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28 December 2023, 22:30

Anna Wilson's paper dolls and their outfits: a story about a kind of art of the beginning of the 19th century

Anna Wilson's paper dolls and their outfits: a story about a kind of art of the beginning of the 19th century
In 1832, in an era when books were not only textual representations of events but also works of art, Anna Sanders Wilson created a set of paper dolls and their outfits as illustrations for the novel The Story of Miss Wildfire. This work tells the story of a girl who started her life in affluent conditions, where she could afford expensive clothes, but later found herself in a difficult situation.

Anna Wilson chose an unusual way to illustrate the story by creating a set of paper dolls that became living characters in the novel. Each doll she produced not only reflected the appearance of a particular character, but also served as a kind of reflection of the fashion and style of that period. Anna Wilson's works are currently in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
The novel gave Anna Wilson the opportunity to reproduce not only the appearance of the characters, but also to bring to life the atmosphere of the era. These are memories of costumes from the second half of the 1820s to the early 1830s; they range from chic, fashion-forward to workmanlike and professional.

Despite their entertainment purpose, these dolls have become a far-reaching means of creating fashion stories and promoting style knowledge. In fact, in fashion, paper dolls have played an important role in spreading the latest trends. They could be seen in fashionable cities such as Vienna, London or Paris. Sometimes they were created by dressmakers to demonstrate current styles not only in clothes, but also in hairstyles and accessories.
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Because of the speed with which printed fashion images could be distributed, paper dolls became a favorite means of disseminating information about fashion.

The idea of using paper dolls to illustrate literary works left its mark in the history of art. With her creative approach to the illustration of the novel "The Story of Miss Wildfire", Anna Wilson left her name in the history of art, and her paper dolls became unique witnesses of time, conveying the aesthetics of the era.
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Photo source: collections.vam.ac.uk
Source: fashionheritage.eu

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