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Full text of "The evolution of fashion"

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LIBRARY 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

SANTA BARBARA 

FROM THE LIBRARY 
OF F. VON BOSCH AN 



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in 2007 with funding from 

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I 



Hhe Sbolution of ifashion 



BY 



FLORENCE MARY GARDINER 

Author of ^'■Furnishings and Fittings for Every Home" ^^ About Gipsies," 




SIR ROBERT BRUCE COTTON. 



THE COTTON PRESS, Granvii^le House, Arundel Street, VV-C- 



TO 

FRANCES EVELYN, 

Countess of Warwick, 

whose enthusiastic and kindly interest in all movements 

calculated to benefit women is unsurpassed, 

This Volume, 

by special permission, is respectfully dedicated, 

BY 

THE AUTHOR. 

in the year of 
Her Majesty Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 

1897. 



I 

I 
I 
















PREFACE. 



T N compiling this volume on Costume (portions of which originally appeared 

in the Lndgate Ilhistrated Magazine, under the editorship of Mr. A. J. 

Bowden), I desire to acknowledge the valuable assistance I have received from 

sources not usually available to the public ; also my indebtedness to the following 

authors, from whose works I have quoted : — Mr. Beck, Mr. R. Davey, Mr. E. 

Rimmel, Mr. Knight, and the late Mr. J. R. Planchd. I also take this 

opportunity of thanking Messrs, Liberty and Co., Messrs. Jay, Messrs. E. R, 

Garrould, Messrs. Walery, Mr. Box, and others, who have offered me special 

facilities for consulting drawings, engravings, &c., in their possession, many of 

which they have courteously allowed me to reproduce, by the aid of Miss 

Juh'et Hensman, and other artists. 

The book lays no claim to being a technical treatise on a subject which 

is practically inexhaustible, but has been written with the intention of bringing 

before the general public in a popular manner circumstances which have influenced 

in a marked degree the wearing apparel of the British Nation. 

FLORENCE MARY GARDINER. 
West Kensington, iS^y. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER. PAGE. 

I. The Dress, b.c. 594— a.d. 1897 3 

II. Curious Headgear ^5 

III. Gloves 25 

IV. Curious Footgear 31 

V. Bridal Costume 39 

VI. Mourning 5i 

VII. Eccentricities of Masculine Costume 61 

VIII. A Chat about Children and their Clothing 71 

IX. Fancy Costume of Various Periods 79 

X. Stage and Floral Costume 89 



Chapter I. 
THE DRESS, b.c. 594 — a.d. 189;. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION 



Chapter I. 
THE DRESS, b.c. 594— a.d. 1897. 



" Fashions that are now called new 
Have been worn by more than you ; 
Elder times have used the same, 
Though these new ones get the name." 

Aliddleton's '^ Mayor of Quinborough." 

\ HARD fate has condemned human 
xx beings to enter this mortal sphere 
without any natural covering, like that 
possessed by the lower animals to protect 
them from the extremes of heat and cold. 
Had this been otherwise, countless myriads, 
for untold ages, would have escaped the 
tyrannical sway of the goddess Fashion, and 
the French proveib, il faut souffrir pour ctre 
belle, need never have been written. 

The costume of our progenitors was chiefly 
remarkable for its extreme simplicity; and, 
as far as we can gather, no difference in 
design was made between the sexes. A few 
leaves entwined by the stalks, the feathers of 
birds, the bark of trees, or roughly dressed 
skins of animals were probably regarded by 
beaux and belles of the Adamite period as 
beautiful and appropriate adornments for the 
body, and were followed by garments made 
from plaited grass, which was doubtless 
the origin of weaving, a process which is 
nothing more than the mechanical plaiting 
of hair, wool, flax, &c. In many remote 
districts these primitive fashions still prevail, 
as, for example, in Madras, where, at an 
annual religious ceremony, it is customary 
for the low caste natives to exchange for a 
short period their usual attire for an apron of 
leaves. In the Brazilian forests the lecythis, 
or " shirt tree," is to be found, from which 
the people roll off the bark in short lengths, 
and, after making it pliable in water, cut two 
slits for the arm-holes and one for the neck, 
when their dress is complete and ready for 
use. The North American Indian employs 
feathers for purposes of the toilet, and many 
African tribes are noted for their deftly-woven 
fabrics composed of grass and other vege- 



table fibres, while furs and skins are essential 
articles of dress in Northern latitudes. Per- 
haps the earliest specimen of a modiste's bill 
in existence has recently been found on a 
chalk tablet at Nippur, in Chaldea. The 
hieroglyphics record ninety-two robes and 
tunics : fourteen of these were perfumed 
with myrrh, aloes and cassia. The date of 
this curious antique cannot be less than two 
thousand eight hundred years before the 
Christian era. In ancient times it must be 
remembered that the principal seats of civili- 
sation were Assyria and Egypt, and upon 
these countries Western nations depended 
for many of the luxuries of life. The Jews 
derived their fine fabrics from the latter 




EARLY KGVrriAN. 



1: 2 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



p>lace, which was particu- 
larly noted for its linen 
manufactures and for mag- 
nificent embroideries, of 
which the accompanying 
illustration will give some 
idea. Medes and Baby- 
lonians, of the highest class, 
partially arrayed themselves 
in silk, which cost its weight 
in gold, and about the time 
of Ezekiel (b.c, 594) it is 
known to have been used 
in the dress of the Persians. 
It is a remarkable circum- 
stance that this animal pro- 
duct was brought to the 
West manufactured in cloth, 
which was only half silk ; 
and it is said the plan was 
devised of unravelling the 
stuff, which was rewoven 
into cloth of entire silk. 
Owing to its high price, the 
Romans forbade its being 
used for the entire dress by 
men, complete robes of silk 
being reserved for women. 
It is numbered among the 
extravagant luxuries of 
Heliogabalus that he was 
the first man who wore a 
silken garment, and the 
anecdote is well known of 
the Emperor Aurelian, who 
refused, on the ground of 
its extravagant cost, a silk 
dress which his consort 
earnestly desired to possess. 
Monuments still in ex- 
istence show that the 
Egyptians, owing to the 
warmth of their climate, 
were partial to garments of 
a semi-transparent charac- 
ter, while those living on 
the banks of the Tigris, who 
were subjected to greater 
extremes of temperature, 
wore clothing of similar 
design, but of wool, with 
heavy fringes of the same 
as a trimming. In some 
cases this feature of Assy- 



?V-- 




GREEK, 




rian costume is shown in 
double rows, one pendent, 
while the other stands out 
in a horizontal direction. 

The early Greek dress, 
or chiton, was a very 
simple contrivance, reach- 
ing to the feet. If un- 
girdled, it would trail on the 
ground; but generally it was 
drawn through the zone or 
waistbelt in such a manner 
that it was double to the ex- 
tent of about thirty inches 
over the vital organs of the 
body. The great distinction 
between male and female 
dress consisted in the length 
of the skirt. The trim- 
mings were of embroidery, 
woven diapers, figure bands 
with chariots and horses ; 
and, in some cases, glass 
ornaments and thin metal 
plates were applied. Among 
the working classes the 
chiton was, of course, home- 
spun, or of leather. 

The stola was the Roman 
equivalent for the nine- 
teenth century robe or 
gown, and in many respects 
resembled the Greek chiton. 
The fabrics employed were 
wool and linen up to the 
end of the Republic, though 
at a later date, as has al- 
ready been stated, silk was 
imported. Colour, under 
the Emperors, was largely 
used, and at least thirteen 
shades of the dye obtained 
from the murex, which 
passed under the general 
name of purple, could be 
seen in the costume of both 
sexes. 

When the Roman Em- 
pire was dismembered (a.d. 
395) a style of dress seems 
to have flourished in the im- 
portant towns of the Medi- 
terranean, which was similar 
to that worn in mediaeval 



ROMAN. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



times in Britain, and which may 
be examined in the specimens 
of statuary adorning tombs of 
the twelfth and thirteenth cen- 
turies. The semi-tight under- 
dress and sleeves appear to 
have been elaborately em- 
broidered, and the loose 
mantle of plain material was 
edged with a border. 

One of the earliest descrip- 
tions of the female dress in 
Britain is that of Boadicea, 
the Queen of the Iceni, whom 
we are told wore a tunic woven 
chequerwise in purple, red, 
and blue. Over this was a 
shorter garment open on the 
bosom, and leaving the arms 
bare. Her yellow hair flowed 
over her shoulders, upon 
which rested an ample cloak, 
secured by a fibula (brooch). 
A torque, or necklet, was 
also worn; a pair of bronze 
breastplates as a protection 
from the Roman arrows, and 
her fingers and arms were 
covered with rings and brace- 
lets. 

The costume of the Anglo- 
Saxon ladies consisted of a 
sherie, or camise, of linen next 
the skin, a kirtle, which 
resembled the modern petti- 
coat, and a gunna, or gown, 
with sleeves. Out of doors a 
mantle covered the upper por- 
tion of the body, and with the 
coverchief, or head rail, formed 
a characteristic feature of the 
dress of the day. Cloth, silk, 
and linen were the favourite 
materials for clothing, and 
red, blue, yellow, and green 
the fashionable colours. Very 
little black and white were 
used at this period. Saxon 
women were renowned for 
their skill with the needle, and 
used large quantities of gold 
thread and jewels in their 
work. Among other instances 
quoted, Queen Editha em- 




BYZANTINE. 




broidered the coronation 
mantle of herhusband, Edward 
the Confessor. 

For some years after the 
Norman Conquest, women 
retained the costume of the 
Anglo-Saxon period, with cer- 
tain additions and modifica- 
tions. Fine coloured cloths 
and richest furs were used by 
both sexes, and sleeves and 
trains were such a length that 
it was found necessary to knot 
them, so that they should not 
trail upon the ground. 

The next important change 
was the surcoat and tight 
bodice, which was fastened in 
front to fit the figure. 

There are evident traces 
that as civilisation advanced 
the love of dress and the 
desire of the fair sex to appear 
beautiful in the eyes of all 
beholders increased in like pro- 
portion. From ancient MSS, 
and other sources, we have 
ample proof of this. St. Jerome 
calls women " philoscomon" 
that is to say, lovers of finery, 
and another writer states: 
" One of the most difificult 
points to manage with women 
is to root out their curiosity 
for clothes and ornaments for 
the body." St, Bernard 
admonished his sister with 
greater candour than polite- 
ness on her visiting him, well 
arraied with riche clothinge, 
with pedes and precious 
stones : " Such pompe and 
pride to adorne a carion as is 
youre body. Thinke ye not 
of the pore people, that be 
deyen for hunger and colde; 
and that for the sixth parte of 
youre gay arraye, forty persons 
might be clothed, refreshed, 
and kepte from the colde?" 

The increased facilities for 
travelling offered to those 
engaged in the Crusades, and 
the necessary intercourse with 



.\NGLO-SAXON. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



other nations, caused considerable quantities 
of foreign materials to be imported to Eng- 
land during the Middle Ages: and this had 
a corresponding effect upon the costume of 




I2TH CENTURY. 

the period, which was chiefly remarkable for 
its richness and eccentricity of form. Among 
the materials in use may be mentioned 
diaper cloth from Ypres, a town in Flanders, 
famous for its rich dress stuffs; tartan, called 
by the French " tyretaine," meaning teint, or 
colour of Tyre (scarlet being indifferently 
used for purple by ancient writers, and 
including all the gradations of colour formed 
by a mixture of blue and red, from indigo 
to crimson). There was a fine white woollen 
cloth called Blanket, named after its inventor. 
Sarcenet, also from its Saracenic origin, and 
gauze which was made at Gaza in Palestine. 
Ermine was strictly confined to the use 
of the Royal Family and nobles, and 
cloth of gold, and habits embroidered with 
jewellery, or lined with minever or other 
expensive fur, could only be worn by knights 
and ladies with incomes exceeding 400 marks 
per annum. Those who had not more than 



200 marks were permitted to wear silver cloth, 
with ribands, girdles, &c., reasonably embel- 
lished; also woollen cloth not costing more 
than six marks the piece. 

The tight forms of dress now in common 
use among women were an incentive to tight 
lacing, an injurious practice, from which their 
descendants suffer. A lady is described 

" Clad in purple pall, 

With gentyll body and middle small," 

and another damsel, whose splendid girdle of 
beaten gold was embellished with emeralds 
and rubies, evidently, from the description, 
had a waist which was not the size intended 
by Nature. 

During the Wars of the Roses both trade 
and costume made little progress, and after 
the union of the Houses of York and Lan- 
caster by the marriage of Henry VII. with 
his Queen, Elizabeth, their attention was 
chiefly concerned in filling their impoverished 




14TH CENTURY. 

coffers, which left them little opportunity for 
promoting new fashions in dress. Henry 
VIII. afforded ample facilities for the revival 
of the trade in dress goods, and there is little 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHIOA. 



difficulty in tracing female costume of the 
sixteenth century when we remember that in 
the course of thirty-eight years he married 
six wives, besides having them painted times 




I 6th century. 
Fro7n Portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, 

without number by all the popular artists of 
the day. 

J. R. Planch^ in his " History of British 
Costume," says: "The gowns of the nobility 
were magnificent, and at this period were 
open in front to the waist, showing the kirtle, 
or inner garment, as Avhat we should call the 
petticoat was then termed." Anne of Cleves, 
who found so little favour in Henry's eyes, is 
said to have worn at their first interview " a 
rich gowne of cloth of gold made round, 
without any train, after the Dutch fashion;" 
and in a wardrobe account of the eighth year 
of this Bluebeard's reign appears the follow- 
ing item: "Seven yards of purple cloth of 
damask gold for a kirtle for Queen Cathe- 
rme of Arragon." The dress of Catherine 
Parr is thus described by Pedro de Gante, 
secretary to the Spanish Duke de Najera, 
who visited Henry VHI. in 1543-1544: 



"She was robed in cloth of gold, with a 
' saya ' (petticoat) of brocade, the sleeves 
lined with crimson satin and trimmed with 
three piled crimson velvet. Her train was 
more than two yards long" Articles of 
dress were often bequeathed by will. In 
one made on the [4th of August, 1540, 
William Cherington, yeoman, of Waterbeche, 
leaves " To my mother 7ny holyday gowne.'" 
Nicholas, Dyer of Feversham, 29th October, 
1540, "To my sister, Alice Bichendyke, 
thirteen shillings and ninepence 7vhkh she 
owed me, and two kerchiefs of holland." 
John Holder, rector of Gamlingay, in 1544 
leaves to Jane Greene " my clothe frock 
lined with satin cypress." These entries 
are from wills in the Ely Registry. 

A peculiar feature in the costume of both 
sexes was sleeves distinct from the gown, 
but attached (so as to be changed at plea- 
sure) to the waistcoat. Among the inven- 




17TH CENTURY. 

tories we find three pairs of purple satin 
sleeves for women, one pair of linen sleeves 
paned with gold over the arm, quilted with 
black silk and wrought with flowers; one 



8 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



""% 



pair of sleeves of purple gold tissue damask 
wire, each one tied with aglets of gold ; one 
pair of crimson satin sleeves, four buttons 
of gold being set on each, and in every 
button nine pearls. 

We are all familiar with the distended 
skirts, jewelled stomachers and enormous 
ruffs which adorned the virgin form of Good 
Queen Bess. In the middle of her reign 
the body was imprisoned in whalebone, and 
the fardingale, the prototype of the modern 
hoop, was introduced, as it was not to be 
supposed 
that a lady 
who is said 
to have left 
three thou- 
sand dresses 
in her ward- 
robe would 
remain 
faithful to the fashions 
of her grandmother; 
and Elizabeth's love 
of dress permeated 
all classes of society. 

The portrait of 
Mary Queen of Scots, 
who was considered 
an authority on 
matters of the toilet, 
and whose taste for 
elegance of apparel 
had been cultivated 
to a high degree 
during her residence 
at the PYench Court 
is given. There is a 
subtlety and charm 
about it which is 
wanting in the cos- 
tume of her cousin 
Elizabeth, and it may 
he considered a fair type of what was worn 
by a gentlewoman of that period. The full 
skirt appears to fall in easy folds, and the 
basqued bodice, with tight sleeves, is closely 
moulded to the figure and surmounted by an 
elaborately-constructed ruff of muslin and 
lace. 

To the great regret of antiquarians, the 
wardrobes of our ancient kings, formerly 
kept at the Tower, were by the order of 
James I. distributed. At no period was the 




I9TH CENTURY, 
BALL DRESS, 1809, 



costume of Britain more picturesque than in 
the middle of the seventeenth century, and 
we naturally turn to its great delineators 
Velasquez, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and 
Rubens, who delighted in giving us such fine 
examples of their work Women had grown 
tired of the unwieldy fardingale, and changed 
it for graceful gowns with flowing skirts and 
low bodices, finished with deep vandyked 
collars of lace or embroidery. 

A studied negligence, an elegant deshabille 
prevailed in the Stuart Court, particularly 
after the Restora- 
tion. Charles II. "s 
bevy of beauties 
are similarly at- 
tired, and the pic- 
tures in Hampton 
Court show us 
women whose 
snowy necks and 
arms are no longer 
veiled, and whose 
gowns of rich satin, 
with voluminous 
trains, are piled up 
in the background. 
Engravings and 
drawings which 
may be seen in 
every printseller's 
window make 
special i 1 1 u s- 
trations of this 
period unneces- 
sary. 

Dutch fashions 
appear to have 
followed in the 
wake of William 
and Mary, Sto- 
machers and tight 
sleeves were once 
more in favour, and fabrics of a rich and 
substantial character were employed in pre- 
ference to the softer makes of silk, which 
lent itself so well to the soft flowing hnes of 
the previous era. 

An intelligent writer has remarked " that 
Fashion from the time of George I. has been 
such a varying goddess that neither history, 
tradition, nor painting has been able to pre- 
serve all her mimic forms; like Proteus 
struggling in the arms of Telemachus, on th^ 



I 8th century. 

WALKING COSTUME. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



Phanaic coast, she passed from shape to 
shape with the rapidity of thought." In 
1745 the hoop had increased at the sides 
and diminished in front, and a pamphlet 




I9TH CENTURY. — TEA DRESS, 1830. 

was published in that year entitled "The enor- 
mousabomination of the hoop petticoat, as the 
fashion now is." Ten years later it is scarcely 
discernible in some figures, and in 1757 reap- 
pears, extending right and left after the 
manner of the court dress of the reign of 
George III. For the abolition of this mon- 
strosity we are indebted to George IV., and 
ladies' dresses then rushed to the other 
extreme. Steel and whalebone was dispensed 
with, and narrow draperies displayed the form 
they were supposed to conceal, and were 
girdled just below the shoulders. 

These were in time followed by the bell- 
shaped skirts worn at the accession of Her 
Majesty Queen Victoria, during whose reign 
fashion has indeed run riot. The invention 
of the sewing machine was the signal for the 
appearance of frills and furbelows, and mere- 
tricious ornament of every kind. In the 
iTiiddle of the present century crinolines were 



again to the fore, skirts were proportionately 
wide and generally flounced to the top. The 
bodice terminated at the waist with a belt; 
but in some cases a Garibaldi, or loose bodice 
of different texture, was substituted. The 
next change to be noted was that hideous 
garment the " polonaise," which was a revival 
of, and constructed on similar lines to, the 
" super froc " of the Middle Ages. For many 
years English ladies, with a supreme disregard 
for the appropriate, wore this with a skirt 
belonging to an entirely different costume. 
But at last people got nauseated with these 
abominations, and under the gentle sway and 
influence of " Our Princess " a prettier, more 
useful and rational costume appeared. In 
1876 the graceful Princess dress, which 
accentuated every good point in the figure, 
was generally worn ; and though this costume 
in the latter part of its career was fiercely 
abused by the rotund matron and Mrs. 




19TH CENTURY. — THE POLONAISE, 1872. 

Grundy, for clinging too closely to the lines 
of the human form, it was distinctly an 
advance as regards health and beauty on the 
varying styles which preceded it, 



lO 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



The cesthetic movement has also had a 
marked influence on our taste in all directions, 
but more especially in the costume of the 
last few years; and though the picturesque 




TAILOR-MADE DRESS, 



garb of the worshippers of the sunflower and 
the lily may not be adapted to the wear and 
tear of this workaday world, it is beautiful in 
form and design, incapable of undue pres- 
sure; and for children and young girls it 
would be difficult to imagine a more charm- 
ing, artistic, and becoming costume. 

Once more we are eschewing classical 
lines for grotesque which makes caricatures 
of lovely women, and drives plain ones to 
despair. The subdued and delicate tints 
which a few seasons since were regarded 
with favour have been superseded by garish 
shades and bright colours, which seem to 
quarrel with everything in Nature and Art. 
Unfortunately, we English are prone to 
extremes, and possess the imitative rather 
than the creative faculty. Consequently, our 
national costume is seldom distinctive, but a 
combination of some of the worst styles of 
our Continental neighbours, who would scorn 
to garb themselves with so little regard for 



fitness, beauty, and the canons of good 
taste. 

