1890s Style- It’s All About The Sleeves…

Gigot (aka leg-of-mutton) sleeves were a defining feature of mid-1890s style and as with all fashion trends, they could get somewhat excessive. Here is some commentary on this trend from the October 7, 1894 edition of the Los Angeles Times:

Today the big sleeve is declared possible in any material, its chief uses being to broaden the shoulders and give the waist that effect of a wasp-like slimness so much desired. Diaphanous textiles, too, have taken the place of tho stately gilt and sliver spun brocades, and the girl whose wardrobe docs not Include at least two bodices of transparent stuffs can safely be said to be outside the pale of fashion.

The foundations of a sleeve in any of the gauzy webs now fashionable, does not begin, as one would naturally think, with a simple silk lining. It Is a complicated and awe-Inspiring affair, and often calls for considerable thinking, no matter how accomplished the builder. First, there is a smallish lining in some soft, dainty silk: this covered by a huge one, puffed, folded and pleated in heavier silk or satin, which in turn, is interlined with stiff tarleton or crinoline, and perhaps padded at shoulders or bunched with
concealing looseness at the lower arm…

On this ballooned or mutton-legged structure, the chiffon or mousseline de sole ties in bows or knots or fall in graceful, drifting folds, or is, perhaps, cunningly captioned with hidden tackings to look for all tho world like a furniture covering!

It’s interesting that the trend is said to have started with using heavy silk brocade, often in metallic, but then expanded to using lighter fabrics, that utilized a complex construction process. Ultimately, sleeve styles were part of a greater whole, serving to help define an overall look which, in this case, was the wasp-waist:

In the course of creating our designs, we have drawn on a wide variety of period sources and especially ones that speak to us across the years such as in the case of commentary from those who were living in the era. As we come across more interesting items of this nature, we’ll be sharing them with you all here. 🙂

Boxing Day In The UK

Boxing Day traditionally comes the after Christmas and is a major holiday in itself in the UK. After the relative quiet of Christmas Day when London almost completely shuts down, we decided to brave the crowds and head out to Liberty London.

Here I am examining some of Liberty’s recent releases…below are just a couple:

Afterwards, we decided to take a walk down Carnaby Street to take in the sights:

The crowds were HUGE, something we’re not used to in LA. 😀 Well, that’s all for now, stay tuned!

Holiday Greetings From London!

This year we decided to change things up for Christmas so we’re spending it in London. 🙂 Yes, you heard right, London like in London, England. 2018 has been an exceptionally busy year for us, between various projects and travelling, it’s been a crazy but fun time for us. We want to take this moment to with all our clients and followers Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas! We’ll have more soon so stay tuned. 🙂