Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shift Giveaway Winner and Covetable Corsets

Hello all! Thanks to everyone who entered--I'm excited to see there are so many interested folks out there.

I used the random number generator at random.org which yeilded...Angela!

Angela, please shoot me an email at hyalineblue079 at yahoo dot com (that's zero seven nine) and we'll talk specifics.

In addition, just for fun, some pics of eighteenth-century lovelies from the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These are all listed by the museum as "corset" though we know that term isn't quite accurate. These are all either stays, jumps, bodices, or an elusive something else...and sifting through what constitutes each is my current research project! It's been anathema in recent years to suggest that sleeveless garments may have been worn as outerwear, but I'm uncovering some evidence to the contrary, especially in France and elsewhere on the continent. Even the reenactor-despised term "bodice" is showing up (in the eighteenth-century dictionary, no less, so rather undeniable evidence), making me wonder if we have our research lacing as tight as it could be...

But back to the fun stuff:

A garment that, from its front closure, I have a sneaking suspicion may be intended to be worn as an outer garment. Listed as European provenance, it has a Continental look to me--French or German, perhaps?

What I would easily call stays, with full boning and intended to mold the torso into a fashionable shape. Intended as underwear, but pretty spiffy nonetheless.

Another iffy garment--less boning than what I would call stays, so perhaps jumps, but the decorative front may indicate outerwear--oh, the controversy!


sharmon2629@att.net said...

Congrats, Angela!
Love the pics. I watched a documentary on lingerie years ago and its evolution. Fascinating.

Lua said...

Congratulations Angela :)
Oh wow- I love those costumes Rowenna, thanks for the extra treat!

GentlewomanThief said...

Wee - congratulations, Angela! Can't wait to see the shift/shirt progressing :D

And yay for stays. Although I'm new to it an not necessarily massive on historical accuracy in my own stitching, I do find the whole unusual bodice thing very interesting. I love the style of that first one with the buttons and if it's not meant to be outerwear, then at least the front could be visible between the robings of a gown, like a stomacher. Also, I have seen another in that style which as far as I'm aware was German, so maybe it was a regional thing?

As for bodices as outerwear, I think it's made all the more difficult because of the whole 'undress' vs 'dress' issue and the fact that at home a woman might wear, pretty much, whatever she chose. I suppose clothing then was a lot more context-based, so people (the upper classes and probably certain levels of the middle classes, anyway) would change a lot more often than we do now. There was a bit of a discussion on this in a couple of threads at the historicalsewingforum.com (let me know and I can direct you to the specific threads, if you like).

Oh, and to back up what you were saying about the 'bodice', there are also paintings that show women in bodice-type tops. I seem to recall seeing a picture of a court gown that was a bodice on top of an ornate petticoat? (Off the top of my head, I think they were similar to those V&A goldwork gowns.)

Also, you might like this - I found this lovely beastie that is far too pretty to be unseen as underwear:

Intriguing, eh? I'm really interested to see what your research reveals!

Jill said...

Wow, nothing like sexy outerwear. How truly scandalous!

Rowenna said...

Thanks ladies--Looking forward to making Angela her shift!

GWT--I think quite a bit of the misinformation (and I have been a perpetrator!) about stays/jumps/bodices is that for quite some time historical costumers were looking primarily at English sources--and there is more regional difference than we were giving credit for. English people did tend to, from what foreigners said, wear fully boned stays with gowns on pretty much all the time (what squares, thought the French...). As I unearth a little more scandalous research I'll be sure to post :)