- Fashions in Britain -

In this section of the website, I offer some insights into the changing fashions in Britain over the Centuries. To illustrate these I have selected some of the wonderful and much collected dolls made by my late mother Jill Bennett.

15th Century

The Late Mediaeval.

The Dress of this period was characterised by rich materials and furs, extreme styles and profuse ornament. Fantastic head-dresses and distinct variations evolved as dress became indicative of rank or profession.

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16th Century

The Tudors

The 16th century saw the first introction of sleeves, they could be made of a different material or colour from the gown. Elaborate starched and pleated ruffs were very fashionable throughout this period.

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17th Century

The Stuarts.

A quickening pace of change took place in fashion over this century. Conflicting Cavalier and Roundhead styles developed and sumptuary laws attempted to prevent the 'common people' from wearing the clothes of the wealthy.

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18th Century

The Georgians.

The act of shopping and following fashionable clothing trends became popular with wealthy English society. At court ladies must wear the 'mantua'. A heavy dress that spreads out sideways over immensely wide hoops.

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19th Century

Regency, George IV and Victoria.

Changes in outlook caused the abolition of overloaded finery and substituted garments more suited to active life. A graceful simplicity emerged even though skirts widened into the exagerated 'crinoline'.

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20th Century

The Edwardians, George VI and Elizabeth II

Drawing on multicultural sources, a rich variety of clothing evolved, with infuences from all corners of the world. The Second World War 'Utility' scheme constrained styles briefly, with peace came a celebration of modernity.

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