From Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions, by Rudolph Ackermann, Frederic Shober. 1816
Promenade dress. A high dress of cambric muslin trimmed at the bottom with a single flounce of work. The body, which is composed entirely of work, fits the shape without any fullness. A plain long sleeve, finished by a triple fall of narrow lace. Over this dress is worn the Angouleme pelisse, composed of crimson velvet, lined with white sarsnet, and trimmed with a single welt of crimson satin, a shade lighter than the pelisse. The body is made exactly to the shape; the back is of course a moderate breadth, and without fullness; for the form of the front we refer our readers to our print; it is confined at the waist, which is very short, by a narrow velvet band, edged to correspond. A small collar, of a novel and pretty shape, stands up and supports a rich lace ruff, which is worn open in front of the throat. The sleeve has very little fullness, and that little is confined at the wrist by three narrow bands of puckered satin. Bonnet a la Rouale, composed of white satin, very tastefully intermixed with a large bunch of fancy flowers, and tied under the chin by a white satin ribbon, which is brought in a bow to the left side ; a full quilling of tulle finishes the front. Black silk ridicule, exquisitely worked in imitation of the ends of an India shawl, and trimmed with black silk fringe. White kid gloves, and black walking shoes.
Carriage Dress. A gown of pale faun – colour cloth, made a walking length, and trimmed round the bottom with four rows of rich blue silk trimming. The body, which is cut very low, is ornamented in such a manner as to have a novel appearance, with a similar trimming, but very narrow. The back, which is cut down on each side, is finished at the bottom of the waist by bows and long ends, trimmed to correspond. A very tasteful half sleeve over a plain long sleeve, made tight at the wrist, and hound with blue trimming; it is finished by a narrow ruffle composed of three falls of tulle; fichu of tulle, with a ruff to correspond. When worn as a carriage dress, the head-dress is a bonnet, the crown composed of white satin at top, and the middle and front of Leghorn ; it is lined with white satin, and ornamented only by a white satin band and strings. An India shawl is also indispensable to it as a carriage dress, for which it is elegantly appropriate. Shoes and gloves pale faun colour.
Our dresses this month are both French; but, as our readers will perceive from onr prints, they are in the best style of Parisian costume. We have been favoured with them by a lady who has just returned from Paris.
General Observations on Fashion and Dress
The court mourning for our beloved queen’s august brother has retarded the appearance of those novelties, some of which we shall describe to our fair readers: it is, however, expected to be short, and as it affords us no materials for description, we shall proceed to speak of what is expected to be most in request among belles of taste at its close.
For the walking costume cloth will be most fashionable, and dark colours are likely to be a great deal worn, particularly brown and dark green. We have nothing particular to observe respecting pelisses, but they are expected to be worn, and we believe we shall have a very novel one to describe next month. The walking dress of which we are about to speak, is very tasteful and certainly new: it is composed of brown merino cloth, made a walking length, and trimmed with orange satin, which is laid on very full in waves; the fullness is formed into the shape of shells, by little tufts of brown floss silk. The effect of this trimming is really beautiful. The body is very short in the waist, and made quite tight to the shape; it comes up to the throat, and has a small collar, which is cut in points, as is also a narrow pelerine cape, set on between the shoulder, and brought slanting over the bosom till it ends in a point at the bottom of the waist; these points are lightly embroidered with orange silk to match the trimming. Plain long sleeve, rather full, and very long; it is confined at the wrist by two narrow bands of byas orange satin, and the part which falls over the hand is pointed to correspond with the cape and collar. A swansdown tippet, or an India scarf, must always be worn with this dress.
Poplin and levantine high dresses, with a trimming of gauze to correspond, will be in request with juvenile or hardy élégantes. The most fashionable form, we believe, will be the one which we have just described; but the gauze trimming, of which there are two falls tacked together, is exceedingly pretty, and differs from any thing we have yet seen. A roll of satin is placed between the two falls at top to form a heading, and the lower part is disposed in draperies one above another, and ornamented with bows of ribbon. This trimming, which is very light and tasteful, will, we hope, entirely supersede the preposterous number of flounces which have so long injured the pretty figures of such of our fair country-women who are under the middle size.