Two dominant notes, however, have been 
struck in the harmonies of costume during the 
last twenty-five years — the tailor-made dress, 
which may almost be regarded as a national 
livery; and the tea gown, that reposeful gar- 
ment to which we affectionately turn in our 
hours of ease. How well each in its way is 
calculated to seive the purpose for which it 
is designed, the simple cloth, tweed, or serge 
costume moulded to the lines of the figure, 
adapted to our changeful climate, and giving 
a cachet to the wearer, not always found in 




TEA GOWN, 1897. 

much more costly apparel, a rational costume 
in the best sense of the word, and one which 
women of all ages may assume with satisfac- 
tion to themselves and to those with whom 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



they come in contact. The tea gown, on the 
other hand, drapes the figure loosely so as to 
fall in graceful folds, and may be regarded as a 
distinct economy, as it so often takes the place 
of a more expensive dress. Beauty, which is 
one of Heaven's best gifts to women, is use- 
less unless appropriately framed, and a well- 
known exponent on the art of d ressing artisti- 
cally, has laid down the axiom that harmonies 
of colour are more successful than contrasts. 
If we turn to Nature we have an unfailing 
source of inspiration. The foliage tints, sun- 
set effects, the animal and mineral worlds all 
offer schemes of colour, which can be readily 
adapted to our persons and surroundings. 
And to look our best and, above all, to grow 
old gracefully, is a duty which every daughter 



dress of decrepitude, submit to be placed on 
the social shelf without a murmur, and 
calmly allow those slightly their junior, and in 
some cases their senior, to appropriate the 




AN ARTISTIC DRESS, 1 897. 
After a painting by Sir Jos him /Reynolds. 

of Eve owes to humanity. The manner in 
which so many women give way early in life 
is simply appalling. While still in the bloom 
of womanhood they assume the habits and 




MODERN EVENING DRESS. 

good things of life, and to monopolise the 
attention of all and sundry. Mothers in their 
prime willingly allow anyone who can be per- 
suaded to do so, to chaperone their 
daughters, and to pilot them through the 
social eddies and quicksands of their first 
season, and through sheer indolence fail to 
exercise the lawful authority and responsibility 
which maternity entails. The unmarried 
woman, conscious that she is no longer in 
her first youth, and indifferent to the charms 
of maturity, takes to knitting socks in obscure 
corners, and assumes an air of self-repression 
and middle- agedness which apparently takes 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



ten years from her span of existence, and 
conveys to the casual onlooker, that she has 
passed the boundary line between youth and 
old age. Why should these women sink 
before their time into a slough of dowdyism 
and cut themselves off from the enjoyments 
civilisation has provided for their benefit? 

Equally to be deprecated are those who 
cling so desperately to youth that they entirely 
forget the later stages of life have their com- 
pensations. Women who in crowded ball- 
rooms display their redundant or attenuated 
forms to the gaze of all beholders, whose 
coiffure owes more to art than nature, and 
who comfort themselves with the conviction 
that in a carefully shaded light rouge and 
pearl powder are hardly distinguishable from 
the bloom of a youthful and healthy com- 
plexion. A variety of circumstances combine 
to bring into the world a race of people who 
cannot strictly lay claim to beauty, but who 
nevertheless have many good points which 
might be accentuated, while those that are 
less pleasing could be concealed. A middle- 
aged woman will respect herself and be more 
respected by others if she drapes her person 
in velvet, brocade, and other rich fabrics 



which fall in stately folds, and give her dignity, 
than if she persists in decking herself in 
muslin, crepon, net, and similar materials, 
because in the long since past they suited 
her particular style. Gossamers belong to 
the young, with their dimpled arms, shoulders 
of snowy whiteness, and necks like columns 
of ivory. Their eyes are brighter than jewels, 
and their luxuriant locks need no ornament 
save a rose nestling in its green leaves, a 
fit emblem of youth and beauty. 

With the education and art training at 
present within the grasp of all classes of the 
community there is nothing to prevent our 
modifying prevailing fashions to our own 
requirements; and common sense ought to 
teach us (even if we ignore every other senti- 
ment which is supposed to guide reasoning 
creatures) that one particular style cannot be 
appropriate to women who are exact opposites 
to each other. If each person would only 
think out for herself raiment beautiful in 
form, rich in texture, and adapted to the 
daily needs of life, we should be spared a 
large number of the startling incongruities 
which ofifend the eye in various directions. 



Chapter II. 
CURIOUS HEADGEAR. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



IS 



Chapter II. 
CURIOUS HEADGEAR. 



" Here in her hair 
The painter plays the spider, and hath woven 
A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men 
Faster than gnats in cobwebs." 

The Merchant of Venice. 

HOLY Writ simply teems with allusions 
to the luxurious tresses of the fair 
daughters of the East, and there is 
little doubt that at an early period in the 
world's history women awakened to the fact 
that a well-tired head was a very potent 
attraction, and had a recognised market 
value. Jewish women were particularly 
famed in this respect, and employed female 
barbers, who, with the aid of crisping pins, 
horns, and towers, prepared their clients for 
conquest. These jewelled horns were gene- 
rally made of the precious metals, and the 
position denoted the condition of the wearer. 
A married woman had it fixed on the right 
side of the head, a widow on the left, and 
she who was still an unappropriated blessing 
on the crown. Over the horn the veil 
was thrown coquettishly, as in the illustration. 
Assyrian women delighted in long ringlets, 
confined by a band of 
metal, and the men were 
not above the weakness of 
plaiting gold wire with their 
beards. Rimmel, in " The 
Book of Perfumes," relates 
a curious anecdote of Mau- 
solus. King of Caria, who 
turned his people's fond- 
ness for flowing locks to 
account when his exche- 
quer required replenishing. 
" Having first had a quan- 
tity of wigs made and 
stored in the royal ware- 
houses, he published an 
edict compelling all his 
subjects to have their heads 
shaved. A few days after, 
the monarch's agents went 
round, offering them the perukes destined to 
cover their denuded polls, which they were 
delighted to buy at any price " It is not 



surprising that Artemisia could not console 
herself for the loss of such a clever husband, 





ANCIENT JEWISH HEAD-DRESS 



EGYPTIAN HEAD-DRESS. 

and that, not satisfied with drinking his ashes 
dissolved in wine, she spent some of her 
lamented lord's ill-gotten 
revenue in building such a 
monument to his memory 
that it was counted one of 
the wonders of the world. 

The Egyptians were also 
partial to wigs, some of 
which are still preserved 
in the British Museum. 
Ladies wore a multitude of 
small plaits and jewelled 
head-pieces resembling pea- 
cocks and other animals, 
which contrasted with their 
dark tresses with brilliant 
efiect \ or a fillet orna- 
mented with a lotus bud. 
The coiffure of a princess 
was remarkable for its size 
and the abundance of ani- 
mal, vegetable, and mineral treasures with 
which it was adorned. In Egyptian tombs 
and elsewhere have been discovered small 



\6 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



wooden combs resembling the modern tooth- 
comb, and metal mirrors of precisely the 
same shape as those in use at the present 



famous instance of the consecration of hair is 
that of Berenice, the wife of Ptolemy Ever- 
getes. It is related that when the king went 
on his expedition to Syria, she, solicitous for 





ANCIENT GRECIAN. 



ANCIENT ROMAN. 



day, as well as numerous other toilet appli- 
ances. 

Grecian sculpture affords us the opportu- 
nity of studying the different modes in favour 
in that country, and it is 
astonishing to find what a 
variety of methods were 
adopted by the belles of 
ancient Greece for enhanc- 
ing their charms. A loose 
knot, fastened by a clasp in 
the form of a grasshopper, 
was a favourite fashion. 
Cauls of network, metal 
mitres of different designs, 
and simple bands, and 
sometimes chaplets, of 
flowers, all confined, at 
different periods, the luxu- 
riant locks of the Helens, 
Penelopes, and Xantippes 
of ancient times. 

It was a common custom 
among heathen nations to 
consecrate to their gods the hair when cut off, 
as well as that growing on the head, and it 
was either consumed on the altar, deposited 
in temples, or hung upon the trees. A 




ENGLISH HEAD-DRESS OF THE 
13TH CENTURY. 



his safety, made a vow to consecrate her 
hair (which was remarkable for its fineness 
and beauty) to Venus, if he returned to her. 
When her husband came back she kept her 
word, and offered her hair 
in the temple of Cyprus. 
This was afterwards miss- 
ing, when a report was 
spread that it had been 
turned into a constellation 
in the heavens, which con- 
stellation, an old writer tells 
us, is called Coma Berenices 
(the hair of Berenice) to 
the present day. Another 
remarkable instance is that 
of Nero, who, according to 
Suetonius, cut off his first 
beard, put it in a casket of 
gold set with jewels, and 
consecrated it to Jupiter 
Capitolinus. 

The hair of the head and 
beard appears to have been 
held in great respect by most nations, and 
perhaps we may trace the use of human hair 
in spells and incantations to this fact. 
Orientals especially treat the hair which falls 



THE EVOLUTION OE EASHIOK. 



17 




HORNED HEAD-DRESS OF 15TH CENTURY. 

troin Effigy of Countess of Arundel in Arundel 

Church, 

from them with superstitious care, and bury 
it, so that no one shall use it to their preju- 
dice. 

Roman matrons generally preferred blonde 

hair to their own ebon tresses, and resorted 

o wigs and dye when Nature, as they consi- 




dered, had treated them unkindly. Ovid 
rebukes a lady of his acquaintance in the 
plainest terms for having destroyed her hair. 
" Did I not tell you to leave off dyeing 
yoar hair? Now you have no hair left to 
dye : and yet nothing was handsomer than 
your locks : they came down to your knees, 
and were so fine that you were afraid to 
comb them. Your own hand has been the 
cause of the loss you deplore : you poured 
the poison on your own head. Now Ger- 
many will send you slaves' hair — a vanquished 
nation will supply your ornament. How 




\ vor" 



STEEPLE HEAD-DRESS OF 15TH CENTURY. 



EARLY TUDOR HEAD-DRESS. 

many times, when you hear people praising 
the beauty of your hair, you will blush and 
say to yourself : ' It is bought ornament to 
which I owe my beauty, and I know not 
what Sicambrian virgin they are admiring in 
me. And yet there was a time when I 
deserved all these compliments.' " 

It would puzzle any Jin de siecle husband 
or brother to express his displeasure in more 
appropriate words than those chosen by the 
poet. 

The Britons, before they mixed with other 
nations, were a fair-haired race, and early 

c 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



writers referred to their washing their auburn 
tresses in water boiled with lime to increase 
the reddish colour. Boadicea is described 
with flowing locks which fell upon her 
shoulders; but after the Roman Invasion 




HORNED HEAD-DRESS OF EDWARD IV. 's 
REIGN. 

the hair of both men and women followed 
the fashion of the conquerors. 

From Planch^'s "History of British 
Costume," we learn that " the female head- 
dress among all classes of the Anglo-Saxons 
was a long piece of linen or silk wrapped 
round the head and neck." It appears to 
have been called a head-rail, or wimple, but 
was dispensed with in the house, as the hair 
was then as cherished an ornament as at the 
present day. A wife described by Adhelm, 
Bishop of Sherborne, who wrote in the 
eighth century, is said to have had " twisted 
locks, delicately curled by the iron ; " and in 
the poem of " Judith " the heroine is called 
"the maid of the Creator, with twisted locks." 
Two long plaits were worn by Norman ladies, 
and were probably adopted by our own 
countrywomen after the Conquest. 

During the Middle Ages feminine head- 
gear underwent many changes. Golden nets, 
and linen bands closely pinned round the 
hair and chin, were followed by steeple- 
shaped erections and horned head-dresses in 



a variety of shapes, of which the accompany- 
ing sketches will give a better idea than any 
written description. 

During the sixteenth century matrons 
adopted either a pointed hood, composed of 
velvet or other rich fabric, often edged with 
fur, a close-fitting coif, or the French cap to 
be seen in the portraits of the unhappy Mary 
Stuart. Those who were unmarried had 
their hair simply braided and embellished 
with knots of ribbon, strings of pearls, or 
Nature's most beautiful adornment for the 
maiden — sweet-scented flowers. 

The auburn tresses of Her Gracious 
Majesty Queen Elizabeth, were always bien 
coiffee, if we may judge from her various 
portraits. She scorned the hoods, lace caps, 
and pointed coifs, worn by her contempo- 
raries, and adopted a miniature crown or 
jaunty hat of velvet, elaborately jewelled. 
Her fair complexion and light hair were 
thrown into relief by rufiles of lace, and this 




ELIZABETHAN HEAD-DRESS. 

delicate fabric was stretched over fine wire 
frames, which met at the back, and remotely 
suggested the fragile wings of the butterfly, 
or the nimbus of a saint, neither of which 
ornaments was particularly appropriate to the 
lady in question. The front hair was turned 
over a cushion, or dressed in stiff sausage- 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



19 



like curls, pinned close to the head, and was 
adorned with strings and stars of flashing 
gems and a pendant resting on the forehead. 
That ^splendid historian, Stubbs, who has 
left us such minute particulars of the fashions 




A BEAUTY OF THE COURT OF CHARLES II. 

of his time, quaintly describes the coiffure of 
the ladies of the Court. He states : " It 
must be curled, frizzled, crisped, laid out in 
wreaths and borders from one ear to the 
other, and lest it should fall down, must be 
underpropped with forkes and weirs, and 
ornamented with gold or silver curiously 
wrought. Such gewgaws, which being un- 
skilful in woman's tearms, I cannot easily 
recount. Then upon the toppes of their 
stately turrets, stand their other capital orna- 
ments : a French hood, hatte, cappe, kircher 
and suchlike, whereof some be of velvet, 
some of this fashion and some of that. 
Cauls made of netwire, that the cloth of gold, 
silver, or tinsel, with which their hair was 
sometimes covered, might be seen through ; 
and lattice caps with three horns or corners, 
like the forked caps of popish priests." The 
Harleian MSS., No. 1776, written in the 
middle of Elizabeth's reign, refers to an ordi- 
nance for the reformation of gentlewomen's 
head-dress, and says : " None shall wear an 
ermine or lattice bonnet unless she be a 
gentlewoman born, having Arms." This 
latter phrase, we may conclude, refers to 
armorial bearings, not to physical develop- 
ment. 

The wearing of false hair and periwigs was 



left to the sterner sex for some years after the 
restoration of the House of Stuart, and 
women were satisfied with well -brushed 
ringlets escaping from a bandeau of pearls, 
or beautified by a single flower. The hair 
was often arranged in small, flat curls on the 
forehead, as in the sketch of a Beauty of the 
Court of Charles H.; and this fashion had a 
softening effect on the face, and was known 
as the " Sevigne style." 

Dutch fashions naturally prevailed in the 
Court of William and Mary, and this queen 
is represented with a high muslin cap, 
adorned with a series of upright frills, edged 
with lace, and long lappets falling on the 
shoulders. Farquhar, in his comedy " Love 
and the Bottle," alludes to the " high top- 
knots," and Swift, to the " pinners edged 
with colberteen," as the lace streamers were 
called. About this period the hair was once 
again rolled back from the face, and assumed 
enormous dimensions, so much so, that in 
some cases it was found necessary to make 




END OF 17TH CENTJRY. 

doorways broader and higher than they had 
hitherto been, to allow fashionably-dressed 
ladies to pass through without displacing the 
elaborate erections they carried. Stuffed 
with horsehair, clotted with pomade and 

c 2 



20 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



powder, and decked with every conceivable 
ornament, from a miniature man-of-war in 
full sail, to a cooing 
dove with outspread 
wings, presumably 
sitting on its nest, or 
a basket of flowers 
wreathed with rib- 
bons. Naturally, the 
aid of the barber was 
called in, as ladies 
were incapable of 
constructing and 
manipulating such a 
mass of tangled locks. 
We may imagine, on 
the score of expense 
and for other reasons, 
the hair was not 
dressed so frequently 
as cleanliness de- 
manded, for in a 
book on costume a 
hairdresser is de- 
scribed as asking one 
of his customers how 
long it was since her 
hair had been opened 
and repaired. On 
her replying, " Nine 
weeks," he mildly 
suggested that that 
was as long as a head 
could well go in 
summer, "and, there- 
fore, it was proper to 
deliver it now, as it 
began to be a little 
hazarde." Various 
anecdotes of this 
nature make us feel 
that personal hygiene 
was a matter of 
secondary importance 
to our ancestors. 

Planch<^, in his 
work on British Cos- 
tume, informs us 
that powder main- 
tained its ground till 
^793) when it was 
discarded by Her 
Majesty Queen Charlotte, Consort of George 
III., and the Princesses." 




FASHIONABLE COIFFURE OF AN ELDERLY LALY 
IN THE I 8th century. 




Varied, indeed, have been the fashions of 
the 19th century, the close of which is fast 
approaching. Only 
"* a few of the styles 

adopted can be 
briefly touched upon, 
and, naturally, those 
will be selected which 
form the greatest 
contrast to each other. 
The belle of 1830 
was distinguished by 
upstanding bows of 
plain or plaited hair, 
arranged on the 
crown of the head, 
and the front was 
generally in bands or 
short ringlets, held 
in place by tortoise- 
shell side-combs. The 
simplicity of this 
coiffure was compen- 
sated for by the 
enormous size of the 
hats and bonnets 
generally worn with 
it. These had wide 
and curiously-shaped 
brims, over which 
was stretched or 
gathered silk, satin, 
aerophane, or similar 
materials. Garlands 
and bunches of 
flowers and feathers 
were used in profu- 
sion, and bows and 
strings of gauze rib- 
bon floated in the 
wind. In this be- 
witching costume 
were our grand- 
mothers wooed and 
won by suitors who 
evidently, from the 
impassioned love let- 
ters still in existence, 
believed them to be 
perfect types of love- 
liness. 

T o war d s the 
middle of Queen Victoria's reign, the hair 
was dressed in a simple knot, and the front 



FASHIONABLE HEAD-DRESSES IN THE TIMES OF 
THE GEORGES. 



THE EVOLUTIOA OF FASHION 21 

arranged in ringlets, which fell gracefully on The labours of Hercules would be mere 

the chest and shoulders. Even youthful child's play compared to giving a faithful 

married ladies, in the privacy of their homes record of the chameleon-like changes which 

and for morning dress, were expected, by have affected that kaleidoscope, pubhc taste, 





1830. 



i8S5i 




bird's-nest chignon, 1872. 




PRESENT DAY, 1 894. 



one of those potent but unwritten laws of the during the last forty years, and a very limited 
fickle goddess Fashion, to wear muslin or net study of this fascinating subject at once con- 
caps, with lace borders, embellished with vinces us that, whatever peculiarities may 
ribbons. ajipcar, they are certain to be revivals or 



23 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



modifications of styles favoured by our more 
or less remote ancestors. 

In 1872 loomed upon us that ghastly 
horror the chignon, which bore a faint resem- 
blance to the exaggerated coiffures of the 
1 8th century. Upon this monstrous edifice, 
with its seductive Alexandra curl, were tilted 
bonnets so minute that they were almost 
invisible in the mountains of hair that sur- 
rounded them. These were replaced by 
hats a la Chinois, like shallow plates ; while 
for winter wear, others of fur or feathers were 
introduced, with an animal's head fixed 
firmly on the brow of the wearer, and resem- 
bling nothing so much as the fox foot- 
warmer, with which ladies now keep their 
pedal extremities at a proper temperature 
when enjoying an airing. Besides these, 
there were pinched canoes turned keel upper- 
most, and flexible mushrooms, which flapped 
and caught the wind till it was necessary to 
attach a string to the edge, to keep them 
snug and taut ; such hats as Leech has 
immortalised in his sketches. Turbans and 
facsimiles of the delicious but indigestible 
pork-pie, Gainsborough, Rousby, and Langtry 
hats, all named after styles worn by their 
respective namesakes ; and hats made of 
straw, leghorn, crinoline, lace, satin, and of 



silver and gold tissue, of every shape and 
size that fancy could devise, or the heart of 
the most exacting woman of fashion could 
desire. The hair beneath was dressed like 
the frizzy mop illustrated, in plaited wedges 
flowing like a pendant hump half-way down 
the back, or in a cascade of curls reaching 
from the crown of the head to the waist. 
These were followed by gigantic rolls at the 
back of tbe skull, Grecian knots, varying 
from the dimensions of a door handle to 
those of a cottage loaf, and latterly by that 
hideous monstrosity, the " bun." Another 
turn of the wheel of fashion has given us a 
simple mode of dressing the hair, which is 
well adapted to the average English head, 
and which is fully explained by the accom- 
panying sketch. It may be taken as a safe 
rule, when the forehead is low and face 
small, that the hair may be drawn back with 
advantage, but a long face is generally 
improved by arranging the hair in soft curls 
on the forehead, and by waving it slightly at 
the sides, which adds to the apparent width 
of the countenance. But whatever style is 
in fashion, it is sure to have its admirers, for 
has not Pope left on record : 

" Fair tresses man's imperial race ensnare, 
And beauty draws us by a single hair." 



Chapter III. 
GLOVES. 



THE EVOLUTION OE FASHION. 



25 



Chapter III. 
GLOVES. 



" Gloves as sweet as damask roses." — Shakespeare. 

