Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Not So Shabby Chic?

More fun with 19th century fashion prints. 😍

Although I mostly collect prints from Ackermann’s Repository and La Belle Assemblée, I have smaller collections of prints from other publications, including the Lady’s Magazine, the Ladies’ Monthly Museum, and the French Journal des Dames et des Modes, which was published in Paris between 1797 and 1839.  I especially love the prints from the 1830s from that last magazine—the fashion prints are wildly over the top: dresses with absolutely enormous bouffant sleeves and flowing skirts that seem to involve acres of fabric, often exuberantly printed, and millinery that would stop traffic...and they often include fun background props as well—like this particular print, from the August 5, 1833 edition (the magazine appeared every five days—!!)

Here is what I am guessing is an afternoon dress, something suitable for paying calls or shopping. The two ladies so animatedly chatting are wearing the same style; this tête-à-tête pose was often used to show the back and front of a dress. Here are the large gigot sleeves, full skirts, and large bonnets of the time, along with an elegant black lace scarf and pleated bodice.  But what grabbed my attention about this print was the furniture.

Check out the chair in the foreground: it’s a wooden armchair, covered with a fabric slipcover that’s right out of a “shabby chic” photo shoot! Maybe I’m just being silly, but for some reason this tickled me. To stay in keeping with the illustration, all I can say is, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...!*

*The more things change, the more they remain the same.

1 comment:

QNPoohBear said...

Shabby Chic has been around under various names throughout history. It was really popular in the 1890s/early 1900 as the Arts and Crafts movement gained popularity.