Art Friday: Fancy frocks


Art Friday: Fancy frocks

Last week we looked at hats, this week its all about "fancy frocks" that ladies of the past (rich ones only) use to wear.  I am so glad I never had to wash these dresses  - it must have been a nightmare!!  I did read somewhere that the outer frocks were rarely ever washed, only the undergarments and special linings around sleeves (the areas that would get smelly) were washed. However can you imagine trying to manoeuvre around with some of these frocks (and their many layers), just going to the bathroom much have been hard work. And what about the seamstress making the frocks with no sewing machines!!

Self-portrait with Two Pupils, Marie Gabrielle Capet (1761–1818) and Marie Marguerite Carreaux de Rosemond (died 1788) Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (French, Paris 1749–1803 Paris), 1785
Princess Dagmar of Denmark, future Marie Feodorovna of Russia is posing with the bust of her father. 
Joséphine-Éléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn (1825–1860), Princesse de Broglie
Katherine Parr, Sixth Wife of King Henry VIII

María de los Dolores Collado y Echagüe, duquesa de Bailén
Portrait of Aleksandra Zatlerowa.


Grand Princess Maria Alexandrovna, Duchess of Edinburgh and Coburg
Madame Pompadour, mistress de officialle of King Louis XV of France


A few other fancy dresses, these ones from the Victorian age. 

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Comments

  1. Those are some exquisite gowns! I can't even put my head around thinking about wearing one! Great post!!
    I'm happy I found your blog~
    Nancy

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    Replies
    1. Manoeuvring must have been a challenge !! And just imagine sitting comfortably :))

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  2. Even though some of the fabric is really pretty, I just don't like most of those dresses - not just because they're ridiculously impractical, but because most of them are too immodest on the top half!! The one dress I quite like out of all those is the left dress on the very bottom of the post. :P

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    Replies
    1. There is this belief that clothes from past eras were much more modest – however, through much of history (and even in Biblical times), wealthy women dressed up to the nices, wore lots of jewels and often had quite low cut bodices to their dresses (to show the whitness (transparent) of their skins). Whilst their legs were often very well covered, their arms and neck were not. Of course, the middle to lower classes did cover up more probably to keep warm more than anything!! These dresses would have been their evening gowns, I am sure their day wear was slightly more practical but when you have maids wearing impractical outfits are just fine!!

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    2. I agree with you. Some of the skirts are lovely, but most of the upper halves are "off-the-shoulder" which I've never been a fan of, not only because it tends to be a bit immodest, but also because it isn't usually flattering to the woman's shape. They look a bit like they're hunching or not sitting up straight. Off-the-shoulder tops also tend to slide downward if they are loose or elastic. I imagine they didn't have elastic back then, but some of them are droopy.

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    3. Chrissy - I was looking at the "off-the-shoulder" dressers and I think the artists has taken some liberties to make them sit much nicer than they do in reality!! I wonder if they used draw-string to hold them up which would have cut across the skin and be quite uncomfortable! I am sure women throughout history have suffered greatly because of the fashions they wore!! I am thankful for the simplicity of our clothing these days!!

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  3. And imagining standing for hours while someone paints your picture! How boring it must have been!
    love,
    Bets

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    Replies
    1. It would be boring, but I doubt they sit the entire time the painting takes :)

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    2. PS perhaps they used models wearing the dress so the weather lady doesn't need to stand around all day?

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    3. Oh, I know they don't sit there the whole time, but even a few hours would be fearfully boring! They didnt' have cameras in those days, so would need to sit there for a bit. Of course, they may have not always painted completely accurately either ;)

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    4. Don't you think they look too good in an age of poor dental !! I think there is a bit of old fashion "photo-shop" occurring!! What royal wants to look ugly!

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  4. I found you on Wearing with Wisdom. What a great variety of dresses you've shown! Certainly times have changed (for the better, in my opinion) and we should remind ourselves how blessed we are to live in this day and age. jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jodi - these frocks were for the rich, being poor during these times would have been horrible - life in many ways is much better and we are very blessed in deed.

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  5. Beautiful, thank you for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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  6. Man, did they know how to make dresses back then or what?! So beautiful and intricate! Thank you for sharing these at the #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!

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    Replies
    1. Can you imagine the hours spent making these frocks - it would be wonderful to see one in real life to examine the stitching.

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