Chemise Post #24: Trystan’s chemise à la Gothique

One of my favorite things is seeing Trystan take a historical style and make it into her own. She’s VERY committed to her personal aesthetic and warped sense of humor, in case you haven’t noticed. gothiquechemise2-fullTrystan made this gown for our trip to France last year, from some beautiful lightweight silk-cotton Indienne printed lawn. To create the ruffle at the neckline and sleeves, she used black lace (I think it was recycled from her Eugenie gown, if I’m not mistaken). You can see more photos and read more about her gown on her website.

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Chemise Post #23: Kendra’s robe en gaulle

Way back in my first post, I discussed the terminology confusion surrounding the “gaulle” and the “chemise.” Back when we thought these dresses were two different things, and not simply later iterations of the chemise gown, Kendra made a lovely peach-toned gaulle.

aIMG_2525Kendra’s gown features the tight, wrist length sleeves, and the fitted back of the late-1780s-90s style chemise gowns, and is made from a pale peach colored cotton lawn. This gown ultimately spurred me to try my own hand at making a “gaulle,” based on one of the gowns from The Duchess (my one and only movie costume, to date).

You can learn more about Kendra’s gown by visiting her website.


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Chemise Post #22: Cathy’s chemise gown

Cathy's chemise gown, based on my research from Platt Hall

Cathy’s chemise gown, based on my research from Platt Hall.

It’s really gratifying to see your research being interpreted by someone who knows a thing or two about making beautiful clothing. Cathy Hay has been a supporter of my aspirations since practically the beginning, and so she turned to me for help when she decided to make her own chemise gown for our France trip last year. I was only too happy to let her see my secret stash of photos from my first Platt Hall visit, where I was only able to study the chemise on the mannequin.

The results are beautiful, and you can read a bit about her process here, and here.

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Chemise Post #21: Fashion Through History’s Chemise à la Lamballe

dsc_0389Fashion Through History talks about her inspiration and construction of her chemise gown, here. Lovely!

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Chemise Post #20: A trip down memory lane

I have this vague recollection of 2007 being the Year of the Chemise Gown in my costuming circles. I think it started off with Katherine, who spontaneously decided that she had to have one, and then others rapidly followed suit. Yeah, costumers are kind of sheep like that. ;)

Katherine in her chemise gown, c. 2006

Katherine in her chemise gown, c. 2006

At the time, I remember thinking “Why on earth would you want to wear a boring white cotton dress?” Well, seeing Katherine and my other friends at Costume College the following year changed my mind.


L-R: Jenny Rose, Samantha, Sarah, Jenni, Kendra, Theresa, Vanessa (hidden), Katherine.


L-R: Aubrey, Sarah, Katherine, Theresa

This picture makes me kind of miss the old Airtel Hotel, where Costume College used to be...

This picture makes me kind of miss the old Airtel Hotel, where Costume College used to be…

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Chemise Post #19: A Most Beguiling Accomplishment

I think it’s high time I gave a shoutout to Cassidy over at Mimic-of-Modes. Cassidy has been putting up translations of Galerie des Modes and Cabinet des Modes fashion plates for a few years now. Her translations on the chemise gown have been helpful for my own research, as her grasp of the nuances of French is somewhat better than mine, so I’d frequently check my translations against hers as I was compiling written references to the chemise. Her thesis was also on the chemise gown, but on the later iterations, whereas I’m focused on the earliest incarnations.

If you haven’t been spending hours trawling through her translations, you really should start. It’s an impressive project she’s got going on there!

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“Gown en chemise of white Foulard, with lemon spots, and edged entirely with a black ribbon, contrasted rather well with the Casque à la Bellone, diversified with such resplendent colors. It was tightened by a wide black belt, forming a bow in the back.” – Translated by Cassidy Percoco.

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Chemise Post #18: The Hangover

No, not me. This poor thing:

The return from the masquerade, 1784.

The return from the masquerade, 1784.

The Museum of London identifies her as dressed as a shepherdess, based on the crook that’s wedged into the sedan with her.

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Chemise Post #17: Lafayette is riding a *what?* (NSFW)

A while back I mentioned delving into the topic of the chemise à la reine and its *ahem* racier associations. I figured what better day to do that than a Saturday, when people aren’t likely to be checking this blog at work?

But just in case, I have put the image behind the cut.

Continue reading

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Chemise Post #16: Cynthia Griffith’s Chemise Gown

I love Cynthia’s chemise gown. I think she perfectly captured the fit and overall look of what I like to think of as Trianon Chic.

Cynthia Griffith in her lovely chemise à la reine

Cynthia Griffith in her lovely chemise à la reine.

You can see how Cynthia created her gown on her website, where she goes into quite a bit of detail about the construction on her dress diary.

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Chemise post #15: Kind of fell off the bandwagon…

I carpool to work with Trystan and the last two days she’s been ragging on me for falling off the daily posting bandwagon. Work has really ramped up in the last week and I’ve been up to my eyeballs with it, which means less time to think about pretty dresses.

Anyway, today, Kendra posted this to my Facebook wall, with the caption:

“Chemise gown WITH KITTEH.”

Miss Brummell, Thomas Gainsborough, 1781-2.

Miss Brummell, Thomas Gainsborough, 1781-2.

Ok, point taken.

Standby for more posts…

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