Thursday, January 24, 2008

A c1805 Child's Crimson Day Gown, Spencer & Bonnet
The Americans called it 'Federal', the French~ 'Empire', and the English~ 'Regency'.....whatever your nationality, these were the years from 1795~1825

I love this dress~ it's one of my favorites....but if you read my past posts, you'll find I have several favorites! Just take a moment to look at my precious Emma, and the gown that commands her. While your dreaming, add in the fact that when this gown was made, and worn, Thomas Jefferson was our third President, elected in 1800. In 1803, he would lay down a cool 15 million dollars to purchase Louisiana from France. We were coming out of the stuffy 'Georgian' period, and into a new century with many new found freedoms~ a large one very noticeable in the dress of the day. Jane Austen (1775~1817) would write her now famous novels~ Sense & Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815), Persuasion (1817), and Northanger Abbey(also 1817). My own Emma would befit a character in any one of Jane's 6 novels.
Dress was very controversial at the turn of the 19th century.....no more rigid whalebone stays....no more petticoats~ why~ if the wind blew in the right direction, you could see the 'full body' female silhouette..... nearly all of it! It was all quite risque! White was the 'in' color for fashion, the new Grecian form was very simple~ the waistline had risen to just up under the armpits & below the bust line. This dress is so very rare~ and especially in this fabulous crimson red color. Its made of super fine & sheer muslin, and is together with its original 'Spencer' jacket.
The Spencer is fully lined in linen, with red silk ties in the front. The arms are quite long~ in perfect fashion for the era~ they were worn slightly pushed up the arm, with the frill on the cuff worn down over the back of the hand. This would have been a summer dress. You cant tell from the pictures, but the gown is so fine, it can easily pass thru a ring the size of a .50 cent piece.

Emma wears a black plush velvet bonnet original to the era~ c1805-10. Inside the crown is remnant of a makers label~ only a very rich little girl would have ever worn this bonnet. Its stuffed with horsehair & wool batt in both the brim & crown, and is trimmed just in the front in a very simple & stylish row of velvet covered buttons & black braid.
Don't ya wish you knew what she is giggling about???
Classic style and simple form. Simply Beautiful

6 comments:

Barbara said...

Gorgeous outfit, Honey. By the way....what WAS she giggling about?? Her eyes are snapping!
LY, Mom

Lana said...

Oh! these are all so wonderful Rachael! I'll have to hurry back to read more later....

The Paisley Studio/Sarah McNamara said...

I want Emma and the dress, Rachael! And I know what she is giggling about --- it has to do with Dolly the doggy . . .

Sarah

Miss Maddie's said...

The gown and jacket are gorgeous! The model is adorable too.
It's hard to believe they are 200 years old.What ever little darling had the pleasure of wearing them must have loved them as much as you.That color is just so vibrant, perfect for Valentine's Day!
Susan

Bluejean Primitives said...

Awwww! You have such beautiful girls... I think she was giggling at her Mom doing something funny on the other side of the camera! :)

Suzanne said...

Beautiful gown and bonnet Rachael! And so is your sweet model!