Wednesday, 29 October 2014

History of Fashion - Revival

Revival era


The Revival era is named after the revival of classical styles, particularly in architecture. It is also known as the Victorian era, which was named after Queen Victoria who took to the throne at the age of 18. Queen Victoria had a huge influence in the fashion of the time as she had certain ideologies of how a woman should look like and act. This meant small waists and big skirts, to demonstrate big hips for fertility, were popular around this time. She ruled England and Ireland until her death in 1901.

In most of the Revival era women wore dresses. They wore cage crinolines underneath these dresses to give them the desired shape. Pantaloons, which are like the modern pant, were worn under the skirts for modesty. This was because the cage crinoline would sometime rise and show the ladies legs. Dresses also had trains.

In the 1850s/1860s the crinolines got wider to showcase women’s fertility with wide hips. Sleeves also got wider to balance out these huge skirts.
Woman wearing bloomers

From the mid 1860s the crinoline started to shift to the back of the dress. In 1870s the crinoline disappeared and the bustle came into fashion. This too went out of fashion towards the late 1870s as the bulk moved lower on the skirt.

Later on in the 1880s/1890 the rational dress movement occurred which allowed more comfortable and practical clothing to be worn by women. This was due to the more active lives women were living including playing sports and riding bikes. Woman riding bikes wore baggy type of pants called bloomers.

Men's clothing in the Revival era.
Men’s clothing however did not change much throughout this era. They still wore the cut away coat in the evening, the frock coat in the daytime and the mourning coat. Though they did have some new style features such as: developing the cravats into ties, wearing double-breasted ‘reefer’ jackets, bright coloured blazers, dinner jacket, smoking jacket and sportswear.

The smoking jacket was a short easy-fitting coat, which was highly decorated with silk cord or braid frogging.

A great event to occur in this era, which had an influence in the fashion industry, was the Great Exhibition. The Great Exhibition was the first international fair to showcase new technology from around the globe. This allowed for countries to get together and see what everyone else was offering, which advanced the fashion industry by creating new technologies.

Modern outfit inspired by this era:
Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2012

This outfit is from the Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2012 collection. This collection was identified by many as being inspired by the Victorian/Revival era as all the looks seem to reflect the era very obviously.

I picked this outfit because I believe it mirrors the main style features from the Revival era. I think the sleeves as well as the small waist and wide skirt are some of the biggest style features from the Revival era and they are shown well in this design.

The sleeves showcase exactly what sleeves would have looked like back then, big and bulky, but are kept modern by having the neckline of the shirt low and off the shoulders. This gives the outfit a more youthful look too and doesn't drown the model in fabric.

The skirt is gathered at the waist with a wide belt, which I believe symbolises the corsets that would have been worn by Victorian women. It also gives shape to the outfit so the model isn't lost in all the fabric.

The skirt has enough volume to suggest that it is inspired by the Revivals wide skirts but is also kept flowy and free without crinolines, which gives it a modern look. This is because it creates the shape naturally instead of looking stiff. The skirt is also made modern by the use of length, as back in those days they would never show their legs as women had to cover up

Overall, this dress screams Victorian/Revival era but is kept modern with the amount of skin shown such as legs and shoulders. 


Blanks, T. (2012, January 17). Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2012. In Retrieved October 29, 2014, from

Men's Portrait Gallery 1880 (n.d.). In Gentleman's Emporium. Retrieved October 29, 2014, from

All Kinds of Overcoats Past and Present (2007, February 1). In Ask Andy About Clothes. Retrieved October 29, 2014, from

History of 1890'S (n.d.). In Truly Victorian. Retrieved October 29, 2014, from

Thomas, P. W. (n.d.). Rational Dress Reform Fashion History - Mrs Bloomer. In Fashion Era. Retrieved October 29, 2014, from

Thursday, 9 October 2014

History of Fashion: Georgian


1750AD – 1820AD

The Georgian era was heavily influenced by the French. This can be seen by the curled white powdered wigs worn by men. Georgian fashion was also over the top and was a means of displaying wealth.

