costume accessories

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Art, Fashion, & Frivolities
“Now that fashion has become an art, a fashion gazette must also be an art revue. So it will be with Gazette du Bon Ton.”—Lucien Vogel, 1886–1954 Pictured alone against a bare backdrop, the young woman of this fashion illustration sports a cloche hat and a sleek black and white coat with a voluminous collar...
Picture of a silk embroidered with silk, metallic yarns and flat foil strip in satin stitch, metallic bobbin lace Nightcap.
Fanciful Nightcap
This nightcap consists of four embroidered sections of cloth joined and bordered with braided lace made of silver-wrapped thread. The lower edge, embroidered on the opposite side, is folded up to form a brim. The style of the embroidery, which also uses silver-wrapped thread, is called chinoiserie (Chinese-esque), and includes imaginary, exotic-looking flowers that represent...
Picture of a Fan, 1860-1910
Special Fan
This elegant fan appears to be from the Meiji, or late Edo (mid-19th century) era, although its high quality sets it apart from standard export wares. It is meticulously crafted, with a subtle hand-painted leaf. Unusual for a Japanese folding fan, the front leaf is constructed of very finely plain-woven silk adhered to a paper...
Simple Yet Effective
The decoration on this cap, found only on the lower edge and the single seam, accents its simple design. Wigs were commonly worn in public in the seventeenth century, and many men had shaved heads. When the wig was removed, nightcaps were worn to protect the head from drafty interiors, even during the day. They...
Fashionable Fan
This folding fan dating from the 1880’s-90’s is a perfect example of the expression of the Aesthetic Movement in costume accessories. Fans and the Aesthetic Movement are deeply intertwined. The Aesthetic style was strongly influenced by the decorative arts of Asia, where fans originated. During the late 19th century, Asian fans, particularly from Japan, were...
Fanning Desire?
Folding fans, or abanicos, were considered must-have accessories in nineteenth century Spain. For women, they served as important tools in courtship, the ‘language of the fan’ expressing everything from ‘come hither’ to ‘don’t bother’ to hopeful admirers. The imagery painted or printed on fans also carried important messages. Many celebrate national events, such as the...
A Protective Cap
This wool cap, probably intended for a man, was made in the first half of the 20th century by the indigenous inhabitants of Morocco, the Amazigh people (also called the Berbers), who make up 40-60 percent of the population and have a language and culture distinct from Arabs. Amazigh textiles were mainly produced by women,...
Crewel Cap
This 18th-century hat, called a nightcap, is decorated with crewel, a wool yarn often used to embroider linen. Known as crewelwork, this technique was frequently applied to nightcaps, where it was worked into bouquets of exotic and imaginary flowers and winding stems. Similar motifs also appeared on colorfully dyed chintz, an Indian cotton textile that...
Woven to Shape
The intricate patterns on this cap precisely fit its shape, suggesting that the fabric was woven specifically for this purpose. Most likely produced professionally, the weaving, embroidery, and tailoring of caps such as this would have been completed in separate workshops. Wigs were common among men of many different social classes in eighteenth century France,...