Vintage Fashion Photography: Edwardian Ladies in Summer Straw Hats (The Delineator, March 1903)




Nine thumbnail photos of Edwardian ladies posing with straw hats from the March 1903 issue of The Delineator. The trend seems to call for embellishments in the form of feathers and plenty of flowers.

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Victorian Fashion Illustration: The Bride (Godey's, January 1860)


First-generation digital scan of an engraved fashion plate (in full color) from the January 1860 issue of Godey's Lady's Book in my personal collection. The description from the book reads as follows:

The Bride's Toilet. -- Gored dress of thick white silk, sloped to the hips, the only ornament being flat bows of white satin ribbon, fastened by pearl buckles in the centre; these extend from the throat to the hem of the skirt. Veil of thulle. Wreath, mounted in the coronet form, of fine flowers, jessamine, and rose-buds.

From left to right:

Fig. 1. -- Dress of queen's purple moire; the skirt full and plain, ornamented by a tablier trimmed of black Chantilly lace, placed spirally on each side of the front breadth, and following the opening of the corsage around the throat. From the waist line to the hem of the skirt is placed a row of rosettes of silk and lace. Sleeves, quite tight at the shoulder, and widening a little to the parement or turned back cuff. Undersleeves and chemisette of point lace. Bonnet of white therry velvet with white plumes.

Fig. 2. -- Dress of steel blue and black Bayadere stripes on a white ground, suited, at this season, only at dinner, evening, or dress receptions. The sleeve is new, and extremely pretty; corsage plain, and in double points at the waist. Bonnet of white crape, with wreaths of bluish roses outside and in; strings of rose-colored ribbon.

Fig. 3. -- Dress of Azof green moire, made en surplis, or tending decidedly to one side, in the arrangement of the trimming, which consists of lappet ornaments in black lace; corsage open after the style of a vest, or en gilet.

Fig. 4. -- Robe or pattern dress, of steel blue silk, with a border and tablier front of velvet, a light shade of groseille, with a raised figure in black, and tassels of groseille at the end of each bar. The sleeves are quite tight, with caps and cuffs of the velvet. Bonnet of white crape. Clotilde veil of blonde.

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Victorian Fashion Illustration: Morning and Dinner Dresses (Peterson's Magazine, July 1857)


A fashion illustration from my collection of Peterson's Magazine, July 1857 issue. From the magazine, the description of the dresses are:

On the left, a morning dress of white cambric, trimmed in front in the apron style with insertions and heavy worked rufflings. The corsage is made with a basque and ornamented to correspond with the skirt.

On the right, a dinner dress of white muslin, trimmed with three flounces richly embroidered. Corsage high. A small mantle of white muslin, embroidered.

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Vintage Fashion Illustration: Edwardian Ladies in Dinner and Reception Gowns, 1901


Antique fashion illustration from the December 1901 issue of The Delineator. The magazine says: "On the left, charming simplicity marks this gown, for which black crêpe de Chine was chosen in combination with jetted lace, rowa of ribbons of graduated widths and narrow ruffles of the crêpe de Chine. The waist is in low, rounding outline at the top, a short distance from which a ruffle of the material is arranged so that with the jetted lace it suggests a bertha. A closing is made at the back with small buttons, and the front blouses with becoming fulness [sic]. The cap sleeves are circularly shaped, and a ribbon belt describes the dip.

An inverted box-plait takes up the fulness at the back of the five-gored skirt, and a graduated, circular flounce is added. Several narrow ruffles arranged on the flounce near the bottom give a fluffy effect. White embroidered mousseline de soie will evolve a handsome evening gown, with medallion of black lace on white-edged black chiffon. A sash of black chiffon would be a pretty adjunct. Nile-green Louisine with appliqués of point Venise lace, or black dotted net over white taffeta will make a smart gown, and bows of black velvet and Liberty silk ruffles will be dainty as graniture.

On the right, tucks are employed in the decoration of this waist, which is low and square at the neck where it is outlined by a shallow bertha. The fronts puff out prettily and are tucked at the top and bottom, while the back is tucked to suggest a girdle. A closing is arranged to the left side. Tucked sleeves are also introduced, terminating in a puff at the elbow. A crush belt of panne velvet is worn, and the material employed in the development was Nile-green Lansdowne with self-colored dots. Cream lace appliqué was applied on the bertha.

