Dress-down Friday: Fancy balls

If you were wondering how to stand out in the party season, might I suggest an incredibly labour-intensive Victorian approximation of something worn by the French Revolutionary-era reactionary scenesters known as Incroyables? Thanks, once more, to the Public Domain Review I’ve discovered Fancy Dresses Described, Or What to Wear to Fancy Balls, a book published in 1887 which is full of great costume ideas and highly detailed instructions for achieving them. Even better are the coloured illustrations which are indeed in-freakin’-croyable. I mean, that hornet? It’s…I…just…words fail me.

Fancy Dress 5
Fancy Dress 1
Fancy Dress 2
Fancy Dress 3
Fancy Dress 4
Fancy Dress 6
Fancy Dress 7
Fancy Dress 8
Fancy Dress 9
Fancy Dress 10
Fancy Dress 11
Fancy Dress 12

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3 comments

  1. Love. Love. Love. I’ve got my eye on the “bumble bee” number, along with the “playing cards” and “reptile” garb. Is that an owl or a cat sitting on top of her broom? Brilliant touch! Theadora

  2. Pingback: Curating a tidal wave | Strange Flowers

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