Monday, July 19, 2010

18th century gowns

I love the clothes of the 18th century. So, I thought I would share some of my favorites. These have aided me in the writing of my historicals, and if you are writing in the genre, then be sure to research the clothing of the era your story is set in.

Is this gown not beautiful? It is newly made for a wedding dress made of pale pink silk. If I was a young bride today, this is the dress I would want, even if it did cost me an arm and a leg. Go to the Rossetti website to view more images of this stunning gown. In US dollars it costs $4565. Close up shots really show the beauty and amazing craftsmanship of the embroidery and lace.

In the novel I am currently writing, Before the Scarlet Dawn, my heroine Eliza Morgan has stitched a beautiful gown and wears it to her first social gathering in the Colonies. It is July, and she knows all the ladies will no doubt be wearing calico and soft, pale cottons due to the heat. But when her husband's eyes glow with pleasure with her in it, she is convinced it is the right choice.

This gown also by Rossetti, is the perfect image of what I have in mind for Eliza.

 I took this photo at a historical fair at Rose Hill Manor in Frederick, Maryland. If only I had not gotten the table legs in the photo it would have been much better.

How important is dress to you while reading a historical novel?

When writing, do you include brief descriptions of the clothing your characters are wearing?

What moments in a story are most important when it comes to including the gown your heroine is wearing, or the suit of clothes your hero has donned?


Jessica Nelson said...

Those are GORGEOUS! I love the rose one too. Wow.

Shannon said...

Thanks for the eye candy this morning!!

Cottons, during the colonial era? It's been my understanding that linen was the fabric of choice, being less expensive and actually cooler than cotton. I could check, however ... ?

I love 18th century fashions too! :-)

Rita Gerlach said...

Shannon, here is an excellent article on the topic of cottons used during the Revolutionary period.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

Stunning, especially the first gown!

I like some description of the clothing, but I much prefer action scenes. Her moire satin gown swished as she fled from her pursuer holds more appeal than a bland recitation of details.

Susan :)

An Historical Lady said...

Lovely! I have one exquisite 18thc. sacque back gown and another in the works! These are nice inspirations!
Hope you will visit me~

My husband and I recently attended a Colonial Twelfth Night Ball, and have a gallery of photos up on our website at present: