Thursday, November 06, 2008

Women's Costume 1794 France, hairstyles, purses and cloaks

More clothing during the French Revolution.
Again, I'm looking at middle- and lower- class clothing of 1794. I'm after woman-on-the-street wear, rather than high fashion.

This section contains hairstyles, purses, and cloaks, which is a strange combination, but sometimes I'm strange.

Outerwear -- the Cloak

We have a 1795 short black cloak being worn over a jupe and caraco.

And look at the stripes. Young, old, city, country, with and without dogs, the French were mad for stripes.

When in doubt, French printmakers threw in a dog. Or maybe every woman in Paris had a little dog tagging along after her. Contemporary images seems to say this.
Here is the closeup.

This old gal probably taught third grade and scared her class to death. She scares the bejesus out of me, anyway.

Here's a red hood from a few years before 1790. It's French. I suspect the print has faded from a brighter original shade.

They had deep-red, wool, hooded cloaks all over England, too, in the countryside.

These red cloaks were the ordinary outer wear of ordinary women, robust, traditional country wear. They seems to have lasted at least fifty years on either side of 1800.

Another red cloak from the period, here. This one is made in England.
Why red? I dunnoh.

A printed-cotton, hooded cape from our period. You can find it Here, if you scroll patiently down the page.

This has a contrasting print lining we don't see. It's c.1780-90 from vintagetextiles which lives here.

Hair Cuts

We got hair.
Really, really short hair, a la mode de Titus, here

This is listed as circa 1794. But is it the first half of 1794, or the last half, after the fall of Robespierre?

Is this a la victime . . . ?
When did that start.
I just don't know.

Or we got very slightly longer hair. This is neck-length frizzy hair under a cap from a Lebrun self-portrait of 1790.
The frizzing is done on purpose, with curling irons.

Here's another example of the very short hair. Goes just to the nape of the neck. Careful frizzing that's made to seem 'natural'. This one's from 1797. Is hair this very very short the victime style?
Hard to say.
Anyway, find it at home here.

See the high waist on the dress. This is one of the signs that this is a leetle bit later than 1794. The waist has moved all the way up. In 1794 it was still about halfway between natural waist and under the boobs.

Both waist and neck are gathered with a simple band.

And here's the long hair version that's common throughout the period. This example is not as frizzy as some ... more elaborate curls. You can see the characteristic shape with the hair loose down the back.

Oh. As long as we're here ...
This has one of those fichus that cross in the front and go all the way around the back to tie.

You can see almost this exact hairstyle here, dated to 1793, and here, dated to 1791- 1792. Click for closeup of those.

This one to the left shows the central part nicely. It dates from 1796

The long hair worn loose under a cap goes right down the social scale -- minus the elaborate frizzing. That lack of time-consuming frizz looks like a social indicator.
Here's tricoteuses with that length.

This is an out-of-era picture, and therefore more untrustworthy than usual. I think the total lack of frizzing of the hair is correct for this just-poor-as-all-get-out-class, but wouldn't trust the clothing details.

Here, in 1790, we see the longish and curled hair. On one woman, there in the back, it's ever so carefully frizzed and curled. On the other, seated figure the cut is similar, but more natural, less carefully controlled.

Pocketbooks and Purses

There are extant examples of fancy embroidered clutch pocketbooks. I guess one just walked around ... clutching them. I'd like to find a picture of one of these being carried. Haven't, so far. They may have been primarily to hold calling cards.

here's one. French 1780s. Click for closeup.

This is from Meg Andrews Antique Costumes and Textiles, at the website here.

Here we have another purse, 1780–1790 French silk; Length: 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)
How does this work? What are the ribbons for?

It's from the Met, Closeup here.

This one is c. 1790, French silk. Length: 7 5/16 in. (18.6 cm).
here's the close take on this purse. Also from the Met.

Now think about the size of this pack. It's seven inches. That's a little bitty thing. Maybe this was a card case . . .?

All Met refs are through http: //www.metmuseum. org


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