Men adorned wigs that would reflect their professions. Lawyers favoured full-bottom wigs, better known as the perruque a criniere, which were long wigs falling to the chest. Soldiers wore the campaign wig as they allowed movement and were made of three knotted locks of hair, one at the back and one on each side of the face. Merchants wore the ramillies wig, which were a long ponytail style wig generally worn with two black ribbons, one at the top and one at bottom of the pony tail. The bob wig was worn by clerics or for informal occasions and ended in a roll at the back of the neck.  These wigs were extremely expensive and became a way to display wealth to the extent of becoming an item in a will. Wig-snatching also became a very common crime.

During the early 1700s Georgian women wore simple hairstyles with the hair being tied in a bun at 
Contrast of 18th century hair styles — early
'mob-caps' and the powdered wigs of the late 18th century.
the back of the head with one or two locks hanging loose. Afterward, in the 1760s, it was popular for wealthy women to wear false hair and wigs. Horsehair, wool pads and wire support were used to create different styles and shapes. These hairstyles, also known as the pompadour, grew to ridiculous heights with some extreme styles reaching up to two or three feet in height. The hair could also display scenes such as gardens, ducks on a lake etc. But Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, took things further by introducing the three-foot hair tower, ornamented with stuffed birds, waxed fruit and model ships. Following her example, women competed with one another to make the tallest headdress. Because of these elaborate styles, combing was impossible and lice became inevitable. Therefore, a special scratching rod was invented for ladies to ease the itch.

Georgian women had a very unique type of fashion. In the early Georgian era women would wear the sack or sacque dress, which was, a straight dress featuring pleats in the back. It could also be called Watteau, after a painter.

Women also sported extravagant narrow, pointed and heeled shoes covered with fabrics such as silk and leather. Wealthy women would wear coloured shoes decorated with ribbon, lace, stones etc. In the late Georgian era it became fashionable to wear half boots, which were flat-soled boots worn for most occasions and were more practical than heels. These boots would often be made from kid skin, leather or denim like fabric.

Women also wore Panniers, which were hoop skirts worn under the manteau and would extend the width of the skirts at the sides. The manteau was a formal gown made from heavy brocade materials,  later replaced by lighter fabrics, such as silks and satins. The front and back of the dresses were left fairly flat which provided a canvas for woven patterns, elaborate decorations and rich embroidery to be displayed. At times the width of the pannier went to crazy proportions but by the 1780's, it was normally only worn during formal events and with court fashion.
Woman wearing open robe dress with pannier

The open or close robe dresses were also very popular. The open robe dress would show the petticoat worn underneath. These petticoats were generally made to be seen and were worn for warmth or to give the desired shape. They were decorated with lace and embroidery. Because of this open style dress, a stomacher would be needed to be placed over the bodice. The stomacher was a highly decorated triangular piece worn at the front of a corset. Corsets were stiffened with whalebone. A modesty piece, also known as a neckerchief, would be worn over the upper part of the chest and tucked into the corset or dress. It was worn to cover up skin that was exposed from low necklines.

All these dresses consisted of deep, square necklines and sleeves, which were generally worn at elbow length allowing the chemise to show from underneath and often ended in ruffles. The chemise, a French word for shirt, was the bottom undergarment worn under all others and was usually made of linen or cotton.

In the 1770s the skirt fullness began moving towards the back while the chest started to puff out like a pigeon.

Later, in 1790, fashion once again totally changed due to the 1989 French Revolution. This period changed the world forever. A revolution broke out in France and lead to the end of the French monarchy. In 1799 Napoleon Bonaparte staged a coup and crowned himself the Emperor of France in 1804 and started re-establishing order. This period was named the Georgian period after England’s King George III. During this period, France and England were fashion rivals making extravagant corsets, panniers and gowns redundant and a more natural look was introduced. Garments were allowed to drape and flow and had a natural shape. These fashion were based on the chemise cut which was a high-waisted flimsy tunic, draped over the body in the simplest way.

Due to the simplicity of these outfits pockets were no longer sewn in and the reticule became very popular. The reticule was a small handbag hung from the wrist made of rich cloth with a gold chain and closure.

