Monday, October 6, 2008
Georgiana and Harriet weren't the only Spencer progeny starting the hottest fashion trends in London. Their brother, George also turned out to be a trend-setter too...accidentally! As the legend goes, Lord Spencer was standing a little too close to the fire one night at a gathering when his coat tails caught on fire (Despite what the satirical prints implied, Georgiana's hair never caught on fire when she popularized three-foot tall hair towers). George put out the fire and had the singed tails cut off, forming a short jacket. Well, that jacket must have caught the fashionable eye of one fop because soon men were wearing the short-cropped, tail-less jackets which were dubbed 'Spencers' after the accident-prone Earl. By the 1790's the trend was being taken over by women who found the jackets suitable to keeping the Classical shape in their light muslin dresses, which did little to keep out the cold English air. The trend remained popular as long as the muslin dress did; in fact, it probably lasted longer than any of the Empress of Fashion, Georgiana's trends did. Who knew George was such a fashion pioneer!