Early Victorian Era Fashion Chit Chat - July 1852 Le Moniteur de la Mode
The walking costume has more of the Parisian character; Gagelin's bareges and foulards are much sought after for these beautiful dresses. We have already described the bareges of this house, so that we have now only to speak of their foulards, which, on account of their elegance and originality, are very different to the generality of these articles. For walking dresses we may mention:
A foulard with a white ground, having three flounces the pattern of which forms bands of flowers of graduated widths, that is to say, the first flounce has only one band, the second two, and the third three. The body and sleeves have similar bands of smaller flowers.
A foulard, of the fashionable grey ground, sprinkled with small baskets of flowers and wreaths in miniature, connected by a low of pink ribbon simulated in the pattern. This dress has three flounces repeating all the designs on the skirt; each flounce is bordered by a wreath of flowers, supported at intervals by pink bows resembling those on the ground.
The crystallized gauze is a new tissue of an elegance quite out of the common track when made up by a clever artist. It is composed of two gauzes of different colours, one on the other, and appearing shot by candle light. On the crystallised gauze, they put at the edge of the flounces a plaid ribbon, or a silk lace galloon, white or black. Another very pretty ornament is a watered ribbon of the colours of the two gauzes.
We must here mention also a rich dress of gilly-flower coloured taffeta, having three flounces a disposition, composed of Turkish stripes. This dress has been chosen by the califat of Constantine, and his choice thus proves that good taste as understood in France is progressing even in the East. He also made a complete razzia among all the mantes, etc., admitted to the Exhibition at London, and was particularly charmed by the richness of the embroideries and the beauties of the gold and silver moires, enriched with large bouquets of flowers.
A walking toilet, remarkable for its simplicity, consists of a dress of white muslin with an apron of satin-stitch and feather-stitch embroidery, and so beautifully in relief that the apron stands out of itself, and sends all the plaits to the sides. Under the muslin dress is a slip of lilac taffeta. The body is slightly gathered on the shoulders, and the fronts are embroidered in harmony with the apron on the skirt. The waist is confined by a sash of lilac ribbon with long ends. The shawl that completes this toilet is a three-cornered one of embroidered muslin whose richness defies description. The drawn bonnet is formed of three frills of embroidered muslin, separated by three bouillonnes of lilac taffeta. One each side of the crown, a bouquet of large lilac stocks, with branches of white vervain. Inside the brim a bouillonne of English lace, and the same flowers, but smaller. This bonnet has a very aristocratic appearance, and would not suit all persons. It was got up by Mme Melanie Brun, and has obtained an extraordinary success in the fashionable world. Another pretty bonnet, also from the same excellent house, is composed of small bouillonnes of tulle esprit, supported by a kinf of reversed bands of white taffeta. One each side of the crown, are tufts of red roses made of crape, with pinks variegated white and red also of crape. It is very youthful, very smart, and very becoming.
Among the elegant outer garments intended for walking we may mention the mante scarf of lace and tulle, decorated with narrow or broad velvets. Mme Charvet has succeeded perfectly in these little scarfs. Some have a plain ground decorated with seven or eight narrow velvets, separated by a lace or Chantilly flounce, or one of Cambrai lace. This last has the honours of the watering-places this season, where it forms an excellent substitute for the dearer laces on Chantilly. The Galatea of Mme Charvet, amde of white taffeta, embroidered au passe, with white rosettes in crochet and a rich fringe surmounted by a head composed of open work rosettes, is another article for full dress.
The Indian crapes and scarfs of the Persian (rue Richelieu) also belong to the category of full dress. The greatest fancy is admitted and accepted for Indian crapes. They are enbroidered all colours like oriental cashmeres; others, which have splendid white bouquets on a China-rose, Syrian blue, or Turkish green ground. The white India crape shawl, however, embroidered all over, is still the shawl for the real lady.
We have seen a good many splendid Barege shawls, and Gagelin has two altogether exceptional. One of them is called the Indian, the other the Bayadere. The former has lofty palms of all sorts of colours, contrasting on stripes of many garduated colours, with flowery stars and rosettes of various shades of gold. The second has a white ground, with white satin baguettes, some very narrow and others wider, on which run various flowers.
As a general rule, round waists are daily gaining ground; but you must not confound round waists with short waists: for the former, the dress-maker ought, on the contrary, to endeavour to make the sides as long as possible, and merely suppress the point in front.
Vests are still worn, but only to accompany linen and lace waistcoats. The under-sleeves are always wide and floating; the wrists are ornamented with ribbon bracelets matching the colours of the dress.
The greatest novelty in the way of dress is most indisputably a shawl of the very smallest dimensions, about a yard square, bordered with a deep lace sewed on even. Some of them are made of shot silk, with or without embroidery, of cashmere plain or figured, plain or embroidered muslin, etc.
Boots and shoes are both in very good wear. The shoe is more suitable for the carriage than for walking. Boots of bronze leather, and of a soft light colour, are much sought after by the more elegant ladies. These boots have low heels, and are fastened with enamel buttons of the same colour as the material of the boots.
Parasols are made of three different kinds. The Maintenom parasol is straight and has a short stick or handle; it is of middle size and has no fringe.
The Marquise parasol is small, has the shape of a dome, and a joint in the handle. It is for carriage use. Richness, caprice, and fancy are carried to their height in this little parasol, the handle of which is often a work of art. It always has a rich fringe with a lace head, and is lined with white marcelline or silk.
The baronne parasol holds a middle rank between the Maintenon and the Marquise: it has the dome shape, a joint in the handle, is edged with fringe and also lined. It is suited to all kinds of dress toilet.