Fanny Elssler dances the Cachucha, 1836

The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking: How to Hand Sew Georgian Gowns and Wear Them With Style by Lauren Stowell (Author), Abby Cox (Author).

Lauren Stowell and Abby Cox of American Duchess have endeavored to make the impossible possible by bringing historically accurate dressmaking techniques into your sewing room. Learn how to make four of the most iconic 18th century silhouettes―the English Gown, Sacque Gown, Italian Gown and Round Gown―using the same hand sewing techniques done by historic dressmakers.

Fanny Elssler, Cachucha, Spanish dance, costume
Fanny Elssler dances the Cachucha

Fanny Elssler dances the Cachucha. Le Diable boiteux 1836.

In the ballet, “the limping devil” by Casimir Gide.

Fanny Elssler actually Franziska Elssler (born 1810 in Vienna, died 1884) was one of the most famous dancers of the 19th Century. With national dances such as polkas, Krakowiak and her famous Cachucha she conquered the world’s stages.

Johann Strauss and Hans Adler created in her honor, the operetta, “The dancer Fanny Elssler”. First performed on 22 December 1934 in Berlin.

The Cachucha is an Andalusian solo dance. He is originally from the province of Cádiz and is performed by both women and men. The dance is usually accompanied by rhythmic beating of the castanets and stomping of heels, similar to the bolero.

Source: Costumes historiques de ville ou de théatre et travestissements. Author: Achille Devéria and José Domínguez Bécquer. Publisher Paris: Goupil et Vibert. Publisher London: Charles Tilt 1831-1839. Printed by: Lemercier & Cie.

illustration, vignette, monkey, lion


Note:  German Biedermeier costumes 1850s.

Support and Seduction: The History of Corsets and Bras (Abradale Books) by Beatrice Fontanel.

Thoughout the ages, women's breasts have been subjected to the endless whims of fashion. From the ancient Greeks to Mae West and Madonna, this light-hearted book charts the changing shapes of female beauty. The elegant and amusing images - including fashion drawings, paintings, photographs, and film stills - illustrate the often surprising history of the garments women have worn for support - and seduction.

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