Post by katherine15 on Sept 6, 2012 16:29:58 GMT -5
After scanning the web and watching movies/tv shows...I still don't have an answer.. what would be the proper neckline for an American woman in1812? I know they used to follow fashion from England, but England was following France, so I don't know....thanks in advance..
Post by dawnluckham on Sept 7, 2012 23:02:26 GMT -5
There are no hard and fast rules about a Regency era neckline. First of all we’re talking about the years between 1811 and 1820 and then if we’re using the “broader term”... some people include 1800-1825. That’s a lot of years for fashion rules.
The low neckline is common but not the only option. There are high neckline extent garments: I’m thinking of one that was in the collection housed at the Washington State University at one time. It’s shown in Blanche Payne’s book, “The History of Costume”. It’s a low stomacher with a high ruffled neckline. There are v-necklines, surplice necklines, square necklines, scooped necklines, high necklines, low necklines and almost everything in between.
The high necklines were generally worn, as Mardi has suggested, for day wear. Just like many common garments today, we tend to wear a less revealing neckline in the day time and more formal gowns and evening dress tends to be a bit more daring. In the Regency era, the evening neckline was commonly more revealing.
By the way, movies and tv are not a great source for serious research.
They’re obviously a great way to be inspired but a theatrical costume has many more “jobs” to do besides being historically accurate. The costume is intended to set a mood, define a character, make suggestions to the audience and appeal to modern sensibilities and tastes. Compromises are almost always made. The costumer does her homework and research but then she makes allowances for director’s needs and actor’s needs.
If you find you’re inspired by a movie garment, the next thing you need to decide is if historical accuracy is important in the garment you wish to make. If it is; you need to look to contemporary artwork, extent garments in museum collections, fashion descriptions and illustrations from the period. It’s quite possible you will find something that is very similar to a movie gown because, as I said, certainly movie costumers do their research, but you actually need to seek out that information.