This Tumblr showcases monthly online curations by experts from the fashion industry and cultural heritage community.
s
Europeana Fashion Tumblr

MISC.102-1986 Victorian swimming costume made of white calico with printed red pin-strips, made in England between 1870 and 1880

Sea bathing first became popular for health reasons in the 1790s: King George III set the fashion for sea-bathing when he visited Weymouth in 1789. As seaside holidays grew in popularity, seaside bathing became more widespread, and was often seen as a restorative or ‘cure’ for a number of diseases.

Improvements in travel and increasing numbers of visitors by coach or train meant that seaside towns were able to invest in more and more sophisticated forms of entertainment, and by 1890, Weston-super-Mare boasted an alpine railway and a shooting gallery, a maze, bandstand, helter skelter, water chute and Theatre of Wonders.

Although there was a lot of fun to be had, adults would have remained fully dressed on the beach. This was not simply due to modesty - people would not have been used to wearing so few clothes, fearing they would catch cold. Those who were prepared to bathe in the sea, would be towed out in a large, covered horse-drawn cart. They would then change under cover and emerge from the back of the cart into the sea. Even so, at this time, few people knew how to actually swim, the idea was simply to take a dip in the water.

Children, both girls and boys, would have worn swimming costumes very much like the one pictured, although some boys and men bathed nude at separate beaches. Many children’s bathing costumes would have been made at home using quite a thick material which when wet, would become much heavier. Each summer, dressmaking magazines such as ‘Myra’s Journal’ would run features on clothing for the seaside, the idea being that readers could then order sewing patterns for the garments depicted.

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O98510/bathing-costume-unknown/

Image reference: 2006AF3171

Image credit: ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

(Source: vam.ac.uk )

Misc.18-1985  Girls coat made of russet wool, made in England under the Utility Scheme 1941-1948

This coat and hat for a little girl were made under the Utility Scheme, the UK government’s regulations to control manufacturing and eliminate waste of resources during World War Two (1939-45) and the period of austerity afterwards. The Utility scheme launched in 1941 with the distinctive logo ‘CC41’, designed by Reginald Shipp, for use by manufacturers whose products met the rules. It used standard designs to avoid waste of materials and the use of un-necessary details in manufacturing: this coat has only one row of buttons instead of the two that would be usual for the style. The inclusion of the hat probably indicates that it dates from the early years of Utility clothing. The coat and hat are probably  former shop stock which failed to sell, and were stored away when fashions changed. The wartime ‘Make Do and Mend’ campaign encouraged restraint, repair and re-use wherever possible; because of the smaller size and simpler construction, children’s clothes for this age group were particularly likely to be made at home by their families rather than bought in shops. Buying new garments at this time was quite difficult, needing coupons from the limited number issued to each person, as well as the monetary cost. Families sometimes had to use the adult’s coupons to get new shoes or winter coats for their children who had outgrown their old ones. The alternative was to buy second hand garments, or to go to a dealer who was willing to break the government regulations- technically a criminal offence.

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O122581/coat-unknown/ 

Image reference: 2010BU0150

Image credit: © Victoria and Albert Museum,London

Talking about my white shirt is all too easy. It’s all too easy to declare a love that covers the span of my creative path. A hallmark -perhaps the ultimate signature- of my style, which enfolds a constant pursuit of innovation and a no less unfailing love of tradtion.

—    Gianfranco Ferré

GIANFRANCO FERRÉ | PRINCESSE | S/S 2006

Gianfranco Ferré. Photo: Leonardo Salvini. Exhibition: La Camicia Bianca Seconde Me - Gianfranco Ferré.

(Source: http)

GIANFRANCO FERRÉ | PRINCESSE | S/S 2006

Light and sumptuous, this shirt is endowed with an elegant regality which perfectly contrasts the classic simplicity of the masculine cut of the main body of the garment, a juxtaposing of opposites which has always been one of the main stylistic features of Gianfranco Ferré’s work. The tailoring with which the long, loose shirt is constructed provides a masculine line down to the bust at the front and enables the accommodation of a long train at the back where the thigh-level lower hem forms the point of departure of a deeply pleated ruche mounted on a ribbon of cotton canneté which ends in a large bow. The outer edge of the ruche is decorated with another frill which further increases the volume and movement of the garment.

Gianfranco Ferré. Photo: Luca Stoppini. Exhibition: La Camicia Bianca Seconde Me - Gianfranco Ferré.

