A brief history of fashion, told via the fashion plate

Really what fashion plates are is a precursor to fashion photography. Home decor pictures bedroom Because, of course, fashion and the fashion system itself existed before the invention of photography during the middle of the 19th century. Home interior design usa So fashion plates were really this way of communicating the most recent trends to audiences, whether they be audiences near or audiences far.

Most fashion historians and scholars of history really kind of agree that the first full-fledged fashion plates appeared around 1678 and the location is France, in one of Mercure galant’s extraordinaire issues. Home decorating ideas living room colors Basically they are engravings that are depicting the latest styles.


Home decorating tips living room The subject of fashion had been covered in text in Mercure galant before, but this is the first time we start to see engravings depicting the latest styles and the evolution of them happening. Interior home designs photo gallery There had been artists in the past that had traveled around to other countries and done some engravings depicting regional costume or court costume or religious dress of other countries, so it’s not the first time we see costumes really being depicted in that way. Home decorating ideas on a low budget But it’s the first time we see fashion. Homemade cake decoration And really the intent of the plates was to promote, predict, and sell fashion to future consumers. Home decoration photo malaysia Not necessarily just to serve as an anthropological record, which is what a lot of these costume plates that people like Wenceslaus Hollar and Albrecht Dürer had been doing centuries before.

The fashion press itself really comes into its own in France in the 18th century, and this is in no small part due to Marie Antoinette and people’s fascination with their young queen and all these outlandish styles she was launching out into the world (with the help of some other people).

In the 18th century, there were specific publications like ladies’ magazines or fashion publications that produced plates, but there were also printmakers that produced sets of these plates that were sold in their print shops, or you could subscribe to them. Traditional indian home interior decoration One of the most beautiful and perhaps one of the best known among fashion historians is called Galerie des Modes et Costumes Français. Interior home design colors And Galerie is really interesting, because they say at the beginning of the series that all of the costumes or fashions depicted in the series have been taken from real life. Home decor ideas pinterest diy They’re saying that these are ensembles that have either been seen in Paris or at the court of Versailles.

Consumers in the 18th century would have been, obviously, the aristocracy, both in and outside of France. Home decoration ideas india We know that women at foreign courts subscribed to the series. Decoration home magazine How the series was created was they were issued in sets, which were called cahiers, of six plates. Home decor ideas tumblr Every once in a while you would receive this set of fashion plates, and they were kind of issued at irregular intervals. Home decoration tips india That particular series was published between 1778 and 1787, and then there’s another great one, which is called Cabinet des modes. Interior design home remodeling If you look in art of the 19th century, in paintings, sometimes you’ll see fashion plates tacked up to the wall as forms of interior decoration.

But yeah, those plates would have been consumed either by French or foreign aristocrats or upper echelons of the bourgeoisie, who had the liquidity or the wealth to follow fashion. Home interior decorating books Not a ton of these 18th century plates survived, one, just because of the passage of time. Interior home decorating styles But also because of the French Revolution. Homemade things for decoration Anything that would have been identified or aligned with the ancien regime, once the revolution happened, a lot of that material was destroyed. Home decoration photos india Specifically, intentionally.

The French Revolution happens and suddenly the world is very different. Home interior design hall How did fashion plates change with the coming of the 19th century and over its course?

Really fashion plates, once we hit the 19th century, become more mainstream. Home interior decoration photos They become much more available to a wider audience, and a lot of that has to do very much so with the social stratification that begins to happen or that is now able to happen, post France, in particular, becoming a republic. Interior home decor accessories You see the middle class, or the bourgeois, expanding rapidly. Decoration things home With that expansion of the middle class, we also see this expansion of ladies’ magazines in the 19th century.

The ladies’ magazines are really interesting because they are targeting all sorts of different audiences. Home decoration tips for indian house The quality of the plates, or the different type of plates that are being produced, really follows that audience for the magazine. Interior home decoration ideas Some of the 19th century titles are really directed toward the mother and homemaker. Inside decoration home Others are directed to maybe the demimonde or the courtesan. Home decoration design pictures Others are directed toward former members of the aristocracy, with these lingering aristocratic ideals or pretensions. Home decorating ideas photos dining room It would be almost the difference between something like Cosmo or Good Housekeeping and V or W or one of the higher-end fashion magazines.

