parisian lady

rienerose  asked:

I have a new ball-jointed-doll that I am planning to have be my model Christine. Unfortunately, finding appropriate clothing for her is extremely difficult. I am going to have to have some made, I think, and while I can find a lot of information about Victorian England, Belle-Epoch France is somewhat more difficult to research! So, I am asking you, as you are the expert! (continued on message 2)

2) What would Christine have worn? Did women of her age, time period, and social class only wear dresses, or wear skirts and blouses, perhaps with a jacket as well? Shoes only, or boots? Cloaks or coats? What would she wear at home–was there an equivalent of the Victorian “tea gown”? Corsets always? Pantalettes? Chemises? Hats? What kind of stockings? Were there any color restrictions? Any information you can give me would be gratefully appreciated! Thanks!

OoOooh, the 1860s-1890s is a surprisingly hard period to summon up in a short reply. I’ll do my best still! 

A woman’s wardrobe of the second half of the 19th century would of course depend on her class. The higher the class, the more changes a day, and the more specific the garments. Queen Maud of Norway, and also her mother Queen Alexandra, is said to have changed clothes up to 7 times a day: morning wear, sportswear, walking suits, teagowns, dinner dresses, opera attires, maybe also additional representation wear and/or ball gowns. Lower classes changed less times a day, but wearing two different attires for day and evening was quite common. You changed for dinner if you had any kind of manners! 

Christine is a bit of an in-betweener, class wise, at least in the first half of the story/show. She’s an orphan, she is a working girl in a semi-respectable profession. At the same time she’s under the wings of Mama Valerius, whose late husband was a professor, and who seems to have had some funding she did not mind spending on Christine. So she’s not an aristrocrat or rich burgeroise mademoiselle, but not a poor one either. She would probably try and keep up with fashion, but wear practical stuff for work. Wools instead or silk, or at least not lots of drapes and decorations and huge bustles. 

Christine’s wardrobe would most likely consist of (from inner to outer): chemises/shifts/blouses, bloomers and stockings, corsets, bodice and skirt. For outdoor use she would also wear a hat and a cloak or jacket/dolman, plus gloves and shoes/boots. The fashion in Paris did not differ from that in London in this aspect, except brits always considered Parisian fashion to be more impractival and frilly. But also smarter.

The most common combo of the mid/late 19th century was a fitted bodice with matching skirt. The skirt could have various drapes and trains - the more extravagant occasion, the more extravagant skirt. Evening bodices would show cleavage and often bare arms, while day bodices were often long-sleeved and high-necked. Some tailors made two separate day + evening bodices for the same skirt (transofrmation dresses), so you could mix and match. Here’s a green 1860s example, and here’s an 1872 dress by Charles Frederick Worth with evening bodice, day bodice and detachable train (from The Met): 

Another popular transformation thing was to fill in the neckline during the day, and open it up a bit for later in the evening, to wear it as a dinner dress or similar. Though this doesn’t show the same dress, you get the main idea: 

To see more period wear, here’s a link showing fashionable garments from 1870-90, from the Kyoto Costume Institute:

If you can get a hold of their (very reasonable and popular) Taschen-published book as well, you’ll see lots more examples with accessories, and a majority of them are French. Albeit they show finer upper class attires for the most, they are good examples of typical silhouettes and ideals, and shows what every Parisian lady would strive for. The skirt-and-blouse combo would not be terribly fashionable in Paris at this point. It came into fashion in the 1890s and onwards; before that it was considered a more rural style. So I wouldn’t dress Christine in that unless it was to underline her rural Swedish background. 

In the second half of the story/show, she is Raoul’s fiancé and albeit a secret it would probably affect her wardrobe slightly. If only that he gifted her items, or maybe even had a tailor make her stuff. I always assumed that was what the blue Wishing dress in the show indicates, though I can also see the opera staff loving her and helping her out with splendid garments in secret… 

But still, always a corset, usually separate but matching bodice and skirt, and fabric, cleavage and accessories fit for the occasion. :) 

As for colours black and purple was usually only done for mourning, so again - unless you wanna make a point by using them specifically, stay clear of them. Clothes in alternating b/w, or black and purple, or purple and white, are usually signs of half-mourning, so use those combos with care. White was usually for young girls and brides, which is also helpful to have in mind. 

Synthetic dye (anilin) was discovered in 1858, which resulted in an insane love for anything super bright, so feel free to go nuts with colours. Pink wasn’t a “girl colour” at this point. Sky blue was the colour of young girls, something still seen in fairytales and movies - Belle in BATB, Alice in Wonderland, Christine in Maria Bjørnson’s design. It’s a good colour to underline the typical “young and spirited girl” flair. :) 

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask :) 


The Letter. Etienne Adolphe Piot (French, 1850-1910). Oil on canvas.

