Sunday, July 29, 2012

Museum Costumes from the Late 1700's

I've been posting fashion plates from the late 1700's over the past several months; many depicting the styles that were popular during the time of Marie Antoinette and thought it would be fun to throw in some real costumes from the time. I've had a bit of costume adventure in the past few days and posted a large assortment of historical costumes to my Pinterest account to keep track of them.  You can see them all HERE.

Museum websites are a great place to see authentic fashions from days gone by as are any number of blogs and fashion websites.  Here are some of my top pics of late 1700 fashionable clothing that I've recently placed on my Museums Fashion - Pinterest board.

Robe à la Française") c. 1780- France from The Kyoto Costume Institute
I've chosen this rendition as the main image for this post since it contains many elements 
that point to the time of Marie Antoinette and French High Fashion of the late 1700's; 
including wide panniers, high hair and whimsical hair ornamentation such as the ship on top.

See and read more about it at KCI -HERE or see it on my Pinterest board HERE

Back in March 2012, I did a post about "Naughty" French Fashions showing fashion plates of decolletage so low that a ladies breasts were exposed.  Many museums do not show good examples of this trend but I've found a few and here they are.

1780 ensemble "bares" it all.  Image from American
This great example of a low cut "Caraco" was found on 
The American Duchess blog HERE
It's a great blog so I hope you pull it up and visit a while.

1770-80 PINK SILK BROCADE ROBE A LA FRANCAISE. Sack back open gown
A wonderful Museum quality vintage garment from  Augusta-Auction
This view give you an idea of how exposed this garment makes the wearer
should she choose not to wear any additional "modesty" accessory.

And here is the garment with "modesty" left somewhat  intact.
1770-80 PINK SILK BROCADE ROBE A LA FRANCAISE. Sack back open gown
It's amazing what a little scrap of cloth can hide - wink.
I've also posted this dress to my Pinterest board HERE

Undergarments of the late 1700's
c1780 "Unmentionables" stays and panniers - from LACMA
Here is a nice example of what a 1780's lady may have worn under her garment.
The stays would have ciched you in and puched you up; presented a pretty bosom while the panniers would have exagerated the hips and supported yards of fabric.

Note how the extra fabric under the stays are basically all that keeps her from exposing her "charms" - here again it was not uncommon for ladies of this period to expose their breasts but museums seem to have a difficult time showing this common fashion trend.  I find it a fun game to see if I can spot them out regardless.

Here is an example of exposed breasts via a vintage fashion plate.
 Others can be seen at my post "Naughty" French Fashions"

French Fashion plate from c1780 showing just how low the ladies would go.

Here is a famous painting of Princess Lambella showing the low bodice fashion of the late 1700's
Marie Therese Louise de Savoie Carignan - Princess de Lamballe - wikimedia

It was not uncommon for families and museums to "touch-up" such portraits to disguise how revealing these fashions were during this period, so it is a treasure to locate
one that has not been "overly" restored, in order to save our modern sensibilities.

These "exposed" portraits  are a bit difficult to locate; however they do exist from
the late 1500s through the early 1800s

The late 1700's were full of high fashion and more modest designs.
Many of them of rich fabrics and amazing trims.

Fashion plates are lovely; however they just can't show the details 
of lace and metallic thread like the real thing.
Here are some beautiful examples that have survived for our viewing pleasure.

c1765 Robe a la Française - from LACMA

c1760 Robe à la Francaise - from LACMA

c1765 Robe à la Française with panniers - from LACMA

c1765 Dress (Robe à la Française) - from The MET

Portraites and paintings are another great way to view vintage fashions.
As in the portrait of Princess Lamballe (seen farther up in the post), we get an idea
of style, texture and detail that is more in-depth and real than what is seen in a fashion plate.

c1748 Sophie Marie Gräfin Voss by Antoine Pesne found at GrandLadies

1775 Marie-Antoinette by Jean-Baptiste-Andre Gautier d'Agoty (Versailles) found at GrandLadies
Lots of other great portraits showing the fashion of the day can be seen at the GrandLadies site.


Men's Fashions of the day were every bit as elegant as the ladies costumes.
I'm constantly amazed at the amount of embroidery, braid and trim on gents fashions.
Many of them; especially court costumes were walking works of art.

