Thursday, June 16, 2011

What to Wear to Fancy Dress Balls, 1896

I've just passed a happy hour or two browsing the fantastically inventive fancy dress costume ideas in this 1896 book, Fancy Dress Described. There are literally hundreds of ideas, ranging from historical and regional costumes, to fictional personalities (Shakespearean and Gilbert & Sullivan characters are popular) and abstract concepts like the seasons, right through to perfectly genius ideas like a painter's palette, or photography, or electricity, or roulette. Imagine going to a ball dressed as The Planets, or Five o'clock tea! Each costume is described in detail from head to toe. If you are ever stuck for an idea for fancy dress, this is where to go.












9 comments:

  1. Wastepaper basket is my favourite! :D

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  2. Gorgous! I love masquerades and have a very soft spot for historical ones.

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  3. Lovely ideas- I really like the springtime in Japan costume.

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  4. I agree with Fiona, I love the wastepaper basket! How hilariously creative.

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  5. These are fabulous!!! Maybe I need to start planning my Halloween costume...

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  6. love that 'New Woman' is fancy dress, haha

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  7. I want to be a wastepaper basket or a rosegarden! fab book! So elaborate!

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I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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