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Picturing a World

Japonisme in Fashion

Blog post alert: Japonisme in Fashion. The title says it all. The images range from artists' works to actual garments (including a gowns and cloaks by the House of Worth) to historical photos to this poster for Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado. And for a more scholarly article, be sure to consult Esther Sophia Sünderhauf's The Influence of Japonism on the Parisian Fashion Journals 1860-1900.

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Mrs. Hurst and Emma

Website alert: Having borrowed Mrs. Hurst Dancing from the library, I was poking around the web for JPEGs of my favorite images and landed on Costumes in Emma. It will give you an explanation of the red cloaks, photographs of accurate period costumes,  and insights into costumes for movies. And, oh, yes—the book is sheer delight.

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Decorative plant stake

Surfing the web, I've just come across this painting of a young girl by Rotius. The costume is worth studying; but with my interest in garden history, what struck me most was the figurine on a stake in the potted carnations. It reminds me of Tudor heraldic figures on poles, but I've never seen a miniature decoration like this. Does anybody know anything about such them?

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Costumes for stories

Blog post alert: Sarah's Questions about Costumes and Writing at Gurney Journey is full of suggestions  to aid artists in creating images of clothes, especially for imaginary worlds. Some of the ideas and links can be adopted in making up clothing for characters in fiction.

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Wallpaper vendor

Selling odd rolls of wallpaper on the street? Well, why not? Surplus manufactured goods always wind up somewhere. Still, this abject vendor from Costume of the Lower Orders of the Metropolis by Thomas Lord Busby brought me up short. How did she obtain her wares and who were the buyers? I still don't know, but a quick search led me to Eking out a living on the streets of Paris at a wonderful website to explore, Parisian Fields, and to A brief history of wallpaper at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Question: would you make the vendor your central character, or would one of your characters seek out cheap paper by going to a street market?

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Clothed model

When Jeanette first goes to the Académie Julian, Rodolphe Julian explains that he offers three classes to women in which the models are nude, draped, or fully clothed. The last was intended primarily for amateurs whose embarrassment at naked flesh could be accommodated. Nevertheless, the folds of clothing also required careful study as  Read More 
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Rodolphe Julian brags to Jeanette on the size of his school's collection of costumes. As I wrote, I was aware of American illustrators, e.g., Abbey, and imagined a future for Jeanette in that field.

For a contemporary illustrator's explanation of why actual costumes are important and tips on how to make or obtain them, click hereRead More 
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