Fashion Plate, June 1799

Print 226-Morning June 1799.jpg

Subject

Illustration

Title

Fashion Plate, June 1799

Date

June 1799

Format

original size 7 inches x 5 inches (17.78 cm x 12.7 cm) current size 6 5/8 inches x 4 1/4 inches (15.87 cm x 10.5 cm)

Description

The American and French Revolutions remain emblems of the political and social upheavals taking place during the 1700s. By the century's end, fashions had changed dramatically. This metamorphosis is found most readily in the clothing of the wealthy. In France, it was no longer fashionable to wear heavy, highly decorated clothing associated with those likely to be condemned to the guillotine. In America, plain cloth produced in the new nation was in vogue, an attempt to promote fabrics made in the United States and establish independence from Great Britain's textile industry.

Napolean Bonaparte's (1769-1821) conquering of the Italian pennisula in 1795 helped to spur an interest in ancient Greece and Rome; the clothing seen on antique sculpture and architecture was the opposite of earlier fashions, and perhaps seen as suitable for a new direction in fashions. By the time of Napolean's expedition to Egypt in 1798, Europe was absorbed in a fascination for all things ancient. 

These two dresses, with high waistlines and voluminous skirts, made from muslin and with modest decorations, reflect the simplicity of women's dresses at the beginning of the 19th century. These elements come directly from the influence of ancient Greek and Roman clothing. The cotton muslin could have been woven in Great Britain, or imported from India and other eastern ports. At the same time, the Industrial Revolution is taking hold in Great Britain and the United States as well as other European citites. With the rise of a merchant middle class, women's magazines are beginning to circulate fashion plates and create a broader interest in how to dress fashionably.

The original description of these fashions is found on page 480 of the Lady’s Monthly Museum. The page is labeled “Cabinet of Fashion, with Elegant Coloured Engravings.”

Morning Dress

First Figure. A Tunique, pale pink muslin, crossing in front, tied round the waist with blue silk band and tassels; frills round the neck. Bonnet of cambric muslin, trimmed with pale lilac muslin, tying under the chin with lilac ribbon. Leather shoes, light blue.

Second Figure. Demi Tunique, white cambric scolloped with coloured silk, half sleeves to match, worn over a round dress of white muslin, forms an elegant substitute for the winter Pelise, and is much approved. Head-dress, straw hat striped with lilac; net or muslin veil; pale lilac silk gloves. Leather shoes.

References

A number of the Lady's Monthly Museum periodicals have been digitised by The New York Public Library and are available through The HathiTrust, a partnership of academic and research institutions offering access to millions of documents from collections around the world.

Source

Donor: URI Purchase

Identifier

URI 1955.99.16

Contributor

Susan J. Jerome

Creator

The Lady’s Monthly Museum or Polite Repository of Amusement and Instruction: Being an assemblage of whatever can tend to please the Fancy, interest the Mind, or exalt the Character of The British Fair.

By A Society of Ladies. Vol. 2
London
Published by Verner & Hood, 1799

Publisher

The Lady’s Monthly Museum or Polite Repository of Amusement and Instruction: Being an assemblage of whatever can tend to please the Fancy, interest the Mind, or exalt the Character of The British Fair.

By A Society of Ladies. Vol. 2
London
Published by Verner & Hood, 1799

Collection

Citation

The Lady’s Monthly Museum or Polite Repository of Amusement and Instruction: Being an assemblage of whatever can tend to please the Fancy, interest the Mind, or exalt the Character of The British Fair. By A Society of Ladies. Vol. 2LondonPublished by Verner & Hood, 1799, “Fashion Plate, June 1799,” Historic Textile and Costume Collection, accessed August 8, 2022, https://uritextilecollection.omeka.net/items/show/420.

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