(Source: fondazionegianfrancoferre.com)

GIANFRANCO FERRÉ | ORIGAMI | S/S 2004

A sculptural study of volumes made possible via a choice of fabric and construction techniques which endow the shirt with a balletic, almost ethereal quality. The stiffness necessary to create the fan effect is achieved by the use of two layers of pleated nylon tulle, laser cut with a pattern of rhombuses and circles, which are joined at the waist in such a way as to allow them to open upwards and accommodate the head and arms. Two tiny loops located inside the front and back of the shirt allow the sleeves to be formed by the use of ribbons and transparent press studs. Defying all the traditional rules of tailoring, the origami shirt focuses the attention of the macro-ruff element to the exclusion of all the other parts of the garment.

Gianfranco Ferré. Photo: Luca Stoppini. Exhibition: La Camicia Bianca Seconde Me - Gianfranco Ferré.

(Source: fondazionegianfrancoferre.com)

GIANFRANCO FERRÉ | MERVEILLEUSE | F/W 2003

A clear expression of Ferré’s passion for historic and stylistic research, this white shirt makes reference to the chemise à la reine, a peasant-style shirt-dress favoured by Marie Antoniette which was subsequently taken to the extreme by the post-revolutionary Merveilleuses, whose semi-transparent shifts were considered more akin to undergarments than fashionable gowns. Capturing the provocative aspect of these late 18th century expressions of decadence, Ferré’s shirt is made of long swathes of transparent, lace-edged chiffon and further enhanced by a long cloak decorated with a fine inlay of embroidered lace. The female form of the wearer is highlighted by a padded strapless bra worn over, rather than under, the shirt. The ‘overdose’ of femininity generated by this garment was tempered on runway by the use of glam punk makeup and hair.

Gianfranco Ferré. Photo: Luca Stoppini. Exhibition: La Camicia Bianca Seconde Me - Gianfranco Ferré.

GIANFRANCO FERRÉ | RABARI | S/S 1995

Gianfranco Ferré. Photo: Leonardo Salvini. Exhibition: La Camicia Bianca Seconde Me - Gianfranco Ferré.

(Source: http)

GIANFRANCO FERRÉ | RABARI | S/S 1995

The structure of the garment makes stylistic reference to the kediyun, a jacket worn by the Rabari people of Western India, while the influences by which it is inspired focus on the potential offered by primary geometric figure. The lower part of the shirt indeed is a perfect circle. The slim kimono-style sleeves are longer than normal but fitted with a hidden coulisse to enable their shortening. The circular shape of the lower part of the shirt and the way in which the stitched frill creates a fluidly rhythmic cycle of waves.

Gianfranco Ferré. Photo: Luca Stoppini. Exhibition: La Camicia Bianca Seconde Me - Gianfranco Ferré.

(Source: http)

GIANFRANCO FERRÉ | PICARESQUE | F/W 2001

Gianfranco Ferré. Photo: Leonardo Salvini. Exhibition: La Camicia Bianca Seconde Me - Gianfranco Ferré.

(Source: http)

GIANFRANCO FERRÉ | PICARESQUE | F/W 2001

The confluence of a range of different ideas – tribal bracelets, the corset, the 1950s cowl collar, 18th century sleeves – the picaresque shirt remains partially open at the front with a deep cowl collar attached only to the back of the yoke. The waist is highlighted by a boned bodice held together by tapes passing through metal rings and zips, while the funnel-shaped sleeves are cut off at different lengths: the left sleeve just reaching the wrist; the right sleeve reaching over the hand. Three black leather bracelets, positioned on the forearm and above the elbow enable the wearer to increase or decrease the volume of the sleeves which are finished with a sunray pleated cotton tulle trim.

Gianfranco Ferré. Photo: Luca Stoppini. Exhibition: La Camicia Bianca Seconde Me - Gianfranco Ferré.

(Source: http)

GIANFRANCO FERRÉ | LIBELULLA | F/W 1995

Lightness, simplicity and transparency are the concepts inspiring the libellula shirt, a garment whose sleeves and 16th century-style collar are undoubtedly designed to be the main points of interest. The main body of the shirt is a transparent leotard in white stretch lace whose neckline is cut straight above the bust. The cuffless funnel-shaped sleeves, decorated with a longitudinal slit at the elbow, and the shawl collar, whose folds drop down to the waist, are attached to the main body of the shirt. The surface of the collar is crisscrossed with twenty-one hand-stitched horizontal pleats which, in addition to contributing to the decorative impact of the shirt, also perform a structural function by strengthening the fabric of the back of the collar.

Gianfranco Ferré. Photo: Luca Stoppini. Exhibition: La Camicia Bianca Seconde Me - Gianfranco Ferré.

(Source: fondazionegianfrancoferre.com)