The skirt is also of the Lansdowne, trimmed to match the bodice. It is circular and has a graduated flounce of similar shaping, while the back is in habit style. Pale-yellow taffeta will make up well in this gown, and the indispensable touch of black may be introduced in a chou of chiffon at the left of the corsage. Crêpe de Chine, mousseline both plain and dotted, and the various new silks are appropriate, and a ribbon belt may be used.

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Victorian Fashion Illustration: Visiting Costume (Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine, December 1875)


A black and white fashion engraving from my collection of Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine, December 1875 issue. Here is the description from the magazine:

Nos. 1 and 2 are illustrations showing the front and back of a visiting costume. The demi-train skirt is of olive-green faille, with the lower portion of the triple-plaited back-breadths trimmed with a deep half-plaited flounce, with a heading of small puffs and a stand-up ruffle, the sides and front-breadths being crossed with three gathered flounces -- the two first ones surmounted with rouleaux, and the third one with a succession of narrow folds. The long paletôt is of basket-woven plaid cloth of the same shade; the pointed fronts, trimmed with silk revers with velvet-faced corners, are confined by mold-covered buttons. The short back terminates under a bow and ends of wide sash ribbon, and the neck is decorated with a heart-shaped collar of silk, having a stand-up collar of velvet and velvet corners, from which depend two tassels. The sleeves are coat-shaped, with a deep flaring revers cuff of faille and velvet, and on each hip is a square-trimmed pocket. Three and a half yards of cloth, one yard of silk, a half a yard of velvet, and three yards of fringe will make this garment. Hat of olive-green velvet, trimmed with a silk scarf, a wing and flowers.

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Victorian Fashion Illustration: Ladies Setting the Table (Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine, September 1875)


A black and white fashion engraving from the September 1875 edition of Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine. The following is a description from the publication:

"Nos. 1 and 2 are illustrations of the front and back of a dinner dress of rose-colored poult de soie. It consists of a train-skirt, trimmed with one deep scantily gathered flounce, edged with a knife-plaiting four and a half inches in depth, set on to form a heading. The overskirt is composed of clusters of upstanding folds, two in number, each cluster being strapped on either side with a fine shirred band, and are each connected behind on the train-breadths of the skirt by tied sashes of pink silk with fringed-out ends. These two clusters of folds are each edged with a fine knife-plaiting, giving the appearance of a double tablier. The corset is of the cuirass shape, trimmed with piped folds, and the neck is decorated with a fichu of plaited crêpe de Chine, edged with a fluting of the same. For the making of this dress thirty yards of poult de soie will be required."

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Victorian Fashion Illustration: Mantelet in Vicuña (La Mode Illustreé, October 5, 1873)


A Victorian lady dressed in a mantelet made of vicuña, considered the world's rarest fabric, so luxurious that the Wall Street Journal says coming in contact with it might cause you to "...for a moment, think seriously about blowing your children's college funds." This black and white illustration was originally published in the October 5, 1873 issue of La Mode Illustrée.

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Victorian Fashion Illustration: Portrait of a Lady in Black Lace 1


A black and white engraving from December 26, 1886. The illustration shows a fashionable Victorian woman sitting on an elegant Parisian sofa with tufted back and decorative arms. She is dressed for dinner in a black dress with plenty of lace, tulle and beaded embellishments. Elbow-length gloves and a stylish fan complete her evening ensemble.

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20 volumes of La Mode Illustrée to digitize!


Okay, I've bought huge lots of antique books from eBay before but this is the...biggest one ever! 20, yes, TWENTY bound volumes of full-year La Mode Illustrée magazines ranging from 1873 to 1903 - the originals, not reproductions. These books are huge, measuring approximately 15" x 11" bound - over 120 pounds of books that were shipped to me all the way from a dealer in Ireland! Swoon. With gorgeous illustrations of Victorian and Edwardian fashion on almost every single page, my rough calculation is that I have at least 25,000 images on my hands! What am I going to do with these? I haven't quite decided yet. I'm not even sure where to begin digitizing! As problems go, this is a very nice one to have, don't you think? :)