" See how she leans her cheek upon her hand. 
O, that I were a glove upon that hand, 
That I might touch that cheek." 

— Koineo and Juliet. 

THE glove as an article of dress is of great 
antiquity, and among the fossils of the 
cave-dwellers of pre-historic times, 
which have been recently discovered in 
France, Belgium, and Switzerland, there is 
ample proof of its existence, Probably the 




(sLove 

OF 

H€NRY \\ 



first gloves were formed of skins, sewn 
with bone needles, and were long enough to 
reach above the elbow. 

Xenophon, speaking of the Persians, gives 
as an instance of their effeminacy "that 
they not only covered their head and 
feet, but guarded their hands from cold 
by thick gloves." Homer, describing Laertes 
at work in his garden, represents him with 
gloves on his hands to protect them from 
thorns. Pliny the younger, in speaking of 
his uncle's visit to Vesuvius, states that his 
secretary sat by ready to write down anything 
that was remarkable, and had gloves on his 
hands that the coldness of the weather need 
not impede his work. Varro, an ancient 
writer says: — "Olives gathered with the 
naked hand are preferable to those plucked 
in gloves;" and Atheneus speaks of a glutton 
who wore gloves at table so that he might 



handle the meat while hot and devour more 
than the others present. 

That the Anglo-Saxons wore gloves we 
gather from their being mentioned in an 
old romance of the seventh century known 
as the " Poem of Beowulf," and according 
to the laws of Ethelred the Unready, five 
pairs of gloves formed part of the duty paid 
to that Prince by certain German merchants. 
In Planchi's "History of British Costume," 
an Anglo-Saxon lady appears to be wearing 
a glove with a separate division for the 
thumb but without fingers, and exactly 
resembling an infant's glove of the present 
day. In 1462 Edward IV. forbade the 
importation of foreign gloves to England, a 
law which remained in force till 1826. 

In the early Christian Church gloves played 
an important part. In a.d. 790 Charle- 
magne granted an unlimited right of hunt- 
ing to the Abbot and monks of Sithin, so 
that the skins of the deer they killed could 
be used in the manufacture of gloves, 
girdles, and covers of books. In some cases 
it was commanded that the clergy should 




HAWKINS 
-(SLove 



H6NRY 
Nil) 

wear gloves in administering the Sacrament, 
and a writer in the "Antiquary" states: — 
" It was always looked upon as decorous for 
the laity to take off their gloves in church 
where ecclesiastics alone might wear them. 
It was perhaps regarded as a proof of cleaq 



26 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



hands, for to this day persons sworn in our 
law courts are compelled to remove their 
gloves." In the ancient Consecration Ser- 
vice for the Bishops of the Church, a bless- 
ing was invoked on the gloves they wore. 
Those of William of Wykeham preserved 

(SLOVe Of 
COARY 

QueeNofScoT^ 




at New College, Oxford, are adorned with 
the sacred monogram in red silk, and 
ecclesiastical gloves were often lavishly deco- 
rated with embroidery and jewels, and were 
bequeathed by will with other valuables. 

Formerly judges were forbidden to wear 
gloves when engaged in their official duties, 
but are no longer bound by this restriction, 
and receive as a memorial of a maiden assize 
(that is, when there are no prisoners to be 
tried) a pair of white kid gloves from the 
sheriff, and during the time fairs were held 
their duration was marked by hanging a 
glove outside the town hall. As long as it 
remained there all persons in the place were 
exempt from arrest, but directly it was 
removed it was the signal for closing the 
fair, and the privilege was at an end. 

Throwing down a glove was regarded as a 
challenge to combat, and this curious old 
custom is still retained in the English 
coronation ceremony. Kings were also 
invested with authority by the delivery of a 



glove. As un gage d'amour it has for cen- 
turies been esteemed, and in the days of 
chivalry it was usual for knights to wear 
their ladies' gloves in their helmets, as a 
talisman of success in arms. In old records 
we also meet with the term " glove money," 
a sum paid to servants with which they were 
to provide this portion of their livery, and 
till quite recently it was the custom to pre- 
sent those who attended weddings and 
funerals with gloves as a souvenir. 

Shakespeare often mentions gloves, and 
some assert that he was the son of a glover. 
A pair which belonged to the dramatist is 
still preserved. They are of brown leather, 
ornamented with a stamped pattern, and are 
edged with gold fringe. They were presented 
by the actor Garrick to the Mayor and Cor- 
poration of Stratford-on-Avon at the Shake- 
spearian commemoration in 1789. 




OLOve OF 
QueeweuzABeTN. 

Many royal gloves have found a place in 
private collections. Henry VI.'s glove has a 
gauntlet, is made of tanned leather, and is 
lined with deer-skin, and the hawking glove 
of Henry VIII. is another interesting relic pf 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



27 



a bygone age. The King kept his hawks at 
Charing Cross, and in the inventories taken 
after this monarch's death we read of " three 
payre of hawkes' gloves, with two lined with 
velvet ;" and again at Hampton Court there 
were "seven hawkes' gloves embroidered." 
The hawking glove, of which an illustration 
is given, may be seen in the Ashmolean 
Museum. It is of a simple 
character, evidently in- 
tended for use rather than 
ornament. 

Gloves were not gene- 
rally worn by women till 
after the Reformation; but 
during the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries their 
use gradually extended to 
the middle classes. Queen 
Elizabeth's glove may be 
seen at the Bodleian 
Library, Oxford, and is 
believed to have been worn 
at the visit of the Virgin 
Queen to the University in 
1566. It is fringed with 
gold, and is nearly half a 
yard in length ; it is made 
of white leather worked 
with gold thread, and the 
cuff is lined with drab silk. 
Mary Queen of Scots' 
glove in the Saffron 
Walden Museum is of 
light buff leather, wrought 
with silver wire and silk of 
different colours. It is 
lined with crimson satin, edged with gold 
lace enriched with sequins, and the opening 
is connected with bands of satin finished 
with lace insertion. This glove was presented 
on the morning of her execution to a member 
of the Dayrell family, who was in attendance 
at Fotheringay Castle. In happier days 
Queen Mary gave an exquisitely embroidered 
pair of gloves, with a design in which angels' 
heads and flowers appear — her own work — to 
her husband. Lord Darnley ; and the gloves 
generally of the Tudor period were more 
ornate than those which adorn beauty's hands 
on the eve of the nineteenth century, and 
were, in most cases, wrought with the needle. 
Though the history of gloves savours of 




(£>LOVG 



romance, there is every reason to believe 
that^they have sometimes been used with 
sinister motives, as a large trade was done at 
one time in poisoned gloves, delicately 
perfumed, to conceal their deadly purpose. 

Some gloves which were the property of 
James I. are of brown leather lined with white, 
and the seams are sewn with silk and gold 
thread. The embroidery 
is in gold and silver thread 
on crimson satin, with a 
lining of red silk. They 
are finished with gold 
fringe, and have three loops 
at the side. A glove of 
chaste design, worn by 
Charles I. on the scaffold 
is made of cream-coloured' 
kid, the gauntlet embroid- 
ered with silver and edged 
with silver fringe. Queen 
Anne, on the other hand, 
wore highly - decorated 
gloves of Suede kid, with 
raised silken flowers on the 
gauntlet, and three loops 
of rose-coloured ribbon, to 
allow them to be slipped 
over the hands. They are 
further enriched with gold 
lace and embroidery, A 
yellow Suede Court glove 
of George IV. gives the 
impression that the first 
gentleman of Europe had 
a fist of tremendous 
proportions. Her Majesty 
generally wears black kid 
for Court functions, when 
kid gloves are invariably 



jAroesi. 



Victoria 

except 

glac^ 



Queen 
gloves, 
white 
used. 

Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales 
has a delicately-formed hand with tapering 
fingers, and her size is six and a-half. Her 
Royal Highness adapts her gloves to the 
occasion and toilette, and is always bten 
gante. 

The first Napoleon gave an impetus to 
this branch of industry by insisting on 
gentlemen wearing gloves on State occasions 
and at festive gatherings, and the fashion 
spread through the countries of Europe with 
astonishing rapidity. 



Chapter IV. 
CURIOUS FOOT-GEAR. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



31 



Chapter IV. 
CURIOUS FOOT-GEAR. 



" A tasteful slipper is my soul's delight." 

— Mil man's ''^ Fazio," 

A WELL-SHAPED foot has been con- 
sidered from the earhest times one of 
Nature's kindest gifts, and sober 
history and fairy lore have combined to give 
us many interesting particulars respecting 
this portion of the human anatomy. The 
similarity of the foot-gear of both sexes 
makes it impossible to treat the matter 
separately, and as the subject is practically 
inexhaustible, I propose only to illustrate the 
most curious and notable examples. 

One of the finest collection of shoes in the 
world is that at the Cluny Museum, Paris, 
formed by the eminent French engraver, the late 
Jules Jacquemart. This was enlarged by the 
purchase of the collection of Baron Schvitter. 
The Queen of Italy has also acquired a large 
number of historical boots and shoes ; and 
to Mr. Joseph Box, another enthusiastic 
collector, I am indebted for some of the 
drawings used for illustrating this article. 

A quaint story is told in a rare book, 
entitled "The Delightful, Princely, and 
Entertaining History of the Gentle Craft of 
Crispin, the Patron Saint of Shoe Makers, 
and his Brother Crispianus," According to 
this authority, they were the two sons of the 
King of Logia (Kent), and lived in the city 
of Durovenum, otherwise Canterbury, or the 
Court of the Kentish men. Having 
embraced Christianity, during the Roman 
invasion, they were in considerable danger, 
and at their mother's instigation, to conceal 
their identity, adopted humble attire, and 
devoted themselves to the modest craft of 
shoemaking, under the auspices of a shoe- 
maker at Faversham, to whom they bound 
themselves for seven years. This industrious 
citizen appears to have received the appoint- 
ment of shoemaker to the Court of Maxi- 
minus, whose daughter Ursula fell in love 
with Crispin. After removing the usual 
obstacles (which, even in those remote times, 
seem to have obstructed the paths of those 



who had fallen under the sway of Cupid), 
this energetic lady engaged the services of a 
neighbouring friar, and cut the gordian knot 
by marrying her faithful adorer. 

When primitive man first conceived the 
idea of producing some contrivance to 
defend himself from cold, sharp stones, or 
the heated sand of the desert, his first effort 
was to fasten to the bottom of his feet soles 
of bark, wood, or raw hide, which were 
followed, in due course, by more elaborately 
made sandals of tanned leather. These 
were fastened in various ways, but generally 
by two leathern straps, one round the instep, 
while the other passed between the first and 
second toes. Egyptian sandals were some- 
times prolonged to a sharp point, and occa- 
sionally were made of papyrus, or some 
flexible material ; but the commoner kinds 
were, as a rule, of wood or leather. Often 
they had painted upon them the effigy of the 
wearer's enemy, who was thus literally trodden 
underfoot. Owing to their proximity, the 
habits and customs of the Egyptians and 
Jews were in many respects similar. The 
same Hebrew word denotes both a sandal 
and a shoe ; and it has been concluded that 
shoes were probably confined to the upper 
classes, while sandals were used by those 
compelled to work ; and slaves went bare- 
foot. 

It will be seen from the sketches of 
Grecian and Roman shoes that they eventu- 
ally became an elaborate article of dress, 
bound to the foot and leg with lacings, and 
ornamented in different ways. The senators 
had boots of black leather, with a crest of 
gold or silver on the top of the foot ; and 
soldiers wore iron shoes, heavily spiked, in a 
similar manner to those now used for cricket, 
so as to give the wearers a better hold when 
scaling walls in the attack of fortified places. 
An iron boot was also used for torturing 
Christians. As an instance of the luxury so 
characteristic of the age, it is stated that 
Roman soldiers often had the spikes on their 



THE F. VOLUTION OF FASHION. 



shoes made of gold. According to the testi- 
mony of Seneca, Julius Caesar wore shoes of 
the precious metal, a fashion emulated by 
Cardinal Wolsey many centuries after ; and 
Severus was fond of covering his with jewels, 
to attract the attention of the people as he 
walked through the streets. The Emperor 
Aurelian forbade 
men to wear red, 
yellow, white, or 
green shoes, re- 
serving these 
colours for wo- 
men ; and differ- 
ent shapes were 
precribed by legal 
enactments to be 
worn for the easy 
distinguishment of 
various trades and 
professions. In 
the reign of Domi- 
tian, the stalls of 
shoemakers in the 
public streets were 
so numerous as to 
necessitate an 
edict for their re- 
moval. 

Our own ances- 
tors, the Anglo- 
Saxons, wore shoes 
of raw cow-hide, 
reaching to the 
ankles ; and the 
hair turned out- 
ward. Those used 
b y ecclesiastics 
were a kind of 
sandal fastened 
with bands of 
leather round the 
instep. The Nor-j 
man half - boots 
had soles of wood, 
while the uppers 

were of a more pliable material. Those 
worn by the Crusaders were of chain, and 
later of plate armour. Very pointed toes 
were in fashion during the Middle Ages, and 
these were carried to such a ridiculous length 
that the dignitaries of the Church considered 
it necessary to preach against the practice. 
However, this did not result in its abolition, 




FOOT-GEAR OF DIFFERENT PERIODS 



for we find the courtiers of the day improved 
upon the prevailing mode by stufKing their 
shoes, and twisting them into the shape of a 
ram's horn ; the point of which was attached 
to the knee by a chain. The common 
people were permitted by law to wear " the 
pykes on their shoon" half-a-foot, rich 
citizens a foot, 
while nobles and 
princes had theirs 
two-and-a-half feet 
long. 

During the 
Plantagenet period 
it was usual to wear 
two shoes of dif- 
ferent colours, and 
they were often 
slashed on the 
upper surface, to 
show the bright 
hose beneath. 
These were super- 
seded by a large, 
padded shoe, 
gored over the 
foot with coloured 
material, a fashion 
imported from 
Italy, and exag- 
gerated as much 
as the pointed 
shoe had been. 
Buskins were high 
boots, made of 
splendid tissue, 
and worn by the 
nobility and gen- 
try during the 
Middle Ages, 
generally on occa- 
sions of State. 
They were also 
largely adopted by 
players of tragedy. 
They covered the 
tied just below. The sock, 
the other hand, was the 



knee, and were 
or low shoe, on 
emblem of comedy. 

One of the greatest follies ever introduced 
was the chopine, a sort of stilt which increased 
the height of the wearer. These were first 
used in Persia, but appeared in Venice about 
the Sixteenth Century, and their use was 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



33 



encouraged by jealous husbands in the hope 
of keeping their wives at home. This desire, 
however, was not realised, as the ladies went 
out as usual, and required rather more 
support than hitherto. Chopines were very 
ornate, and the length determined the rank 
of the wearer, the noblest dames having them 
half-a-yard high. 
Shakespeare re- 
fers to them when -^<2^*^ 
he makes Hamlet ^-^^^ 
say: — "Your 
ladyship is nearer 
heaven than when 
I saw you last 
by the altitude 
of a chopine.'" 
He also alludes 
to the general use 
of shoes for 
the left and right 
a man : — 




ANGLO-SAXON AND NORMAN SHOES, 



foot, when he speaks of 



" Standing in slippers which his nimble haste 
Mad falsely thrust upon contrary feet." 

The exercise of the gentle craft of shoe- 



an abbot. It is said, however, that Pope 
John, elected in 1316, was the son of a shoe- 
maker at Cahors ; and in the description of 
Absalom, the Parish Clerk, Chaucer tells us, 
" the upper leathers of his shoes were carved 
to resemble the windows of St. Paul's Cathe- 
dral," which inclines one to believe in their 
priestly origin. 

From various 
sources, we have 
descriptions of 
royal shoes. 
Richard Cceur de 
Lion had his boots 
striped with gold ; 
those of his 
brother John were 
spotted with gold 
in circles. Henry 
in. had his boots 
chequered with golden lines, and every 
square enriched with a lion. In the splendid 
Court of Edward III., the royal shoes were 
elaborately embroidered. The coronation 
shoes of Richard III. were covered with 
crimson tissue cloth of gold. Henry VIII. 





GREEK AND ROMAN SHOES. 

making was for a long time carried on in 
monastic institutions, and increased the 
revenues of the clergy. Richard, the first 
Abbot of St. Albans, objected to canons and 
priests of his era associating themselves with 
tanners and shoemakers, not one of whom, 
in his opinion, ought to be made a bishop or 



MEDIAEVAL SHOES. 

is described as wearing square-toed shoes, 
which were slashed with coloured silk, and 
exposed a portion of the foot. Some worn 
by his daughter. Queen Elizabeth, of bro- 
caded silk, are remarkably clumsy in appear- 
ance, and have lappets which fasten over the 
instep. They form a striking contrast to 



34 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



those used by the unfortunate Mary Queen 
of Scots (now in the possession of Sir James 
William Drummond), which are of kid, em- 
broidered with coloured silks ; the toes are 



below the knee, either in close rolls, like the 
hay-bands of the modern ostler, or crossing 
each other sandal-wisc, as they are now worn 
in some districts of Europe, particularly in 






QUEEN ELIZABETH S BOOTS. 



SHOE OF MARY QUEEN 
OF SCOTS. 



SHOE WORN BY CHARLES L 



somewhat squarer, but in other respects re- 
semble those in fashion at the present day. 

In speaking of curious foot-gear, the under 
covering of the leg and pedal extremities 
must be briefly referred to. Ancient works 




A. CHOPINE ; B, BUSKIN ; C, PEAKED SHOE ; 
D, TUDOR SHOE. 

on costume frequently mention hose, socks, 
and stockings, which were made of woollen 
cloth, leather, or linen, and held in place by 
cross-bands of the material twisted to a little 



MILITARY BOOTS AND SPURS USED AT THE 
BATTLE OF NASEBY. 

Russia and Spain. Cloth stockings, em- 
broidered with gold, are among the 
articles of dress ordered by Henry III. 
for his sister Isabel ; and of a woman 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



35 



mentioned in the ** Canterbury Tales," it is 
said : " Hire hosen weren of fine scarlet 
redde, ful streite yteyed (tied), and shoon 
full moist (supple) and newe." 

In the reign of Henry VH. clocks on 
stockings are dis- 
cernible; and the 
Poet Laureate of 
this king, describ- 
ing the dress of 
the hostess of an 
inn, gives an indi- 
cation of how 
boots were clean- 
ed : 

•'She hobbles as she 
goes, 
With her blanket 

hose, 
Her shoone smear- 
ed with tallowy 

It is supposed 
that hose or stock- 
ings of silk were 
unknown in this 
country before the 
middle of the i6th 
century. A pair 
of Spanish silk 
hose was present- 
ed by Sir Thomas 
Gresham to Ed- 
ward VL, his 
father never hav- 
ing worn any but 
those made of 
cloth. In the reign 
of good Queen 
Bess, nether socks 
or stockings were 
of silk, jarnsey, 
worsted crewel, or 
the finest yarn, 
thread, or cloth, 
and were of all 
colours, "cunning- 




stockings, made in England ; and from that 
time she wore no others, in the laudable 
desire to encourage their home manufacture 
by her own example. The Queen's patron- 
age, and the invention, in 1599, of a weaving 

frame, by William 
Lee, Master of 
Arts, and Fellow 
of St. John's Col- 
lege, Cambridge, 
gave a great impe 
tus to the stocking 
trade, which has 
been carried on 
with considerable 
success ever since, 
particularly in the 
Midland counties 
of England. 

Spurs can be 
traced back to the 
Anglo-Saxon pe- 
riod, which is 
quite far enough 
for this purpose. 
They had no row- 
els, but were made 
with a simple 
point like a goad, 
and were fastened 
with leathers. 
Early in the 15 th 
century spurs were 
screwed on to a 
steel shoe, instead 
of being fastened 
with straps. They 
were long in the 
neck, and the 
spikes of the row- 
els of formidable 
dimensions. From 
a sketch of a spur 
worn at the Battle 
of Naseby, in the 
reign of Charles I., 



ly knit and curi- ancient shoes— a, b, c, d, e, Egyptian j f, Persian ; it will be seen that,' 
ously indented in g, h, greek; i, j, k, l, Phrygian and dacian. as progress was 
every point, with made in armour 

querks, clocks, openseams, and everything and military gear, considerable attention was 



else accordingly." Planche states, in the 
third year of Elizabeth, Mistress Montague, 
the Queen's silk-woman, presented Her 
Majesty with a pair of black silk knit 



paid to this portion of the soldier's outfit ; 
indeed, it was more elaborate in design than is 
now considered necessary. From a very early 
period spurs have been used by both sexes. 

I) 2 



36 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



A curious custom was in vogue at the 
beginning of the present century for ladies to 
make their own indoor shoes. This fashion 
was inaugurated by Queen Charlotte, who 
was particularly deft in handling a beautiful 
set of shoemaker's tools, mounted in silver, 
with ivory handles. Tradesmen bitterly com- 
plained that work tables in boudoirs were 
strewn with the implements of their craft ; 
but, like many other feminine fads, it soon 
passed away. About this period clogs were 
also used. These were made of wood, and 
served as a protection to shoes out of 
doors. A similar contrivance, with the addi- 
tion of an iron ring, leather strap and toe-cap, 
is still sometimes worn by farm servants, and 
is called a patten. Another form of clog, 
consisting of a laced leather boot with wooden 
sole, is extensively used by the working 
classes in the North of England, and the 
sabot, a wooden shoe, is the ordinary foot- 
gear of peasants on the Continent. 