Cloth shawls will be most general with silk or poplin dresses; we need scarcely observe, that they must be of the finest texture. For trimming, narrow gold binding, with gold tassels at the ends m front, is likely to be most prevalent; but ermine and other costly furs will be also in estimation.
Beaver, velvet, and black straw bonnets are all talked of, and leathers, to correspond in general, will be universal. We have seen one of the prettiest walking bonnets which has appeared for some time: it is composed of purple velvet, and lined with white satin; the crown is round, of a moderate height, and finished at the top by a wreath of purple satin leaves, which go round it; the front is very deep, hut slopes off at the ears, and shades without concealing the face: a rich purple spot silk half-handkerchief, which has a narrow border of white embroidery round the edge, ties it under the chin: it is ornamented with a beautiful plume of purple feathers tipped with white, which are placed upright in front. The shape of this bonnet is very becoming, and it is’ altogether elegant and ladylike.
Much alteration will undoubtedly take place in the carriage costume, but of what nature we have not been able distinctly to ascertain, we mean as to the forms of dresses: with respect to the materials, we understand that fancy velvets and white merino cloths will supersede everything else. If the dress or pelisse is of fancy velvet, a tocque of the same materials, ornamented with a satin band and a profusion of feathers, will be worn with it; if, on the contrary, it is composed of white merino cloth, the torque must be white velvet, the band gold, and the colour of the feathers will depend on the trimming of the dress. We understand that coloured velvet trimmings, both stamped and plain, will be very fashionable.
The encouragement which her Majesty and Princesses have graciously given to our own manufactures, will, we hope, induce the nobility and gentry to follow their example; and, as in consequence of the arrival of a number of families from France, London is even now more than usually full, we hope and expect that trade will revive, and that we shall have a very brilliant display of dinner and evening costume to present to ourreaders with next month; at present we are in doubt what materials will be most fashionable. We have seen some beautiful fancy velvets, and silks flowered in the loom, the vivid colours and glossy texture of which were equal, if not superior, to any foreign silk. We have seen one dinner dress made for a lady of high rank who is going to Paris, and as the gown is novel and tasteful, we have no doubt it will be in general estimation through the winter.
The material of which the dress is composed is white poplin of the most superior quality; it is made a walking length, the skirt very full, hut gored so as to leave only a moderate fullness behind, we mean at the waist: it is cut at the bottom of the skirt in very deep points, which are edged with narrow byas green satin; these points are filled up with plain blond lace laid in very full; the fullness is fancifully confined by small green silk ornaments: a very rich flounce of blond lace surmounts the points, and another finishes it at bottom. Nothing can be more novel or striking than the effect of this trimming. The back of the dress is composed of byas folds of poplin, each fold edged with green; the back is cut very low, and the fronts, which just meet at the bottom of the waist, are byas; they are also edged with green. The breast is shaded by a fichu of plain blond made extremely full; it comes up to the throat, and fastens behind with small lace rosettes edged with green satin,- as the back is open on each side down to the bottom of the waist, these rosettes give it an uncommonly pretty finish. The sleeve, which is long, is composed of plain blond; it is very full at the top, with is let in plain, and which forms a kind of half-sleeve. A triple fall of plain blond at the bottom, edged with green satin, and two bands to confine the fullness, finish the sleeve. We regret that our description cannot afford an adequate idea of the very novel, tasteful, and striking effect of this dress. For evening costume we can only, that this fancy gauze, and white net spotted with white silk. Are likely to be in the highest estimation for juvenile belles; and white satin, white and figured velvets, will be generally adopted by mature élégantes.
We can say nothing of jewelry, or ornaments for the hair, till next month.
We have no alteration to notice in hair-dressing.
In other news:
Yesterday I searched through years and years of bookmarks to create a monster list of research links. If you have a moment, stop by and browse. I tried to add some estate links, so I could have images of the insides of houses. For those of you interested in floor plans, see the floor plans for Bramham Park