Men’s fashion, however, did not change considerably over the 18th century. A Georgian man’s outfit would often be the habit à la française (man’s suit) which would consist of a coat, waistcoat, shirt, breeches and hose.
Men's outfit

The coat was a long, flared collarless jacket that often had row of buttons at the centre front but was more commonly worn open. The coat's sleeves overtime also got smaller. The waistcoat was the most decorative piece, usually lavishly embroidered or displaying patterned fabrics and was worn over shirts that adorned ruffles at the neck and wrists. Breeches were loose and stopped at the knee, with white stockings worn underneath and heeled shoes, which usually had large square buckle though riding boots were also popular.

A Georgian man’s outfit was finished with a cravat or steinkirk, which was a neckcloth worn around the neck. They also wore tricorn hats, which was a brimmed hat with its three sides turned up to form a triangle shape when looked at from above. It was usually black and made of beaver or rabbit fur.

Make-up was used by both sexes. Faces were powdered white, in keeping with the whitened hair and dark eyebrows were drawn over existing ones and lips were painted very red.

Modern outfit inspired by this era:  

This dress is from the Zuhair Murad Haute Couture FALL 2014/2015 collection. I felt that this
Strapless bustier ball gown with beaded sapphire
wave body and train en silhouette
collection tended to have a lot of dresses, which demonstrated elements of the Georgian era. I picked this dress because it showed these elements well. Zuhair Murad is a Lebanese fashion designer who grew up in Baalbek, Lebanon.

The clearest feature on this outfit, which reflects key features from the Georgian era, is the open style robe dress. Although it is sleeveless I think it really demonstrates a modernized version of the dress. This is because it open at the front and shows the “undergarments,” in this case being a see-through fabric and a very short type of body suit. This mirrors the way open robe dresses would showcase the petticoats worn underneath. This dress also has the Georgian key style of using embroidery, as it looks like it has some type of beadwork or embroidery over the entire dress. Although this is kept simple which is why it also looks modern and chic, instead of costume like. I believe the use of a see-through fabric also made the dress modern as in Georgian times nudity would not have been showcased in public like this.

The skirt of the dress also has a lot of volume, which represents the shapes that a pannier would have made under a dress in the Georgian era, but not as dramatically. The dress also has the very deep, square neckline with the bodice or corset piece mimicking a stomacher. This again, is kept modern with the use of simple embroidery. It is also modern as it is sleeveless. This type of dress would have had a lot of material in the Georgian era and this is a more stripped back, simple design which is therefore, modern.

Overall, the dress has hints of Georgian inspiration but is kept very modern by using an on trend colour and keeping the decoration minimalistic.

"European Fashion Through the Ages." History of Costume. N.p., 14 May 2012. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <>.

Robinson, Scott R. "Georgian." CWU. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <>.

"18th Century - The Georgian Period." Hairdressing world. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <>.

"The Empire/Georgian/Regency Era: 1790-1820 ." History of Fashion and Dress. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <>.

"Eighteenth-Century Revolt." Fashion Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <>.

"Fashion, The French Revolution and a Masculinity in Continual Crisis." Seattle pi. N.p., 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <>.

Corfield, Penelope. "The Lure of the Georgian Age." History Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <>.

Simpson, Donna L. "The Georgian Era." Donna lea Simpson.. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <>.

Thomas, Pauline W. "King George III - 1760-1820 Men's Coats." Fashion-Era. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <>.

Thomas, Pauline W. "King George III - 1760-1820 Georgian Women's Fashions." Fashion - Era. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2014.<>.

"History of London - Georgian Fashion." History. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <>.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

History of Fashion: Gothic


1150AD – 1500AD

The word gothic, which means crude or barbaric culture, is based on the name of Germanic tribes, the Goths, who invaded Italy and broke down the Roman Empire.

