Introduction to Fashion 18th Century Fashion 1700s
18th Century Fashion We have chosen 1700s because we feel it was a very interesting period in fashion history, especially through the influential role models This perioddoes not include any huge changes to women’s fashion Women still wore corsets and uncomfortably tight dresses in rich, exuberant fabrics One of the most influential characters of 18th Century Fashion was Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire
The Duchess Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire, was a huge influential character during the 1700s Her interests included Politics, Gambling but most of all Fashion and designing and making new dresses and outfits She was a very confident and powerful woman "What we see her wearing tonight, I look forward to seeing the rest of you wearing tomorrow. The empress of fashion herself, the Duchess of Devonshire” – women waited to see the Duchess and what she was wearing before rushing away to replicate this look for themselves
Our favourite outfit! This outfit was worn during a political campaign for Georgiana’s lover. Being such a huge role model, The Duchess helped the success of Mr Fox and his political party. This link below shows the makers of the film and their choice of costume design: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR_JW28OFSo
The film shows that during this period women’s hair was worn high and styled with long curls. They embellished their hairstyles with silk bows, pearls, clasps, combs or headdresses. Their hair was never plain
The jewellery worn was very extravagant and once a woman was married to show their status they layered their jewellery and wore much higher quality fabrics
The children also wore extravagant clothes and accessories and always looked flawless and well dressed
18th Century – Women’s Fashion During the 18th century the shapes of women’s skirts changed throughout A narrow inverted cone shape was achieved through the use of bone stays and a full skirt shape was created A big style favourite was panniers which held the skirts out at the sides The 1740s brought in the ‘hoop skirt’ but by beginning of 1750s it had been replaced by the ‘pannier’ In the late 1700s, there was still a fullness to women’s skirts but they no longer stuck out in different directions and could still be worn with a bustle
Women’s Fashion continued Between 1750-1780, low-necked gowns, or ‘robe’ (as named by the French) was worn over the petticoat. These gowns were worn open at the front to reveal the petticoat below Many of the sleeves and necklines of women’s clothing were edged with frills or ruffles A ‘caraco’ was designed in the 1700s which was a jacket-like bodice which women wore with their petticoats and had elbow long sleeves. By the 1790s, these sleeves became full length
Women’s Hairstyles during 1700s The 1770s was recognised for its extreme hairstyles and wigs They wore their hair very high and often embellished their styles with various headpieces and ornaments By the 1780s, elaborate hairstyles were replaced with elaborate hats. These included flat straw hats which were worn tied to their heads with ribbon
18th Century – Men’s Fashion Men wore wigs when dressing for a special occasion If you were a man of high stature then you would tend to wear a wig during both the day and the evening A male outfit consisted of a coat which curved in at the waist, full gathered shirt sleeves, breeches, stockings and shoes. The breeches were made to fit snugly and opened using a fall front flap The most significant change for men’s fashion was the fabric used. The use of embroidered velvets were swapped for woolen undergarments.
18th Century – Children’s Fashion During this period the children both boys and girls who belonged to the middle and upper classes were dressed in uncomfortable miniature copies of their parent’s clothes The girls had corsets of sorts and their hair was styled big and dramatic like their mother’s. Their dresses were tied down the back and were not revealing on the bust like a women's. They wore pearls and other rich jewelery The boys had stockings, three quarter length trousers and their hair was slicked back on their heads to look smart. It wasn’t until they became men that they wore wigs
References Ashelford, Jane: The Art of Dress: Clothing and Society 1500–1914, Abrams, 1996. ISBN 0-8109-6317-5 Payne, Blanche: History of Costume from the Ancient Egyptians to the Twentieth Century, Harper & Row, 1965. No ISBN for this edition; ASIN B0006BMNFS Ribeiro, Aileen: Dress in Eighteenth Century Europe 1715–1789, Yale University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-300-09151-6 Styles, John: The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2007, ISBN 9780300121193 a b "2008 Fall Movie Guide: Preview: The Duchess". Entertainment Weekly, Issue #1007/1008. Time Inc.. August 22–29, 2008. pp. 50. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
Thanks for Listening! By Harriet Fuller and Katherine Harris