Dresses from Les Modes Parisiennes, 1862

You can find descriptions for these “Les Modes Parisiennes,” 1862.

Plate One

Plate Two
Plate Three
Plate Four

 First Plate.

First Toilette. A black dress diapered with pompadour designs, and trimmed with two flounces of black fluted velvet: bodice high and slightly pointed: sleeves close and almost full length, trimmed with fluted black velvet to harmonize with the flounces. Bonnet of black velvet, the curtain of blonde and lace, coquille of the same. Saule (willow) feathers and a small black ostrich feather placed upon the highest portion of the rim, and meeting the coquille The cap trimmed with tufts of ponceau, flowers and leaves; black aureole;white lining and strings. The collar and under-sleeves embroidered.

Second Toilette. A dress of silver grey pou-de-soie, trimmed en tablier with well-designed passementeries, finished at each end with tufted medallions: bodice high, and double-pointed: sleeves full, gathered in at the hem with passementeries to accord with those of the skirt. Collar and under-sleeves embroidered. White bonnet pique; the curtain of blue velvet; the front edged with the same: velvet flowers grouped with velvet; coquille of the same. The cap perfectly corresponding: strings of blue taffetas.

Second Plate.

First Toilette. Dress of mastic taffetas. Cloak of black taffetas having a lerthe trimmed with guipure, which combines artistically with the sleeve, and indeed forms part of it. Trimmings of rich passementerie, together with large buttons and looped cords. Bonnet of black tulle, trimmed with black feathers and a puff of crimson or ponceau velvet placed as forward as possible; strings black, edged with white; lined with black; white side linings; puff ponceau. Collar and undersleeves embroidered.

Second Toilette. Dress of azure blue taffetas. Basquine in black taffetas: trimmed with goihic -designs of the same material as the cloak; “white buttons at the angles, the whole trimming completed at the edges with whitepassementeries. Bonnet of white tulle, puff of blue drooping feathers; coquille  of blonde meeting the- feathers; curtain white, with an echarpe of blue velvet crossed at the centre. The cap white and blue velvet flowers; white strings. Collar and sleeves embroidered.

Third Plate.

First Toilette. Dress of empire green taffetas, trimmed with two pinked flounces, set in rounded .scallops, commencing about two inches from the hem: each flounce is surmounted with an embroidered plait of green velvet, traversed by a band of darker green; each scallop of the flounces looped with bands of green velvet; the bodice high, with a  small point; the sleeves wide, trimmed down the front with a pinked frill, in harmony with the flounces. Bonnet in tulle blonde, blonde curtain a traverse; the outer edge fringed with soft feathers curling below the inner edge of the bonnet; white strings. Collar and sleeves embroidered.

Second Toilette. Taffetas dress; bodice round; the sleeves, elbows, &c, demi-wide; the trimming of the skirt commencing about four inches above the hem, and composed of three flounces of narrow black fluted lace, and headed by a high passementerie; the bodice trimmed Swiss, in passementerie, similar to that of the skirt, and framed with black lace, which forms bretelles; the sleeves are edged with black lace, turned back. White crape bonnet; velvet curtain edged with lace. Puffs of small black feathers and pale primrose flowers in the cap; white strings.

Fourth Plate.

First Toilette. Dress of blue tarlatane, trimmed with seven double flounces, above which is placed a bouillonne, forming knots, at the centre of each, being an ornament of tulle. The bouillonne is draped at each side; the bodice is also draped; the short sleeves are composed of a small double frill surmounting a whitebouillon. The coiffure is of velvet flowers and most exquisite leaves grouped upon a gilded coronal; a golden butterfly, forming part of the coiffure, rests upon the nape of the neck. Jewels are arranged with consummate taste on the corsage.

Second Toilette. Dress of white taffetas, diapered with pendeloque medallions, and trimmed at each seam withbouillannes of tulle filling the openings, which are cut square; the whole edged with chenille fringe relieved with small bunches of pearl; the bodice is draped and trimmed with green fringe as already described; sleeves small, each forming a coquille, with short under-sleeves of white bouillons. The coiffure is of velvet, golden clous, and white feathers.


4 Replies to “Dresses from Les Modes Parisiennes, 1862”

  1. How did they ever get around with skirts that wide? I swear that those fashions must have been meant to put women in a cage . Why? So men could have the thrill of finally getting close when all the clothes are discarded?
    I heard that the hoops had to be modified so that they would collapse so a woman could get through a doorway.
    I imagine that only a few couples could be on the dance floor at one time.
    I do think the fashion ridiculous but remember Deborah Kerr in The King and I. She managed to make the gown look romantic. It really was elegant for waltzing.
    Alas, we seldom can waltz 24/7.
    The queen looked like a ball with a head because she was so short.
    Why do we let some nameless fashion czar dictate what we wear? Why are we so foolish as to wear it?
    fashion baffles me.

  2. Nancy,

    I think Queen Victoria agreed with you. I don’t think she wore hoops — thinking they were ridiculous — and kept her skirts drawn up in the back. I forgot where I read that.

  3. Thank you for sharing these! I’m wondering how different the American fashions were at the time (I know that Southern women, for example, eschewed lace, sending it to the troops to use as bandages). I can’t imagine getting dressed in this on a regular basis. Or having a waist the size of my neck.

  4. I saw a video the other day about the Corset Queen. She has been tight lacing for 25 years . Her waist was down to 18 inches. Looked like amrshmallow with a string pulled tight around the middle.
    I think women must have had an undress ( informal) mode to wear around the house. Of course the poor working woman couldn’t afford such garb. Imagine your maid trying to scrub the floor wearing a hoop. It doesn’t seem to have any connection to real life happenings. Of course, they weren’t having a war in Paris that year— not that war necessarily stopped fashion.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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