1775-89 Court Coat of wool, metal, silk and glass - The MET

c1760 French Mens Ensemble - from LACMA

c1770-1790's "Habit a la Francaise" - from AntiqueDress

1750-75 Court Suit (back) - French - Silk and Metal thread - The MET

This is just a small sampling of some of the amazing period costumes you can view out on the web.
I hope it inspires you to do some web searches of your own and start your own Pinterest board of your favorite finds.  I'm constantly adding to my own board, with vintage fashion finds of all time periods so you never know what you might find by dropping by.


Right now one of my top favorite finds are several pairs of super sexy, thigh high boots from the early 1900's.  Several comments refer to these as  CanCan dancer boots but I'm not convinced and am  trying to find out for sure.  I hope to post more about them one day when I do Victorian and Edwardian Fashions. 

Here is just one pair for you to see.
I bet you never found a pair of these in your grandmother's closet.

1900-1920 Sexy, leather and cellulose, tall, button boots from Paris - The MET
 I believe these to be vintage boots tied to an "interesting pursuit" but would like verification;
if you know what they are and can send me some links about this style of early 1900 boot,
 I'd love to know more.

Fetish Boots from 1900 - LACMA

Update - 08-17-12 - This similar pair of vintage "fetish" boots were at LACMA - the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in a special exhibition, showing them as belonging to a member of the demimonde, possibly of a "courtesan" profession. More on that exhibit including a leather corset can be seen- HERE

I love vintage "fetish-wear" it's so intriguing to get a gimps into this side of our 
predecessors and it makes fashion history all them more interesting. -wink.

Till Next time...

Monday, July 9, 2012

1780's French Decor with Courting Couples

Here is another fun scene I put together using a variety of 1780's images 
representing two "Courting Couples.

I've recently read the novella "The Duchess of Love" by Sally MacKenzie and have to say I loved it!
I was a big fan of her Regency Romance "Naked" series and I'm already a fan of the new series.

When I look at this scene I can't help but think about the story "The Duchess of Love" since these characters remind me of the four main players in the novella.  The story takes place at an undisclosed time similar to these figures; since in the story, the Duke makes a comment that he does not like to powder his hair since it makes him sneeze.  The younger couple to the left symbolize Andrew Valentine, the Duke of Greycliffe (age 21) and his soon to be Duchess Venus Collingswood (age 19); while the scholarly couple to the right are better suited to be the duke's cousin Mr Nigel Valentine (age 28) and Venus' older and studious sister Aphrodite "Ditti" (age 23).  

It's a fun little read and a great start to the first full book in the series "Bedding Lord Ned
which takes place 30+ years later and is about one of the Duke and Duchesses sons (Edward aka Ned).  I hope you give them both a try.

Courting Couples
Naturally I'm constantly tinkering with my vintage images to put my own personal "stamp" on them as you will. Many times the images I acquire are extremely old so they have imperfections and are in need of some TLC and restoration before I can think about posting them.  Some plates I have are even in too rough a condition to attempt to make presentable so I'm especially thrilled when I'm able to salvage not so pristine image and give it a new life.

The images used in this scene are good examples of aging figures that I was able to resurrect into the final products you see here and have been able to see on previous posts.  For instance the original of the room background was not attractive in the least but with a lot of TLC it made it to see another day and I believe have restored it to a state closer to what it may originally have looked like.

EKDuncan restored version of the original Nov 1789 "Magasin des Modes Nouvelles, Francaises et Anglaises" image
Nice as this plate came out, I still found the original image a bit lacking in appeal for modern use so I took it another step further as I do with most of my png's and EKDuncan altered images, till I arrived at this new result.

My EKDunca version based on the cleaned up vintage 1789 image
 I wanted more dimension in the rooms setting so I created it to the wall panels appear recessed, added shadows to the curtains, mantelpiece and all the mouldings, columns and plaster work  around the room.  I altered colors since that is one of my favorite things to do and I added in a new ceiling, since I honestly could not get the original cleaned up enough to satisfy myself.  Even with all the work I put into it there are still several issues here and there but for me that adds a bit of rustic charm back into the mix - besides there comes a point when you have to say enough is enough   - grins.

Once I had the room in a way I liked it I started playing with color combinations to see how it changed based on the pallet choices I made.  Here are my remodeling efforts for this image.

Blue and Beige Version

Pink and Grey Version

Periwinkle Version

Lilac Version

Gold Version

Green and Yellow Version

Green Version

Sea-foam Version - I choose this one for my scene

Blue Version as a png so a new background or other images can be placed behind the windows.

