** children's costumes -- fancy dress

Children's Costumes: Fancy Dress

Figure 1.--This postcard appears to be one of a series of German postcards with fancy dress being used to illustrate famous fairy tales. Here the German text reads, "The prince, however, pulled the Sleeping Beauty (Cinderella) into his arms and asked her to be his beloved bride".

Fancy dress costumes were very popular in the late 19th and early 20 century. These might be extremely elaborate costumes. Of course it was only the well-to-do that could afford elaborate costumes. We note costumed parties. It was also popular to be photographed in fancy costumes. We see some children wearing very elaborate costumes duting the late-19 and early-20th centuries. We are less sure about the early 19th century before photography provided us evidence of such cstumes. These include a varity of themes. The ones we see most common are: chrarcters, historical era, folk, literary, and national. Some may have worn them for costume parties. Often the children just wear them for fun or specifically to have aportrait taken. We notice both snap shots amd studio portraits. These were not just children putting on a jumbel of old clothes. Some wel-behaved children (presumably girls) might have been allowed to play in them. We supect for the older boys it was more for the portrait. They were clearly not trick-or trat costumes. The children would have had to have assistance dressing upnand posing. We suspect that that they were carefully supervised while in these costumes. These costumes seem very well done, including obviously expensive fabrics and trim. They seem what one might expct in a bid-budget theatrical production. Of course for the most part it was only the affluent class that could afford such elaborate and very expensise costumes. We have also noted post card companies coming out with series of costumes for well-known figures. We have noted similar trends in several different countries.


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Created: 3:47 AM 6/17/2005
Last updated: 9:41 PM 6/22/2005