It is well known that Chinese women of 
high rank deform their feet by compressing 
them in such a manner that it is afterwards 
almost impossible to walk ; and in Davis' 
interesting description of the Empire of 
China, he relates that whenever a judge of 
unusual integrity resigns his post, the people 
accompany him from his home to the gates 
of the city, where his boots are drawn off 
with great ceremony, and are afterwards pre- 
served in the Hall of Justice. 

In Japan a peculiar wooden sandal, having 
a separate compartment for the great toe, is 
in common use. Straw slippers are also 
worn, and a traveller starting on a journey 
will strap a supply on his back, so that he 
may have new shoes in case of need. They 
are lefts and rights, and only cost a halfpenny 
the pair. Here one never finds those defor- 
mities of the feet so common in China, and 
even in our own country. A graceful carri- 
age depends so much upon the shoes worn. 
Heavy and stiff ones oblige the wearer to 
plant the foot solidly at every step. If the 
toes are very pointed it is at the sacrifice of 
elasticity, and if the heels are too high the 
muscles in the ball of the foot are little used. 



Orientals indicate reverence by uncovering 
their feet, and do so on all occasions when 
Western nations would remove their hats. 
Their heads, being generally shaven, are 
always covered, and are surmounted by a 
head-dress which could not be replaced with- 
out considerable trouble ; while for the feet 
they have loose slippers, with a single sole, 
made of coloured morocco or embroidered 
silk, which are easily thrown off. Few things 
inspire them with greater disgust than for 
anyone to enter their rooms with shoes on. 
They think such conduct an insult to them- 
selves and a pollution to their apartment ; 
and it is considered the height of irreverence 
to enter a church, mosque, or a temple with- 
out removing them. Even classical heathen- 
ism affords instances of this usage. The 
Roman women were obliged to go barefoot 
in the Temple of Vesta ; the same rule 
existed in that of Diana, at Crete ; and those 
who prayed in the Temple of Jupiter also 
followed this custom. 

In the East, the public removal of the 
sandal or shoe, and the giving it to another, 
accompanied by certain words, signifies a 
transfer of authority or relinquishing posses- 
sion. We are told in the case of Ruth and 
Boaz, when her kinsman gave up his right to 
marry her, in favour of her second husband, 
"he drew off his shoe." Among the 
Bedouins, when a man permits his cousin to 
marry another, or divorces his runaway 
spouse, he generally says, " She was my 
slipper; I have cast her off." Again, when 
shoes are left at the door of an apartment, 
they denote that the master or mistress is 
engaged, and even a husband does not 
venture into a wife's room while he sees 
the slippers on the threshold. The idea 
is not altogether unknown among our- 
selves, as it is expressed in the homely 
proverb, " to stand in another man's shoes ;" 
or when we speak of coming into a 
future inheritance as stepping into a " dead 
man's shoe." Also in flinging the slipper 
after a departing bride, signifying that 
the father transfers his authority to the 
husband. 



Chapter V. 
BRIDAL COSTUME. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



39 



Chapter V. 
BRIDAL COSTUME. 



CERTAIN curious customs have been 
associated with the Ordinance of 

Marriage from a very early period, and 
among others may be mentioned the union 
of near relations in barbaric or semi- barbaric 
tribes ; the providing of husbands and wives 
for a family according to seniority (so that 
the younger members had to possess their 
souls in patience till the elder ones were dis- 
posed of) ; the paying of an equivalent for 
the bride's services to 
her father in money or 
kind ; and festivities 
often lasting over several 
days to celebrate the 
nuptials. The Rabbins 
acquaint us with the 
fact that seven days' 
feasting was an indis- 
pensable obligation on 
all married men, and 
that the bride was not 
consigned to her hus- 

until after the 

of feasting had 

They were 

spent in the 



dower in case of divorce. Rich shawls, fine 
dresses, personal ornaments, money, and a 
complete outfit of domestic utensils are 
always included in such a gift. Among 
some of the Arab tribes the dower received 
on such occasions, and called the "five 
articles," consists of a carpet, a silver nose 
ring, a silver neck chain, silver bracelets, and 
a camel bag. Matrimonial overtures are 
generally made by the parents of the con- 



band 
days 
expired, 
generally 
house of 



the woman's 
father, after which she 
was conducted in great 
state to her husband's 
home. When the bride 
was a widow, the festi- 
vities only lasted for 
three days. Customs 
in the East are perpetuated from one genera- 
tion to another, and we now find among the 
inhabitants of the Orient the same mode of 
life as was adopted by the patriarchs of old. 
The description of the wooing of Isaac and 
Rebekah, for example, so graphically told in 
Genesis, differs in few respects from that of 
a young couple of the same rank in the 
present day. Handsome presents, consisting 
of jewels, apparel, &c., are presented to the 
woman and her family, "and form part of her 




MARRIAGE PROCESSION OF A BRIDE IN LEBANON. 



tracting parties in Persia, but after all has 
been concluded, the bride-elect has nomi- 
nally the power, though it is seldom exercised, 
of expressing her dissent before the connec- 
tion receives its final sanction. Among 
many Bedouin tribes the woman is not 
suffered to know until the betrothing cere- 
monies announce it to her who is to be her 
husband, and then it is too late to negative 
the contract, but she is permitted to withdraw 
from her husband's tent the day after her 



40 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



marriage, and to return to her father ; in 
which case she is formally divorced, and is 
henceforward regarded as a widow. On the 




ANCIENT EGYPTIAN BRIDAL COSTUME. 

value of her ornaments the Eastern bride 
bases her claim to consideration ; and though 
the Arab, as a rule, cares 
little for his own dress, 
he decks his wife as 
richly as possible, that 
honour may be reflected 
upon himself and his 
circumstances. The leg 
ornaments and bracelets 
are often enormously 
thick, and have no fast- 
enings, but open and 
compress by their own 
elasticity. It is not un- 
usual to wear several on 
the same arm, reaching 
to the elbow. They 
form a woman's sole 
wealth, and are not 
treasured up for special 
occasions, as is usual 
among Western nations, 
but are used as part of 
of the daily costume. 



Various materials are employed in their 
manufacture ; gold is necessarily rare, silver 
less so, while others are composed of amber, 
coral, mother-of-pearl, and beads. 

We are told, when Rebekah approached 
her future home and saw a man walking in 
the distance, she evinced a curiosity, natural 
under the circumstances, and inquired about 
him ; and on discovering that it was Isaac, 
" she took a veil and covered herself" It 
is still almost universal in the East for a 
woman, whose face is not concealed on other 
occasions, to envelop her head and body in 
an ample veil before she is conducted to her 
husband, and it is considered an indispens- 
able part of the bridal costume. The details 
of the home coming are modified by the 
local usages and religions of the different 
countries. In Syria, Persia, and India, the 
bridegroom, in person, brings home the bride : 
in some other countries this duty devolves on 
a near relative, and he remains at home to 
receive the lady on her arrival. From various 
sources, but particularly from indications in 
Scripture, we may gather that the Jews 
employed either of these methods, according 
to circumstances. Again, in Egypt the 
bridegroom goes to the Mosque when his 
bride is expected, and returns home in pro- 
cession after she has arrived. In Western 
Asia the procession usually walks, if the 




FESTIVITIES AT AN EASTERN MARRIAGE. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



41 



bride's future house is at no great distance in 
the same town. In such cases she is often 
partially covered by a canopy, and in Central 
and Eastern Asia it is the rule for her to be 
mounted on a mare mule, ass, or camel, 




A GREEK BRIDESMAID. 

unless she is carried in a palanquin. Much, 
of course, depends on the social position of 
those married. Music attends such proces- 
sions, and often dancing ; the Jews certainly 
had the former, and some think the latter 
also, at least, in the time of our Saviour. 

In Halhed's translation of the Gentoo 
Laws, and in Mr. Roberts's " Oriental Illus- 
trations," reference is made to the custom ot 
marrying the elder sister first, and the same 
usage is observed with regard to the brothers. 
When, in India, the elder daughter happens 
to be blind, deaf, dumb, or deformed, this 
formality is dispensed with ; and there have 
been cases when a man, wishing to obtain a 
younger daughter, has used every means in 
his power to promote the settlement of his 
future sister-in-law, so as to forward his own 
nuptials. Fathers, too, will sometimes exert 
their powers to compass the marriage of the 
elder daughter, when a very advantageous 
offer is made for the younger one. 

It is generally believed that Psalm xlv., 
commonly known as " The Song of Loves," 
was composed on the occasion of Solomon's 
marriage — probably to Pharaoh's daughter; 



and here we find the Egyptian bride's dress 
described as "all glorious within and wrought 
of gold, a raiment of needlework." Both 
expressions refer to the same dress, and 
imply that the garment was embroidered 
with figures worked with threads of gold. 
The Egyptians were famous for their 
embroideries, and some mummies have been 
found wrapped up in clothing curiously orna- 
mented with gold lace. At the present day, 
both in Egypt and Western Asia, it is usual 
for ladies of the highest rank to employ much 
of their time in working with the needle linen 
and cotton tissues in gold and silver thread 
and silk of different colours. 

The use of nuptial crowns is of great anti- 
quity. Among the Greeks and Romans they 
were chaplets of flowers and leaves, and the 
modern Greeks retain this custom, employing 




MODERN GREEK BRIDAL COSTUME. 

such chaplets, decorated with ribbons and 
lace. Modern Jews do not use crowns in 
their marriage ceremonies, and they inform 
us that they have been discontinued 
since the last siege of Jerusalem by the 



42 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



Romans. The information which Gemara 
gives on this subject is briefly that the crown 
of the bridegroom was of gold and silver, or 
else a chaplet of roses, myrtle, or olives, and 



the reverse side of the circle being formed by 
two clasped hands. This is a very common 
shape, and is shown in the illustration of the 
English wedding-ring E, dated 1706, where 




A, JEWISH WEDDING RING, GERMAN, 17TH CENTURY; B, MODERN ITALIAN; C, ITALIAN, 14TH 

century; D, VENETIAN, i6tH CENTURY; E, ENGLISH, 1706; F, ENGLISH BRONZE 

BETROTHAL RING, 17TH CENTURY. 



that the bride's crown was of the precious 

metals. There is also some mention of a 

crown made of salt and sulphur, worn by the 

bridegroom, the salt transparent as crystal, 

the figures being represented 

thereon in sulphur. Crowns 

play an important part in the 

nuptial ceremonies of the 

Greek Church ; they are also 

still used by Scandinavian 

brides. 

The ring in former days 
did not occupy the prominent 
position it does now, but was 
given, with other presents, to 
mark the completion of the 
contract. Its form is a symbol 
of eternity, and signifies the 
intention of both parties to 
keep the solemn covenant of 
which it is a pledge, or, as the 
Saxons called it, a "wed," 
from which we derive the 
term wedding. The Jews 
have a law which proclaims 
that the nuptial ring shall be 
of certain value, and must not 
be obtained by credit or gift. 
Formerly they were of large 
size and elaborate workman- 
ship, but now the ordinary plain gold hoop 
is used. 

A wedding ring of the Shakespearian era 
has a portrait of Lucretia holding the dagger, 




AN EASTERN BRIDE, 



white enamel fingers support a rose diamond. 
The modern Italian peasant wedding-ring B 
is of gold in raised bosses, while C is of 
silver ; F, bearing initials on vezet, is of 
bronze. A is a handsome 
Jewish wedding-ring, bearing 
the ark, and D also has a 
Hebrew inscription. 

The gimmal betrothal ring 
was formerly a favourite pat- 
tern, and consisted of three 
circlets attached to a spring or 
pivot, and could be closed so 
as to appear like one solid 
ring. It was customary to 
break these asunder at the 
betrothal, the man and woman 
taking the upper and lower 
ones, and the witness the 
intermediate ring. When the 
marriage took place these 
were joined together and used 
at the ceremony. During the 
sixteenth and seventeenth cen- 
turies it was a common prac- 
tice to engrave these emblems 
of affection with some appro- 
priate motto. It was from 
Pagan Rome that European 
nations derive the wedding- 
ring, as they were used in their betrothals 
long before there is any trace of them else- 
where. 

In describing the bridal costumes of 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



43 



different nations, it should be distinctly 
borne in mind that a large majority of the 
upper classes wear on such occasions the 
traditional white satin and orange blossoms 
with which we are all familiar. Many, how- 
ever, prefer the picturesque national costume 
associated with the land of their birth, and it 
has been my principal object, in selecting the 
illustrations, to make them as typical as 
possible. 

The Greek marriage service is full of 
symbol, and the sketch gives a good 
idea of the bridal costume. 
The bridesmaid is attired in a 
gold embroidered jacket, a 
skirt of brilliant colouring, and 
the crimson fez — the usual 
head-gear of a Greek maiden. 
She is depicted scattering 
corn, an ancient rite always 
performed at the conclusion 
of the ceremony. As she 
gracefully sways backwards 
and forwards, to the accom- 
paniment of the jingling coins, 
which do double service as 
dowry and trimming, it is a 
pose and dress at once graceful 
and free. Formerly a wedding 
garment was often passed 
down from mother to daugh- 
ter, and such an example is 
given in the soft yellow silk 
robe, lined with white and 
enriched with elaborate em- 
broidery. Tiny stars in deli- 
cate shades of red, blue, and 
green, divided by black lines 
form the design and proclaim 
the industry and skill of the worker. These 
robes, however, have not been used in 
Greece since the beginning of the seventeenth 
century. 

In Japan, the beautiful land of the lily and 
chrysanthemum, the bride usually takes little 
more to her husband's home than her trous- 
seau, which is ample enough, as a rule, to 
satisfy even a woman's passion for dress. 
The nuptials take place in the evening, and 
the bride is garbed in virgin white robes, 
figured with a lozenge design. These gar- 
ments are the gift of the bridegroom, and in 
them she passes from the home of her girl- 
hood to that of her husband. The house- 




GARMENT FORMERLY WORN 

BY GREEK BRIDES. 

{From South Kensington Museum ) 



hold gods of both families are assembled 
before an altar decked with flowers and 
covered with offerings. Near stands a large 
table, with a dwarf cedar; it also holds 
the Japanese Adam and Eve, and the mystic 
turtle and stork. The two special attendants 
of bride and bridegroom are called butterflies, 
and in their dress and colouring rival these 
beautiful insects, which in this country are 
the symbol of conjugal felicity. The most 
solemn part of the marriage ceremony is 
the scene of the two-mouthed vase. At a 
signal, one butterfly fills the 
vase, and the other offers it to 
the kneeling couple, the hus- 
band drinking first, and after- 
wards the wife. This draught 
signifies that henceforward 
they are to partake equally of 
the bitters and sweets of the 
coming years. Rice is thrown 
from either side, so as to 
mingle, and the wicks of two 
candles are placed together, 
to symbolize the joining of 
body and soul. 

The marriage processions 
of other Oriental nations 
have already been referred to, 
and in India it is customary 
to perform the ceremony 
under a species of canopy 
richly ornamented and lighted 
by lamps. The bride wears, 
in addition to the native cos- 
tume, a curious veil composed 
of strings of gold beads and tas- 
sels. In Hindu marriages the 
sacred fire or oman (which is 
constantly renewed by throwing upon it scented 
oils, sandalwood, incense, and other aromatic 
perfumes) is a prominent feature, and the 
union of a couple is consecrated by sprink- 
ling a handful of saffron, mixed with rice 
flour, on their shoulders. Finally, the 
husband presents his wife with a little golden 
image called talee^ a substitute for the 
wedding ring, and worn by Indian women as 
their symbol of matrimony. 

A missionary thus describes a Buddhist 
marriage : — " The bride, loaded with jewel- 
lery, accompanied by women richly attired, 
entered the room, and sat down with the 
bridegroom on the floor. A number of 



44 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



candles were then lighted, and the company 
saluted and congratulated the happy couple, 
and expressed their kind wishes by blowing 
smoke towards them, while a band of string 
instruments discoursed sweet music. Two 
cushions were placed before the bridegroom, 
on which a sword was laid, and food was 
also near them. Next the hands of each 
were bound together, then the two to each 
other with silken threads. This act was 
performed by the nearest relative present, 
and completed the ceremony." Brief, 
indeed, are the forms of marriage indulged 
in by the people of Borneo. Each of the 
contracting parties chews a betel nut ; an 
elderly woman mutters some sort of incanta- 



member of the family who can contract a 
marriage in the legal sense as we understand 
it, but all his brothers are accepted by the 
wife as inferior or subordinate husbands. 
By this means they are kept well under the 
control of the superior husband, whom they 
regard as the " Big Father," and, as a matter 
of form, any children who may be born are 
accepted by him. 

Thus the whole family are attached to the 
soil, and seem to work in concord, and the 
women have the satisfaction of knowing that 
in the average course of Nature they can 
never become widows, and that there will 
always be someone to work for them and 
their offspring. " It is the custom for the men 




HINDU bridegroom's PROCESSION. 



tion, and brings the heads of bride and 
bridegroom in close contact, after which they 
are declared man and wife, and are no longer 
regarded as twain, but one flesh. The 
Cherokee form of marriage is perhaps the 
most simple. The two join hands over a 
running stream, emblematic of the wish that 
their future lives, hopes, and aspirations, 
should flow on in the same channel. A 
peculiar custom of the Lascars is the putting 
of a ring on the great toe when they marry. 
Mrs. Bishop, who has explored Tibet and 
studied the habits and customs of the people, 
informs us that polyandry is favoured by the 
women of that country. The heir of the 
land and eldest son appears to be the only 



and women of a village to assemble when a 
bride enters her home with her husbands, 
and for each of them to present her with three 
rupees. The Tibetan wife, far from spending 
these gifts on personal adornment, looks 
ahead, contemplating possible contingencies, 
and immediately hires a field, the produce of 
which is her own, and accumulates from 
year to year, so that she may not be portion- 
less should she desire a divorce." 

The African tribes, of course, differ mate- 
rially in their marriage customs, but some 
form of exchange for the services of the 
woman are insisted on, and often take the 
shape of a present of cattle to the bride's 
father. On the West Coast, in the neigh- 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



45 



bourhood of Gaboon, where slavedom is 
recognised, there is an understanding that 
a wife may be purchased for a slave bundle, 
valued at about ^^6 in English money, and 




VEIL OF HINDU BRIDE. 

there appears to be no sliding scale as to 
youth, beauty, form, or degree. A bundle 
contains specimens of every article sold by a 
general store- 
keeper. The most 
important features 
of a slave bundle 
are a Neptune, or 
brass pan used 
for making salt, 
which is a current 
article of com- 
merce, and a piece 
of native cloth, 
manufactured by 
these people for 
dress purposes, 
from a species of 
palm which grows 
on the river banks 
in great luxuri- 
ance. Both sexes 
anoint themselves 
with palm oil and 
other greasy sub- 
stances, and no 

greater compliment can be paid to an African 

belle than to say she looks "fat and shining." 

Mr. Hutchinson, in his interesting work, 

"Ten Years in Ethiopia," gives a quaint and 



amusing account of the toilet of a Fernandian 
bridegroom: "Outside a small hut, belonging 
to the mother of the bride expectant, I soon 
discovered the happy bridegroom undergoing 
his toilet at the hands of his future wife's 
sister. A profusion of Tshibbu strings being 
fastened round his body, as well as his legs 
and arms, the anointing lady, having a short 
black pipe in her mouth, proceeded to rub 
him over with Tola pomade. He seemed 
not altogether joyous at the anticipation of 
his approaching happiness, but turned a sulky 
gaze now and then on a piece of yam which 
he held in his hand, and which had a parrot's 
red feather fixed on its convex side. This 
was called ' Ntshoba,' and is regarded as a 
protection against evil influences on the 
important day. The bride was borne down 
by the weight of rings and wreaths and 
girdles of Tshibbu. Tola pomatum gave her 
the appearance of an exhumed mummy, save 
her face, which was all white ; not from 
excess of modesty, for the negro race are 
reported to blush blue, but from being 
smeared over with a white paste, the emblem 
of purity." What a hideous substitute for 
the classical wreath of orange blossoms, and 




HINDU MARRIAGE CEREMONY. 

what a contrast must be offered when the 
cosmetic peels off and displays the dusky 
skin upon which it is laid ! 

According to Russian law, no man can 



46 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



marry before he is eighteen years of age, or a 
woman before she is sixteen ; nor after he is 
eighty, and she is sixty. Priests are permitted 
to marry once. Secret marriages without 
witnesses are regarded as invalid, and both 




A RUSSIAN BRIDE. 

bride and bridegroom must be baptized 
persons. If a Russian takes a foreigner for 
a wife, she must bind herself in writing to 
bring up any children she may have in the 
Greco - Russian faith. According to an 
ancient custom the bridegroom presents his 
bride with the costume and jewellery worn at 
the marriage. The dowry comes from her 
family, and consists of a complete wardrobe, 
silver, linen, and household furniture of all 
kinds. The hair of an unm.arried woman 
of the peasant class in Russia is dressed 
in a single plait hanging loose upon 
the shoulders, and tied with ribbon. 
After marriage it is arranged in two 
braids coiled round the head, covered with 
a cap tied behind, or with a cotton or silk 



handkerchief, and a little lappet of linen rests 
on the forehead, and is considered an 
inevitable symbol of marriage. Marriages 
are performed after banns, and much of the 
finery used by the lower classes is hired for 
the occasion; and the crowns used in the 
Russian ceremony are generally the property 
of the Church. Formerly they were worn 
for a week, but this practice has been discon- 
tinued. 