 Here is an example of what you can do now that the windows are "open"
1880's French Fashion and Room plate and 2 landscape images from Ackermann's Repository
I call this scene "Watching from the Window", since we have 
the couple looking in and the lady looking out.
The Lady at the inside window looking out can be found HERE

 Now back to the original scene from the top of the post 

Courting Couples
The Lady to the far left and several color versions of her can be found HERE
Her young escort in various shades of finery can be found HERE

The conservative fellow on the right can be found HERE
And his shy companion with her pretty ribbons can be found HERE

The Two Pictures on the back wall can be found HERE

And the sofa to the back wall is another image I really liked, 
so I created it also in a variety of color combinations and here they are.

Teal with Gold Wood Trim

Green with Light Wood Trim

Aqua with Light Wood Trim

Brown with Light Wood Trim

Raspberry with Light Wood Trim

Plum with Gold Wood Trim

Green with Gold Wood Trim - used in the scene

I think this sofa is so very pretty. I'm sure it was not much fun to sit on.
Still, I would have loved to have owned one myself.


 This wraps up the current images I have for the 1780's.
I'm about to go on vacations for a few weeks and will try and work on getting some other great images ready to post for you; however I have a feeling I'll spend most of my time sightseeing and reading my NOOK at night, so it may be a while till you hear from me again - but I will be back.

I'm off to find out what's going on with Ned as I continue to read my 
NOOK book version of  "Bedding Lord Ned" by Sally Mackenzie.
I think the old boy is starting to come to his senses where Ellie is concerned.

Till Next Time...


Saturday, July 7, 2012

1788 Decorated Room Furniture Plate with Ladies

I've taken a great 1788 furniture plate image of a late 18th Century 
French decorated room from the my post 
altered it and used it as a background to create another fun piece of digital art.

The French Room by EKDuncan

 The Blue Room above was created using vintage French fashion plate images.
The Room is from a 1788 issue of "Magasin des Modes Nouvelles, Francaises et Anglaises"
The elaborate French Sofa is from a 1786 issue of "Cabinet Des Modes ou Les Modes Nouvelles"

Both Fashion Ladies are from  "Magasin des Modes Nouvelles, Francaises et Anglaises"
The 1788 lady (left) can be found HERE in several of color choices.
The 1787 lady (right) can be found HERE in a variety of color choices.

The original background from the French publication looked like this.
1788 French Furniture plate of a room - original look

I thought this image had a great look to it but I still wanted to tweak it a bit so I made several extensive alterations in Photoshop till I arrived at my EKDuncan version of the room.

My altered version of the 1788 room used in the French Room Scene at the top of the post
I altered the original room in Photoshop so that the paneling appears more dimensional in the walls and ceiling; then I made several color adjustments till I had a color scheme I liked.
This one has Pistachio Green Walls with Blue-Green and Gold Accents.

Once all the major work was done I decided to play around with colors so I had several color choices.  I enjoy seeing how the room changes based on slight color variances.

These are the other color combinations I came up with for this setting.

Teal Walls with Gold, Green and Pink Accents - Pink Floor

Marine Blue Walls with Gold and Blue Accents - Beige Floor

Olive Walls with Gold Accents - Tan floor

Sage Walls with Green and Gold Accents - Beige Floor

Lilac Walls with Green and Gold Accents - Tan Floor

Green Walls with Green and Gold Accents - Green Floor

Gold Walls with Gold, Green and Pink Accents - Gold Floor

 For my artscene I could have used the room as is; however I chose to change the look a bit more by adding in an additional piece of vintage furniture to give the room a cozier, less formal look.

I chose an elaborate French Sofa since I thought it was quite attractive.

1786 French Sofa from "Cabinet Des Modes ou Les Modes Nouvelles"
Once again I took the original furniture plate image and created several color versions.

Aqua Version

Rose Version

Green Version

Plum Version

Gold Version

So One Room, a funky furnishing and two lovely ladies later I had this fun scene.

French Room from 1788 with 1786 Sofa and Fashion Ladies of 1787&1788

 I do enjoy looking at vintage fashion and furniture plates on their own; 
however I think they have more personality when displayed in a scene.

I've got one more "Georgian Room Scene" coming up so please visit again.

Till Next time...