Early Victorian Era Fashion Chit Chat - September 1857 Godey's Lady's Book
Chitchat upon New York and Philadelphia Fashions for September
It will be seen, by reference to our fashion-plate for the present month, that flounces no longer hold undisputed sway. Many will still continue to wear them through the winter; and some handsome robes are woven d volante; that is, with pattern flounces. Others, equally rich, have a pattern extending lengthwise of the skirt, on either side the front breadth, en tablier, as it is called. It has the effect of a very broad rich ribbon, laid on perfectly flat and plain. For another trimming, disposed in a similar manner, we refer our readers to Fig 1 of our plate. Puffs, of the same silk as the dress, in three or four longitudinal rows, are much in favor. This has a charming effect in evening-dress, say of white silk, the puffs in illusion, and graduated in widths, filling a whole breadth at the bottom of the dress, and bordered on each side by a row of blonde laid on flat. The sleeves are composed of puffs to correspond; and the corsage, which is a rounded point, has a puff edged as on the skirt, extending from the centre of the neck to the waist line, carried a little to the left of the point to avoid stiffness.
It is said that basques are really giving away to corsages similar in shape to that we have just described, the rounded point. This is an alarm, however, that is sounded at the commencement of every season; and it will take two or three months to decide the question. Double skirts continue to be worn; and a new way of mounting them has been introduced. The plaits are made so large that four or five go round the waist; and this throws out the skirt, extending it like a fan. A robe of gray moire antique, made in this way, the two skirts without ornament, has a very fine effect. The corsage (there is no basque) was finished by buttons of gray passementerie, with pendants of the old style, known as "frogs" in the days of the last generation, but dignified into brandebourgs in this. The sleeves are plain at the top, with a puff, and three deep falls of the silk, edged with gray galloon, and trimmed with brandebourgs, as on the corsage. The passementerie of the present autumn, in which we include all fancy silk buttons, gimps, and fringes with rich headings, is very varied and costly. Jet and pearl are inwoven with many of them; and bells and acorns of silk are still used in the same manner.
As the season advances, dresses of plain or striped dark poplin will be worn. The body is high, with very long lappets, and is trimmed with bands of black velvet on the breast. These bands are placed across almost from one shoulder to the other, gradually diminshing in length as they approach the waist. At the end of each band, there is a pendent silk button, and two in the middle. Around the lappets are placed velvet points, with buttons on them. The sleeves are tight to the elbow, where there is a velvet band; and the sleeve terminates in two very ample flounces, with velvet ribbon on the edge. The skirt is either perfectly plain, or trimmed down each side with bands of velvet and buttons.
Among the robes with flounces a volante is one of black silk, having the effect of embroidery in colored silk. The pattern consists of a wreath of wheat-ears and blue cornflowers. The corsage is half high, and has a berthe and a cntre-piece embroidered in a pattern corresponding with the flounces. The sleeves consist of two large puffs, separated by an embroidered wreath. The undersleeves are of thulle, ornamented with embroidery in a pattern of wheat-ears and corn-flowers, intermingled with light foliage. This dress is destined for in-door dinner costume. And in the hair will be worn bloue corn-flowers and wheat-ears of velvet, intermingled with black lace. Lappets of black lace flow over the back of the neck. Moss roses.
A wedding-dress just completed is made of white tarleton, trimmed with three flounces of the same, each edges with a ruche of white ribbon. The tarleton flounces are covered by flounces of the most splendid Honiton lace. The corsage is profusely ornamented with Honiton lace.
Many of the novelties in the department of lingerie are very elegant. The most fashionable style of undersleeves are those with broad turned-up cuffs of lace or needle-work, and trimmed with colored ribbon. Others are formed of two large puffs of muslin, intermingled with small bows of colored ribbon.
Instead of a collar, a small ruff is now sometimes worn round the throat. A ruff just introduced in Paris is distinguished by the name of the Fraise a la Gabrielle. It is formed of a narrow slip of quilled muslin, edged at each side by a narrow row of Valenciennes. In the middle of the quilling, there is a puff of muslin, within which is run a colored ribbon; and the ruff is fixed in front of the throat by a bow of the same.
This will be good news to those of our lady friends who have to dress for a long nexk or square shoulders: Small tufts of feathers are this season much employed in ornamenting headdresses for evening costume. Among the coiffures which have just been complted may be mentioned one composed of thulle and blonde, in the form of a toque. On one side are two tufts of feathers, the one blue, and the other white. On the opposite side are loops and flowing ends of white and blue therry velvet ribbon. A much admired headdress consists of pendent sprays of violets in gold and in velvet of three different tints. These sprays, which are intermingled with loops of gold beads, droop towards the back of the neck. On each side are attached two strings of gold beads. Another headdress consists of a net formed of red velvet. The net is trimmed all round with sprays of the small Corinth grape, in gold, intermingled with the red berries of the service-tree, in velvet, and with ends of red velevet ribbon lame with gold. Among the recent importations from Paris is a very beautiful headdress, styled the coiffure Egyptienne. It is formed of two bandeaux of groseille-color velvet, embroidered with gold; and on one side there is a lotus flower, and on the other a bow of groseille-color ribbon, figured with hieroglyphics in gold.