Especially in the 18th century and the first part of the 19th century, clothing was produced by and large custom, for each individual, whether it be a woman making clothes for her family and herself at home or whether you were patronizing a dressmaker or a tailor. Home interior design kitchen pictures So these plates were inspiration. Photos of home decoration You could maybe pick a certain silhouette that you liked, but then you’d see another detail in a different fashion plate and you could take these to your dressmaker or tailor and say, this is something that I’m looking for.

The way that consumers directed the design of their wardrobe was entirely different than it is now. Home decorating ideas contemporary The consumers themselves were largely responsible for coming to the dressmaker or tailor with all the materials that they wanted to be made up. Home decoration items images That includes your textiles, your trimmings, any sort of embellishment. U home interior design review They were the ones that were supplying the ideas to the dressmaker or tailor, and fashion plates played a part in that, because they were easily portable and you could present them and say, I want something like this. Home decorating ideas teenage girl And that’s one of the reasons why they were so popular at that time.

Before fashion plates existed, in the 17th and 18th centuries and dating all the way back to 15th century, there was another really fun thing that people did—but it was much more difficult to transport. Home decoration pictures india They were called pandoras. Youtube home interior decoration They were essentially miniature dolls that were dressed in the latest styles and you could ship them to the foreign court in Spain or the foreign court in Italy, and they were oftentimes recording what the women at the court of Versailles were wearing, but they were used all over. Interior home design furniture But fashion plates changed that, because they’re a lot easier to carry around and transport as a source of inspiration.

That all shifted once the ready-to-wear market started coming into being in the late 19th century, but really ready-to-wear didn’t take off as an industry itself until the 20th century, by and large. Home decoration ideas for birthday There was still a lot of custom creation of clothing happening. Home interior decoration pics Early department stores all carried mercer departments, so you could go to the department store and pick out your textiles and your trimmings and take them to the custom salon in the department store. Home decorating ideas youtube A lot of the things that were being offered ready-to-wear early on would have been things like capes, or undergarments, or mantles (capes, essentially)—those sorts of things that didn’t require a precise fit.

When you mention the pandoras, it sounds like it took a while for the technology to percolate, but it sounds like fashion plates were always, in this odd way, a democratizing invention.

You could tell the difference in quality of plates, sometimes, when you compare different titles. Interior room decoration pictures But I think by and large, the way you get a better idea for who the target audience for a specific title was would be looking at the magazine itself and not just the plates, because it’s what information is being presented. Home decorating ideas living room photos It this covering society events? Or is this presenting homemaking tips or child-rearing tips? I think that’s the way—actually looking at the magazine itself and the text and the information being conveyed is the best way to figure out who the target audience for a specific title is.

They included other things besides fashion plates, too, which are really fun. Photos of home decorating ideas There was prose, but there would also be sheet music included in a lot of them for the piano. Interior decorating home office Also you see embroidery patterns and motifs being included and needlework patterns being included in them as well, which is really charming and interesting.

Right. Christmas home decoration photos But it’s not necessarily in the plates themselves, per se, in the 19th century. Home decoration ideas pinterest A lot of the same artists worked for multiple publications, as well. Decoration home catalog Some of the best fashion plate artists of the 19th century were a trio of sisters. Home decorating ideas kitchen table Which is another interesting thing about the fashion plate industry at this time—this was an acceptable occupation for women. Decoration zara home So there was a trio of women, their last name was Colin, and they became fashion plate artists because their father had been. Home decor tips 2012 He trained all three of them. Home decoration tips urdu Their names were Anais, Laure, and Heloise, and we see plates by them in dozens of different publications. Interior home designs of rossendale reviews Anais alone, I’ve seen her plates appear in 20 different titles, and I’m sure that there were more. Home interior decoration items india They were really sought after. Home decoration vastu tips in hindi And Anais’s daughter also went on to become a fashion plate artist as well. Classic home interior decoration dubai So a lot of times this was in the family—a familiar multigenerational profession that people engaged in.

