Modes and Manners of the Nineteenth Century as Represented in Pictures and Engravings of the Time, Max von Boehn, Oskar Fischel, 1909.
Sit back and enjoy these sumptuous engravings. Then click on the link above, enter the book, and explore a few more illustrations as you read the opinions of early 20th century critics write about that era. A little over a hundred years ago, the authors did not find the fashions romantic. Rather, they thought that the empire silhouette was repulsive and did a disservice to a woman's shape. There were some highlights, however. Take the shawl:
|The book's cover|
The rage for the shawl was not only due to the fact that it was an article of luxury, and therefore gave opportunity for rivalry among ladies of fashion, there was also an art and a very personal art too in the way of wearing it. The shawl was not just flung over the shoulders like a cloak; it required to be draped, and much individual taste could be displayed in this draping, for the shawl with its elegant folds was admirably fitted to betray or to delicately conceal the graces of the figure. No one spoke of a lady as well dressed but as "beautifully draped".