Late Victorian Fashion – 1880s
In the 1880s ladies’ fashion followed the direction of the previous decade: the skirtswere very rich at the back (= ricche sul dietro) and were full over the bottom (= piene sul sedere) and the corsets were rigid creating the S-shaped silhouette (= silhouette a forma di S)
Skirts were arranged in various ways and worn over matching or contrasting underskirts (= sottogonne che contrastavano o erano dello stesso tipo).
The novelty was the revival of the polonaise, a woman’s garment of the later 1770s and 1780s inspired by Polish national costume. It was a dress with a cutaway (= spacco) and decorated overskirt (= sopragonna) which made an underskirt (= sottogonna) appear under it. Bodices (= corpino) became like jackets and were called basques – from Basque traditional dress – usually worn during the day.
For evening occasions, the dresses were without sleeves (= senza maniche, sleeveless) and with large collar (= con ampia scollatura). Ladies’s silk or leather gloves (= guanti di seta o di pelle) – were worn up (= erano indossati) to the elbow (= gomito) or to the shoulders (= fino alle spalle).
Choker necklaces(= collane girocollo) became very fashionable thanks to Alexandra, Princess of Wales, who wore these jewels to hide a scar (= cicatrice) on her neck.
Hair was tied up in low knots ( =legati in bassi chignon) at the back or on both sides. Fashionable were the so called Josephine Curls – from Emperor Josephine, Napoleon’s wife- curled or frizzled fringes (= frange ricce o crespe).
Bonnets resembled hats.