Here’s a “hot” number for beach attire - a woman’s lovely two piece bathing suit, 1890s. All made of deep blue wool, the shirt and pants are one piece with a gathered overskirt for modesty. The white trim is cotton twill tape, giving it a nautical flair. To complete the look, our bather would have worn a gathered cap, stockings, bathing shoes and perhaps a corset! Be sure to see the archival photographs from our collection in this posting to see how the ensemble would have looked.
In the 19th century, men had more freedom to actually swim, while women generally went “bathing”, by taking a dip in the water, fully clothed. As late as the 1870s, public beaches had separate times for men and women to “bathe.” By the 1890s, attitudes towards female swimming were changing and the skirt could be removed for more active swimming. Women’s swimming events were added to the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm. Real swimsuit changes occurred in the 1920s and 1930s when suntans became fashionable and new knitted fabrics were introduced.
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection. Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday
This seems appropriate to post today. I feel like I woke up in Hell.
The Victoria & Albert Museum
What’s a “half-mourning” dress? Mourning in the front, party in the back?
Half-Mourning was the third stage of mourning for a widow. She would be expected to mourn her husband for at least two years, the stages being Full Mourning, Second Mourning and Half-Mourning. The different stages regulated what they would be wearing, with Full Mourning being all black and with no ornamentation, including the wodow’s veil, and the stages after that introducing some jewellery and modest ornamentation. When in Half-Mourning you would gradually include fabrics in other colors and sort of ease your way out of mourning.
Wow, I am happy you made that joke so I could interpert it as a serious question and have an excuse to ramble on about clothing customs of the past, I am a historical fashion nerd.
That’s very informative, but I’m going to stick with my original head canon:
I need this to be a thing that is actual.
Reblogging for commentary that is first, good history information and then, hilarious.
Unknown title by Jan van Beers, 1881 Paris
After 1879 Van Beers began to focus on genre scenes and modern life subjects painted in a highly-finished Naturalistic style. He painted very small pictures, delicately brushed, hyper-realistic in their details and extreme finish. Success was almost immediate.
However at the Brussels Salon of 1881, Van Beers found himself amid a scandal that would upset the Belgian art world and, at the same time, give him instant recognition. He exhibited two paintings at the Brussels Salon of that year, both painted in his new, miniature-like and hyper-realistic style. One of the works, The yacht ‘Sirene,’ was to become the subject of the turmoil. He was accused to have pushed his realistic style beyond the boundaries of the possible. The Belgian critics Solvay and De Mons suspected him to have painted over a photograph, calling his work a photo-peinture. While the Review L’Art Moderne defended him by suggesting that those were merely echoing comments of some artists who were jealous of Van Beers’s commercial success, the scandal nonetheless raised considerable attention.
Van Beers decided to react promptly. He offered to have both his paintings scraped off and checked by experts . If they could discover even the most remote trace of the use of photography, Van Beers would pay them 10 000 francs for Lily, his second exhibition piece, and 20 000 francs for La Sirene, the prices he was asking for them. On the other hand, if they couldn’t find anything, the critics were to pay this amount to the Caisse de recours (a pension fund) of the Brussels artists. The critics refused the challenge, arguing that Van Beers just had to recognize his mistake. Then, on September 3, 1881, during the short absence of the guards at the Salon, an unknown person vandalized the Sirene by scratching off the face of the young woman. Immediately the painting attracted even more attention and crowds of visitors, who wanted to check by themselves if any trace of photography was visible. Van Beers took this opportunity to name a commission to examine the painting. It included the president of the Cercle Artistique et Littéraire of Brussels, the artists Charles Verlat and J.F. Portaels, and two specialists in photography and chemistry. After a thorough examination the commission’s report cleared Van Beers of all charges and concluded that he was “an honest man.”
"Crew of the USS Nahant with their two cats, ca 1898. The Nahant was an ironclad monitor that joined the fleet of Rear Admiral Samual Francis du Pont (for whom Washington, DC’s Dupont Circle in named) in the attack on Charleston Harbor in 1863”