During the 1870s, women’s clothing became increasingly complex, colorful, and restrictive, while menswear was marked by an industrious sobriety.
Tag: 19th century
In this lively portrait of Carmencita, William Merritt Chase suggests the audience’s enthusiasm for her dancing by including a gold bracelet and flowers tossed at her feet. The celebrated dancer was painted by many other artists—usually wearing an extravagant dance costume—but none captured her exuberance quite like Chase did in this portrait.
The year 1870 was characterized by an extensive use of vibrant, contrasting colors and ostentatious trims, tassels, and flounces. Emphasis was now placed on individual style over the following of trends. By juxtaposing the desire to be fashionable for the moment with the desire to find what looks good on one’s self, society at large saw wide variety in interpretations of fashionable dress.
This gold-colored silk afternoon dress with its green bows and ruffles that help to emphasize the back of the silhouette was on trend in 1866, but its coordinating trompe l’oeil jacket was very fashion-forward.
Part 1 of this essay covers the emergence of department stores in New York City during the nineteenth century. Part 2 discusses the roles of salesclerks and anonymous fashion designers who worked for department store labels.
Well-known in the 19th century for his skill at portraiture, Wintherhalter created iconic mannered poses and captured ravishingly elegant dresses, like those in this portrait of the Empress Eugénie and her ladies in waiting, who dress in the most fashionable styles of day.
In City Dance, Renoir paints a fashionable Parisienne, waltzing with her dance partner, in a winter ball. Dressed in the latest neoclassically draped evening dress style for young women, the dancer’s simple, draped gown is tasteful and classic in the lack of heavy ornamentation and frills.