Saturday, January 16, 2010

La Belle Assemblée Fashions for January 1830

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Loretta reports:

From La Belle Assemblée
Fashions For January 1830

A PELISSE of fawn-coloured gros de Naples,* delicately embroidered in black outline down each side of the front where it closes, as far as to a very broad border of black velvet, which surrounds the skirt next the feet, nearly as high as to the knee; at the head of which is a trimming of light sable, or some other valuable light-coloured fur. The sleeves are à la Donna Maria,** and they are trimmed up the outside of the arm, where the sleeve tightens at the cuff, with fur. Round the waist, which is made plain, is a black velvet zone, clasped with a gold brooch. The collar of the pelisse turns back, and is surmounted by a French, double ruff of lace. The bonnet is of black velvet, trimmed with a bow of the same, and three aigrettes of blue corn-flowers and ears of corn; the aigrette in front larger than those on each side. A Chantilly lace veil is worn with this bonnet, which ties under the chin on the right side, with a bow of black satin ribbon. A boa tippet of marten skin is added to this appropriate winter pelisse. The half-boots are of fawn-coloured kid, tipped at the toe with black.

  A DRESS of pink satin ; the border trimmed en jabots, with the same material, each one bordered by a broad, rich, white blond: these ornaments ascend from the hem next the feet, as high as to the knee. The corsage is made quite plain, with a very broad falling tucker of blond. Over short sleeves of pink satin fall long ones of blond, entirely à L’imbecile, without any confinement. A dress hat of pink satin forms the coiffeure: this is turned up in front, and lightly ornamented with small white ostrich feathers. A superb veil of white blond falls carelessly over each side, and at the back of the hat.
The jewellery ornaments worn with this dress are either pink topazes, or Ceylon rubies, set à l’antique, in fillagree gold. The shoes are pink satin, tied en sandales.

*"a corded Italian silk similar to Irish poplin."
**one of several types of very full sleeves.  In this one "the fullness of the forearm is confined by a loop on the inner side from the bend of the elbow to the wrist."  From English Women's Clothing of the Nineteenth Century, C. Willett Cunnington


Lauren said...

Oh my gosh, these are wonderful! Thank you so much for posting this!

Vanessa Kelly said...

I love that the sleeves on the evening gown are a L'imbecile, because those dresses look totally insane to me! Beautiful, but insane.

Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

Crazy beautiful, Vanessa!
How I'd love to see these outfits in motion, especially the gown for evening. Can you imagine all those curving, lace-trimmed pieces at the hem would have floated outward when the lady danced?

Jane O said...

Oh, those hats! Wouldn't it be glorious to be able to wear hats like that?

nightsmusic said...

Corn? As in "real" corn? (I know, not real, but it looks like?)

I'm not sure either of those are something I'd wear. They're too...busy for me. Beautiful, but busy.

One comment, the color 'fawn'. I've seen it mentioned in regards to a very light color as well as this darker color. I wonder how much the descriptions change with the times.

Ingrid said...

Nightsmusic, for 'corn' think 'wheat'. I believe Americans think of maize when they say corn, but Europeans think of wheat.
Ears of wheat were very popular as decoration in the first half of the 19th century, just look at this beautiful tiara:

The reproduction of the fashion plate is not large enough to tell, but it probably shows ears of corn like these.

nightsmusic said...


Thanks. Yes, the wheat, I'm very familiar with. A lovely design. I don't remember it being called corn. Then again, I'm getting old and don't remember things quite often ;-)

That tiara is gorgeous, by the way.

LorettaChase said...

I was simply looking for what ladies were wearing in January of other times, and these prints bowled me over. 1830s can be a little nutty, but the carriage dress in particular made me rethink my views. It's so sumptuous, and it must have been something with the light playing over it as one moved. And yes, I do think the evening dress must be stunning in motion. I'm learning that a lot of what my modern eye sees as "fussy details" were meant to enchant the viewer.

LorettaChase said...

Ingrid, thank you for the link to the tiara--and all the marvelous jewelry at that site! Theo, according to the Cunnington book, the term "imbecile" wasn't meant to be insulting, "the sleeve being so designated being copied from that of a 'straight waist-coat' used for lunatics"--though that still strikes me as having negative connotations.

Emma J said...

No one has mentioned the brown dress trimmed with fur, but I found that one particularly striking. You don't think of these ladies wearing brown, but this is very handsome and sophisticated.

nightsmusic said...

Probably not the right thread, but speaking of caps and hats and ruffles and things, Return to Cranford is on our local WTVS tonight on Masterpiece Theater. I imagine other's schedules are different, but it's worth checking to see if it will be on in your area.

Lovely program and spot on with the costuming.

Besides, Judi Dench is awesome.

Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

Ingrid, that tiara is gorgeous! This is a fascinating site -- I'm really blown away by how this jewelry has survived over the centuries. Most pieces were taken apart for their stones or gold, so it's rare to be able to see so many original settings and stone-cuts. Many thanks for the link!

Ingrid said...

I am glad you liked it, Loretta and Susan. When the Japanese do something, they do it well. Are you familiar with the Kyoto Costume Institute site? I love that one. Some of the pictures (unfortunately not all) can be zoomed in on and you can focus on small details.

Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

The Kyoto Costume Institute is marvelous. I first learned about them from their Rizzoli companion book to the 18th c. fashion exhibition. They photograph the clothes so beautifully, and somehow manage to make everything look new and stylish, yet also show all the details of construction. I remember how I hedged about buying the book when it first came out -- it was quite pricey! -- but I've used it so many times, and when I see what it goes for on AbeBooks now, I'm glad I did buy it when I did. With costume books, she who hesitates often in time regrets it....*g*

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