There are three distinct periods in the life 
of a Norwegian woman, and each one has 
marked characteristics, particularly as regards 
dress. During girlhood, up to the time of 
confirmation, a solemn occasion for which 
there is much preparatory training, girls do 
not usually go from home to work, or earn 




NORWEGIAN PEASANT BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM. 

their own living. Among the poorer classes 
this ceremony takes place when they are 
about fifteen. Their petticoats are short and 
their hair is arranged in two long plaits. 
After confirmation they are supposed to 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



47 




ORNAMENT WORN 

BY SWEDISH 

PEASANT BRIDE. 



regard life from its more serious aspect, and 
to engage themselves with various duties, 
according to their station. The third stage, 
of course, is married life, and it should be 
stated that neither men 
nor women can enter 
upon the holy contract 
unless they can bring 
proof of their confirma- 
tion, and can show ample 
evidence of sufficient 
means to provide for a 
household. The marri- 
age is preceded by a 
betrothal ceremony, when 
the young couple go to 
the church, accompanied 
by their friends, and ex- 
change rings of plain gold 
and presents of jewellery 
and apparel, which must be worn on the 
wedding day. At her marriage the peasant 
bride wears the crown. It has a rim of 
brass to fit the head, and the upper 
portion is of silver and gold, sometimes 
embellished with precious stones. 
Such crowns are generally heirlooms, 
and it is not uncommon for all the 
brides of one family for centuries to 
wear the same adornment for the head. 
A very usual dress on such an occasion 
is a plain skirt of some woollen mate- 
rial, with a bodice and full sleeves of 
snowy linen, a corselet of red and 
green, ornamented with bands and 
buckles, and a white apron trimmed 
with embroidery. A silver-gilt breast 
ornament is worn by Swedish brides. 
The band is wrought with bosses, 
and depending from it are small 
beaten discs, and a medallion bear- 
ing the sacred initials I.H.S. The 
bridegroom's hat in the illustra- 
tion was probably an heirloom too, 
from its shape and fashion. He 
wears a red waistcoat cut short and 
fastened with brass buttons, and a loose 
cloth coat ornamented with embroidered 
revers. The black small clothes show 
to advantage a well-shaped leg, and on 
the feet are low shoes. Usually the 
festivities in connection with a peasant 
wedding in Norway are kept up for 
three days, and during the time there 



is much feasting and merrymaking among 
the friends of bride and bridegroom. 

Gipsies are, as a rule, married at a very 
early age. A girl is generally betrothed at 
fourteen, and becomes a wife two years 
later. The marriage ceremony is performed 
by a priest wearing a ram's horn as a sign of 
office, and, as becomes a nomadic race, the 
four elements — fire, air, earth, and water — 
take a prominent position. The horn is the 
symbol of authority, and is often made use 
of in Scripture. So much were rams' horns 
esteemed by the Israelites that their priests 
and Levites used them as trumpets in the 
taking of Jericho ; and modern Jews when 
they confess their sins announce the cere- 
mony by blowing a ram's horn. In ancient 
Egypt and other parts of Africa, Jupiter 
Ammon was worshipped under the figure of 
a ram, and to this deity one of these animals 
was sacrificed annually. It seems to have 
been an emblem of power from the remotest 
ages. It would therefore appear that the 




A bridegroom's toilet at FERNANDO PC. 



48 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



practice of the gipsy priest wearing a ram's 
horn suspended from a string round his 
neck at a marriage is derived from the 
highest antiquity, and undoubtedly points to 
the Oriental origin of the gipsy race. 

Various expedients have been resorted to by 
different rulers of sparsely 
populated kingdoms to 
encourage men to enter 
the married state. In 
ancient Rome the law 
forbade that a bachelor 
should inherit any legacy 
whatever, and in Sparta, 
under the rule of Lycur- 
gus, they were not per- 
mitted to have a part in 
the government, nor 
might they occupy any 
civil or military post. 
They were excluded 
from participation in 
public festivals, except 
on certain fixed occa- 
sions, and then the 
women had the right to 
lead them to the altars, 
where they were beaten 
with rods to the sound 
of scornful songs. As 
late as the reign of 
William and Mary, 
widowers were taxed in 
England at the following rates : — Dukes, 
;^i2 I OS.; lower peers a smaller sum, and 
commoners one shilling each, if they 
elected to remain in a state of single 
blessedness. Widows also, especially those 
of high degree and fortune, were encouraged 
to dip again in the matrimonial lottery, and 
children were betrothed at a very tender 
age. 

Bridesmaids in Anglo-Saxon times attended 
on the bride, and performed specified duties, 
particularly in the festivities which usually 
followed on such occasions. Even during 




AN ENGLISH BRIDE. 



the earlier portion of the present century 
it was a common custom for one to accom- 
pany the bridal couple on their honey- 
moon ; and it was also her duty to prepare 
and present the "benediction posset," which 
is referred to by Herrick in " Hesperides:" — 

" A short sweet prayer shall 

be said, 
And now the posset shall be 

made 
With cream of lilies not of kine 
And maiden blush for spiced 

wine." 

The fashion of brides 
wearing spotless white is 
a comparatively modern 
one. From accounts of 
bridal gowns in bygone 
times, we find rich bro- 
cades, golden tissues, and 
coloured silks were em- 
ployed for this purpose; 
and at the present day 
white is considered only 
appropriate to the virgin, 
and is absolutely dis- 
pensed with by those 
women who have been 
married before. 

Of modern marriage 
customs in England 
there is no occasion to 
speak, for what woman 
is there among us who 
has not made an exhaustive and complete 
study of this vital matter ? It may, however, 
comfort those who are beginning to wonder 
if marriage and giving in marriage is going 
out of fashion, to know that during the first 
quarter of 1894,95,366 persons were joined 
together in the British Islands, an increase of 
18 per cent, over the first three months of the 
previous year, 1893, and 9 per cent, over the 
mean rate for the same quarter for the pre- 
ceding ten years. Figures are incontro- 
vertible facts, so our ears need no longer be 
assailed by the bitter cry of 

"Darkest Spinsterdom." 



Chapter VI. 
MOURNING. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



51 



Chapter VI. 
MOURNING 



"The air is full of farewells to the dying 
And mourning for the dead." — Lougfellcmj. 

THE signs of mourning in ancient times 
were by no means confined to the 
apparel. Fasting, laceration of the 
flesh, throwing dust on the head, and shaving 



for men, so common at funerals a few years 
ago. In " A History of ISIourning," by 
Richard Davey, from which many interesting 
facts on this subject may be gathered, we 
learn that the Egyptians, over three thousand 
years ago, selected yellow as the colour for 




ANCIENT JEWISH FUNERAL PROCESSION. 



the hair, were outward and visible signs of 
grief, accompanied by piercing cries of the 
most heartrending description. It was also 
customary to abstain from ornaments, to 
rend the cloth- 
ing, and to put 
on filthy gar- 
ments of sack- 
cloth. This 
fabric was, and 
is still in the 
East, made of 
hair, which has 
an irritating ef- 
fect upon the 
skin, and was 
for this purpose 
adopted as a 
pen it ent ial 
dress by the 
early Roman 
Church. The 
covering of the 

head was another manifestation of sorrow — a 
practice indicated by the hoods worn by 
female mourners, and the flowing hat-bands 




LAVING OUT AND MOURNING THE DEAD. 



mourning garments. The Greeks chose 
black as the most appropriate — a fashion 
followed by the Romans. The women of 
Rome had robes of black cloth, with veils 

of the same 
shade; but by 
a wise dispen- 
sation, young 
children were 
not compelled 
to adopt the 
symbols of woe. 
A year was the 
usual period for 
mourninga hus- 
band, wife, fa- 
ther, mother, 
sister, or bro- 
ther ; but rela- 
tions who had 
been outlawed, 
imprisoned, or 
bankrupt, were 
not accorded this mark of respect. Numa 
published certain laws for the guidance of 
mDurners, including one forbidding women 

E 2 



52 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



to scratch their faces, or to make an excep- 
tional display of grief at funerals. The 
Emperor Justinian (a.d. 537) also turned his 
attention to this subject, and regulated the 
expenses at funeral ceremonies, so as to 
secure those who remained from the double 
calamity of losing their friends and, at the 
same time, incurring heavy pecuniary lia- 
bilities on their 
account. Pro- 
vision was made 
for burying 
each person free 
of cost, and for 
protecting the 
survivors from 
various extor- 
tions. Funds 

were appropriated for the purpose of inter- 
ments, which were conducted by those 
appointed for the purpose. All persons were 
to be buried in the same manner; though 
those who desired to do so could, at their 
own cost, indulge in certain display, but this 
additional expense was limited. On state 
occasions, as, for example, on the death of 




THE MODE OF ENFOLDING THE DEAD 



sexes were expected to abstain from going to 
public ceremonies and places of amusement ; 
and women were not allowed to marry till a 
year had elapsed from the husband's death, 
without the special permission of the 
Emperor. History, however, does not 
record that their lords and masters applied 
this rule to their own conduct. 

The Greeks 
buried their 
dead before 
sunrise, so as 
to avoid osten- 
tation. Mourn- 
ing women took 
part in the pro- 
cession, and 
accompanied 
the chief female mourner in her visits to the 
grave, on the seven days following interment. 
This custom, which was derived from the 
East, was a usual feature in Jewish, Roman, 
and Egyptian, as well as in Greek funerals. 

The funeral feast was a common practice 
among the classical ancients, and was kept 
up to a comparatively recent period, in various 




THE CUP OF CONSOLATION. 



an Emperor or a great defeat, the whole 
nation assumed the mourning garb. The 
defeat of Cannae, the conspiracy of Catalina, 
and the death of Julius Caesar, were all con- 
sidered of sufficient importance for the 
observance of this custom. Private mourn- 
ing could be broken among the Romans by 
certain domestic events, as the birth of a son 
or daughter, the marriage of a child, or the 
return of a prisoner taken in war. Both 



European countries. The Cup of Consola- 
tion consisted of light refreshments prepared 
and sent in by the friends of mourners, who 
were not supposed to busy themselves with 
domestic affairs at such a time. The illus- 
tration gives a good idea of the mourning 
habit adopted by the immediate family of the 
deceased. Caves were used for the disposal 
of the dead, as well as elaborately constructed 
sepulchres, of which many remain to this 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



53 



day. Earth burial was in favour with some 
nations, but in time of war or pestilence 
cremation was resorted to. The practice of 
embalming we owe to the Egyptians, who 
carried it to a great state of perfection. 
One of the earliest embalmments on record 
is that of Joseph, whose body accompanied 
the Israelites on their journey through the 
Wilderness. He was placed in a cofifin, a 
distinction in the East only accorded to those 
of the highest rank, the usual mode being 
to simply swathe the corpse closely in 
wrappers and bandages, thus retaining the 
shape of the human form. The Jews largely 
used spices and perfumes, which were em- 
ployed both for anointing and for wrapping up 




AN ANGLO-SAXON WIDOW. 

the body — a very necessary precaution in hot 
climates. The Egyptians, on the death of a 
relative or sacred animal (the cat, for 
instance), attired themselves in yellow gar- 
ments and shaved off their eyebrows. Their 



funeral processions were magnificent. When 
a king quitted this mortal sphere, the temples 
were closed for seventy-two days, and there 
were no sacrifices, solemnities, or feasts. 
Companies of two or three hundred men and 




PRIEST OF THE lOTH CENTURY, WEARING A 

BLACK DALMATIC EDGED WITH FUR, 

READY TO SAY REQUIEM MASS. 

women, in mean attire paraded the streets, 
singing plaintive songs and reciting the 
virtues of him they had lost. They ate 
no meat, or food dressed by fire, and 
omitted their customary baths and anoint- 
ings. Every one mourned as for the death of 
a favourite child, and spent the day in 
lamentations. The Pyramids, those wonder- 
ful monuments to Egyptian monarchs, are 
memorials of the reverence and industry of 
the nation, whose high state of civilization 
is attested to by their works. 

Burial clubs were common among the 
Anglo-Saxons, and heavy fines were inflicted 
on those who did not attend the funeral of a 
member. The corpse was placed on a bier, 
and on the body was laid the book of the 



54 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



Gospels, a code of belief and a cross as a 
symbol of hope. A silken or linen pall was 
used, according 
to the rank of 
the dead per- 
son. The cler- 
gy bore lighted 
tapers and 
chanted the 
psalter, the 
mass was per- 
formed, and a 
liberal offering 
made to the 
poor. 

From a 9th 
century MS. in 
the National 
Library, Paris, 
is given a sketch 
which clearly 
defines the 
mourning habit 
of that period. The gown is evidently of 
black woollen cloth, trimmed with black and 
white fur; and a gauze veil of the same 
sombre tint envelops the head. From the 
same source a drawing of an Anglo-Saxon 
priest is given, on account of his wearing a 
black dalmatic, edged with fur, a vestment 
only adopted when a requiem mass was per- 
formed. 

In the Middle Ages black was used for 




HIRED MOURNERS 




mourning as a rule, though purple and brown 
were occasionally substituted. Chaucer, in 

" The Knight's 
Tale," speaks 
of " clothes 
black all drop- 
ped with tears," 
and, again, of 
" w i d d o w c s 
habit of samite 
brown." In 
many cases, on 
the death of 
her husband, 
the wife retired 
for a year to a 
convent, when 
she assumed 
the nun's dress, 
of which the 
widow's weeds 
of the present 
day are a sym- 
bol. The mourning adopted by Katherine 
of Valois, wife of Henry V., the hero of 

Agincourt, who 
died at Vin- 
cennes in 1422, 
may be regard- 
ed as the typi- 
cal widow's 
dress of that 
period. It con- 
sisted of a 
black brocade 
cote hardi, 
edged with 
white fur, and 
further embel- 




with 
glass 
which 



MOURNING IN SACKCLOTH. 



widow's dress of queen katherine 
dk valois, in the year 1 42 2 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



55 



for ornamenting the winged head dress. 
Her black woollen gown has a deep border- 
ing of white fur. Some mourning habits of 



Planche tells us dukes and marquises were 
allowed sixteen yards for their gowns, sloppes 
(or mourning cassocks) and mantles; an earl, 




COSTUMES WORN BY KING PHILIP II. OF SPAIN AND HIS ATTENDANTS AT THE FUNERAL 

PROCESSION OF HIS FATHER. 



this period are represented in a splendid 
manuscript " Liber Regalis," still preserved in 
Westminster Abbey. 
They are composed of 
black fabrics in the pre- 
vailing fashion, and are 
furred with ermine. 
Froissart relates that the 
Earl of Foix, on hearing 
of the death of his son, 
Gaston, sent for his 
barber, ana was close 
shaved, and clothed 
himself and his house- 
hold in black. At the 
funeral of the Earl of 
Flanders, all the nobles 
and others present were 
attired in black gowns ; 
and on the death of 
John, King of France, 
the King of Cyprus 
clothed himself in black 
mourning. 

At the end of the 
fifteenth century, it was 
considered necessary in 
England to pass sump- 
tuary mourning laws, 
owing to the extrava- 
gance of the nobility in 
the superfluous usage of 
cloth and other items at funerals. Habits 
and liveries were limited to certain quantities. 




gentleman's MOURNING — TIME 
HENRY VII. 



fourteen; a viscount, twelve; a baron, eight; 

a knight, six ; and all inferior persons, two 
yards only; but an arch- 
bishop had the same 
privilege as a duke. 
Hoods were only per- 
mitted to those above 
the degree of esquire of 
the king's household. 

Margaret, Countess 
of Richmond, the 
mother of King Henry 
VII., issued, in the 
eighth year of his reign, 
an ordinance for " the 
reformation of apparell 
for great estates of wo- 
men in the tyme of 
mourninge." " They 
shall have their surcottes 
with a trayne before and 
another behynde, and 
their mantles with 
traynes. The queen is 
to wear a surcotte, with 
the traynes as aforesaid, 
and playne hoode, and 
a tippet at the hoode 
lying a good length 
upon the trayne of the 
mantell, being in breadth 
a nayle and an inche. 

After the first quarter of a year, the hood to 

be lined with black satin, or furred with 



56 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASfffON. 



ermine ; and all ladies down to the degree of 
a baroness, are to wear similar niourninge, 
and to be barbed at the chin." Thesurcotte, 
with trayne, hood, barbe, and tippet, are 
visible in the sketch of a lady of the sixteenth 
century, taken from Pietro Vercellio's famous 
work on costume. The gentleman's mourn- 
ing of black cloth and fur, is reproduced from 
a contemporary MS. 

Among the obsolete funeral customs, may 
be mentioned the Death Crier, the lying-in- 
state of all classes, and the waxen effigies of 
those of royal rank. Before newspapers 
published obituary notices, it was customary 
for the Death Crier, armed with a bell and 
attired in a black livery, painted or em- 
broidered with skulls and cross-bones, to 
announce to the townspeople, and inhabitants 
of surrounding villages, that another had gone 
over to the majority. This functionary was 




FRENCH LADY OF i6th CENTURY IN 

widow's weeds. 

in the employ of the Corporation, or civil 
authorities, and on the death of a member of 
the Royal Family, he was usually accompanied 
by the Guild of Holy Souls, who walked in 
procession, bearing lighted tapers and other 
religious emblems. Lying-in-state usually 



lasted for three days, by which time the 
arrangements for a simple interment were 
completed, and the body was placed rever- 
ently in the ground. The obsequies of kings 
and queens, however, were carried over a 
protracted period, consequently a waxen 




GERMAN widow's DRESS OF TO-DAY. 

figure was prepared, which was dressed in 
regal robes, and substituted for the body as 
soon as decomposition set in. This fashion 
was in vogue till the time of William snd 
Mary, and in Westminster Abbey there is a 
collection of waxen effigies, which may be 
viewed by permission of the Dean. As like- 
nesses they are interesting, and they are also 
useful as costume studies. 

Of late years, in this country, mourning 
has been considerably modified, particularly 
for the male sex, who often content them- 
selves with a black hat-band and another on 
the left sleeve of dark-coloured clothes. By 
Scotch law, whether a man dies solvent or 
insolvent, his widow may claim out of his 
estate, sufficient for mourning suitable to 
her rank, and the same privilege applies to 
each of her children, who are old enough to be 
present at their father's funeral. This right 
takes precedence over any debts the dead man 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



57 



may have contracted, and is a distinction 
not accorded to English, Welsh, or Irish 
widows. 

In most European countries black is the 
accepted colour for mourning ; though in 
different parts of the globe white, yellow, red, 



THE DEATH CRIER. 

brown, and even blue garments are prescribed 
by custom as the emblem of death. 

These shades have been selected for the 
following reasons : — Black is symbolical of 
the gloom which surrounds one when those 
who are nearest and dearest are taken. Black 
and white express sorrow mixed with hope, 



and white alone the light which follows the 
night of mourning. Blue, the tint of the 
heavens, to which it ii hoped the spirit forms 
have taken flight. Yellow is typical of the 
dead autumn leaf, and brown the earth to 
which the body returns. Violet, a royal colour, 





ENGLISH WIDOW S DRESS OF TO-DAY. 

is generally used for the mourning of kings 
and high dignitaries of the Church. Scarlet 
is also used for royal mourning occasion- 
ally.* 

* For permission to reproduce some of the drawings 
from Davey's " History of Mourning," I am indebted 
to Messrs. Jay, Regent Street, London. 



Chapter VII. 
FXCENTRICITIES OF MASCULINE COSTUME. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



6i 



Chapter VII. 
ECCENTRICITIES OF MASCULINE COSTUME. 



^v 



" The fashion wears out more apparel than the man." 
— Mtuh Ado about Nothing. 

" Through tattered clothes small vices do appear, 
Robes and furred gowns hide all." — King Lear. 

