Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dress of the Week: Redingote

April is here, but it's still a bit nippy outside. Spring is reluctant to start and a young lady cannot do better than this lovely redingote.

Redingote, England, 1810s 
Red wool flannel "redingote" with braid and wrapped buttons in Brandenburg style; bag of beige velvet, hand-painted with floral and scenic motif, chain strap; muff and palatine of swans-down.

A military style, "redingote". The full-length, wool coat protected women wearing thin, muslin dresses from the intense cold of European winters. The Brandenburg style, expressed in the wrapped buttons and braid that decorate the front opening, gained inspiration from the "à la Hussarde" worn by Napoleon's armed forces, and was often used on the high-waisted redingote. The coat worn for horseback-riding by English aristocrats came to be used as a cold proof overcoat and a rain-proof hunting coat in France around 1725. Later, this kind of coat was used by the army as well. What was called a "riding coat" in English became in French a "redingote", and was an item worn widely around the end of the eighteenth century. At the time women's clothing was strongly influenced by the functional and practical style of men's and military wear.
Source: Image and description from The Kyoto Costume Institute 

The lovely red redingote reminds me of this fashion print from Wiener Modenzeitung, 1917.  

Trimmed to mimic the epaulets and the Hungarian passementerie from the uniforms of hussars. The wrists are trimmed with fur and eight levels of button, cord, and fringe trim. The lady carries a piece of sheet music in her right hand. Her bonnet is decorated with a large rose and assorted flowers. I would love to wear something like this! Though those pretty little shoes seem too flimsy for the dirt and snow of early April.  

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