Woman wearing heraldry and parti-colouring.
In this era the gothic fashion was influenced by architecture and art. During this period, the Church gained a large following and had more power than their feudal system. The feudal system "was based on allocation of land in return for service. The king would give out grants of land to his most important noblemen (barons and bishops), and each noble would have to promise to loyally follow him and supply him with soldiers in time of war." (themiddleages)

There were many key style features in the Gothic era, which included heraldry, parti-colouring, mi-party, dagging, pourpoint, cote-hardie, doublet, houppelande, sideless surcote, chaperon and the liripipe.

Heraldry was a combination of parti-colouring, coat of arms and family crests/insignia, which would be worn as an identifier of lineage. Parti-colouring was a multi-colored garment that often had one side embroidered, based on the colours. Mi-parti was the dividing of clothes vertically into two different colours, which was most popular in tights.

Dagging was a type of design at the edge of garments. It was slashed into shapes such as scallops, crosses or points. These would often be seen on the chaperon, which were a caped hood with a liripipe (a long tail).

The pourpoint was a short jacket with tight sleeves buttoned from the elbow to the wrist. These buttons were not only used for making the sleeves tighter but for the ability to lace armor on. It was also worn under the cote-hardie, which was a garment worn tight fitting around the shoulders, waist and hips. The cote-hardie was often dagged and worn by men and women.

The doublet was also a short jacket that could be sleeved or sleeveless. It could be worn under a close fitting pourpoint but when worn as an outer garment, would be padded and have a short skirt.

The houppelande was a loose comfortable gown that usually had bell shaped sleeves with dagging on the edges. Though worn by both men and women, women always wore it at full length while men sometimes wore it shorter.

Gothic women also wore a sideless surcote that was a ove gown with the sides cutaway from under the arm to the hip. It remained as a ceremonial dress later in the gothic period
Woman: wearing a sideless/cutaway surcoat over a blue cote-hardie. Man: wearing a short cote-hardie and an orange chaperon with a long liripipe. both wearing poularies/crackows

In addition gothic fashion had some interesting accessories such as poularies/crackows, pomanders and the gorget.

Gothic woman wearing a hennin.
Poularies or crackows were long-tipped shoes that later on grew so much in length it had to be tied to the knees.

The gorget was a garment worn under the chin and tucked under the neckline of a gown, which was later developed into a metal piece of armor.

Women wore pomanders a ball like pendant containing a sponge of perfume that would be worn from a necklace or girdle. They also wore tippets, which was a band sewn around the elbow of a cote-hardie with the end hanging as a streamer.

It was popular for women to wear head pieces such as the reticulation, escoffin, hennin and the coif. The reticulation was a decorative metal cage structure used to hold their hair while the escoffin was a tall and heavily decorated headdress sometimes shaped like two horns and usually worn as a veil. The hennin was a cone or steeple like headdress with a veil and the coif was a close fitting cap tied under the chin.

Modern outfit inspired by this era: 

Givenchy Spring 2010 ready-to-wear fashion show
This outfit was part of the Givenchy Spring 2010 ready-to-wear fashion show in Paris. The collection had a lot of draping, leggings, kilts and prints. While the collection itself was not inspired by the gothic era, I felt some of the garments had a lot of elements, which derived from this era’s fashion.

The clearest feature on this outfit that reflected key features from the gothic era is the headpiece, which can be compared to the popular gothic headpiece, the hennin. Though that piece is very literal I think they modernised it by rounding out the point and giving it a type of alien look, often associated with the ‘future’.

Another prominent style feature in this outfit would be the tights, which are mi-parti. As explained above mi-parti is the dividing of clothes vertically into two different colours. I believe the tights in this outfit are modernised by placing the colours is different angles and excluding the traditional bright colours, which would look dated, and using the same colour but in different fabrics. The use of different fabrics also updated the outfit as the shiny type of fabric looks manmade, which would not have been available at that time.

The short dress placed on top of the tights, which was also a common look in gothic fashion, mirrors the women’s houppelande as it features a ‘v’ neck shape and a belted high waist. I think this dress was modernised by shortening the length of the skirt as well as the sleeves.


