Archive for dress

Cabinet Card: Girl in First Communion dress

Posted in 1900s, cabinet cards, girls, Special Occasion with tags , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2010 by Alinka Lesbianka

Girl in First Communion dress

Backmark:  None.  Front reads “Conrad Magnus Photo Artist Hoboken N.J.”

Date: c. 1900

Subject: Seated Girl, full length

Location: Hoboken, N.J.

Note: This is another period that I don’t know much about; ditto for first communion clothes.  Feel free to help me out!

Dress:  She wears a light dotted dress, it could be a silk or cotton.  It is semi-sheer, and the dots may be printed in another light color.  The skirt is ruched around her hips, and cut in a slight trumpet shape.  The hem is accentuated with a tuck about 2″ in depth.  If she were standing, the skirt would probably reach to her lower calf.

The bodice has a yoke that is pleated.  Many dresses from this period had tucked (sewn-down pleats) yokes, but this one does not appear to have sewn pleats.  The bodice is full at her front ribcage, which is characteristic of this period.  There is a faux-berthe lace collar that spreads over her shoulders and helps give a smooth line to the fullness in the front bodice.  The short standing collar is sheer and edged in lace.  A woman’s collar from this period would have reached all the way to the top of the neck and been supported by small bones.

Note the hint of a bow at the nape of her neck.

The sleeves are full, ending in a band just below her elbow.  There is lace tacked to the band, a sartorial remnant of the washable, detachable cuffs that women had been wearing for most of the 19th century.

Accessories: she wears long, white gloves with pin-tucks at the back of the hand.  Note the bracelet worn over her left glove.  There is also a tiny brooch at her throat.

Hair: Her hair is pulled up into a fashionable top-knot and finished with a ribbon and flowers.  The flowers are probably specific to the occasion (her first communion?  I am bad at judging ages.  Maybe her confirmation.)

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Cabinet Card: 1870s Amelia van Strandres

Posted in 1870s, CDV, jewelry, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2010 by Alinka Lesbianka

Amelia van Strandes, 1870s

Amelia van Strandes, backmark Backmark: Houston  307 King Street S.C.  [handwritten: “Amelia Vans——-“]

Date: c. 1870s

Subject: Portrait of a woman

Location:  Houston, S.C. [Note: There is a Houston in North Carolina, about 8 miles from the South Carolina border.  I wonder if the boundary has changed since the 1870s?]

Dress:  Silk, probably a solid-colored taffeta.  There is a decorative square inset at the front neck of the bodice.  I am not sure, but I think it is probably just piping basted onto the bodice to give the illusion of being a separate piece.  The mid-height standing collar is a darker color from the bodice.  Perhaps velvet?

She wears a heavily pleated white collar inside the dress collar, and a bow tacked or pinned at the neck.  A black lace fichu or necktie is pinned over everything.

Jewelry: She wears hooked earrings, rather large and probably metal.  There is a chain looped around her neck.  I’m not sure if it is a necklace or a fob.

Hair: This style is really magnificent and undoubtedly required extra hair.  The rolls on top are probably fake (real human hair, but purchased in the pre-rolled form), as is the mass of hair just visible in a coil behind the bow.  I suspect that the long curls are real.

I don’t know much about this period, I’m afraid.  If you can make any corrections, please do.

Photograph: Woman with Sword Pin, c. 1895

Posted in 1890s, cabinet cards, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Woman with Sword Pin, c. 1895

Photograph: Woman with Sword Pin, c. 1895

Backmark: None

Date:. c. 1895

Subject: Woman Seated

Location: Unknown

Note: This looks like a photograph of a Cabinet Card.

Dress: This woman wears a two-piece dress with large leg-o’-mutton sleeves. The bodice is fitted over a corset with tucks radiating up from CF/waist. The bodice closes at center front with hooks and eyes. The sleeves are typical of the mid 1890s. They may be supported inside with horsehair fabric or pleated buckram lining the sleeve, or a separate set of sleeve cages or pillows.

An enormous eyelet collar fans out from her neck and over the sleeves. The dress is finished with a high standing collar, bows at the shoulder, and trim at the waist made of velvet. A tiny sword pin pierces the front of the collar.

Hair: She wears her hair swept back, with small curls framing her forehead. A small comb holds the sides of her hair back, she probably has a matching one on the other side of her head.

The hat is typical of the 1890s. It rests directly on top of the head and level, and adds height with bows and feathers. Feather use in clothing and accessories reached a peak in the 1880s and 1890s. Entire birds (and other small animals) adorned hats and became fans. The straight, spiky plumes in this woman’s hat may be from one of any number of exotic birds, but are probably egret.

CDV: Large Woman in Silk Dress, c. 1860-62

Posted in 1860s, Brooches, CDV, Silk Dresses, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Large Woman in Silk Dress, c. 1860-62

CDV: Large Woman in Silk Dress, c. 1860-62

Large Woman in Silk Dress, backmark

CDV: Large Woman in Silk Dress, backmark

Backmark: “P. Rosenaker, Photographer, No. 51 Third Avenue, N.Y.

Date: c. 1860-62

Subject: Woman Standing

Location: New York, NY

Dress: One piece, attached bodice and skirt with “pagoda” style sleeves. Silk, plain weave. Opens up center front with concealed hooks and eyes. Bodice is dart-fitted; darts are very high and from the slight puckers at bust level, it appears that they let out (i.e. are not sewn to the tip of the dart) The bodice is poorly fitted, note the horizontal wrinkles caused by being too long and too narrow for her corseted torso.

Sleeves are trimmed with ribbon or ruching along the cuff and up to the armscye. Decorative buttons up front placket.

