Another inspiration post. I started looking for images for this post with the idea of selecting any blue natural form fashion plate dress I liked. Apparently, that wasn’t specific enough, as I was finished with over 25 images. So for this post, my favorite dark-blue natural form fashion-plate dresses. Maybe I’ll do a light blue version later…
I’m busy working on my regency dress, and it’s actually starting to look like something! No pictures yet though, but working with the lovely blue fabric is amazing. It’s such a lovely shade, and it catches the light in a very sublte way which makes it change color, it made me think of the color of the sea. A bit blue, a bit gray and a hint of green somewhere.
So as I don’t have any pictures yet, I was inspired to do a post on blue dresses. And because there’s so many amazing blue bustle gowns, a focus on the 1880’s.
Some deep-blue dresses from the period:
William Benton Museum of Art
And some blue/white seaside dresses in fashion plates:
And one extant example:
I recently stumbled upon these lovely fashion plates from 1790, which appeared in the magazine ‘Journal de la mode et du goût’. Fashions from France, in the beginning of the revolution. You can clearly see this from the high amount of white/blue/red fabrics used, the colors of the revolution.
Now, pretty pictures!
When thinking of the fashions between 1788 and 1820, the obvious characteristics seem to be a high waist-line, as slim skirt and puff-sleeves. There’s a lot more variation in sleeve styles though, with long/elbow/short length sleeves and both puffs and narrow sleeves. I started to look at this because I wanted something different than the classic puff, and found this great article at Historical Sewing which gives a good overview. But even within the short styles worn for evening wear, there’s a lot more variation than just narrow/puffed. So for this post a whole bunch of short regency sleeve styles from various fashion plates, to serve as inspiration. Starting with bands of gathered fabric, to fitted sleeves with embroidery, scallops, ruching and pleats, to puff sleeves in multiple variations, to sleeves gathered in the center.
One of my favourite things about 18th century fashions are the fabrics, the colours and the prints. There’s a lot of lovely prints in this era, but one of the most common one is a simple stripe print. Of course, when incorporated into a late 18th century dress, stripes become anything but simple. Another good thing about stripes is that its relatively easy to find modern fabrics which can be used for this period! In this post some of my favourite late 18th century fashion plates involving stripes.
Of course, there’s the black/white grey type of stripe. I personally love this print.
Then there’s the revolutionary colour scheme of black, white and red. The colours of the revolution in France.
But, of course, any colour combination is possible. Purple/blue, or lime green/pink, or yellow green, etc.
Everyone knows the stereotype 1950s red dress with black dots, but they have been around for much longer. Somehow I’m always a bit surprised to find dots on older garments, but I really love them. So just for eye-candy, here’s a collection of dots in Victorian fashion plates.
1860s. I adore this dress.
1860s. A more subtle application of the black-on-white pattern
1870s. Another black/white dress. The fabric almost looks sheer, and look at all the little bows!
1880s. A very nautical version of dots.
1880s. I really love the icy-blue/dark red combination in this dress.
1880s. Pink, anyone?
1880s. I’m not yet sure if I find the yellow/purple combination brilliant or horrible.
1880s. I’d never have believed that this pattern was historically correct for Victorian fashion, but here it is…