The Feudal System (n.d.). In themiddleages. Retrieved August 28, 2014, from

The Collection Online (n.d.). In The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved August 31, 2014, from

Paper Dolls Again (2011, November 22). In History of Costume. Retrieved September 2, 2014, from

History of Costume (2009, July 31). In Scribd. Retrieved September 4, 2014, from

Heraldic Cotehardie (2010, June 21). In Ysabel la Broderesse. Retrieved September 4, 2014, from

Mower, S. (2009, October 3). SPRING 2010 READY-TO-WEAR Givenchy. In Style. Retrieved September 2, 2014, from

Gothic (n.d.). In CWU. Retrieved September 1, 2014, from

Thursday, 14 August 2014

History of Fashion: Greek


800BC – 600AD

The Greek fashion had not changed until Alexander the Great took control of Jerusalem in 333 B.C. “The Ancient Greeks were not fussy about their clothing. The garments they wore were made for function, and they were made simply.” (writer873, 2012). But clothing also became a way to determine whether someone was of lower or higher class.

There were four key style features in the Greek fashion: chiton, himation, chlamys and the peplos.

The chiton was a rectangle piece of fabric made from wool or linen and would be kept in place with brooches or pins at the shoulders. It could be belted at the waist by a belt or cord but could be worn with a breastplate on top instead. The chiton was worn at knee length by men and full length by women and was later developed to have sleeves.

The himation was a rectangle piece of fabric made from wool which would be draped around the body. It was worn by both men and women and was often worn over the chiton. But by the mid fifth century B.C., young men chose not to wear the chiton anymore and only wore a himation or chlamys. The chlamys was a lightweight short cloak pinned together only over one shoulder and was worn by men in the warmer months. 

Drawing of chlamys

Lastly, the peplos was the female version of the chlamys but full length. The peplos was a wool rectangle, which would have been home spun. It was folded around the body and fastened at the shoulders with pins. It later became more popular to wear as an over garment, mostly worn over the chiton. 
Statue wearing a peplos

Clothing was also a way to determine different classes in the Greek society. While the higher classes could dye their fabrics vibrant colours the lower class would use natural resources to dye their fabrics neutral colours.
The Lidija Kolovrat Spring/Summer 2014 Collection

Modern outfit inspired by this era:

This outfit was in the Lidija Kolovrat 2014 Spring/Summer runway show. It was showcased during ModaLisboa fashion week in Portugal and demonstrated draped garments with unique prints. I picked this particular outfit as I thought it was very much like a chiton but modernised. Most of the designs in this collection were draped in different ways with bold prints. This design in particular seems more flowy because it looks to be made from linen or a thin breathable fabric which mirrors the characteristics of a chiton. It is also knee length which was how men would wear their chitons. The outfit also looks as though it is wrapped around the body and pined or sewed together around one shoulder (this feature could derive from a chlamys) and it seems as though they moved the belting that a chiton would have around the waist, to over the shoulder. Therefore this outfit has many aspects to it which derive from Greek fashion inspiration. Even though the designer never states they got their inspiration from Greek fashion I believe her designs are a modernised version of the chiton and other main styles from Greek fashion.

writer873. (2012, January 18). Ancient Greek Clothing. In Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 9, 2014, from

Sculpturally Draped Runways (2013, October 13). In Trend Hunter Fashion. Retrieved August 9, 2014, from

Ancient Greek Dress (n.d.). In The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved August 9, 2014, from

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

DIY: How to make your own kimono

All month I have been searching the internet for the perfect Kimono, but was not satisfied with what I found so I decided to make my own. Click read more to find out how to do this.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

OOTD - 22/09/13

Outfit: Jacket - Jorge (Sisters on London) // Shirt - ALC // Shirt - Alice Moon (Yellow Brick Road) // Shoes - Windsorsmith (website but also available at Wild Pair) // Bag - Shop in Wellington
Accessories: Bow ring - Stolen Girlfriends Club // Cat ring - Meadowlark (White Room)
Makeup: Lips - Lipstick Queen "Saint Rose" // Eyes - Revlon concealer & Revlon Cutom Eyes Mascara
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