I attended an exhibit close to my home that featured a collection of Victorian clothing. My local lolita community had a weekday meet-up at the museum. While I was unable to attend the weekday afternoon meet-up, I was able to get to the museum to see this unique, historical fashion exhibit!
I had seen the banners upon the Saco museum as they advertised the fashion event for some time. I was bummed that I could not attend the lolita meet with the members of our community. The pieces in the collection were garment additions from five different locations across New England.
All of the garment pieces in the Victorian collection were stunning! I was amazed to see how well most of the garments had remained intact after so many years. Many of the pieces were still in favorable condition. I could see which Victorian influences have made themselves present in lolita fashion. While the girl's clothing styles are much more of a prevalent influence upon our fashion. While there were aspects of the women's clothes that are still used today in regard to lolita and it's sub-styles, there were a few techniques and styles that our street fashion could truly benefit from.
The number of sewing techniques used to create the dress pieces were simply beautiful! I love that all the pieces featured multiple sewing techniques, everything from gathered fabric to embroidery. It is easy to see where the Victorian styles and sewing techniques have influenced lolita fashion.
I could not get over how small all the pieces were! People have surely become taller since the 1800s to be sure. The fact that the garments were smaller than what we are typically accustomed to only added to its charm and spoke to the incredible sewing skills required to create each garment.
A common aspect that remained in each garment was, on top of the usage as many sewing techniques as possible to add style and diversity, was the quality of the material! Even centuries later, these lovely clothes maintained their delicate and intricate lace, even stitches and embossed details.
It is easy to see where global influences come into play with the garments. While at the time Paris, France set the standard of fashion, there are pieces that have grander style impressions. It is easy to see with this piece, for example. The grommets and bolero have Eastern influence for sure!
Even after all of this time, it is clear that the silk material used to construct this dress is very fine. I am captivated by how lovely each small aspect of the garments is. Just look at those detailed buttons!
We were not able to photograph the tutorial magazine pages that were on display, but it was a lot of fun to see how a Victorian seamstress or designer would learn how to create each unique sewing technique! The exhibit would have been improved with an artistic rendition of what each piece of the original fabric looked like before it aged. I am certain that these completed works of art were even more brilliant with the original fabric pigmentation. Thankfully, my imagination is very strong!
The embellishments on these fashion pieces are stunning! It would be very nice to see such diversity upon some of our lolita fashion pieces in the future. Apparently, you cannot have too many details!
Truthfully this dress appears to be the closest to Lolita in the entire exhibit. The Between the vertical lines, intricate floral lace and the high-quality fabric this garment remind me of some current name brand and some former indie Lolita brands. The design of the dress is extremely eye-catching!
The garments that young girls wore were my absolute favorites! These styles were a better fit for lolita fashion to be sure. Still, while they looked the most like a current lolita style, there were attributes that would love to see added to our current styles. A V-neck garment would be nice!
The top gown is my exhibit favorite. I would love to see some future lolita designs that incorporate elements like this piece into a garment. A one-piece with an embroidered print and gathered sleeves would be simply charming! I also additionally see dresses with a full and lengthy skirt in the future.
I am so very happy that I was able to attend the exhibit. It was a truly special experience!
This is the account of one young woman and her passion for lolita Fashion.