A unique fashion image developed in mid nineteenth-century America reflecting the influences of Queen Victoria, the court of Napoleon III and American adaptions of European designs, many of the stylish silhouettes that emerged from this spirited era are still admired today.
This book presents a fashion parade of authentic ladies' and childrens' styles from the most influential women's magazine of the period — Godey's Lady's Book
— which presented both original fashions and adaptations from European publications.
Over 400 striking designs, including 42 figures in full color, were chosen for this volume from a selection of rare issues (1837–1869) of Godey's by Stella Blum, director of Kent State University Museum and former curator of the Costume Institute at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Among the many beautiful illustrations reproduced here are morning dresses, walking suits, riding outfits, ball gowns, capes, children's costumes, plus hairstyles and a full array of accessories — shoes, bonnets, gloves, muffs, fans, walking sticks, and more. Captions detail the rich fabrics, color schemes, and decorative trims of this gallery of vintage attire.
The illustrations offer a panoramic view of evolving styles from Victorian 1940s outfits with severe high necklines, elongated bodices, and bonnets designed to keep the wearer's eyes looking chastely ahead; to 1950's adaptations of French haute couture featuring ornate gowns widened with hoopskirts and elaborately trimmed with lace, ribbons, fringes, and feathers; to 1860's garb in which skirts narrowed and graceful trains replaced the hoopskirt.
Costume and culture historians, clothing designers and illustrators will find the work a valuable reference to clothing designs of the period and a fascinating look back at mid-Victorian couture.