Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Lynda Braid Collection and Lolita's

Hallo my gorgeous ones. Today I have a wonderful piece of children's clothing from the 19thC to show you, and a little look at a fashion sub-culture that draws much of its inspiration from Victorian children's fashions.

The garment is a child's apron or pinafore, and is made of cotton fabric, edged with broderie anglaise lace. Broderie Angalis became popular in the mid-19th century, as it was worked on heavier cotton fabric and could withstand constant washing and ironing. For this reason it was particularly popular for children's clothes.

The production of broderie anglaise was taken over by machines in the 1840's, putting many women employed in cottage industries out of work.

This piece is not machine done, even the amazing machines could not replicate the loop under the needle movement required for buttonhole stitch, the stitch that the scalloped edge on this pinafore is worked in.

This piece of clothing was well loved, and worn, as can be seen from the attempts to repair it, so that it could be worn again.

In this photograph we can see that nearly all the young girls are wearing aprons, or pinafores like the one shown above.

Children were highly sentimentalised in the Victorian era.

This was picked up by young Japanese girls in Tokyo, in a subculture or fashion movement that started in the 1980's, and they became known as the Gothic Lolitas.

The name Lolita came from a film of the same name made in 1962 film by Stanley Kubrick based on the classic novel of the same name by Vladimir Nabokov. Sue Lyon played Lolita in the film, she was 14 years old at the time. The story follows the infatuation of an older man, for the young Lolita, and his eventual kidnapping of her, so that he could have his wicked way with her. The Lolita look is the full blown manifestation of youth culture really, a kind of sexualisation of childhood, that is seen in the Japanese subculture of the same name.

If you enjoyed this post, could you please leave a comment to let me know, or better yet, become a follower and come back and visit again. Until next time, stay young and beautiful, even if only in your hearts. xxx my darlings.


  1. those girls with the umbrellas are so awesome!!! Nice little background on lollitas. Is the scene still alive? Haven't heard anything new of lollita for a long time...

  2. Not sure darling, it is very cute though isn't it?

  3. Thanks for your comment on my blog! It seems we have much in common. :)

    That broderie anglaise is really lovely. Whitework is fascinating, isn't it? I learned how to do a bit of whitework over the past summer, while I interned at Old Sturbridge Village (an open-air living history museum in Massachusetts, USA), and much of it's actually not as difficult as you might think - just really, really time-consuming! And hard on the eyes - you have to remember to take breaks or all those teeny tiny white threads start blurring together.

    Which reminds me that I need to start a whitework project before I go home for the holidays: time-consuming work is just the thing when I need projects that travel easily on a plane with me. Thanks for making me think of that!

  4. Putting a white frilly pinafore on must be hell for girls - it means that if you get dirty everyone will notice...... what torture that would be.... it would never work for me. They were amazing how they lived back then without nappy san and washing machines. I actually thought that piece was a petticoat but now it does make sense.

  5. It was a long hard process washing and ironing clothes in the Victorian era, two days every week were taken up with it. I love what you said about how the white would have shown up all the dirt, so true, and doubly shameful.

  6. That broderie anglaise looks soooo beautiful! I used to do a lot of whitework myself before my fingers got to their present sorry arthritic state, but still love looking at it even though can't make it myself anymore. As to the Lolita (Anime)scene, it's alive and well, also here in Europe and as a teacher I am not entirely sure how I feel about that. Very interesting post.

  7. Thanks for that Cinquefoil, have you kept any of your whitework?

  8. Oh my goodness Zhozho you're a popular girl look at all this activity!!!
    Cinquefoil I'm suprised at your response! Have you seen people dressing in a Lollita way? We don't see anything like that down here in New Zealand :(

  9. Francis, there are a few Lolita's in Wellington, but it definitely stands out. I can't say I am a fan.

    The whitework is really neat, and I love how it has been mended.

  10. This article popped up during a search for Victorian childrens clothing, and I have to say you do have a nice blog. Only problem is that you got something a bit wrong about Lolitas. Its this line here: "a kind of sexualisation of childhood". Lolita style is meant to be the *opposite* of its namesake. The book and movie Lolita is about a young girl that acts older, the fashion is about older teen/young adults who dress and act younger. The point is looking innocent, sweet, and as close to a perfect porcelain doll as possible.
    As for why its called Lolita... it was coined by Mana of the band Malice Mizer, who dresses in the style himself. Not sure if the sexual element was more prevalent back then, or if he meant it ironically.

  11. Thanks for you comment, this is what blogs are all about isn't it, gathering that specialist information. I will do a little research on Malice Mizer and hopefully gain a better understanding of the Lolita subculture than I had.

  12. Hi Zho Zho! I was researching on "broderie anglaise lace" because I am a serious vintage and antique apron collector/presenter am want to learn all I can about the textiles used. I love your blog! I am just beginning a blog, so it will take a while to build some good articles: Heirloom Aprons and Buttons. Search on it if you like. May I have your permission to use the info you presented here on broderie anglaise" in my blog? Thank you, and Blessings on this holiday season. Dianne from Goshen, Indiana, U.S.A.