Congratulations to Alison (agboss) who won Susanne Dietze's The Reluctant Guardian!

Congratulations to Deanna Stevens, Annie of Just Commonly and Trixi owners of The American Heiress Brides Collection!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Edwardian Fashion Show. Sort Of.

Playing dress up with Debra E. Marvin

The Victorian Era, 1837-1901, lasted so long it is  impossible to fix a single fashion style to it. Many of us identify it with the hoops of the Civil War period in the U.S.

Early Victorian dresses seemed more about the fullness of the sleeve, mid Victorian--the fullness of the skirt. Later Victorian era brought us the bustle. Underneath it all was the progression of stays and corsets meant to alter the female frame.

Queen Victoria passed away as the longest reigning English monarch in 1901 which ushered in the Edwardian era.  For many, and I include myself in this,  it seemed much longer than nine years because I tend to pile in the turn of the century, right up to World War 1 at least. Some may even carry it through to the roaring twenties.

After all, the monarchy passed from Edward to George and the addition of another "Georgian Era" can be confusing.

All this to say that I've created a mini fashion show.  We could run a blog just on historical fashion during that Civil War to Roaring Twenties period alone! With Pinterest, an amazing collection of dress photos and fashion drawings is available. 

House of Worth (Surely a blog post all in itself) 2 dresses: 1887 and 1892
Charles Frederick Worth created the most sought-after design house in the latter quarter of the 19thC.  After his death in 1895, his sons carried the company through the roaring twenties.

Less bustle, lowered waist (the S Shape corset). This evening gown from the House of Worth is dated between 1900 and 1905

Another Worth - 1905.  

Big Changes in profile by 1910, and a much different corset below. These two dresses 1910 and 1913 and belonged to Queen Maud of Norway (Famous for her unnaturally tiny waist).

1918, what a change!  No waist or shape, yet we have ankles!
 If you're like me, half the fun of historical  or 'period' dramas is the costuming.  Downton Abbey has certainly revived an interest in this period which became quite popular at the time of the movie TITANIC.
Are you a fan of fashion history? What decade would you choose for a dress up party, and why?

This is me in my signature look for 9 months out of the year: fleece vest. Oh, and a coach waiting to carry me off to history.

Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. Debra likes to write, weed and wander and is blessed to have the best family and friends in the world. She has decided she needs to live closer to her grandchildren. She’s thankful each day that God is in control, that He chooses to bless us despite ourselves and that He has a sense of  humor. Her work has finaled in the TARA, Great Expectations, Heart of the Rockies, Maggie, Fab Five, Daphne DuMaurier and the overall winner in the CWOW Rattler. Debra writes historical romance and has a difficult time coming back to the present day, so don't shout. You might startle her.


  1. Last year I was definitely in the Regency era - Jane Austen, War of 1812. But I've also worked on stories set in 1764, 1887,and 1912. I've learned to love a whole century of fashion. Pinterest Rocks!

  2. Oh, gorgeous! That's one of the great things about reading and writing historicals, the wonderful, wonderful clothes!

    Thanks for this, Deb!

    1. Yes, I agree. so much fun. I hope to make a new costume every year or so. Can't quite decide which decade I want next! (would love to tie into something authorly, right?)

    2. You must be SO talented to make real costumes! What all have you made already?

    3. I wouldn't say SO talented. ha ha. just a fan. I like to create things like that. I've done a lot for church plays and my kids' costumes. The big push last year was a number of Regency dresses, some stays, and a hat or two. I'd love to do a 1912 era and a bustle skirt and shirt sometime. (that last one will be a lot of work!)

  3. Deb, I want you to make a dress for me for ACFW!

    I love a wide variety of eras, but do not like mutton sleeves or hobble skirts. And I like gentle bustles, but not exaggerated ones. Who wants to make their rear-end larger? Really?

    1. i agree! Well, the important thing to know is that a proper 'foundation' is key to the way any of those historical dresses fit.
      (We'll talk...)

  4. Thanks for stopping in Elizabeth. Don't you love using Pinterest for gathering such details for stories?
    I'm looking forward to your newest release.