Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Treasure Trove of Fashion

Oh the lovely things discovered while sashaying about the Web. A few days ago I happened upon the New York Public Library Digital Gallery and its wondrous collections.  You'll find collections of images with far-flung topics like cigarette cards to pages filled with images of Gertrude Stein, but it was the Empire and Regency: Decoration in  the Age of Napoleon and Dress & Fashion: Design and Manufacture that really caught my eye.

I unabashedly admit it...I adore history in all it's glory.  A few topics are near and dear to my heart: love, romance, gardening, flowers, letters, diaries, and fashion.  I've always dreamed of climbing the stairs up to an attic and finding old chests and trunks filled with hundreds of years of old clothes. Well, it actually happened once. The clothes were mostly children's and from the turn of the century and into the early 30s, but that's a story for another post.  Just imagine finding a gown from 1776 or a morning dress from the Regency era.  What sheer delight.

Finding fashion plates online is somewhat like discovering that old trunk filled with dresses, aprons, skirts, bodices, shawls, capes, hats, and shoes.  Excitement courses through me and I'm lost in the moment. I spend too much time lost in the feminine vanity of clothing, but who could resist such delicious images as this one from Les Modes Feminines Du XIX Siecle?

 Or these delightful shoes from a book entitled Ladies Dress Shoes of the Nineteenth Century by T. Watson Grieg of Glencarse in 1900
   "Brocade shoe; red and white satin shoe; 
shoe belonging to Rosa Anderson, a fair maid of Perth, whose
elopement created a great sensation in bygone days in the town,
to whose council her husband belonged."

As a devotee of historic gardens and a lover of heirloom roses I was quivering with delight at finding Designs of the Pavillon at Brighton with Humphry Reptons landscape plans for the Prince Regent's holiday home.
   General Ground Plan : The Parade of North Steyn
"Designs for the pavillon at Brighton: humbly inscribed to
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales 
by H. Repton 1808"

I will be listing all the links on the Resource page.  

The next post will focus entirely on Henri Boutet and his marvelous illustrations of the ladies of Paris.   Until then...


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