Cutting Edge Fashion

Fashion magazines like La Belle Assemblee and Ackerman's Repository were created in the late 18th century. They quickly became popular with the socially elite and burgeoning middle class, alike. Each month, readers could look forward to a glimpse of what fashionable women in London and Paris were wearing, short stories, biographies and a run down of popular colours to wear. Some magazines even included hand coloured plates making the fashions they described come alive on the page. As can be seen in this surviving scrap of childhood ephemera, the plates were just as fun, once fashion had marched on. This "personalized" fashion plate was created by Jane Austen's niece, Fanny Knight, and the manner of creating it was quite simple. Find a prettily coloured fashion plate, cut out the main "fabric" sections of the gowns and then fix behind the newly created holes brightly coloured silk or other fabric. Presto! A frame worthy project in just a few minutes. To create your own work of art, you will need:
  • A colour printer
  • Heavy weight Cardstock
  • A cutting board or sheet of cardboard
  • A sharp craft knife, such as an X-acto or box cutter
  • Bits and scraps of bright, light weight fabric
  • Tape or Glue
  • Frame and Mat cut to size, if desired.
  1. Save one of these fashion plates to your hard drive by right clicking on the picture and choosing "save as".
  2. Print the picture in your desired size on the cardstock. You may wish to resize in on your computer beforeprinting.
  3. Protect the surface you will be working on with the cutting board or cardboard. Now, decide which sections of gownyou would like to replace with fabric.
  4. Carfully cut out the sections to be replaced.
  5. Place the fabric behind the open spaces. YOu may wish to scrunch it a bit to give fullness.
  6. Fix the fabric in place by taping or gluing the edges to the back of your cardstock.
  7. Mount the picture on cardboard or place in a mat and frame for easy display.
If you enjoyed this, have a look at our fashion books at our online giftshop! Laura Boyle is a long time fan of Jane Austen's work and an avid reader. She runs Austentation.com, specializing in custom made Regency hats, bonnets and accessories.  

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published