'ANITY, thy name is woman," "As 
vain as a woman," and similar 
epithets, are hurled at our defence- 
less heads by our teachers and masters : yet 
how few of them pause for a moment to con- 
sider whether they are altogether free from 
this human weakness or exempt from that 
love of dress 
which they so 
strongly condemn 
in others. It does 
not require a deep 
study of the his- 
tory of costume 
to reveal some 
curious anomalies 
in this respect, 
and the sketches 
chosen for the 
purpose of illus- 
trating this chapter 
will only give a 
faint idea of what 
has been con- 
sidered appropri- 
ate and becoming 
to the manly form 
at different 
epochs. In 
Pelautier's " His- 
toire des Celtes," 
we learn that 
"the toilet of the 
ancient inhabitants of Britain, somewhat re- 
sembled that of the North American Indian 
of the present day, and consisted of a series 
of elaborate paintings over the whole surface 
of the body, which were no doubt originally 
intended to protect the skin, from the incle- 
mencies of the weather, but were afterwards 
used as a mode of embellishment and a 
means of distinguishing the different classes, 
for it was reserved to freemen, and strictly 
forbidden to slaves. The lower classes con- 




BRITON CLAD IN SKINS. 



fined themselves to small designs drawn at a 
considerable distance from each other; but 
the nobles had the privilege of ornamenting 
their persons with large figures, chiefly of 
animals, subsequently transferred to their 
shields, after they adopted a less scanty 
costume, and this may be looked upon as 
the origin of family arms." The Picts, who 
inhabited the north of Britain, were remark 
able for their pictorial decorations, hence 
their name, derived from an ancient word, 
picti^ which signifies painted. Our remote 
ancestors also added to their other charms 
(which were doubtless irresistible to the 
belles of that period), by deepening the tone 
of their naturally ruddy locks, by washing 
them in 
water boiled 
with lime. 
Their cloth- 
ing was of 
skins of ani- 
mals killed 
in the chase, 
and they 
were armed 
with imple- 
m ents of 
bone and 
flint. The 
Tyrian tra 
ders taught 
them how 
to construct 
various 
weapons of 
war from a 
composition 
of copper 
and tm, and briton at the time of the 
their flat roman invasion. 

wicker 

shields were superseded by those of metal 
ornamented with concentric circles. After 
the Roman Conquest of Britain, the skin 
garments were laid aside for dyed tunics and 
close trousers. Over the tunic was worn a 
sagum, or short cloak, so named by the 




62 



THE EVOLUTION OF FAS HID . 



Romans from saicy a word of Celtic origin, 
which signified a skin or hide. When the 
head was covered it was with a cap, from the 
British cab, a hut, which, from its circular 
shape, it somewhat resembled, for the dwelling- 
places were composed of wattles firmly fixed 
in the ground and fastened together at the 




CANUTE. 

top. A curious remnant of this fashion is the 
horn-like cap of rushes still made by Welsh 
children. The hair was usually long and 
flowing. Men of rank shaved the chin and 
allowed the moustache to grow to an extra- 
ordinary length. 

The Saxons and Danes are spoken of as 
wearers of " scarlet, purple, and fine linen," 
and the latter combed their hair once a day, 
bathed once a week, and frequently changed 
their clothing. By these means they found 
favour in the eyes of the women, and de- 
lighted the wives and daughters of the 
nobility. In a curious MS., written in the 
reign of King Canute, the monarch is repre- 
sented in a tunic and mantle embellished 
with cords and tassels. The tops of his 
stockings are embroidered, but he wears 
simple leather shoes. A vestment presented 
by Canute to Croyland Abbey was of silk, 
embroidered with golden eagles, and the rich 
pall which he ordered to be laid over the 



tomb of Edmund Ironside, was "embroidered 
with the likeness of golden apples and orna- 
mented with pearls." From this, we see that 
the needle played an important part in the 
ornamentation of clothing, and to it we also 
owe the splendid Bayeux tapestry, worked 
by Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror. 
This priceless curiosity is not only remark- 
able as a magnificent piece of workmanship, 
but affords a good idea of the dress of that 
period — the nth century. A tunic reaching 
to the ankle, leg bandages and shoes, a 
flowing mantle and flat cap, were the chief 
characteristics of the civil dress of this and 
succeeding reigns. The Normans, however, 
were clean-shaven. 

During the Middle Ages extravagance pre- 
vailed in both male and female costume. 
Handsome furs were in great request, and 
several times sumptuary laws were passed. 
Men wore eight indispensable articles of 
dress, the shirt, breeches, stockings, shoes, 
coat, surcoat or cotehardie, mantle, and head 
dress. The coat or under-dress corre- 
sponded with the tunic of the ancients, and 
was entirely hidden, with the exception of 




WILLIAM THE NORMAN, FROM BAYEUX 
TAPESTRY. 

the sleeves, by the surcoat. There were two 
kinds of mantles, one open in the front, the 
two sides connected by a strap resting on the 
chest, the other was open on the right side 
and had one end thrown over the left 
shoulder. Head coverings were of various 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



63 



descriptions ; but many adopted hoods with 

long points, which were used to attach them 

to the belt when not in use. The assembling 

of Parhament in the reign of Richard II. 

gives the lay, spiritual, and legal peers in 

their usual costumes, 

and is reproduced from 

Planche's " History of 

British Costume." The 

Bishops are in cowls 

near the throne, the 

judges in coifs and 

furred robes, the Earls 

of Westmorland and 

Northumberland stand 

in front. The Duke of 

Hereford, in high cap, is 

to the left of the throne, 

and Exeter, Salisbury, 

and other peers are 

seated opposite the 

judges. During the 

reign of Richard II., 

which lasted over twenty 

years (1377 to 1399), 

there were many curious 

fashions in masculine 

attire. The peaked 

shoes, chained to the 

knee, were not more ridiculous than the 

deep, wide sleeves commonly called pokeys, 





GENTLEMAN OF THE 
14TH CENTURY. 




PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED IN THE REIGN OF RICHARP IL 



which were shaped like a bagpipe and were 
worn by all classes. Many writers refer to 
them as the devil's receptacles, as whatever 
could be stolen was hidden away in their 
folds. Some were wide and reached to the 
feet, others to the knee, and they were full of 
slits. Hose were often of different colours. 
Parti-coloured suits were also in favour, and 
these were frequently scalloped at the edges 
and embroidered with mottoes and other 
devices. Chaucer, who wrote the " Canter- 
bury Tales " towards 
the end of Richard's 
reign, describes in the 
most graphic manner 
the apparel of his con- 
temporaries. "The 
haberdasher, carpenter, 
weaver, dyer, and 
tapestry worker, all 
wealthy burghers of the 
City of London, were 
clothed in a livery, and 
the handles of their 
knives, pouches, and 
girdles were ornamented 
with silver. The clergy 
were not to be dis- 
tinguished from the 
laity, and rode on horseback, glittering with 
gold, in gowns of scarlet and green, fine with 
cut work. Their 
mitres embellished 
with pearls like the 
head of a queen, 
and staffs of pre- 
cious metals set 
with jewels." 
Even the parish 
clerk is said to be 
" spruce and fop- 
pish in his dress." 
The author of an 
anonymous work 
called the " Eulo- 
gium," of this date, 
says : — "The com- 
moners were be- 
sotted in excess of 
apparel. Some 
in wide surcoats 
reaching to their 
loins, some in a 
garment reaching 



A CAPUCHON OR 

HOOD, TIME OF 

EDWARD II. 



64 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



to their heels, closed before and sticking out 
at the sides, so that at the back they make 
men seem hke women, and this they call by 
the ridiculous name gowne. Their hoods are 
little, and tied under the chins. Their lirri- 
pipes (tippets) pass round the neck, and 
hanging down before, reach to the heels." 

Towards the end of the 14th century men 
began to wear short clothes made to fit the 
body so closely that it often required the 
assistance of two people to remove them, 
and it is from this period we can distinctly 
trace the difference between ancient and 
modern dress ; in fact, our present fashions 
— masculine and feminine — resemble to a 
certain extent those worn during mediaeval 
times. Then, as 
now, men wore 
overcoats with 
tight sleeves, 
felt hats also with 
feathers, worn 
over a skull cap, 
and slung behind 
the back, and 
closely-fitting 
shoes and boots. 

The Tudor 
monarchs paid 
considerable at- 
tention to the 
adornment of 
their persons, 
and were respon- 
sible for strin- 
gent legal enact- 
ments calculated 
to encourage 

home manufacturers. Felt hat-making — one 
of our oldest industries — was introduced into 
this country from Spain and Holland. A 
great impetus was given to this branch of 
trade by a law passed in 157 1 which enjoined 
" every person above the age of seven years 
to wear on Sundays or holidays a cap of 
wool, knit made, thickened, and dressed in 
England by some of the trade of cappers, 
under the forfeiture of three farthings for 
every day's neglect." In 1603 the felt 
makers became a Corporation with grants 
and many privileges. Throughout the 
Middle Ages the upper classes frequently 
engaged in commerce. Bishops, abbots, and 
nobles personally superintended the disposal 




COSTUME OF THE REIGN OF HENRY VII 



of the produce of their estates, and a con- 
siderable number of the younger sons of 
good families were the leading traders of the 
15 th and 1 6th centuries. 

The "frocke" frequently mentioned, and of 
which the modern frock coat is the degene- 
rate descendant, was a sort of jacket or 
jerkin made occasionally with skirts, a style 
associated especially, with Holbein's portraits 
of Henry VHI, and his contemporaries. 

The uniform worn at the present day by 
the Yeomen of the Guard stationed at the 
Tower of London, gives us the military 
costume of the Tudor period. It is the 
oldest corps in her Majesty's service, and 
was instituted by Henry VII. as the body- 
guard of the 
sovereign. In 
the dress of the 
Bluecoat Boys 
at Christ's Hos- 
pital we have 
that of the citi- 
zens of London 
during the reign 
of Edward VI. 
and Mary, when 
blue coats were 
habitually used 
by apprentices 
and serving men, 
yellow stockings 
also were in 
common use. 
The badges on 
the jackets 
of firemen and 
watermen date 
from this time; they were made of metal and 
placed on the sleeve, in the i6th century, 
instead of being embroidered on the back or 
breast of the garment as they had been pre- 
viously. Retainers in the households of the 
wealthy, were provided with surcoats and 
mantles twice a year, of their patron's 
favourite colour, and this was called the 
livree, from a French word signifying to dis- 
tribute. Trade guilds and members of the 
learned professions, also adopted a distinct 
style of costume. Lawyers, who were origi- 
nally priests, of course wore the tonsure; but 
when the clergy ceased to interfere with 
secular affairs the lay lawyer continued this 
sign of office, and also wore a coif. Th^ir 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



65 



gowns were capacious and lined with fur: 
and the Justices of the King's Bench were 
allowed liveries by the King, of cloth and 
silk. Budge, or lambskin, and 
miniver were provided for the 
trimming thereof, and the 
colour appears to have varied 
in different reigns, but for a 
long time green prevailed. 

The courtiers of Elizabeth 
discarded the " frock e cote" for 
quilted and stuffed doublets and 
trunk hose, slashed and orna- 
mented in the most quaint and 
extravagant manner. Below 
these were worn stockings em- 
broidered with birds, beasts, 
and other devices, "sewed up 
close thereto as though they 
were all of one piece." Trunk 
hose were appropriately named, 
as they were often filled with 
wool, bran, and other materials. 
At last they became of such 
enormous size that it was neces- 
sary to construct swings in the Rouses of 
Parliament in place of the ordinary fixed 
seats, for the accommodation of those wear- 
ing this singular article of attire. Enormous 
ruffs of muslin and lace encircled the necks 
of dandies of the Elizabethan era, and they 
appear to have had waists which would excite 
the envy of the belles of the latter part of the 
19th century. In fact, the gallants of that 
day were even in advance of the fair sex, in 
their love of fantastic costume : and as 




EARL OF SURREY, TIME 
OF HENRY VIII. 

and those 



Hollingshead, in The Chro7iicle, justly states 
in reference to the fashions of the period : 
" Nothing was more constant in England 
than inconstancy of attire." 

A few years since, behind 
some ancient panelling at Had- 
don Hall, Derbyshire, was dis- 
covered a washing bill (with 
other things appertaining to 
the i6th and 17th centuries) 
which gives us a good idea of 
the various articles of dress 
then worn. Reference is made 
to the ruff, which is too well 
known to need description ; to 
bafides made of linen and 
cambric, from which those now 
used by the clergy took their 
origin, and from which we de- 
rive the modern word bandbox. 
There were three kinds — some 
that stood upright, others were 
allowed to lie flat upon the 
shoulders, as shown in the 
drawings of Charles I. and II., 
which were embroidered and 
trimmed with lace. The shirt applied to the 
under-garment of both sexes, and the half- 
shirt referred to 



the 
over 
dress 
Boot 



stomacher 
which the 
was laced. 
hose were 





COURTIER IN THE REIGN OF ELIZABETH. 



made of a variety 
of materials, and 
were occasionally 
called nether 
stocks ; socks were 
sometimes put 
over them ; and 
tops were of Hol- 
land linen or lace, 
and formed the 
lining of the full 
hanging boots of 
the Cavaliers. 

During the 
Civil War the 
dress worn by the King's adherents, consisted 
of a doublet of silk or satin with loose sleeves, 
slashed up the front; the collar was generally 
of point lace, and a short cloak rested care- 
lessly on one shoulder. The hat was a broad- 
brimmed beaver with a plume of feathers, 

F 



CHARLES L 



66 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



and trunk hose gave way to breeches. The 
Roundheads or Republican Party went to 
the opposite extreme. They cut their hair 



mistresses." The beard was worn in different 
ways, but the most usual shape was what 
Beaumont and Fletcher, in their '' Queen of 




CHARLES II. AND HIS QUEEN 
(1662). 



WILLIAM III. (1694) GENTLEMAN AND LADY OF i8tH 

CENTURY. 



close, avoided lace and jewels, had plain 
linen or cloth suits of a grey or brown tint, 
with a hat somewhat resembling the modern 
chimney pot. 

About this period we also hear of the 
waistcoat, which was cut 
high at the neck, and was 
made with sleeves. Neck- 
cloths and cravats of 
Brussels and Flanders lace 
were tied in a knot under 
the chin, and had square 
ends. Another peculiar 
feature of masculine cos- 
tume towards the end of 
the 17 th century consisted 
of petticoat breeches with 
drooping lace ruffles, such 
as adorn the nether limbs 
of Charles II. Patches 
and perukes were also 
adopted, and the former 
fashion, a revival of an old 
Roman custom, had politi- 
cal significance according 
to where they were placed 
on the face, and were bitterly ridiculed by 
numerous satirical writers. " I know many 
young gentlemen," says Middleton, in one of 
his plays, " who wear longer hair than their 




WALKING DRESS, 1830. 



Corinth," call the T beard, consisting ot a 

moustache and imperial : — 

"His beard, 
Which now he put i' the form of a T, 
The Roman T ; your T beard is the fashion, 
And two-fold doth express the enamoured courtier." 

Shakespeare also tells us, 
it was often dyed different 
colours. 

Everyone tried to rival 
his neighbour in the size 
of his peruke, till they be- 
came so preposterous that 
Charles II. showed his dis- 
favour by writing a letter 
to the University of Cam- 
bridge forbidding the 
members to wear periwigs, 
smoke tobacco, or read 
their sermons. History 
does not relate what effect 
the King's censure had 
upon the head - gear of 
students attending the col- 
leges, but it is absolutely 
proved that they paid no 
heed to his latter com- 
mands. It was the fashion for men to comb 
their perukes in public, and curiously-chased 
combs of bone and tortoise-shell, were carried 
in the pocket with the snuff-box, another 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



67 



indispensable appendage of a fine gentle- 
man. 

In the 1 8th century the broad hat brims 
were turned up at the sides, and, in the racy 
vernacular of the day, " each gallant cocked 
his hat according to his fancy." Shoe buckles 
became general in the reign of Queen Anne, 
and displaced the ribbon rosettes formerly 
worn. Planche accurately describes the 
fashions of that day. "The square-cut coat 
was stiffened with wires and buckram, and 
the long-flapped waistcoat with pockets almost 
met the stockings. There were hanging cuffs 
with lace ruffles, square-toed shoes with red 
heels, and hats laced with gold or silver 
galloon." 

At the beginning of the 19th century many 
important changes took place. Excepting 
for Couit dress, cloth was substituted for 
velvet and other rich fabrics. The coat was 
open, displaying an elaborate shirt-front, 
stock and flowered waistcoat ; and the skirt, 
though full, fell in natural folds. Trousers 
were very tight, and held in place by a strap 
beneath the foot, and hats displayed narrow 
curved brims. 



We have only to cast our eyes down the 
vista of ages to find that British costume has 
been suited to the needs, habits, and customs 
of the people, and periods at which it was 
worn. Skins of animals were approptiate to 
the hardy cave dwellers who inhabited this 
country at an early period m the world's 
history. The simple dress of the Anglo- 
Saxons fulfilled the requirements of a primi- 
tive race ; and the furs and rich fabrics 
brought home by the Crusaders were adapted 
to the higher state of civilization which pre- 
vailed in the Middle Ages. In the i6th 
century the Renaissance (of art and culture) 
was specially noted for richness of attire. 
During the i8th century a mixture of styles 
which had found favour with previous 
generations was the most marked feature in 
the costume of that period, and this equally 
applies to the two first decades of the present 
one. Masculine attire at the present day, 
though simple and practical, has few points 
of beauty to recommend it. Briefly, it 
resolves itself into a series of woollen 
cylinders which changeth not from genera- 
tion to generation. 



Y 2 



Chapter VIII. ^ 



A CHAT ABOUT CHILDREN AND THEIR CLOTHING. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



71 



Chapter VIII. 
A CHAT ABOUT CHILDREN AND THEIR CLOTHING. 



" The childhood shows the man, 

As morning shows the day." — Milton. 

OF children's dress in olden times we have 
singularly few details, and, as a rule, 
it may be concluded that their raiment 
was fashioned on similar lines to that worn 
by the men and women of the country in 
which they lived, and was more or less orna- 
mented, according to their station in life. 

One or two biblical references enlighten us 
as to Eastern customs. On the authority of 
St. Luke, our Saviour in infancy was wrapped 
in swaddhng clothes. "Samuel," we are 
told, " being a child, was girded with a linen 
ephod," which appears 
to have been a close 
robe or vest reaching 
from the shoulders to 
the loins, and confined 
by a girdle. Consider- 
ing the chmate and the 
habits of the people, it 
was probably the only 
garment used in sum- 
mer, but in cold weather 
was supplemented, we 
presume, by the little 
coat his mother bought 
him from year to year, 
when she and her hus- 
band came to offer the 
annual sacrifice, at Shi- 
loh, where Eli, the High 
Priest, lived. A coat of 
many colours was also 
presented to Joseph in his youth as a mark 
of Jacob's affection for the child of his old 
age. 

Greek and Roman children of the gentler 
sex are usually represented in the chiton, or 
loose classical gown, combined with a shawl 
or himation weighted at the four corners, so 
as to assist the wearer in adjusting it. How 
to put on this garment was carefully taught 
as part of a girl's education. The long end 
was first thrown over the left shoulder. The 
front part was arranged in folds across the 




CHILDREN OF CHARLES L 
{After a painting by Vandyck.) 



body, passed under the right arm and over 
the left shoulder or forearm. The girdle 
sometimes consisted of a cord, at others of 
metal bands, and by drawing the chiton over 
it, a double thickness of the fabric covered 
the vital organs of the body. Boys wore the 
tunic and toga, and the latter is supposed to 
have been oblong, with the corners rounded 
off, so as to give a semicircular effect. Hats 
were not commonly worn, except by the poor 
or when on a journey, a fold of the toga or 
mantle serving for a head covering, and 
sandals protected the feet. 

The Egyptian labouring classes allowed 
their children to be nude, 
and infants were un- 
familiar with swaddling 
clothes. The working 
man and boy had simply 
a loin cloth and girdle, 
and the girl a loose 
tunic fastened with 
strings at the neck and 
reaching to her feet. 
On the other hand, 
children of the upper 
classes in Egypt were 
repetitions of their elders 
on a small scale. Girls 
wore a linen skirt em- 
broidered in colours 
and fastened with a 
bright sash, or suspended 
from the shoulders, and 
over this a loose trans- 
parent robe with long sleeves. The male cos- 
tume consisted of a loin cloth, and a full robe 
with short sleeves, or a tunic, and both sexes 
had elaborately curled or plaited wigs, as the 
natural hair was only allowed to grow in 
times of mourning. 

The Roman occupation of Britain left its 
impress for a long period on the costume of 
the Anglo-Saxon race. The long-sleeved 
banded tunic was the usual habit of the 
industrial classes through the Middle Ages 
and leg bandages and cross gartering preceded 



72 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



breeches. Quite young 
boys appear in this dress, 
and little girls are seen in 
ancient MSS. in the kirtle 
and gunna, the equivalents 
of the modern petticoat and 
dress. Their hair, how- 
ever, was allowed to fall 
naturally, or was dressed 
with two pendant plaits, 
and was not concealed, as 
was so often the case with 
adult females, by means of 
the head-rail. The mate- 
rials used in clothing were 
to a great extent the pro- 
duce of household industry. 
The women servants were 
employed in spinning, 
weaving, and sewing, and 
ladies of the highest rank 
did not disdain to partici- 
pate in such labours. 
Several articles of dress 
were derived from the 
tanner, who worked up his 
leather into shoes, ankle 
leathers, and leathern hose. 
The art of tanning skins 
with the wool or hair on, 
was also practised, and 
dyeing was in great request, 
for in a rude 
age a love of 
gaudy co- 
lours is a 
natural cha- 
racteristic of 
the people. 
The most 
skilful artifi- 
cers were 
found in the 
r elig i ous 
houses, but 
under each 
landowner 
serfs were 
trained in 
the mecha- 
nical arts. 
Silk was 
worn by the 
wealthy, but 





CHILDREN S COSTUME, PRESENT DAY, 



the common materials for 
wearing apparel in this 
country were cotton, linen, 
and woollen. 

