The Victorian Era was not an overtly ostentatious time for fashion, with its ankle-length skirts, poke bonnets and full-sleeved dresses. The monarch, whom the era took its name from, dressed very modestly and didn’t wear makeup – a far cry from her predecessors (looking at you Queen Elizabeth I). Women were expected to follow her lead to achieve the perfect picture of grace, beauty and maternity – as well as to protect themselves from lustful men, in case they became too beautiful and attracted unwanted advances.
It was restrictive, uncomfortable and often dismal dressing in the 1800’s, and while a modest life was the ideal, exotic tastes were common at the time and often seen as romantic, whimsical even. Take for example one of my favourite trends from this period, adapted from Asian fashion that had been practiced in places like Myanmar and Thailand for centuries before the Victorians stumbled across it; Beetlewing.Continue reading On the Wings of Beetles: An ode to one of the most beautiful trends in Victorian Fashion.