Victorian Gowns

Recollections

 

You are a romantic at heart. You love the look of days gone by. We've been serving your historical clothing needs since 1981. Our history-inspired fashions are found at special events, museums, amusement parks, reenactments and Old West marksmanship competitions, living history programs, on stage, television, and in the movies.


While we specialize in Victorian (including Civil War, Old West and Pioneer) and Edwardian era designs, we have a wide variety of styles from the Revolutionary War/Georgian and Regency eras, the Roaring 20s, and 1950s, too. We also offer a full selection of hats and other accessories to help you complete your look.


Recollections

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Victorian Fashion and Accessories

 Victorian Fashion
During the Victorian era women's 'jewellery' included cameos, gold or silver watches with fobs, worn in pocket at belt, or attached to left shoulder by fleur-de-lis or bow knot, large lockets on chains (usually heart-shaped), small lockets on short chains, dog collars studded with precious stones, pins of diamonds, brilliants or pearls used to secure high collars, narrow wedding bands, diamond solitaire engagement rings, link bracelets fastened by small heart-shaped padlocks, and bangle bracelets. Accessories included chatelaine bags, hand purses hooked onto belt, lorgnettes, muffs - usually flat, fur necklets, feather boas, 4-buttons gloves, card cases, buckled belts, sashes, small fans, folding wheel-shaped fans, long-handled umbrellas, usually tipped in gold or mother-of-pearl, small parasol with lace, long elaborate hat pins, and gold pens in mother-of-pearl holder. The look of demure prim gentility was emphasized by the loss of the great hats in 1835 for bonnets. Great hats had given a flirtatious air to clothes and their replacement by bonnets changed the whole character of day dresses. Lavishly trimmed bonnets stayed in fashion for half a century and weren't worn much after 1890. 
(Information from www.romancereaderatheart.com/victorian/timeline/)


Victorian Fashion
"In 1857 the Englishman Charles Worth set up a Paris fashion house at 7 Rue de la Paix a then unfashionable Paris district. In 1858 he made a collection of clothes that were unsolicited designs. He showed the clothes on live models and when people bought his original designs he became a leading fashion design couturier of the Victorian era. Until that time fashion details and changes were suggested by the customers. The House of Worth became a leader of ideas for the next 30 years. Haute Couture during the Victorian period was an ideal foil for conspicuous consumption. Fragile gauze dresses decorated with flowers and ribbons that were made for wealthy young women were only intended to be worn for one or two evenings and then cast aside as they soiled and crushed so easily. Silk flowers, froths of tulle and pleated gauze trims would have emphasized the innocence of virginal girls whilst signaling their availability on the marriage market. Such conspicuous waste and conspicuous consumption were hallmarks of Victorian high living. Older, married more senior women wore statelier fabrics like heavy satins, crisp silks and plush velvet. It was thought good etiquette to dress according to one's position in society and that also meant not wearing clothes more suited to a younger woman."    (Information from www.fashion-era.com/early_victorian_fashion.htm)

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