The skirt is attached to the bodice with knife pleats (possibly gathers, it is not clear). The skirt ends about 4-6″ from the floor in front and is bound at the hem with wool braid. Note how narrow the skirt is in relation to the cage crinoline supporting it.

Her collar is about 3″ wide, which indicates an earlier date (1850s) but she may simply have been out of fashion. Her hair is in a style typical of the early 1860s. She also wears undersleeves and a brooch at center front/neck and earrings.

Hair: Center parted, combed down behind her ears. Bound rather low on the nape of her neck in a coil.

CDV: Woman in Fan-front Dress, c. 1860

Posted in 1860s, CDV, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Woman in Fan-front Dress, c. 1860

CDV: Woman in Fan-front Dress, c. 1860

Backmark: None

Date: c. 1860

Subject: Woman

Location: Unknown

Dress: One-piece dressed composed of bodice with attached skirt; fabric is probably wool, plain weave and solid color; fan-front bodice (“Y-bodice”) with pleats at shoulder; “bishop” or gathered sleeve into a cuff, pleats at armscye; knife-pleated skirt.

This woman is unusual for a few reasons. The fan-front bodice went out of style before CDVs were invented (1858), and she does not appear to be wearing a cage crinoline. There are a few explanations possible: 1) The CDV is very old (c. 1858)- supported by her style of dress. 2) She wears outdated styles, is perhaps marginalized by location, age, status 3) She is a Quaker or a member of a similar religious group- supported by her plain clothing and simple hairstyle. I don’t know enough about Quakers to be sure, can anyone help with this? Her flat, narrow collar, which was stylish in the early to mid 1860s, supports #3.

Fan front bodices were usually gathered or gauged at the waist; some were tucked, though tucks were more typical of earlier styles of the fan-front (1820s-40s). The pleats at the shoulder was a feature dating back decades.

She does not appear to be wearing a crinoline. Although it is impossible to be sure, especially without seeing the hem, the bulge at her hips looks more like the abrupt fullness of several petticoats and a pad than the smooth curve of a cage.

The dark velvet ribbon tied around her neck may be a watch fob. I guess this by how it is pulled taut and to the left. Watch pockets were usually small, horizontal pockets sewn into the waist of the skirt.

Hair: Her hair is center parted and combed behind her ears. There is none of the side fullness typical of the period. Her hair is probably bound up in a simple bun at the back.

Cabinet Card: Woman, 1860s

Posted in 1860s, Brooches, CDV, Great Hair, Silk Dresses, watches, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Woman, 1860s

Cabinet Card: Woman, 1860s

Woman, 1860s, Backmark

Cabinet Card: Woman, 1860s, Backmark

Backmark: “S. Piper, 864 Elm St., Manchester, N.H.”

Date: Original image c. 1860

Subject: Woman

Location: Manchester, N.H.

Note: The style of dress in this photo predates the invention of the Cabinet Card, so I believe that this is a reprint of an older photograph.

Dress: This woman wears a one-piece dress, attached skirt and bodice, of silk.  The fabric appears to be solid-coloured.  Her bodice is darted fitted, opens up center front with concealed hooks and eyes, and decorated with a row of ornamental buttons

Her sleeves, while not completely out of style in the late 1850s and early 1860s, were certainly unusual for the time.  They are probably made in two parts- the top section sewn onto a tight lower section.  I am not aware of a specific name for this cut of sleeve, either period or modern.  Gigot or leg’o’mutton always seemed to me to most accurately describe the one-piece sleeves that are puffed at the top and narrow at the cuff (after all, a leg of lamb is in one piece!).  At first glance this woman’s sleeve resembles the gigot, but I think the shape is different enough that it deserves another name.

Her full skirt is worn over a wide hoop or cage crinoline.  The skirt is knife-pleated into the waist, with the pleats facing towards center front.  Her skirt is trimmed in several horizontal bands.  I can’t tell exactly what the trimming is, but a good possibility is that it is rows of self-fabric ruched up the center to from two puffs, and outlined top and bottom with velvet ribbon.

She wears a watch fob suspended from her belt- the watch is tucked into a small, vertical watch-pocket.  The majority of watch-pockets that I have seen on original garments are horizontal and on the left side of the dress (PL), but vertical pockets do show up occasionally.

Her dress is finished with narrow, flat white collar, pinned at the throat with a brooch.

Hair:  Instead of trying to tame naturally curly hair into the smooth hairstyles popular during the mid-victorian period, many curly-headed women preferred to wear them in controlled ringlets.  We would call them “banana curls.”  This woman conforms to the style of the period by center-parting her hair, oiling it, and setting it into uniform ringlets.

Tintype: Girl in Hat

Posted in 1860s, neckties, Tintypes, young women with tags , , , , , , on December 16, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Girl in Hat, c. 1865-70

Tintype: Girl in Hat, c. 1865-70

Backmark: None

Date: c. 1865-70

Subject: Young Woman

Location: Unknown

Dress:  This young woman wears a bodice trimmed with ribbon in a large geometric pattern.  It is unclear whether the buttons are functional or decorative.  She wears a ribbon necktie that is either pinned to a high collar or forms the collar itself.  She wears no visible jewelry.

Hat & Hair:  Her hair is pulled straight back from her face and arranged in a vertical oval-shaped roll at the back of her head.  She wears a stylish hat, probably made of straw or woven straw and horsehair.  The low, flat-topped crown sits straight on her head, while the narrow brim comes to a point in front just over her eyebrows.  The hat is trimmed with ribbon and silk or wax flowers on the side.