Among the Anglo-Saxons 
and their pagan ancestors 
the desertion of children 
sometimes occurred, but as 
the influence of Christianity 
increased, it was regarded 
as a crime, and a law was 
passed for its repression. 
For fostering a foundling 
the State allowed 6s. the 
first year; 12s. the second; 
and 30s. for the third year; 
and afterward the foster 
parent was to receive a sum 
varying according to the 
appearance of the child. 
Children bereft of their 
father, remained under the 
mother's care, but until the 
eldest child became of age 
were subject to the guard- 
ianship of the husband's 
relations. Mothers usually 
nursed their own children, 
cradles were used, and for 
the first few months their 
clothing was swathed with 
a bandage. In this com- 
pact form 
they were 
more easi- 
ly carried, 
though 
the con- 
straint to 
which they 
were sub- 
jected, pro- 
bably pre- 
vented that 
free deve- 
lopment ■ of 
the limbs, 
which we 
now consi- 
der so essen- 
tial to health 
and beauty. 
If very poor, 
the father 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



7?, 



was allowed to sell his son into slavery for 
seven years, providing the consent of the 
child was obtained, and one ten years old 
could give evidence. Until a daughter was 
fifteen years of age, her father could marry 




her as he pleased, but afterwards had no 
power to do so. A boy of fifteen could enter 
the monastic life if so disposed, and a girl at 
a somewhat later period. Monasteries offered 
the best education then procurable, and the 
clergy were directed to " teach youth with 
care, and to draw them to some craft." 
Schoolboys appear to have been kept in 
order, by the dread of personal chastisement, 
and great respect and reverence was exacted 
by their elders. 

In the dress of the Blue-coat School 
(Christ's Hospital), we see the ordinary 
costume of boys of the Tudor period. It 
consisted of a long coat reaching to the heels 
and knee-breeches, a striped vest, yellow 



stockings, and a small round cap placed on 
the side of the head. The dress of little 
girls niay be found on various monumental 
effigies, in which they appear like their 
mothers, in full skirts, sometimes distended 
by a fardingale, the body imprisoned in 
whalebone to the hips, a folded ruff encircUng 
the neck, and their stockings (according to 
Stubbs) were of the finest yarn, silk, thread, 
or cloth that could possibly be had, of 
changeable colours, cunningly knit, with 
curiously indented points, clocks, and open 
seams. The shoes were of black, green, 
white and yellow velvet, or of leather 



C^ 




stitched with silk and embroidered with gold 
and silver all over the foot." 

The paintings of Vandyck bring graphically 
before us the picturesque elements of the dress 
of the Stuart era. There is an air of richness 
and refinement about the long skirted silken 



74 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



frocks embellished with lace, the pointed 
collars, and beaver hats with trailing feathers 
universally worn, and the quaint lace caps, 
which, by a turn of fashion's wheel, have been 
remodelled for the children of to-day. 

At no period in the history of costume 
were the styles so offensive to those with a 




true conception of colour and form than in 
the first half of the nineteenth century. We 
have only to turn to the sketches of Leech 
and contemporary artists to find bare necks 
and arms, conspicuous underwear, very short 
skirts distended by a stiffened petticoat or 
crinoline, white cotton stockings, low shoes 
fastened by a strap and single button, mush- 
room hats, aprons and pinafores devoid of 
elegance and grace, and the hair cut close 
to the head or arranged in rows of stiff ring- 
lets. Nor did the boys of England, in 
trousers buttoned high on short jackets, or 
with tunics worn with frilled linen collars and 



leathern belts, show to greater advantage. 
Queen Victoria inaugurated a new system of 
clothing for boys, when she dressed the young 
Princes in Scotch and sailor suits, and the 
wardrobes of all classes have been consider- 
ably extended of late, by the open-air life and 
outdoor sports in which every self-respecting 
lad indulges. Cricket, tennis, boating, foot- 
ball, and cycling, all imperatively demand 
appropriate apparel, and tailors now give 
reasonable attention to this important branch 
of their business, and provide fabrics and 
designs suited to the needs of the rising 
generation. 

Habits of personal cleanliness and the 
influence of dress on the minds of growing 




girls is hardly realized except by those 
directly concerned in education. Many a 
sensitive child's character has been warped 
by the thoughtless jeers of schoolfellows, 
who were quick to perceive that her clothing 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



75 



was not up-to-date or of 
such good material as their 
own. On the other hand, 
vanity, envy, and uncharit- 
ableness have been engen- 
dered by foolish mothers, 
who have provided their 
daughters with inappropri- 
ate and extravagant outfits. 
Though many advocate 
uniforms with distinctive 
trimmings for girls' colleges, 
there are drawbacks to the 
scheme being adopted. 
Such a course would pro- 
bably destroy the individu- 
ality which we all desire to 
see applied to the choice 
of clothing, and it would 
leave no field for original 
ideas. Children must be 
trained to select and wear 
their clothes to the best 
advantage, and it is folly to 
think that they will do so 
by intuition. Some may 
possess naturally an artistic 
sense and a keen eye for 
colour, but they are cer- 
tainly in the minority, and 
rational dress 
reformers have 
pushed sensi- 
ble ideas to the 
verge of absurd- 
ity, till now the 
name is almost 
regarded as a 
term of re- 
proach. 

How much 
we owe to pio- 
neers of chil- 
dren's dress re- 
form, and espe- 
cially to Messrs. 
Liberty, who 
evolved what 
is generally 
known as the 
aesthetic style 
in dress. From 
sketch e- cour- 
teously placed 





at my disposal, I am enabled 
to put before the reader 
examples of children's 
clothing which are artistic in 
form, light of texture, and 
which in no way impede 
the physical development. 
Those who have the care 
of children should remem- 
ber what a sacred charge 
is imposed upon them, and 
that their future health 
mainly depends, upon the 
manner in which they are 
clothed during the first few 
years of life. There must 
be no tight bands, belts, or 
garters to prevent circula- 
tion and to cause organic 
troubles; and where corsets 
are dispensed with, as hap- 
pily they are in many cases 
where growing girls are 
concerned, the weight of 
the clothing should be borne 
by the shoulders, not the 
waist, and this is ensured by 
cutting undergarments in 
the princess or combination 
forms. Many young peo- 
ple suffer from 
being carelessly 
shod, and 
hideous mal- 
formations of 
the feet arise 
in c o n s e- 
quence, while 
obscure di- 
seases of the 
brain can 
sometimes be 
traced to heavy 
head-gear, 
and the strain 
of over-study. 
Hats should be 
of light con- 
struction, and 
afford a grate- 
ful shade to 
the eyes, if 
that far-reach- 
ing ailment of 



76 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



civilisation, short sight, is to be successfully 
combatted ; and special attention must be 
paid to infants, who may often be seen in 
public thoroughfares with a hot sun beating 
down upon them, and the nurse oblivious to 
the fact. The sight of a tender infant en- 
trusted to the care of a young woman, who 
has not the glimmering of a notion of how to 
look after its fragile body, must fill any 
right-minded person with indignation. Is it 
unreasonable to expect those who undertake 
the charge of children to acquaint themselves 



with at least an elementary knowledge of the 
construction and functions of the human 
body ? The ignorance of the average nurse- 
maid is appalling; and though a board school 
education may have acquainted her with the 
mysteries of the First Book of Euclid, or the 
rudiments of music, the curriculum rarely 
includes the simplest instruction on the 
healthy training of children ; and, in 
consequence, the high rate of infant 
mortality in this country is a national 
disgrace. 



Chapter IX, 
FANCY COSTUME OF VARIOUS PERIODS. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



79 



Chapter IX. 
FANCY COSTUME OF VARIOUS PERIODS. 



" The dome, where pleasure holds her midnight reign, 
Here richly decked, admits the gorgeous train ; 
Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square. 
The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare." 

DURING the Roman occupation of 
Britain, many sports and pastimes, 
with their appropriate costumes, were 
introduced into this country from Southern 
Europe and the East, and at a very early 
period mummings were popular with the 
people. These were primitive masquerades, 
where the actors, if we may judge from 
antique illuminations, generally mimicked 
the brute creation rather than human beings. 
They often appeared between the courses at 
banquets, and on important occasions ela- 
borate pageants were arranged. Ships filled 
with mariners were sometimes introduced, or 
towers garrisoned with armed men, while the 
actors portrayed some allegorical lesson or 
historical incident. 

A well-known event intimately connected 
with masking was the narrow escape from 
death by fire of Charles VI, of France, on 
January 29th, 1392. The king, with eleven 
of his knights, for the amusement of the 
Court, dressed like savages, in tight-fitting 
garments of linen covered with flax, and 
were dancing before the Queen and the 
Duchess de Berri, when the Due d'Orleans 
with a torch accidentally ignited the inflam- 
mable costume of a masker, who was chained 
to four others. The Duchess protected the 
King by wrapping him in the train of her 
mantle, but four persons died in great agony. 

Edward III. issued an ordinance against 
vagrants who exhibited scandalous mas- 
querades in low ale-houses, and directed that 
such persons should be whipped out of 
London. The Feast of Fools was one of 
the most singular of these exhibitions. It 
somewhat resembled the Roman Saturnalia, 
and was enacted at Christmas. In England 
the celebration of this festival does not 
appear to have been attended with the same 
excesses as were commonly practised on the 
Continent, but it was nevertheless a season 
of licence, in which order and discipline 



were reversed. The churl was elected to 
represent the Pope; the buffoon was made a 
cardinal; and the lowest of the mob assumed 
for the time being the garb of the priesthood, 
and took possession of churches, where they 
parodied every part of the sacred service, 
and sang masses composed of obscene songs. 

Dramatic representations were so tainted 
by the grossness and licentiousness of the 
age, that priests were prohibited from attend- 
ing them, till the Church introduced religious 
plays, founded on scriptural incidents, and 
which were known as miracles and mysteries. 
For these' the actors were trained by the 
clergy, and sacred edifices and vestments 
were placed at their disposal, to give truth 
and lustre to the representations. 

There were frequent tournaments after the 
Norman Invasion, and these were patronized 
and encouraged by Richard Coeur de Lion. 
From this era they occupied a prominent place 
in the national institutions and history, and 
afforded many opportunities for the display 
of picturesque costume. Ladies on these 
occasions were conspicuous, and sometimes 
rode in parti-coloured tunics with short 
hoods and tippets wrapped about their 
heads. Their girdles were decorated with 
gold and silver, and they carried small swords. 
The space marked out for the combat was 
surrounded by raised seats for high - born 
dames, princes, and the judges of the conflict. 
Knights wore their ladies' colours on their 
helmets, emblazoned on their clothing, and 
on the trappings of their horses; and throngs 
of troubadours, heralds, and minstrels dressed 
in gorgeous attire, were present to discharge 
their duties, and to give importance to the 
spectacle. 

The ancient English Morris Dance, per- 
formed with other quaint usages on the ist 
of May, is supposed to be of Moorish origin. 
It is depicted on an antique stained glass 
window at Betley, in Staffordshire. The 
May-pole and the Man with the Hobby 
Horse (who represents a Moorish King, and 
is the consort of the May Queen), occupy a 
prominent position. The other characters 



8o 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



are the Fool, the Lesser Fool, Tom the 
Piper, a Spaniard, the Franklin or private 
gentleman, a Churl or peasant, the May 
Queen, a Nobleman, and a Friar. The 
dresses were adorned with bells, intended to 
sound the measure of the dancers. They 
were of different sizes, and were called the 
fore bell, the second bell, the treble, the 
tenor, and the great bell. 

Planche, in his valuable work, the " Cyclo- 
paedia of Costume," states the earliest illus- 
tration of a bal costume is in a MS. of the 
fifteenth century, in the Ambrosian Library 
at Milan, and he gives a reproduction from 
an old painting on wood dating from 1463, 
representing a dance by torchlight at the 
Court of Burgundy. Each person holds a 
long lighted taper, and this dance, up to the 
sixteenth century, was usually reserved for 
wedding festivities. In England masked 
balls were rare before the reign of William 
III., and in France they first took place 
during the regency of Philip, Duke of Orleans, 
when the Opera House was converted into a 
ball-room. Father Sebastian, a Carmelite 
friar, devised a means of elevating the floor 
of the pit to the level of the stage, and of 
lowering it at pleasure. 

Ranelagh and Vauxhall Gardens, and 
Belsize House, Hampstead, were also places 
of popular resort, and scenes of many enter- 
tainments during the eighteenth century. 
There were pyrotechnic displays, bands of 
music, frequent balls, and facilities for dinner 
and supper parties. The lawns were dotted 
with arbours, lakes, and artificial cascades ; 
the trees were festooned with coloured lamps, 
and the costumes of those who frequented 
these gatherings were elaborate and costly. 

From the writings of Horace Walpole and 
others, we learn that private open-air galas 
were of common occurrence among the aris- 
tocracy, and he gives a description of a 
festino at Northumberland House in honour 
of the Marquess of Tavistock and his bride; 
when arches and pyramids of lights alter- 
nately surrounded the enclosure, and festoons 
of lamps edged the railings. In 1761 Her 
Majesty Queen Charlotte surprised her hus- 
band on his birthday with a splendid garden 
party, followed by fireworks, a cold supper of 
a hundred dishes, and an illuminated dessert. 
The Duke of Richmond celebrated a similar 
occasion with a masked ball and music — the 



vocal parts performed by many of the nobility, 
in fancy dress. Here, too, there was a display 
of fireworks in the garden and from the river. 
Almack's new Subscription and Assembly 
Room was opened in February, 1765, under 
distinguished patronage; and Gibbon men- 
tions a masquerade at a rival establishment, 
the Pantheon, which he states was above par 
in magnificence, and below par in humour, 
and cost jQ'^(ioo. 

Five o'clock was the dinner hour of 
fashionable people during the eighteenth 
century, and three for those of lower rank. 
At eleven p.m. supper was usually served, 
and breakfast was from nine to eleven a.m. 
The House of Commons commenced sitting 
at two, and the Opera began at seven. 

At this period the domino (evolved from 
the priestly cowl) was in great request, and 
was used in the boxes of theatres for purposes 
of concealment, and by those of questionable 
morals. Though the large hoop towards the 
close of the eighteenth century was only 
worn at Court, or in full dress, the pocket 
hoop for distending the panniers was still in 
vogue. For the abolition of the Court hoop, 
we are indebted to George IV., whose taste 
in dress was unimpeachable. Powder and 
patches maintained their ground till 1793, 
when they were discarded by Queen Charlotte 
and the Princesses. Aprons were regarded 
as a necessary item of a fashionable costume 
up to 1 750, and the watch and etui adorned the 
waist, necklaces sparkled on the bosom, and 
bracelets were worn over long gloves. 

The French Revolution aff'ected masculine 
costume; and in 1789 were introduced into 
this country the muslin cravat, in which the 
chin was partially concealed, stand-up collars, 
Hessian boots, and round hats of beaver. 
Scarlet coats were much in vogue about 1784, 
and an anecdote in " The Life of Sir Astley 
Cooper " represents him as returning from 
a dancing academy in a scarlet coat, a three- 
cocked hat, a black glazed stock, nankeen 
knee-breeches, and silk stockings. This may 
be regarded as the ordinary costume of a 
gentleman at that period. 

Wigs had begun to go out of fashion as 
early as 1763, in which year the wigmakers 
petitioned King George III. to support the 
trade by his example. " The hair," says 
Malcolm, "was dressed high on the head, 
whitened with powder, and alternately plaited 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



and turned up or queued behind. When 
the hair powder tax — one guinea per annum 
— was enforced in 1795, thousands of heads 
reverted to their natural colour. 

Some brilliant fancy dress balls (with a 
view to encouraging home trade) have taken 
place during the 
Victorian era. Of 
the first, which 
was given by the 
Queen and Prince 
Consort at Buck- 
higham Palace in 
1842, a permanent 
memorial exists 
in two handsome 
volumes compiled 
by J. R, Planche, 
containing care- 
fully coloured il- 
lustrations of the 
various dresses, 
and autograph 
portraits of the 
wearers. They 
form an invaluable 
book of reference 
for those desiring 
accurate represen- 
tations of the cos- 
tume of the 
period of Edward 

III. (1327-1377)- 
A special feature 
of this ball was a 
series of costume 
quadrilles, ar- 
ranged by ladies 
of the Court and 
others of high 
rank. They were 
danced in the fol- 
lowing order : — 

French quad- 
r i 1 1 e, led by 
H . R . H. the 
Duchess of Cam- 
bridge. 

Spanish quadrille, led by the Duchess of 
Buccleuch. 

German quadrille, led by the Duchess of 
Sutherland. 

Crusaders' quadrille, led by the Mar- 
chioness of Londonderry. 




PRINCE ALBERT AS EDWARD III. 



Waverley quadrille, led by the Countess 
de la Warn 

Scotch quadrille, led by the Duchess of 
Buccleuch, 

Cossack quadrille, led by Baroness Bremon. 
Greek quadrille, led by the Duchess of 
■ Leinster. 

Prince Albert, 
as Edward III, 
wore a costume 
copied from the 
effigy of that king 
in Westminster 
Abbey. It con- 
sisted of a long 
tunic of gold and 
blue brocade, 
reaching to the 
ankles. The 
collar, which fitted 
close round the 
neck, was bor- 
dered with purple 
velvet, thickly 
studded with 
jewels. The tunic, 
which had an 
opening up the 
centre to the 
height of the knee, 
was bordered and 
enriched with 
jewels to corre- 
spond with the 
collar, as were the 
wristbands. The 
hose were scarlet, 
also the shoes, 
which were em- 
broidered with 
gold. Over the 
tunic. His Royal 
Highness wore a 
mantle reaching 
to the heels, com- 
posed of the rich- 
est scarlet velvet, 
bordered by a 
broad gold figured lace, set on each side with 
large pearls. It was lined with ermine, and 
connected across the breast by a band of 
purple velvet, studded with diamonds, rubies, 
and emeralds, and in the centre was a tur- 
quoise of immense size and perfect colour. 

G 



82 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



The band was fastened to the mantle on 
either side by a massive gold ornament 
enriched with precious stones. 

Her Majesty the Queen as Philippa of 
Hainault, wife of Edward III., was attired in 
a demi-trained skirt of crimson velvet, edged 
with miniver. Over this was worn a surcoat 
of blue and gold brocade, trimmed with fur 
to match, and embellished with a stomacher 
of jewels valued 
at ;^6o,ooo. The 
other portions of 
the costume were 
also studded with 
jewels. The man- 
tle was of gold 
brocade, with a 
floral design in 
silver. .The hair 
was encased in a 
gold net, enriched 
with precious 
stones, and was 
surmounted by a 
crown. 

Princess Au- 
gusta of Cam- 
bridge personated 
Princess Claude, 
daughter of Anne 
of Bretagne, 
Queen of France. 
Her dress of sil- 
ver tissue was 
bordered with er- 
mine, and the 
tunic was of light 
blue velvet, 
worked with the 
fleur - de - lis in 
silver. The low 
bodice was bor 
dered with dia- 
m o n d s. The 
sleeves of silver 

tissue reached to the wrist, and were 
trimmed with rows of pearls. The gloves 
were jewelled, and a white tulle veil 
with silver embroideries depended from a 
turquoise and pearl diadem. By Her 
Majesty's command, her own dress, that of 
Prince Consort, and most of the costumes 
worn at this ball, were manufactured by the 
silk-weavers of Spitalfields. 



For the second royal ball in June, 1845, 
the period of George II. (1727 - 1760) 
was selected, and 1200 guests were invited. 
The Queen looked extremely well in powder, 
and her dress is described as of cloth of 
gold and cloth of silver, with daisies and 
poppies worked in silk, and shaded in natural 
colours. The trimmings and ruffles of 
exquisite point lace — had belonged to Queen 




(•| » II , , . , ^ » 



QUEEN VICTORIA AS PHILIPPA, WIFE OF EDWARD III. 



Charlotte — and the stomacher was trimmed 
with lace and jewels. The sacque was orna- 
mented with ribbons, caught with diamonds. 
On the powdered coiffure was a diamond 
crown ; Her Majesty's white shoes had red 
rosettes with diamond centres, and she wore 
the star and ribbon of the Order of the 
Garter. Prince Albert had a costume of 
the same period, with the Star of the Garter, 



THE EVOLUTION OE EASHION. 



83 



and the Order of the Golden Fleece in 
briUiants. The Marchioness of Douro, the 
Duke of Wellington's daughter-in-law, was 
the acknowledged belle of this ball, and wore 
;^6o,ooo worth of diamonds. Miss — now 
the Baroness — Burdett Coutts was also 
present, her dress trimmed with jewels once 
the property of Marie Antoinette. 

In 187 1 the Princess of Wales attended 
the Waverley Ball at Willis' Rooms, with 
several other members of the Royal 
Family, and was much admired in the 
character of the ill-fated Mary Stuart. On 
July 22nd, 1874, a fancy dress ball was given 
by their Royal Highnesses the Prince and 
Princess of Wales at Marlborough House, 
for which some beautiful costumes were 
prepared. The Princess wore a handsome 
Venetian dress, and danced in the first quad- 
rille with the present Duke of Devonshire. 
The Prince in a Cavalier costume opened 
the ball with the late Duchess of Sutherland. 
The chief costume quadrilles on this occasion 
were the Venetian, the Vandyck, Characters 
in Fairy Tales, and a Pack of Cards. 

