Tuesday, January 19, 2010

neo-victorian vintage

Just a note; I may be updating here a little less in the future.  I have two part-time jobs right now and am doing from freelance writing on the side.  I still am trying to set up interviews for actual "articles" in this blog, so the quality of writing won't go down.  Just the quantity.

I came across an intriguing article on 20th century Victorian fashions purely by accident at The Vintage Collection.  The author discusses the mistakes some buyers make when looking for Victorian clothes-- instead they buy clothes from the 1930s, 40s, or 50s, thinking that it's a true Victorian dress or outfit.  Apparently, there was a sort of revival in Victorian styles for women, such as the bustle skirt, corset waists, and hoop skirts, with an emphasis on creating an hourglass figure.
Though it wasn't a universally accepted style, neo-Victorian dresses were worn from c. 1947 - 1949 as a softened look emerged in women's fashions. And the look wasn't only for the wealthy, either. A peek inside the ever down-to-earth Sears catalog details this:

"The 'Back Look' is the Newest Look..."

"New Bustle Back Suits..."

"Straight, slim front...rippling, bustle back...marvelous profile..."

Sears' headlines - not to mention those in fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar - raved about the new, decidedly feminine Victorian style.
But the late 1930s had its own "pioneer" Victorian style, as can be seen below.  It's a short-sleeved, checked dress with a full skirt, form-fitting waist, and a ruffled V-neck collar:

image source: The Vintage Collection
Here's a sample of some of Christian Dior's neo-Victorian designs from the late 1940s, with padding added to the hips to slim the waist even further:

image source: The Vintage Collection
image source: The Vintage Collection
 Many staples of the 1950s fashion scene such as gloves, fitted bodices and full skirts (I'm thinking of the stereotypical poodle skirts as an example) were influenced by the neo-Victorian styles of the previous decade.

To read the article in its entirety, including tips on how to differentiate between vintage neo-Victorian clothing and the real thing, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Hey gurrrl,

    Glad to see you're still keeping the blog up. I'm failing miserably in that regard, but this is going to be my hardest semester yet.

    ANYWAY. I saw this and thought of you promptly. Czech it out: