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Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History


A brief moment of muffs today, Fashionable Reader.

I own a few muffs but I very rarely use them. Even though my hands are always cold and I like that they can just be shoved up the arm and worn without occupying a hand (as clutches are wont to do). Not quite sure why not, but there it is.

I even sewed one, once, with a secret pocket. It's one of the hardest things I've ever sewed.

Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History

Here's a bought one, big and fluffy and black and adorable, and yet rarely used...

Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History

Here's a photo shoot where it made an apprentice, this was a drive con so I could afford to pack something so fluffy.

Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History
photographed and copyright by j daniel sawyer

I also own a vintage fur one that is a wrist muff, very small but so cute.

Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History

Muffs of History!


Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History
damesalamode- Gallery of Fashion, evening dresses, February 1795

Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History
Le Follet Friday, January 1, 1864 v. 43, plate 97
Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History
via colourthysoul- Frederick Childe Hassam - A New Year’s Nocture, New York (1892)
Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History
1900 muff via livingnowisliving- Found on geheugenvannederland.nl.jpg
Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History
1905  muff The Victoria & Albert Museum
Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History
Fashion by Jacques Fath, 1952 theniftyfifties

Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History
vintagechampagnefever-tumblr Gloria Vanderbilt and an unnamed model
showcase furs for LIFE magazine (1952)

Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History
Model wearing an ensemble with a fur muff for Vogue, 1956 theniftyfifties tumblr

Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History
bcbg-rtw-fw 2014-runway blue

Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History
photographed and copyright by j daniel sawyer

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The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger

So, I have often encouraged the concept of a cape. But even more daringly vintage is the idea of a muff!

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger

I've got three muffs, and I will admit I don't wear them often. One is a big puffy black one, modern, with an internal zipper, which I do use for the occasional cold-weather event.

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger

Then I was doing some research into the 1976 fashions, for Timeless, and read a little blurb in Cunnington about the wrist muff's brief rise in popularity. Right about the same time, I spotted this little fur darling in a thrift store for a cool $15. I figured the fates were telling me something.

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
You can sort of see me wearing it in this picture (with Pat & Terry at SF in SF)

My third muff is one I made for myself, it's wine and black and designed to go with a 1850's ballgown and a 1878 walking ensemble. It was the single hardest thing I have ever had to sew, because I wanted to do an internal zipper. 

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger

So muffs have been around for a very long time, and I thought I woudl present to you an image retrospective of their history. I hope you will indulge me?

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
Massive fur muff with an 18th century cape via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
Feather muff from the early 19th century via The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
Dyed fur muff from 1855-1857 via The Victoria & Albert Museum

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
1882 Lillie Langtry in Flower by Napoleon Sarony with a matched fur and fabric muff.

 1885 Carriage Ensemble  Mme. Uoll Gros The Metropolitan Museum of Art
I love carriage dresses, this one has a little velvet bow wrist muff.

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
 1889 matched velvet muff on a gold chain, from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
1890s ermine set from The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and 1890s Caroline Reboux feather and fur muff via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
Fantastic velvet lace and sating 1894 muff with Carriage Ensemble from Worth via The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 
Have I mentioned how much I love carriage ensembles? Love them.

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
Lillie Landtry getting older, but still a fan of the muff.

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
Creepy fur muff with eyes, 1910-1915  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
Super chic 1930s black and white set from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Perfect for a little blck, white, or red suit.

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
And a 1940s set from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
Muff with a maxi-skirt in this 1971 Ensemble worn by Barbara Streisand by Arnold Scaasi 
via The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

So there is your brief retrospective, muffs were around for a very long time. Just so you have an idea that they can be modernized, here are a few from contemporary times.

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
Elle Canada October 2011 fashion shoot, 2011 F/W runway shot

A few more images of self cavorting with my muff, taken by J. Daniel Sawyer.

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger

Just don't wear you muff like this, please!

The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger
1964-1966  The FIDM Museum

That's all for this week my darlings, copy edits almost done. Here's hoping you all have a very fashionable weekend!
Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout HistoryDressing Sophronia from the Corset Up (Finishing School Series) with Gail CarrigerDressing Prudence From the Foundation Up, Custard Protocol Special Extras with Gail Carriger The Muff: From Victorian Times to Today by Gail Carriger

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