Piot studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and became a pupil of Léon Cogniet from 1870, where he developed his preferred subject; portraits of fashionable ladies of Parisian society. A member of the salon from 1883, Piot uses dark backgrounds to highlight the faces of his models and their knowing expression. Here Piot uses a note, the contents of which are hidden from the viewer, to bring intrigue and narrative to the portrait.


Paris, France


The many painted faces of Victorine-Louise Meurent.

(Photo of Victorine Meurent from a photobook belonging to Edouard Manet, ~1865.)

Victorine-Louise Meurent (1844-1927) was a French woman born into a family of artisans in Paris. She was a well known painter in Paris during her lifetime and was an even more well known model. 

She began modeling when she was 16-years-old, but her career in that area really took off in 1862 when the famous artist Edouard Manet spotted her in the street carrying her guitar and asked her to model for his artwork. She then proceeded to model for a good chunk of Manet’s art for roughly the next decade. She is the central figure in two of Manet’s most famous paintings- “Luncheon on the Grass” and “Olympia”. (Click the photos for the title, date, and artist for each of the works they’re from.)

She went on to model for other famous artists such as Edgar Degas and Alfred Stevens. Even later in her life she posed and held friendships with artists such as Norbert Goeneutte and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.

She had a good career with her own artwork, as well. As a working class woman, this was, as you expect, not terribly easy to do. She exhibited in the Louvre’s bi-annual Salon exhibition 6 times with her own work- even as she hung on the walls in other artist’s paintings. In fact, she had a piece in the Main Salon the same year that Manet’s “Luncheon” hung in the Salon de Refuses in 1863 (this was a room set aside to display works rejected from Salon admittance that year. Many artists petitioned for it, and so Napoleon III arranged for the “Salon of Rejections”. However, as one would expect, most people just went in there to laugh at the “reject” art.)

Her artwork has largely been lost. When she died in 1927, many of her belongings were “liquidated” due to her lack of anyone to receive them. By “liquidate” I mean that much of it was simply burned. Her art and violin included. However, below is a remaining example of her work:

(“Palm Sunday”, Victorine-Louise Meurent~1880s)

Along with being a model and artist, she was a talented musician. The guitar she was carrying when Manet met her was her own; she played and taught both guitar and violin. She also sang at Paris’ cafe-concerts (outdoor cafe/nightclubs that had live musical performances. They were very much the place to be during this time in Paris.)

Meurent was famous for her small stature and red hair- the former earned her the nickname “la Crevette” (“the Shrimp”). Toulouse-Lautrec would often introduce her as “Olympia”.

She was accepted into the Société des Artistes Français in 1903, and three years later she moved to the French suburb of Colombes. She lived the last 10 years of her life there before dying at age 83.

One particularly important thing to know about Meurent is how history largely remembers her. Many historical accounts made by lazy (and likely misogynistic) historians back in the day state that Meurent was a prostitute and an alcoholic who died young of drinking and disease. Of course, we literally have written proof (in the form of historical accounts and even government census documents) that none of this is true. Many people even today remain ignorant to her actual career and life.

Another important thing to note is that those last 10 years of her life in Colombes were spent with a woman named Marie Dufour. Dufour was a piano teacher and the two lived together in a home that they apparently shared legal ownership of. Many historians, once again, don’t pay much attention to this. Still, while it is not entirely certain what the nature of their relationship was, it is believed by many that they were involved romantically.  Some accounts state that Meurent was open about her relationships with women (as open as one could be at that time). She also is said to have been romantically involved with Alfred Stevens for a time, so if her relationship with Mufour was more than platonic than Meurent was likely either bisexual or pansexual.

Victorine-Louise Meurent: a 19th century working class artist, model, singer, musician, and (quite likely) bisexual/pansexual woman. Hells yeah.

anonymous asked:

Congratulations on 2.5k! As for the ficlet prompt- something involving Romana/Leela in Paris? Feel free to ignore this if you aren't that familiar with Gallifrey.

another one that I liked enough to post to AO3

this is just fluff without plot, enjoy! 

“Romana, what are we doing here?” 

At Leela’s question, Romana glances at her friend as they walk along the Parisian street. The Time Lady has explained very little throughout their entire journey. Other than requesting that Leela accompany her off world, and then flying a TARDIS to Earth, to this Paris place, she has told Leela nothing.

“I told you, I needed a day off,” she says, “and who else would I want to spend it with, if not you?” 

“The last time we had a holiday, our minds got muddled together, and a corpse from the future was delivered to our holiday place,” Leela points out. 

“Yes, but before all that, we had a rather nice time, didn’t we?” 

“We argued about ev-ol-u-tion against a great creator - an argument that has still not been resolved.”

