**Today, I am very pleased to welcome art historian and author Lucy Paquette with a fascinating guest post on fashion in the paintings of Victorian era artist James Tissot!
No one captured the rapidly-changing fashion trends of the 1860s and 1870s like French painter James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836 – 1902). Tissot was more than merely a painter of fashionable women. His mother and her sister were partners in a successful millinery company. Tissot’s father established a booming business as a wholesale linen draper – a trader in fabrics and dress trimmings to retailers and exporters. At 19, Tissot moved to Paris to study painting, and he gained the technical skills to record the fashionable female form of this period – tall, slim figures heightened by high chignons, hats, and heels, with silhouettes changing every few years.[…]Continue Reading
The 19th century cap was a modest necessity. Worn by spinsters and matrons both young and old, it neatly covered a lady’s hair while she was at home and abroad. At face value, such a basic article of clothing seems to have changed little throughout the century. However, a closer look at the fashionable caps of women of the 1800s reveals that styles did in fact subtly evolve. Through lace, ribbons, and trimmings, ladies of the age continually reinvented the cap, transforming it from what might otherwise have been a merely utilitarian scrap of fabric into a fashionable, feminine confection that said as much about a woman’s personal style as her French bonnets, cashmere shawls, and India muslin gowns.[…]Continue Reading