The Victorian era was named after the long reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901. Until her great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II. beat her record recently, Victoria was the longest reigning queen in English history. In 1861, after only eleven years at her side, her beloved husband, Prince Albert of Saxony-Coburg and Gotha, died. (Queen Victoria, by the way, also descended from a German royal house, the House of Hanover.) Although this marriage was arranged for political reasons, as it was common at the time, it developed in a genuine and deep love between the two majesties. And the queen suffered deeply after the death of Prince Albert so much that she henceforth only wore mourning clothes and widow's weeds until the day she died herself forty years later. This fashion of splendid robes and gowns in gloomy black went down in history as "Victorian Mourning". For a long time, the queen also had Albert's room in Windsor Castle done as if he were still alive. Bed linen and towels were changed and hot water was provided for washing. Today buildings like the magnificent Prince Albert Hall and the impressive Victoria and Albert Museum in London still remind of the very popular royal couple.
The legacy of the Victorian era
Members of the dark scene today refer to the music of the late 1970es and early 1980s when they talk about the origins of their subculture. This is not necessarily wrong, thinking of Post Punk, Gothic and Dark Wave, but merely scratches at the surface. Nevertheless, historical references always played a major role. The mental proximity to death and mortality, reflected in the horror stories of Gothic novels of the late 18th and early 19th century, mingled with the opulent fashion of late Rococo and Biedermeier into an inspiring blend of fashion and culture, art and philosophy. In today's fast paced society, increasingly focused on commerce, the longing for stability may easily lead to dressing like 200 years ago, rekindling the spirit of that time. The arts and culture of the Victorian era also cultivated a close relationship to death and expressed this devotion with a variety of works, from literature and sculptures to handcraft and paintings, today often perceived as morbid. Nevertheless, the Victorian period was also and above all a period of perpetual change and the Industrial Revolution. This ambivalence is what makes this era interesting up to our times: The "good old days" between progressive thinking and fear of the future.
Neo-Victorian style fashion
The Victorian fashion of the upper classes mainly served the purpose of expressing the wealth of their wearers. Ladies wore laced corsets and bodices, combined with lush floor length skirts over a petticoat or a crinoline. The clothes were richly decorated with lace, ruffles and embroidery. Men wore tight-fitting vests under a frock or tailcoat and typically riding pants or knickerbockers. Headgear such as hats, hoods and bonnets were mandatory to be completely dressed. Contemporary Victorian inspired fashion takes all of these elements and puts them in a new context. Decorative elements are added, there are experiments with colours and materials. However, one must not forget that the fashion of the 19th century was far from comfortable, easy to clean or even easy to put on and take off. The men and women of that time usually had maids and valets who helped them get dressed and of course cleaned and maintained their clothes. One may curse over constricting corsets, countless small buttons, hooks and eyelets, or lack of free breathing, but the fashion available today is already very comfortable compared to the original clothing from 150 years ago. But: The clothing of the Victorian era also had the function to support a stately posture. Anyone who has ever visited a festival wearing a corset and a fill robe knows how different it feels if you stand, just out of necessity, more upright, forcing the bystanders to make way just due to your expansive gown, being the center of attention.
One of the most popular branches of Victorian Fashion these days is the Japanese Gothic Lolita fashion. While classic Victorian inspired clothing rather cites historical references with its billowing, floor-length gowns, the Lolita style refers more likely to Victorian mourning and children's clothes - and of course, to the use of seductive attributes in the style of the famous Lolita, turning the heads of men before leaving them in the rain. The Gothic Lolita style, however, mixes with other Japanese styles like the anime/manga look, roleplay and Visual Kei.
Steampunk joins the Victorian era in a historical context and is a variant of the retrofuturism as found, for example, in the works of Jules Verne around the 1900s. Fashion elements from the late Biedermeier and Wilhelminian era are modified with numeral and often self-made technical details. Steampunk fashion is often reminiscent of workwear as aviation and marine uniforms and is characterized by elaborate accessories such as welding goggles and jewelry made of gears and machine parts, or even entire backpack equipment. In terms of color, Steampunk uses browns and bronze colours before the usual black.
Victorian Fashion at the Andersartig Online Store
The huge variance of the Neo-Victorian style spoiles inclined lovers of historically inspired wardrobe for choice: What will it be? A representative promenade dress for a stylish stroll through the park? Garments like Victorian mourning dresses, as pompous as macabre and perfect for an invitation to an afternoon tea party? A hussar jacket or a hoop skirt? Here at the Andersartig online shop, we offer a wide range of Victorian inspired fashion. It is not about historically correct costumes, it's about the contemporary interpretation of historical aesthetics that go excellently well with other pieces and styles. We offer tops for men and women, blouses and shirts with frills and laces, and stylish jackets for him. Meanwhile, corsets make a perfect hourglass silhouette. Matching skirts and trousers ensure Victorian flair even below the waist. Whatever you cherish at the Victorian era, at Andersartig you find your matching outfit!