Romana looks at her with fond exasperation. It is a look that Leela is becoming increasingly familiar with. “Leela, please, can’t we just enjoy this? You’ll like Paris, the Doctor brought me here a long time ago. It’s quite nice, you know.” 

“It is a nice change from Gallifrey, at least,” Leela agrees, looking around. “At least on Earth, people are not afraid of trees.” 

“Time Lords aren’t afraid of trees,” Romana says, sounding a bit offended. 

“Not sensible ones like you, perhaps, but any others are, except for those Cer-u-leans. You know, the strange ones in the blue. I like them.” 

Romana sighs. “Of course you do.”

“What will we be doing while we are here, Romana?” 

“I think our rule from last time works well. We do something that you want to do, and then we do something I want to do, and so on.” 

“Alright,” Leela says, nodding. “Well, I would like to go somewhere where it is green, where I may enjoy more fresh air.” 

“I thought you would say that, which is why we’re headed for Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. We need to get onto their public transport system. This way.” 

The park is beautiful, and everything Leela could have hoped for. She does not mind Gallifrey, not really, but it is so stifling sometimes, so completely lifeless in a way that no one around her could ever understand. 

But being here, out in nature, where she is supposed to be, never fails to be wonderful. It is even more wonderful when she has Romana with her. 

Romana, although she would never ever agree, belongs out in the beauty of nature as much as anybody else. The dress she has chosen is white and flowy, with long fitted sleeves, and comes to just below her knees. The sun sets off a shine in her cropped golden hair, and Leela finds herself rather captivated by the sight as they move through the garden and examine the flowers they pass. 

Finally, they come to sit underneath a tree, shoulder to shoulder. 

“Thank you, for bringing me here,” Leela says. 

“Thank you for coming so willingly. I wouldn’t have enjoyed this had I been on my own.”

“You should know that I will always gladly accompany you, if it means I can breathe in air that is not manufactured and stale like on Gallifrey.”

“I do know that, but I know things have been… difficult between us, lately.” 

Leela turns her head to look at Romana, who is staring at her with those intense, intelligent eyes of hers. Often so cold, but always softer when looking at Leela as opposed to anyone else, even Braxiatel. 

“You are my friend, Romana,” Leela says, pulling a leaf from Romana’s hair where it has gotten caught. “There is little that could change that.” 

“I know, I know, I just… worry,” Romana admits. “Most of the time, it feels as though you’re the only person I can really trust. Everyone else around me is trying to gain something for themselves, but not you. And around everyone else, I have to be perfect, and in control, but… not around you.”

“Perfection is an impossibility,” Leela tells her. “It is futile to wish for it. Flaws are as important to nature as anything else.” 

“Do you really think so?” Romana sounds so tired, but her eyes are strangely focused. Focused on Leela. 

“I know so,” Leela says. “Joy comes in celebrating our growth, and differences, not in obtaining perfection.”  

“… why is it that sometimes, I think you would be a better leader than I am?”

Leela laughs heartily at that. “I could not do what you do. Leader of a simpler tribe, perhaps, but your politics are far beyond my understanding.”

“Only because they’re so ridiculous that someone as grounded as yourself can’t comprehend them,” Romana replies. 

Leela turns her head to look at the beautiful scenery around them. “You are being too nice to me, Romana. I am starting to think that you want something.” 

“For once, I don’t, Leela, I promise you,” Romana says quietly. “I want nothing but the comfort of your company. It’s the only luxury I can grant myself before I throw myself back into the absolute chaos that is my job, at the moment.” 

“You are wishing for comfort? To ease your mind, for a while?” Leela asks, looking back at her. 

Romana’s cheeks flush. “Well, it sounds silly when you put it like that.”

“No, it does not,” Leela assures her, and she cups Romana’s face in her hands, making Romana go very still. (Time Lords and physical contact - always so stiff, the lot of them!) 

Before the Time Lady can argue, Leela leans in and presses her lips gently against Romana’s. It is a kiss of comfort, of caring, of the friendship they have that has been feeling like a little bit more than a friendship, lately. 

“I was afraid you might do that,” Romana says softly, when Leela pulls away. Leela feels a flash of hurt, but before she can recoil, Romana is touching her hair and brushing it from her face. “And yet, I think it’s something I’ve been dreaming about.” 

She kisses Leela, with the uncertainty of someone who has definitely not done it many times before. Leela does not mind that. Leela just feels warm, and eagerly kisses her back, and this time when they pull away they laugh at themselves. At stealing kisses in Paris, on Earth, light years away from Gallifrey and its absurdity. 

It’s like being back on Davidia, except instead of giggling about breaking a window with the chair and trying to lie to a member of the security team about it, they’re laughing at themselves, at the strangeness of the Time Lady and the savage, the strangeness that is theirs and theirs alone. 

It makes it worth all the museums that Romana drags Leela through later in the day, that’s for sure.