Fashions of 1812 Fashion Show: What Would Betsy Bonaparte Wear?

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1812 Fashions

catch of the day fish (2)So it may not be the most up-to-date fashion show you’ll ever attend, but it could easily be one of the most fun. The Maryland Historical Society is hosting its second annual “Fabulous Fashions of 1812” show this Sunday, November 3rd. On the catwalk: elaborate dresses, evening wear and military uniforms of the 1800s. For those looking for something a bit more…err…contemporary, there will also be a presentation of original designs inspired by the 1812 era, thanks to the Balitmore Fashion Alliance.

Of course, the evening wouldn’t be complete without a visit from the Belle of Baltimore herself—historical fashionista Betsy Bonaparte. The sister-in-law of Napoleon I will model the latest (maybe don’t mention to her that she’s been dead for a good 130 years) fashions and strut her stuff, petticoats and all, on the runway. Baltimorean Betsy Bonaparte was indeed known as the most beautiful woman in America at the time, and wore European gowns that were considered risqué by American standards. She was described by some as “almost naked” and had the gall to wear new-fangled styles of corsets that didn’t even have boning. Can you imagine?! So needless to say, if you’re planning to dress appropriately, we suppose that means keep your ankles hidden, shoulders covered, and your wig powdered. Oh. And don’t wash.

The Fabulous Fashions of 1812 Fashion Show takes place Sunday, November 3ed at 2pm. Tickets are $35. The Maryland Historical Society is at 201 West Monument St. Visit for more information.

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