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Victorian Fashions: A Pictorial Archive, 965 Illustrations (Dover Pictorial Archive) Paperback – January 12, 1998
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From the Back Cover
Selected by graphic artist Carol Belanger Grafton from such vintage sources as Harper's Bazar, La Mode Illustrée, Peterson's Magazine, Godey's Salon de la Mode and Frank Leslie's Ladies' Magazine, the cuts brim with clear detail and old-time flavor as they record a wealth of evolving styles―from ornate gowns of the mid-1800s, widened by hoop skirts and elaborately enhanced with ribbons, ruffles, laces, and bows, to turn-of-the-century fashions that produced leg-o'-mutton sleeves, narrowed skirts, diminished bustles, and high-necked bodices (except for evening wear, which exhibited a more daring neckline).
Here, for copyright-free use, are hundreds of elegant dresses accented with intricately embroidered designs, shirtwaists featuring lace inserts, and row upon row of tiny pleats, tightly laced undergarments, wide-brimmed hats topped with feathers, flowers, and ribbon; beaded handbags, magnificent parasols, fur-trimmed capes, and much, much more.
An invaluable reference to period clothing styles for designers, illustrators, and costume historians, this magnificent archive―with its entertaining glimpse of the fashions of yesteryear―will also delight casual browsers and lovers of Victoriana.
Original Dover (1999) publication.
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Top Customer Reviews
- Victorian Fashions and Costumes from 'Harper's Bazar', Stella Blum;
- Victorian and Edwardian Fashions from La Mode Illustree, Joanne Olian;
- Wedding Fashions 1860-1912, Joanne Olian;
- Victorian and Edwardian Fashion: A Photographic Survey, Alison Gernsheim;
- English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century, C. Willett Cunnington;
- and this book.
Carol Grafton's book is really more of an assemblage of pictures for illustrators than anything else, but what pictures! Over 900 B&W drawings lovingly display every little detail of the elaborate costumes of the Victorian and early Edwardian eras from the mid-1850's to 1903. This book doesn't have much in the way of text so it's not as comprehensive a research resource as some of the others that I've mentioned, but as an auxiliary resource to the other books on the above list, it's perfect.
My only issue with this book is that the content is not quite evenly distributed; nearly 75% of the book is dedicated to the 1880's and '90's, while the 1850's, '60's, and '70's receive much less attention. I'm not sure if this is a result of older material being hard to find, but I personally would have preferred a more uniform distribution of the material.
For those who are curious, here are the number of pages dedicated to specific years:
1855-1859 - 1 page
1860-1864 - 4 pages
1865-1869 - 6 pages
1870-1874 - 6.5 pages
1875-1879 - 5.5 pages
1880-1884 - 9 pages
1885-1889 - 15 pages
1890-1894 - 28 pages
1895-1899 - 28 pages
1900-1903 - 22 pages
Nonetheless, it's a beautiful book. If you're looking for a cursory look of Victorian fashion or more specifically interested in the '80's and '90's, I would definitely recommend it!
This is a great resource for the following users:
Any surface designers: these illustrations can be scanned in, recolored and used in a variety of surface and product designs
Writers: a great visual reference to describe characters' clothing in gothic novels or short stories
Fashion Design students: as reference, an idea source on design details or to practice sketching
Scrapbookers/crafters: a variety of projects, my favorite being scanning in at high resolution, enlarging in any design software and doing a heat transfer on canvas to create Pottery barn/Anthropologie style pillows
Costume Designers; great reference for any theatrical production of this period, with tons of ideas.
Web designers: a huge collection of images for any websites that call for a vintage feel - boutiques, collectors, restaurants and events.
I do wish that this book had a CD-Rom included, but its not really a big deal - I find that i do not even use the scanner to import the images most of the time, but snap a picture with my phone and upload it.
This book as exactly as the title describes: illustrations. I think that some of the 1 and 2 star reviews on this item are unfair with complains about the lack of descriptions or exact historical references.
It is JUST illustrations, and anyone seeking a more informative resource should do more research about the item, rather than leave bad reviews.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very nice examples of Victorian clothing. A good general guide.Published 6 months ago by Karen L. Smith
Great book for anyone interested in the Victorian Era. My 15 year old Grand Daughter is one of these people - she was thrilled with the gift and happily sketching the costumes.Published 13 months ago by Pamelashearman
Good reference book for costuming. Arrived on time in good condition. Thank youPublished 18 months ago by Karen McCarty
I love it. The level of detail will keep me inspired and designing for a long time. There is so much to pour over.Published 20 months ago by L. Hermes
The book provides information and pictures of Victoran fashions which is good to look at. More words demanded for review = toughPublished 22 months ago by Kathleen Nash
rubbish without color,all the pictures could be found on the internet. don't buy it next time. otherwise you be disappointed.Published on October 17, 2013 by Dachuan Liu
Buy this book if you can to add to your library. This is only one book that allows me to make dresses of this era.Published on April 27, 2013 by Francis M. Lopez