Early Victorian Era Fashion Chit Chat - June 1838 The World of Fashion
Newest Parisian Fashions, From the Most Authentic Sources
At last the Spring seems to have set in with sufficient warmth to entice our elegantes to appear in what may be termed decided summer costumes. Our fair readers will find in our prints a variety of models equally remarkable for novelty and elegance. We hasten, in addition, to give them such intelligence as we flatter ourselves they will find equally useful and gratifying to their taste.
New Materials - We may cite among the most distingue, the poults de soie chine, striped in narrow stripes, which are either shaded or divided by very small wreaths, or else by detahced sprigs figured in the silk; gros de Naples glace, striped in marbled stripes - the stripes are narrow and very wide apart: this silk has a very novel appearance and seems likely to become very fashionable. Gros de Naples a mille raies, and also gros de Naples a mille raies quadrilles, are in very great favour, as are likewise silks a colonnes mille raies brochees. Generally speaking, large patterns are out of favour; however, we have not yet passed from one extreme to the other, for the present patterns are of a reasonable size - we speak, of course, of figured and damasked silks. The same observation is applicable to mousselines de laine; it was expected that those with large shaded colonnes would have again become fashionable, and, indeed, several patterns of the kind have appeared, but they will not be at all in vogue.
Capotes - In order to present our fair readers with those most worthy of their notice, we must have recourse to the bois de Boulogne, which is now the fashionable promenade; there we find some elegant bonnets of rice straw, the brims round and of moderate size, the crowns placed very backwards. Some are trimmed with flowers, others with branches of fruit blossoms, and several with branches of unripe currants or tufts of strawberries. We see several capotes of pou de soie, particularly of white and straw-colour, trimmed with ruches of the same material round the edge of the brim and on the summit of the crown; a single knot of ribbon on one side of the crown completes the trimming. But, the capotes par excellence, are those composed of crape; the most novel are bouillonnee, the shape sustained by whalebone; those of rose-colour, azure blue, and white, are most numerous. We have observed that sprigs of lilac, roses, panachees, and jessamines, were the flowers most in favour for trimming crape bonnets. We noticed, also, that several were adorned with bouquets of shaded marabouts; the bouquets are placed low on the sides of the crown, so as to droop in the gerbe style upon the brims; this style of trimming is remarkable for lightness and grace.
Chapeaux - We may cite among the most novel, one of Italian straw, trimmed with a branch of nut blossoms, attached by a lappet of English point lace. A great number of hats of Italian straw have the brim turned up behind in three folds; a good many are decorated with ears of ripe corn, or ornaments composed of organdy; where these latter are employed, they are either edged with straw plait or embroidered in coloured spots. A very novel and graceful style of trimming is a chaperon of ribbon; it is arranged in an uncommonly novel and graceful style. Hats of French and English straw are expected to be worn, but very few have yet appeared; they are trimmed quite in the spring style, and with great taste. Violettes de Parme and white violets will be much in favour, and a miniature lettuce, which is now become a favourite ornament both for caps and hats, will be frequently employed; we must observe that where it is used, it will always correspond either with the hat or the ribbon that trims it. As to the forms of hats we have no hesitation in saying that the brims are considerably diminished in size, they are rounded at the sides, and short in the centre; the crown is thrown backward in a degage and graceful style.
Fancy Silk Trimmings are always in favour to ornament robes. We have heard a good deal said pour et contra these trimmings, which have been partially revived during the last season, and we have reason to think they will be decidedly in favour this year. We hope so; for, independently of their being very pretty, and adding an elegant finish to a dress, they are very useful in another point of view, they serve to encourage a particular branch of trade, and consequently give bread to many industrious persons. We have seen a pelisse just ordered by a lady of very high rank; it is composed of lilac pou de soie, and closed down the side by small brandebourgs placed in a bias direction, and terminated by glands. Another pelisse, also ordered by a distinguished leader of ton, is composed of gros de Naples, quadrilled in small squares of lilac and white; the sleeves were very large, and the corsage made to the shape, but disposed en coeur; both were ornamented with very narrow soft silk fringe, of the two colours of the dresses. One side of the skirt wrapping across a little, and cut in scollops, had the scollops edged with fringe; the effect was very pretty, owing to the extreme lightness of the trimming.
Costumes de Spectacle - The re-appearance of Robert le Diable and that of the Domino noir has attracted all the beau monde; we scarcely remember a more brilliant display of toilettes than both representations have afforded. The majority of the robes were of silk; the corsages for the most part cut low, were either draped or made a revers. Short sleeves composed of bouillons, made with little fullness, and put closely together; the shoulders were decorated with knots of ribbon with floating ends; but we observed that they were not near so long as they have been recently worn. The skirts for the most part trimmed with flounces, or rather, we should say, one very deep flounce of the same material as the dress, ornamented with a knot of ribbon of the same form as that on the sleeve; it is placed on the right side and just above the flounce.
Coiffures de Spectacle - We may cite among the most novel one of the Hebrew kind, which, however, was introduced by a very beautiful Christian. Indeed, we must observe that the turban a la Juive, and other head-dresses of the Jewish kind, which during late years have been so very much in favour, were never seen upon the heads of the fair daughters of Israel, to whose style of countenance, however, they would have been much more becoming than to the generality of the belles who adopted them. But to return to our subject, the coiffure is composed of a narrow circle of plain gold, in the centre of which is a single precious stone of very high price, or else a lozenge composed of twelve different gems; this novel arrangement of precious stones has some resemblance to the plaque symbolique of the pontiffs of ancient Israel. We need hardly observe that this ornament is much better calculated for majestic belles, or as the French phrase it, for la beaute severe, than for countenances of the Hebe cast. We would recommend to those of the latter, the prettiest of all the pretty little caps that have recently appeared; it is composed of blond lace, a small caul formed of a single piece, and a moderately high papillon coquilie all round; some knots of shaded blue ribbon ornament the interior of the papillon and long brides to correspond float upon the neck. The effect of this cap upon a pretty youthful face is positively bewitching.
French Court Dress - We select from a crowd of elegant toilettes, that of the Princess Clementine and of an English lady of high rank. The robe of the princess was of white gros de Tours; it was ornamented with two garlands of giroflee, intermingled with foliage, and forming a tablier. The corsage and sleeves were profusely trimmed with blond lace. Flowers corresponding with those on her dress were intermingled with her ringlets, a river of diamonds, and a couronne formed of emeralds and diamonds completed the ornaments of the coiffure, and a superb necklace of diamonds and emeralds, ornamented with three Sevignes finished a toilette of what may well be called royal munificence. The robe of the Countess ____ was of white lace over white pou de soie; the robe was completely covered by two immense flounces of English point lace, one of which was attached round the waist and descended to the middle of the skirt, where it met the second flounce which reached to the bottom. This singular dress, notwithstanding its apparent simplicity, was one of the richest at court. The hair arranged a la Berthe, was ornamented with point lace lappets to correspond; a superb plume of ostrich feathers, and bandeau of diamonds. The majority of the dresses were silk, those of moire, either rose or white, were most general; they were trimmed with deep flounces of English point lace. There were also several robes of organdy, trimmed with lace. It is the first time that dresses of such extreme simplicity have been seen at court.