Victorian Fashion History Illustration: Gossip, 1860

Original, first-generation digital scan of an engraved fashion plate (in full color) from the March 1860 issue of Godey's Lady's Book in my personal collection. This image shows four Victorian ladies, two in evening dresses and two in walking dresses. Illustration has only been lightly retouched to retain authentic antique details. Colours remain bright and vibrant. Suitable as a framed print (perhaps for a sewing or crafts room), a cover for a card or a journal, or even as a background in a design project.

The description for the costumes (from left to right):

Fig. 1. -- Costume for full dress reception, wedding, or opera. Dress of peach blossom taffeta, the skirt covered by groups of pinked flounces; corsage round, and ornamented by macaroons of the silk; bell-shaped sleeves, cut open on the forearm, and confined by a lacing of ribbon, displaying a lace undersleeve terminating in ruffles at the wrist. Bonnet of rose-colored crape and blonde.

Fig. 2. -- Carriage dress, also suitable for dinner. Emerald green taffeta, covered by narrow flounces of black silk; the sleeve and corsage having narrow ruffles to correspond, set on in hollow box plaits; drooping bows on the front of the corsageof black taffeta ribbon and lace. Leghorn bonnet, lined with emerald green silk, with strings and plume of the same shade; a single line of blonde borders the face, instead of the inevitable bonnet cap.

Fig. 3. -- Walking-dress for a young lady. Dress and mantle of gray poplin, a lighter material than that was worn the past winter, and very well suited for travelling dresses; it is crossed by a silk bar or cord of black. Mantle trimmed by a broad ruche of the same, goffered on. Drawn hat of blue silk and ribbon ruches, the brim rolled slightly from the face. The whole costume is simple, new, and stylish.

Fig. 4. -- Walking-dress of dark stone-colored silk, chinée with black. The skirt is arranged with one deep flounce, headed by five narrow ones, all both bound and headed with crimson silk. The sleeves correspond in style. Shawl-shaped mantelet of the same. Chic bonnet, with rose-colored ribbon and flat black velvet loops.

You can download the high-res 9.5" x 6" @ 300 ppi (2850 x 1800 pixels) illustration without a watermark here. Lovely as a framed print but can also be used as a cover for a journal or in other graphic design projects.

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