitching. The decorative embroidery stitches (flossing) visible towards the bottom and back of the corset prevent the whalebone from forcing its way out of these channels. A hook is attached at the centre front to prevent the petticoat from riding up and causing extra bulk at the waist.
Evening dress, 1895-1899 London, the V&A Museum