Another historic bal costume was given 
in February, 1895, at Warwick Castle, by the 
Earl and Countess of Warwick. No more 
fitting background for such a function can 
be imagined than this stately mansion, which 
has been a centre of hospitality for countless 
generations, but has never been presided 
over by no more gracious and popular 
chatelaine than the present Countess. Lady 
Warwick looked very beautiful as Marie 
Antoinette (the consort of Louis XVL of 
France) in a petticoat and corsage of exqui- 
site English brocade, with a design of shaded 
roses, enriched with gold thread on a pearl- 
coloured ground. The train of royal blue 
velvet, embroidered in gold thread with the 
fleur-de-lis, was attached to the shoulders by a 
band of diamonds; and the Warwick jewels, 
diamond stars, were arranged on the corsage 
veiled with gold flecked gauze, which was 
also employed for the puffed sleeves. Her 
elaborate white coiffure was surmounted by 
a white muslin cap edged with blue velvet 
and adorned with diamond aigrettes and 
plumes of pink, white, and blue feathers. 
Lady Marjorie Greville (the only daughter of 
Lord and Lady Warwick) with Miss Hamilton 
acted as train - bearers. They wore the 
daintiest white costumes of the period, com- 



posed of broche silk, with fichus of white 
chiffon, and silk hats trimmed with feathers. 
Each carried a long crook tied with white 
ribbons and bunches of flowers, and the 
effect was charming. The Earl of Warwick 
wore a French Court costume, the coat of 
ruby velvet profusely trimmed with gold lace, 
white cloth cuffs, and revers. The long 
white kerseymere waistcoat was braided in 
gold, and the white knee-breeches and low 
shoes were ornamented with diamond buckles. 
The Earl's wig, a la mousquetaire, was tied 
with a bow of black ribbon, and he carried 
a tricorne hat with white ostrich plumes, and 
white gauntlet gloves. Lady Warwick's two 
sisters, the Duchess of Sutherland and Lady 
Angela Forbes, represented Marie Letzinka, 
consort of Louis XV., and Lady Mary 
Campbell. The former wore a magnificent 
gown of white satin de Lyon. The skirt 
embroidered with a flight of swallows in 
silver and crystals, a deep bertha of Point de 
Flandre, with ruffles of the same on the 
short sleeves. The train of crimson velvet 
was embroidered with the French emblem, 
and Her Grace had a stomacher of splendid 
diamonds. Lady Angela Forbes' dress was 
of white muslin, with a blue sash, and 
picturesque hat of turquoise silk, trimmed with 
feathers and roses. Princess Henry of Pless, 
as la Duchesse de Polignac, had a dress of 
rich white satin, the skirt embroidered i8in. 
deep, with turquoises and brilliants, a pow- 
dered wig, and the same jewels in her hair. 
Lady Eva Dugdale, sister to the Earl of 
Warwick, and lady-in-waiting to Her Royal 
Highness the Duchess of York, wore a Louis 
Quinze white satin dress, covered with pink 
roses, corsage en suite fastened with large 
diamond ornaments. A silver trellis pattern 
was worked round the hem of the skirt, and 
white silk mittens and shoes completed the 
costume. Lady Rosslyn chose a white 
embroidered muslin petticoat, the overdress 
of pink and red striped silk, fichu and ruches 
of black lisse, and a picturesque hat. Lady 
Flo Sturt, as Madame la Marquise de Pom- 
padour, was in rich cream satin, with bodice 
and sleeves of antique lace, and stomacher 
of diamonds. A black satin toque, with 
aigrette of diamonds, contrasted well with 
the white wig. Count Deym, the Austrian 
Ambassador, was in English Court dress. 
Prince Henry of Pless, in mousquetaire cos- 

G 2 



84 



THE F. VOLUTION OF FASHION. 



tume, represented the Vicomte de Bragelonne. 
The Duke of Manchester was in white satin 
breeches, waistcoat to match, bordered with 
gold, and coat of white and silver brocade 
with moss roses and foliage. 

The scene inside the Castle was one of 
unparalleled brilliancy, while those who 
glanced from the mullioned windows saw by 
bright moonlight the Avon frozen, the ancient 
cedars glistening with frost, and the surround- 
ing country wrapped in a snowy mantle. The 
entire ground floor of the Castle was thrown 
open, and no pains were spared to give as 
complete a representation as possible of the 
gorgeous fetes which made the Court of 
Marie Antoinette famous throughout Europe. 
The finest spectacle presented itself when 
the guests assembled at supper in the oak- 
lined hall, where the light of a thousand 
candles was reflected in the bright steel 
armour which surrounded the walls. Several 
high screens, hung with Beauvais tapestry 
and shaded by huge palms, filled the angles 
of the hall, and the stone walls were partially 
concealed by yellow and silver embroideries. 
In the huge fireplace logs crackled, and on 
small round tables were placed silver can- 
delabra with crimson shades and floral deco- 
rations, consisting of scarlet geraniums and 
maiden-hair fern. The centre table was 
reserved for Marie Antoinette and her Court, 
and here was the choicest display of family 
plate, including, amongst other valuable 
specimens of the goldsmith's art, a golden 
cup modelled by Benvenuto Cellini. From 
the hall you entered the Red Drawing-room, 
which contains a marble table, inlaid with 
flowers and fruit, and formerly the property 
of Marie Antoinette. Next is the Cedar 
Drawing-room, used as the ball-room, on 
whose walls are many family portraits and 
other paintings by Vandyck ; the remainder 
of the suite of State apartments were used as 
with drawing-rooms between the dances; and 
at the opposite end of the Casde is the Library, 
the Billiard-room, and the Countess's lovely 
Louis Seize Boudoir, in ivory tints, with 
festoons of delicately-shaded flowers. 

Dancing was carried on with great spirit 
till early morning, and the tardy winter sun 
had risen ere the last carriage drove away 
from one of the most successful balls of the 
nineteenth century. 

Among the many important entertainments 



given by members of the English aristocracy 
in honour of the sixtieth year of the reign of 
Queen Victoria, was a Costume Ball at 
Devonshire House, Piccadilly, on July 2nd, 
1897, when the Duke and Duchess of 
Devonshire received nearly all the members 
of the Royal Family, many distinguished 
guests from the Colonies, and members of 
the Corps Diplomatique. This historic 
mansion was built for the third Duke of 
Devonshire, and it was here that Geogiana, 
the beautiful Duchess of Devonshire, held 
her Court. It contains a fine suite of recep- 
tion rooms on the first floor; a gallery of 
pictures, in which the old masters are well 
represented ; and extensive grounds in the 
rear, which on this occasion were decorated 
with thousands of Chinese lanterns and fairy 
lamps. The principal feature of the ball was 
a grand procession of the guests, headed by 
the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the 
former personating Charles V. of Germany, 
and the latter attired with Oriental magnifi- 
cence as Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, in a 
robe of silver tissue wrought with jewels. 
The mantle was of cloth of gold similarly 
treated, and the bodice was also studded 
with precious stones. The head-dress con- 
sisted of white ostrich plumes and a golden 
and jewelled crown, from which depended 
chains of pearls. H.R.H. the Princess of 
Wales, as Margaret of Valois, was surrounded 
by the ladies of her Court, their Royal 
Highnesses Princess Charles of Denmark, 
Princess Victoria of Wales, the Duchess of 
Fife, and the Duchess of York. The 
Princess of Wales wore a gown of white 
satin wrought with silver, and a train of cloth 
of gold lined with silver and superbly 
jewelled. H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, as 
Grand Master of the Knights Hospitallers of 
St. John of Jerusalem and Chevalier of 
Malta, wore a rich Elizabethan costume 
carried out in black and silver, and bearing 
the white cross of the Order on one shoulder. 
The Duke of York represented the Earl of 
Cumberland, one of Queen Elizabeth's 
courtiers. Prince Charles of Denmark was a 
Danish student. The Duke of Connaught 
wore the uniform of a military commander 
during the reign of Elizabeth, and the 
Duchess looked charming as Queen Anne of 
Austria in a picturesque gown with puffed 
sleeves. The Eastern Queens were magnifi- 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



85 



cently arrayed and blazing with jewels. 
Lady de Trafford was Semiramis, Empress 
of Assyria, in a dress copied from a vase in 
the British Museum. Princess Henry of 
Pless was Queen of Sheba, in a robe and 
train of shot purple and gold tissue, elabo- 
rately embroidered with turquoises and other 
stones, and wore an Assyrian jewelled head- 
dress, decorated with a diamond bird and 
aigrette. Another Queen of Sheba was Lady 
Cynthia Graham, and there were two Cleo- 
patras — Lady de Grey and Mrs. Arthur 
Paget. The husband of the latter accom- 
panied her as Mark Antony. Lady Elcho 
was a Byzantine Queen, Miss Muriel Wilson 
was Queen Vashti, and the Countess of 
Dudley, as Queen Esther, wore a dress of 
white crepe, embroidered with gold and 
studded with amethysts, turquoises, and 
pearls. 

The Elizabethan Court was represented by 
Lady Tweedmouth as Queen Elizabeth, in a 
gown copied from a picture in the National 
Portrait Gallery. Her canopy was carried 
by four yeomen in uniforms of crimson, 
black, and gold, copied from Holbein's 
picture of " The Field of the Cloth of Gold," 
in the Hampton Court collection. Lord 
Tweedmouth was the Earl of Leicester, in 
slashed doublet and hose of ruby velvet and 
satin, enriched with gold embroidery. Lady 
Edmondstone, as Mary Queen of Scots, wore 
a dress of pale blue velvet, and tulle veil 
head-dress and ruff worked with pearls. She 
was attended by the Duchess of Hamilton, 
dressed in the character of Mary Hamilton, 
the Queen's favourite maid of honour. The 
Countess of Warwick, as Marie Antoinette, 



was beautifully dressed in a petticoat of rich 
white satin and a Court gown of English 
brocade, with a train of Royal blue velvet. 
The hair was powdered, and she was attended 
by four pages in white satin suits and three- 
cornered hats, bearing over her ladyship a 
canopy of blue velvet. This group included 
the Duchess of Sutherland, as Charlotte 
Corday,in a gown of red crepe de Chine, a 
mushn fichu and cap, trimmed with point 
d'Alengon lace, and dagger at waist. Lady 
Westmorland made a lovely Hebe, and Lady 
Angela Forbes, as the Queen of Naples, wore 
an Empire gown of ivory duchesse satin, 
embroidered with silver and diamonds, and 
a train of lilac velvet, edged with jewelled 
embroidery and lined with satin. The head- 
dress consisted of a small jewelled crown and 
two white feathers. Among many other 
notable costumes should be mentioned the 
Marchioness of Tweedale's, as the Empress 
Josephine, as she appears in the Coronation 
picture at the Louvre, Paris ; the Marchioness 
of Londonderry, as the Empress Marie 
Therese, of Austria, and the Marchioness of 
Zetland's, as Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of 
Charles L of England; Viscountess Rain- 
cliffe, as the Empress Catherine IL of Russia, 
wore white satin, and her dress was an exact 
copy of the picture in the British Museum by 
Lambi. The Court gown of the Duchess of 
Portland, as Duchesse de Savoia, who headed 
the Venetian procession, was composed of 
white satin veiled, with lisse wrought with 
silver, partially covered by a silver cloth 
mantle, embroidered with pearls and dia- 
monds, and diamonds and emeralds were 
introduced in the coiffure. 



Chapter X. 
STAGE AND FLORAL COSTUME. 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



89 



Chapter X 
STAGE AND FLORAL COSTUME. 



" All the world's a stage, 
And all the men and women merely players, 
They have their exits and their entrances, 
And one man in his time plays many parts." 

GARRICK was one of the first of our 
English actors to realize how much 
the success of a piece depended upon 
appropriate costume, and, on his taking the 
management of Drury Lane Theatre in 1747, 
at once turned his attention to this important 
branch of dramatic art. He refused to 
tolerate the absurdity of a heterogeneous 
mixture of the foreign and 
ancient modes, which had 
hitherto debased tragedies by 
representing, for instance, Greek 
soldiers in full-bottomed wigs, 
and the King of an Oriental 
Nation in trunk hose. The im- 
provement, however, must have 
been very gradual, for Garrick is 
said to have played the part of 
Macbeth ten years later in a 
gold-laced suit of sky blue and 
scarlet ; while Mrs. Yates as 
Lady Macbeth appeared in a 
hooped court petticoat of enorm- 
ous dimensions, with tight-fitting 
pointed bodice and elbow sleeves, 
and her powdered hair dressed 
over a high cushion. Garrick's 
suits for the characters of King 
Lear and Hamlet also followed 
the fashions of the i8th century, 
though he played Richard HL 
in a fancy dress designed with 
some regard to correctness of 
detail. Even during the present 
century, an equally absurd an- 
achronism may be recorded. The late Mr. 
Charles Mathews made his first appearance in 
public, at the Theatre Royal, Richmond, as 
Richmond in Richard HL, wearing the 
helmet and jacket of a modern light horse 
soldier. 

The first pantomime or harlequinade was 
played in England in 1 717, and the earliest 




A TURKISH MAIDEN 



illustration of an English harlequin in the 
dress now familiar to us, is to be found in a 
sketch of Bartholomew Fair, dated 1721. 
Of the characters of columbine, pantaloon, 
and clown, we have no contemporary 
drawings. Of the French ballet dancers of 
this period there are some carefully-executed 
plates in Planche's "Cyclopaedia of Costume.'^ 
They are all represented in long, and some- 
times in trained skirts. The first example of 
the abbreviated ballet skirt, reaching to the 
knee, is given in the portrait of an actress 
personating Le Zephyr, about 
the middle of the iSth century. 
The peasant costume of various 
nations has also been adapted 
to stage purposes with excellent 
effect. 

The late Hon. Lewis Wingfield 
devoted much time to designing 
the stage dresses of the Victorian 
era, and Madame Alias — who 
has also passed away — provided 
the costumes in Mr. Calvert's re- 
vival of Henry VHL, and was also 
responsible for dressing many of 
the Alhambra ballets and the 
plays at London and provincial 
theatres. Madame Bernhardt, 
Miss Ellen Terry, Mrs. Langtry, 
Sir Henry Irving, and the late 
Sir Augustus Harris have also 
brought their influence, money, 
and taste to bear on correct stage 
costume, with the result that we 
have had many sumptuously- 
dressed revivals and new plays, 
which otherwise might have sunk 
into oblivion. Such spectacles 
as are often to be seen at our leading Metro- 
politan theatres and music halls, if they fail 
to touch the public fancy, mean absolute and 
irretrievable ruin to their promoters; and when 
it is remembered that many thousands are 
spent annually in staging theatrical enter- 
prises, before a single seat is booked, it will 
at once be seen what enormous sums must 



90 



THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



be involved in furthering dramatic interests 
The public, who have for the last sixty years 
been catered for so generously, are some- 
times apt to overlook the difficulties with 
which the scenic artist has to contend. 

It would be impossible within the circum- 
scribed limit of a single volume to minutely 
describe even the most notable theatrical 
costumes of the last half century, but a few 
of the most effective floral costumes will be 
appended for the benefit of those who desire 
to introduce them into various entertain- 
ments. 

The steady patronage of Her Majesty the 
Queen and the Royal Family 
have done much to remove any 
prejudices which existed against 
the drama, and as a powerful 
auxiliary to education the 
stage is rapidly gaining ground. 
Dull, indeed, must the theatre- 
goer be if he leaves without 
having assimilated some valu- 
able lesson. To Shakespeare 
we owe many ideal types of 
womanhood, all the more 
precious now that some of 
the weaker sex, in an insati- 
able desire for progress, some- 
times neglect those lesser arts 
which in the past proved to 
them a shield and buckler. 
The classical and historical 
pieces allow us to live again 
in scenes which occurred when 
the world was young, and con- 
vince us, though the tastes 
of the people were simpler, 
human nature, with its passions 
and aspirations, has changed 
but little. Who can deny the moral influence 
of such plays as " The Sign of the Cross," 
" Hypatia," " The Daughters of Babylon," 
''Virginius," or those of the Robertson 
school, of which " Caste " and " Ours " are 
examples? A love of music is not considered 
a marked trait of the English nation, yet 
have not Italian and comic opera stimulated 
a desire for a concord of sweet sounds among 
all classes of the community ? Such plays as 
•Patience" and the "Mikado" have de- 
veloped our instinct for colour and form, and 
we are taught the value of industry and 
restraint when we watch well-trained actors. 



capable of controlling every gesture, and of 
charming us with their well-modulated voices. 
Our lives are cheered by viewing the comic 
side of things, and on our clothing and 
household possessions, the stage has also laid 
a refining hand. 

FLORAL COSTUMES. 



A POPPY. 

The bodice and skirt of red accordion, 
pleated mousseline de soie, the petals of the 
flower and belt in bright red silk. Large 
silk poppies appear on the 
shoulders and bust, and one 
of extra size is used for a 
head-dress. With this cos- 
tume neat black shoes and silk 
stockings should be worn, and 
a palm-leaf fan covered with 
poppies and foliage should be 
carried. 

LILY OF THE VALLEY 

Corsage and skirt of white 
pleated Valenciennes lace 
mounted on green silk. A 
full berthe of the flowers. 
White lace hat entirely 
covered with these blooms, 
and fan to correspond. 

MOSS ROSE. 

Gown of pink satin, veiled 

with tulle and flecked with 

rose buds. A ruche of moss 

A POPPY. roses at the hem of the skirt 

and on the bodice. A Dolly 

Varden hat trimmed with moss roses and 

pink ribbon. 

WILD ROSE. 

Dress of shot pink and white satin, em- 
broidered or painted with clusters and trails 
of wild roses and foliage. Skirt edged with 
full ruche of pink tulle studded with roses, 
and corsage trimmed to correspond. Coiffure 
poudre dressed with small basket of roses and 
pink ribbon. 

WHITE ROSE. 
Gown with Watteau train of white satin 




THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION. 



9' 



edged with leaveless roses, chains of the 
same flowers carried across the front of the 
dress, and outhning the square-cut bodice, 
and elbow sleeves. Ruffles of lace. A 
wreath of white roses in the powdered hair, 
and a crook decorated with flowers and 
ribbon streamers. 

SUMMER ROSES. 

Gown of cream-coloured brocade, with 
design in shaded roses and foliage, trimmed 
with garland of roses of different tints em- 
bedded in tulle. Decollete corsage trimmed 
to correspond, and a damask rose worn in 
the hair. 

WILD FLOWERS. 

Dress of pale blue satin, veiled with green 
tulle. Trails of forget-me-nots, poppies, 
marguerites, buttercups, and grass depending 
from the waist-belt to edge of skirt, and 
bodice trimmed to correspond. A Leghorn 
hat garnished with wild flowers, grass, and 
blue ribbons. 

GARDENL^. 

Greek dress of white crepe de Chinei 
embroidered in classical design with silver- 
In front diagonal trails of gardenias and their 
dark foliage arranged from the right shoulder 
to left side of dress. The hair bound with 
silver bands. A shower bouquet to corre- 
spond. 

THE SHAMROCK. 

Gown of emerald green satin appliqued 
with velvet shamrocks of a darker shade. 
The stomacher a large trefoil in emeralds, 
and the short sleeves cut to resemble the 
Irish emblem. Corsage veiled with green 



tulle strewn with tiny shamrocks, 
coronet of the same in the hair. 



and a 



THE THISTLE. 
High dress of eau de nil satin. The 



ikirt 



edged with a wreath of thistles, which are 
also embroidered in a bold design on the 
front of gown and bodice. Satin hat trimmed 
with thistles and ribbon, and black staff tied 
with thistles and ribbon streamers, r, 

DANDELION. 

Gown of yellow accordion, pleated chiffon 
finished on the skirt with trails of flowers from 
the waist to hem of the skirt, interspersed 
with the seed pods commonly known as blow- 
aways. The bodice of pleated yellow chiffon 
with dandelions across the berthe and clusters 
on the shoulders. A wreath and aigrette to 
correspond. 

IRIS. 

Dress of white satin, veiled with mauve 
chiffon, flecked with iris petals. Trails of 
mauve and white flowers tied with bows of 
satin in alternate shades, and carried across 
the skirt. Square cut corsage to correspond, 
and elbow sleeves. A muslin cap trimmed 
with the same flowers. Powdered hair. 

LILAC. 

Gown of cream satin brocaded with mauve 
and white lilac, Marie Antoinette, white chiffon 
fichu, and cap trimmed with clusters of 
shaded lilac and foliage. Elbow sleeves with 
chiffon ruffles. The white satin fan painted 
to correspond, and caught by a flower chate- 
laine. The hair dressed with the same 
flowers, and a twisted scarf of mauve and 
white chiffon. 



PRINTED BY G. REVEIRS, GRAYSTOKE PLACE, FETTER LANE, E.G. 



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