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Dress to Impress
By SparklinBurgndy   |   Watch
10 14 175 (1 Today)
Published: April 17, 2018
© 2018 - 2019 SparklinBurgndy
So I think everybody knows that the Shire was based on rural Victorian England, where J.R.R. Tolkien grew up.  The Victorian era began in 1837 and ran to 1901.  And the technology of the Shire seems to add up; they have indoor plumbing, a working postal system and have a police force.  Also, they seem to have access to a wide variety of trade, judging by the foods in Bilbo's pantry. 

So why don't the hobbit women's dresses look right?

The hobbit men are fairly spot on for the time period, but the hobbit women look like someone slapped ears on the tavern wenches at the local Renfest.  Just an odd detail.

In fact, it's not until the flashback to Bilbo's childhood in the first hobbit movie that we see a hobbit woman wearing something than 'generic tavern wench outfit #5.'  Bilbo's mother, Belladonna, is wearing a dress to the party that looks a dress that would be worn in the early 1700s.

So was so off-putting about English women's fashion from the 1730s to the 1800s that Weta just noped out of there?

*Goes to look* Hahahahahahahaaaa!

Apparently, if you really, really wanted to seem upper class and aristocratic, you let your nipples hang out.  Check out the link for a far more in depth observation: isiswardrobe.blogspot.com/2013…

So Blackberry here was going to stay in the Shire with her new hubby, but circumstances have forced her to leave. (She did not botch that execution; it was 300% effective!)  She travels to join Dwalin in Ered Luin, who has already gone ahead to sort things out.  Blackberry wants to make a good impression, so she puts on her best dress before riding into the city. 

I have to write this scenario now.

Artistically it's kind of meh.  I drew Blackberry with her hips cocked, so her big, poofy skirts are cocked way to one side and it kind of looks like she's about to tip over.  The lace on the sleeves turned out pretty crappy, too. 
Image size
634x1266px 633.58 KB
IMAGE DETAILS
Date Taken
Apr 16, 2018, 8:12:28 PM
Software
Windows Photo Editor 10.0.10011.16384
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Comments (12)
Zikore's avatar
I love the color. She looks absolutely sassy. X3

Have you heard the bit about old fashion where they glued mouse hair to their eyebrows? XD
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SparklinBurgndy's avatar
SparklinBurgndy|Hobbyist General Artist
To give themselves unibrows 'cause that was sexy?  Yeah, I've heard that.  Fashion has gone through some weirdness. I actually thought about giving her pierced nipples because that was also a very victorian thing to do, but not at the same time it was okay to show them off.
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Zikore's avatar
Yup that's the one. The hilarity of codpieces to cover up syphilis is also amusing in a 'you poor saps' kinda way. XD

X3 
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dianxue's avatar
I did not know this! Very neat. I like the style of the dress and also the jewelry details.
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SparklinBurgndy's avatar
SparklinBurgndy|Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I wanted there to be a distinct clash between the dress and the jewelry to kind of illustrate the culture clash she's experiencing.  I actually thought about giving her pierced nipples, which was also a very victorian thing to do, but not at the same time period as you went around showing them off.
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TheFelinianWithWings's avatar
TheFelinianWithWings|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
The textures and the colouring compliment one another so well. 
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SparklinBurgndy's avatar
SparklinBurgndy|Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!  I went back and changed colors a few times before I was happy.
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TheFelinianWithWings's avatar
TheFelinianWithWings|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You are most welcome. Glad you got the picture to get the way you wanted it to be.
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riverotter7's avatar
riverotter7|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Lovely puffy and gorgeous dresses (which I adore) aren't suitable for the kitchen, the dairy,  etc and so forth. Hobbit wives, even if they have servants, would still be, in my opinion, keeping an eye on what things were doing in their own houses. Some would do for themselves and then the pretty work clothes of the 18th and mid 19th century could work very well.
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SparklinBurgndy's avatar
SparklinBurgndy|Hobbyist General Artist
The work dresses of the period weren't really that different from this, just with higher necklines, sturdier fabric, and aprons. The lace tucks at the sleeves and neckline were whole separate pieces that could be worn out, then pulled off and put away for doing housework.

I just finally drew something good!

It doesn't truly matter, since she'll start dressing like dwarf when she moves to Ered Luin. Which is a whole other set of problems, since we only got a few glimpses of dwarf ladies in the movies and they were wearing fairly different styles.
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riverotter7's avatar
riverotter7|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You have drawn something wonderful indeed! I'd forgotten that that Dwarven Ladies were wearing silks and such.
Forgive me for the cranky tone last time. I was annoyed at my Best Beloved.
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SparklinBurgndy's avatar
SparklinBurgndy|Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, at least you commented.  It's more than anyone else has done.

Well, we got a clear look at three different dwarf ladies and they all wore different styles of clothing . . . which is realistic, but doesn't help me much.  The jewelry seller was was wearing an intricate dress of many different silks, the fabric seller was wearing a simpler garment with gold embroidery, and the travelling lady had a thick wool dress on.  Again; realistic, as you wouldn't expect a jeweler, a fabric seller, and a traveller to dress the same but it doesn't give me an overall average to work with.
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