Friday, December 18, 2009

January 1815 Fashions for ladies

Friday, December 18, 2009

Loretta reports:

From The "Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions and Politics, commonly known as Ackermann's Repository, after Rudolph Ackermann.

Plate 3.--Full Dress
A celestial blue crape frock, over a white satin slip, ornamented round the bottom with a deep border of tull or net lace, embroidered with shaded blue silks and chenille; short full sleeve, trimmed with tull or net lace; the dress trimmed entirely round the top, to correspond.  Hair parted in the center of the forehead, confined in the Grecian style, and blended with flowers.  Necklace of pearl; ear-drops and bracelets to correspond.  Slippers of blue satin or kid.  White gloves of French kid.

Plate 4.--Evening Dress
Light pink satin gown, trimmed round the bottom with a lace flounce, laid on richly, worked and headed with tufts of the same; short full sleeve, trimmed with lace.  A shell lace tippet.  White kid gloves, drawn over the elbow.  An India fan of carved ivory.  Slippers of white kid.  Full crop head-dress, ornamented with flowers.

I presume they wore fur wraps when they went out...but aren't these descriptions delicious?  Every word a morsel for the historical fashionista.  "An India fan of carved ivory."  Yes, get me one, please.


Vanessa Kelly said...

Yum! And a shell lace tippet - so elegant!

I love the clothes from around 1815. They still had that lovely soft drape, with lots of pretty lace and trim.

Loretta Chase said...

Vanessa, I agree. A year or two later, they start doing those heavy flounces on the bottom, the shape changes, and the look has a harder edge, which only gets harder each year, heading into the stiff, weird shape of the mid-Victorian era--not that one can't find luscious clothes--and luscious descriptions-- in every time period. Sometimes I think the mid-teens of the 19th C is the most flattering to women, though. Anyone got another favorite?

Vanessa Kelly said...

The mid-teens has my vote for prettiest clothes of the century. And flattering.

Loretta, some of my favorite lines from Lord of Scoundrels are Dain's descriptions of Jessica's outfits. I think he used the word "demented" on at least one occasion. He was right!

Ingrid said...

Limiting ourselves to the 19th century you mean? As I get older, I get fonder of the last quarter of the 19th century. I like the two tournure periods (1870-75 and 1880-1885) and the 1890's, the Gibson girl period. Maybe it's because those styles favour 'the mature woman'. Portraits of middle-aged women in empire dress can be extremely unflattering. I think it was Thorsten Veblen who unfolded the theory that fashion for women aged with the 19th century: it started with children's dresses and ended with clothes designed for women of a certain age.
If I had to limit myself, I'd pick the first tournure, I think, with its draped and trained skirts which had plenty of room to hide your tummy. I can never help imagining myself in clothes.

nightsmusic said...

I must admit too, I like the later designs better. An empire waist has never flattered me, but lace me into a corset with a nicely draped, fuller skirt, I'm all for it. I must admit though, that blue dress is exactly the style I made for my senior prom...

Some days, I pop over to and just sigh at some of the dresses I'd love to have.

Loretta Chase said...

Ingrid, excellent point about the styles that do and don't flatter older women. I, too, like those tournure periods--though I know the corsets were much less comfortable than during the Regency era. Vanessa, thank you. I had so much fun with those styles. They really were nutty in the late 1820s, and got nuttier in the 1830s. And the hair! Oy! Theo, I've never felt as though an Empire waist is quite me. But I do like the look of them in the prints--a lot like seeing fashion models in clothes I think are fabulous but know would look horrendous on me.

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