Tag: 1880s

1880-1889

1880s women’s fashion was defined by the rigidly structured bustle and an abundance of decoration. Dress reformers, influenced by artistic movements, protested these heavy, ultra restrictive trends.

1888 – William Merritt Chase, Lady in Black

William Merritt Chase captures the style and youth of his art student, Mariette Benedict Cotton, in this portrait. She wears a black day dress made in the traditional bustle silhouette of the period with puffed sleeves that were rising in popularity at the time. Chase’s use of light adds depth to the piece, emphasizing folds in the fabric and the glittering of Cotton’s eyes and jewelry.

1886

Extreme bustles, striped patterns, and elaborate embellishments were all staples of the year 1886, characterizing it as a time of highly exaggerated and decorative fashion.

1884 – Edgar Degas, The Singer in Green

Although dressed in theatrical costume, Degas’ Singer in Green contains details that were fashionable for women’s evening wear at the time, including an off-the-shoulder neckline, a downward-pointing bodice, a diagonal-striped pattern, and a choker-style necklace. What is less fashionable is its lack of applied florals and the bold color palette, which signals the fact that it is a costume.

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