Tag Archives: fashionable ladies

The Advantages of Wearing Muslin Dresses

Keeping with the theme of ladies’ mishaps from yesterday, I thought I’d share with you an even funnier incident with the fireplace.

Advantages of Wearing Muslin by James Gillray (1802)

When this print was published in 1802, the fashion of wearing muslin was reaching new heights and men did not approve, at least not publicly. Muslin was skimpy, clung to curves, and could have used some fire retardant to keep it from attracting flames. Élégantes, however, would not be persuaded, and Gillray capitalized on their silliness. He should be applauded for coloring the shoes and accessories exactly the right hue according to fashion of the day.  Orange, scarlet poppy, cherry and rose were heavily favored, although I’m not sure either of these ladies would flatter the trendsetters’ view of themselves.  Gotta love Gillray for that.

P.S.  In comparison to yesterday’s Fragonard, notice the cat running away from the fire?  Yes, felines are smarter than ladies.

Come back tomorrow to see the real fashion Gillray was interpreting through satire.  I’ll be posting some colored fashion plates from 1802, one with an absolutely gorgeous embroidered dress.