I've never been much of a history buff, but there was always my reserved subjects that I danced with delight at learning their background: art and fashion. Like the fact that a man was the original inventor and wearer of high heels, or the reason that women traditionally needed their doors opened for them was because they were too fragile thanks too breaking their ribs to fit into the latest corsets!
Introducing Fashion 101: History of Style, don't you all wish this was an elective option at your university? What better way to start off a new series than with my favorite period in fashion history: the 18th century! Known for its pomp and primping, the latter part of the 1700s was nothing but thrills, bells, and really big hair (and you thought Texas invented that)!
From the 1740s to the 1790s dress makers had a field day with embellishments. The wider the dress and the more layered the ruffles the better. Of course, it should come as no surprise to you that at the forefront of this movement was none other than Marie Antoinette.
Gowns were typically low necklined and worn over a petticoat. It was common for an open skirt to be placed over the petticoat revealing the detailing in the center of the petticoat. Panniers were worn to create vast width at the hips and the appearance of a narrow waist. This was also emphasized by the use of the arrow shaped waistline seem.
*Thanks Wikipedia for the images and info*
Sleeves were typically fitted and ended at the elbow at which point started many layers of ruffle and lace. Further pieces of lace were even attached to the sleeve of the undergarment to add even more layer. In addition, from the neckline in the back of the dress hung long pleated pieces of fabric for added elegance. Shoes were made of fabric or leather and the heels were high and curved. Also large buckles were typically added adornment for high society.
As the new century rolled in and the figure heads of old rolled out...literally...dresses began to give way to simpler styles that sprung up the working class of England and the Americas, but more on that at another date mes cheries!
What do you love about the 18th Century?