18th Century Fashion Resources Online

Something in the zeitgeist threw all things related to 18th century fashion my way this past week. So I offer you a number of marvelous exhibits, lectures and online collections currently available to those researching this time period, for academic work; costume design; or just the love of the visual.

First up, the Morgan Library in New York has “Rococo and Revolution: Eighteenth-Century French Drawings” on exhibit through January 2010. As luck would have it , corresponding to the exhibit, is a lecture at the Morgan, titled “Glamour and Guillotine: Fashion, Theater, and Decorative Arts in Eighteenth-Century France” scheduled for Thursday, November 12, 6:30 p.m (that’s tomorrow kids!). Participants include THE Harold Koda (of the Met, CI).

Watteau to Degas: French Drawings from the Frits Lugt Collection” from The Frick Collection in New York is also on view through January. Two podcasts are also available, and include discussions of the 18th and 19th century portions of the collection.


For those looking for a physical representation of 18th Century costume examples, you are in luck. Colonial Williamsburg has just made their collections available online. A simple search for the term ‘angliase’ yielded a lovely selection of examples, including the photograph above (Titled “Gown, wide hoops brocaded with strawberries” and dated to 1745.) I encourage you to peruse the collection.

The University of Southampton has put together a database  of 17th-20th century tie-on pockets. The collection not only includes beautifully embroidered pockets, but also historic fashion dolls (whose costumes included pockets). This particular pocket is from the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum and dates to the early 1700s. (thanks to @seth_denbo for the link!)

Finally, and to offer a literary reference to 18th Century history of fashionable society, is the newly released Reading Gossip in Early Eighteenth-Century England (Palgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and the Cultures of Print) It was just released November 10.

Here’s my question for readers: What are your favorite online visual resources for historic research? Looking forward to your feedback!

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  • Christina Johnson November 11, 2009 11.00 am

    I LOVE L’Officiel online. You can find it on http://www.jaloufashion.com
    Full page scans and searchable by year or keyword. It’s an amazing resource.

    Oh, and the Costume Institute’s online database-they keep adding more and more objects.

  • Heather November 12, 2009 02.37 pm

    I happily just discovered this list via twitter (thanks @ardeninred ). “Virtual historic costume http://bit.ly/2cBz7g

  • Pockets in the Eighteenth Century « Enfilade
    March 24, 2011 - 1:39 am

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