1790 1810

10

Black is the colour.

Black is my favourite colour and I had never made a post about it in the blog (shame on me!). One of the most expensive colours to accomplish back in the day (several dyes were required and done wrong could damage the fabric) and THE go colour for the Spanish court.

In taffeta, velvet or wool, black is an always YES colour for the mid to upper classes, of course also for court, since the colour itself was pretty enough to send a message (you know, the always old message “I can afford it” is always on fashion).

Images from top:

  1. Jamie Dornan and Kirsten Dunst as Count Axel Fersen and Marie Antoinette in “Marie Antoinette”, 2006, Director Sofia Coppola, Costume Design Milena Canonero.
  2. “Susanna Highmore”, ca. 1740-1745, Joseph Highmore.
  3. Black Brunswick, 2014, by Maija the seamstress.
  4. Black silk suit, mid 18th century, Great Britain, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  5. “Mr and Mrs William Hallett (“The Morning Walk”)”, 1785, Thomas Gainsborough.
  6. “Miss Mary Hickey”, 1770, Sir Joshua Reynolds.
  7. Mourning dress, 1781, Cahier des Costumes Français.
  8. “Charlotte, Lady Milnes”, 1788-92, George Romney.
  9. Man’s embroidered silk velvet court suit, probably English, about 1790-1810, Sudley House, Liverpool.
  10. Masquerade outfit, 2013, by Merja Palkivaara.
9

One of the things I absolutely LOVE about OTGW is the array of historical costumes that the characters wear! To my eye, the garments span the years between about 1650 and 1910. You have:

• Lorna and Auntie Whispers in staid Puritan garments and hoods (mid-to-late 17th century)

• The Tavern Folk in mid-to-late 18th-century clothing and wigs

• Marguerite Grey and Quincy Endicott in French Rococo and Georgian styles, respectively (I love that they make an interior design joke in this chapter!)

• Beatrice (in her human form) in a distinctly Regency style dress (circa 1790s-1810s)

• Miss Langtree, Jimmy Brown and the animal students in late-19th/early-20th century styles (note Miss Langtree’s Gibson Girl hairdo)

• The riverboat frogs in the dandy duds of the early 20th century

How utterly delightful!

Two-cornered hat (bicorne), c. 1789 - c. 1810.

After the French Revolution (1789), the three-cornered hat (tricorne) – the symbol of the previous government known as the Ancien Régime – fell out of favour. However, a large two-cornered model, the bicorne, remained fashionable until around 1810. It was also called a corsair after its most famous wearer, Napoleon Bonaparte, who came from Corsica. This hat is made of beaver fur felt, which was expensive and very popular. 

(Rijksmuseum)       

2

Two very similar coats. The top suit is in the collection of the FIDM museum and dates to 1810-1814. It belonged to composer Johann Hummel and he wore it Napoleon’s court. The second suit belonged to Thomas Pickney who was a US ambassador to England from 1792 to 1794. It’s in the collection of the Charleston Museum. It hasn’t held it’s color as well as the top suit.

Both are cut very similar in style and have extremely similar floral patterns.