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Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper's Bazar, 1867-1898 (Dover Fashion and Costumes) Paperback – June 1, 1974
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Books such as this cause one to wonder what has happened to the fashion world: Where is the attention to detail, grace, and femininity? Does being "modern" require casting aside all vestiges of elegance and art? I think not. Remember - The fashions shown in this book persisted for 3 decades, crossed the millennial boundary between the 1800s and 1900s. This says a lot.
While it is true that the clothing and accessories in this collection were not the ordinary everyday dress of most women in Victorian times, and were certainly NOT affordable for working class or poor women, what we are looking at here is haute-couture. So, comparing these garments to the haute-couture of today's major fashion houses, modern women surely deserve better dress-up, better textile, and more well-fitting garments for their money.
Sound cranky? Time after time my own high-fashion purchases have been very quickly donated to the hospital charity auctions. Western women - and American women in particular - have become taciturn about the uninteresting, thrown together, flimsy, and often outright immodest attire tossed out at high prices by the big fashion houses.
I have wondered for decades whether there are any smart, bold women out there who can find the compromise and give us clothing we can treasure again.
Victorian Fashion from Harper's Bazaar 1867-1898 is definitive book on Victorian fashions, however, while is stunning work, you should buy Full-Color Victorian Fashions from Dover Publishing as well. Together they are everything you need. This book goes in rich detail, just not the dresses but down to hair and accessories. It's broken down into four sections: 1) Bustles and Puff (1867-1874) 2) Natural Forma and Cuirass Body (1875-1882) 3) Return of the Bustle (1883-1890) and 4) Hourglass Figure (1891-1898). The drawings are detailed and cover every aspect of fashion of this era.
An absolute must for romance writers of this period. High recommended.
The arrangement of the book in chronological order by year makes it very easy to find historically correct garments, accessories, and hair styles. A brief overview of characteristics specific to the era is included in each section. Most pictures have captions that identify the type of garment and often the fabrics and colors used in a garment.
I used information in this book to create a bodice and bustle representative of the period for a skirt Mary Todd Lincoln wore in 1872 in England.
With all the historical patterns available in the major pattern books, the costumer or reenactor can find a basic pattern and add the correct construction details and embellishments. I enjoy browsing the book and wondering what life was like for the women who wore these clothes. If you are looking for information about the clothing worn by the common woman, you won't find it here. After all, this is from Harper's Bazar, the Vogue of the 19th Century.
There is also a good glossary of terms and colors in the back of the book. Which is a great help for some of the more obscure descriptions.
Too bad there's no color plates.....leaves more for the imagination to fill in I suppose. And BOY will this book keep you dreaming!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very helpful book for dating clothing & some unmentionables...Good photos & informationPublished 1 month ago by c o l
Pictures are facing the wrong way and makes difficult to read and look at photos. Get the hard copy book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by mrsfog10
So many stunning detail shots, front, side, and back! Tons of accessories, wigs, and hair styles for the time span too. Read morePublished 5 months ago by J. Blair
I am so beyond thrilled to have a copy of this in my small but growing collection of sewing/fashion books. I find Victorian fashion to be so inspiring. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Theresa Johnson
Purchased for my wife, who knows far more about this than I do. She says it's very accurate and comprehensive.Published 7 months ago by J. Mulherin
All fashions should not be forgotten. This book helps us remember. I couldn't get this checked out at the library. It's only desk reference.Published 8 months ago by I C S
Stella Blum spent many years gathering material for this book. She was a prolific contributor to the American Costume Society. Read morePublished 10 months ago by SUSANNE HIBBERT