Sometimes we know that the printing plates were being sold from one publication to another after they had already had their initial run, particularly French and British plates being sold to other countries—America, Spain, Italy—because once they were done with the plate they didn’t need it anymore, and these other countries were pretty much ravenous for content. Home decor name ideas But you also see specific artists’ work being copied frequently as well. Home decoration images for free There’s a whole history of what was happening politically, what was happening socially, what was happening in terms of technology that you can glean from these plates once you really start digging into the backstory.

We start to see fashion photography as early as around 1890. Home interior snowman decor We have some pretty vanguard fashion magazines here in our collections. Room decoration painting designs One of them called La Mode Pratique, which includes fashion photography right alongside fashion plates, starting in 1891. Home decorating ideas living room with fireplace But that is the earliest example I have seen. Decoration of diya at home Of course photography existed before that, especially in the form of carte de visite, or calling cards. Home decorating ideas paint colors We see a lot of fashion depicted. Home decor pics free Calling cards had been a thing for a long time, but once studio photography and portrait photography became available to the masses, people started including their full-length portraits on their calling cards. Interior decorating home study That’s a really amazing primary source of information on historical dress. Home decorating ideas photos living room But in terms of fashion photography meant, like I said, to promote, predict, and sell future fashion, it is in the 1890s that we start to see that emerge.

But even up until the 1920s, even into the 1930s, a lot of the mainstream fashion magazines were running both a blend of photography and also fashion plates, or fashion illustration, I should say. Home decorating tips on a budget Really there was a resurgence—actually a backlash against this mass production and mass printing that was happening in fashion magazines, in terms of fashion photography. Interior home design free software There was a big backlash as early as the 1910s, when there was a group of select couturiers who felt that this had lost a little bit of its prestige and they wanted to align their brands with something a little more exclusive, less mass produced. Home decor ideas for young couples They started working with this printmaking technique called pochoir. Home interior decorating school Essentially, they were creating fashion plates using stencils. Interior home design online To do it at the upper echelon this technique was extremely time consuming, extremely laborious, and because of that, very, very expensive. Interior home design program So there was a certain circle of fashion designers, led by Paul Poiret, who started using this technique to create albums of fashion or limited edition fashion publications, and it became very de rigeur. Home decorating tips painting Very fashionable.

After the war a few publications came back and tried to keep using pochoir to relaunch themselves, but essentially it waned in use because of its unpractical nature, because it was so expensive. Home decorating tips 2013 And really the true final death knell for that printmaking technique and the pochoir fashion plate was the Great Depression. Decoration of pots at home We see magazines into the 1930s, some of them, still using a blend of fashion photography and pochoir as well, but after the 1930s it disappears entirely.

One of them, and it’s in the book, is from 1851. Decoration of home on diwali It depicts bloomer dress. Decoration of home ideas With this first wave of feminism, especially in the United States, there were a lot of feminist and suffragette journals and writings, and out of that whole movement there became this push toward dress reform. Beautiful home decoration photos Women in the 1850s were still heavily corseted. Home decoration ideas in pakistan They were wearing up to 14 layers of petticoats, in order to achieve the volume of those skirts, because the cage crinoline had not yet come into being. Decoration of home games The hoop skirt had not yet come into being. Interior home design courses You were layering petticoats to get that volume. Home decor pictures living room So there was a lot of feeling that this was unhygienic, it was unhealthy. Home decoration ideas handmade There were a lot of different reasons behind this dress reform movement.

One of the things that some of these dress reformists were promoting was wearing what wearing what were called “Turkish trousers.” Little pantalettes, essentially, that later became known as bloomers. Classic home decoration photos Because Amelia Bloomer was the editor of this feminist publication called The Lily, and she wrote a whole series of articles in the publication, advocating for Turkish trousers. Home decoration ideas for anniversary They became so identified with her name that they were called bloomers. Decoration of temple in home There is a plate in the book that depicts two women in evening dress. Interior home design bathroom One of them is wearing a very fashionable evening dress and the other one is wearing a dress that has been shortened to about four inches below the knee, and you can see that she’s wearing bloomers underneath.

So it’s one of the instances where, the plate itself, you may not necessarily pick up on something. Home decoration ideas on diwali But there’s a whole history of what was happening politically, what was happening socially, what was happening in terms of technology that you can glean from these plates once you really start digging into the backstory.