Wednesday, April 28, 2010

1829 What to wear to a masquerade

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Loretta reports:

I don’t often come across masquerade/fancy ball dresses in fashion plates, so I thought this needed to be shared.

From R. Ackermann's Repository of Fashions for April 1829

The print represents a full Turkish costume, as used on state occasions; and from its rich effect is well calculated to give variety to the Fancy Ball. The tunic is of rich yellow brocade, made very full and reaches to the knees, where it is ornamented by a trimming of white fur, laid round the hem. Under this are worn very full trowsers of white silk, striped with amber satin, and drawn round the ankle. The waistcoast is composed of celestial blue satin, striped with gold; it is very high behind, and cut low in front, to display the under-vest of fine muslin or rich lace, made full and confined round the throat by strings of pearl. The sleeves of the dress, which are very wide, are lined with yellow satin and trimmed with fur, to correspond with the tunic.

The turban is formed of numerous folds of the finest Indian muslin, divided in front by a tiara of wrought gold, ornamented by a large emerald in the centre, over which is placed an aigrette of amethysts and pearls, surmounted by a full plume of the feathers of the bird of paradise. The turban is richly ornamented by strings of Oriental pearls, disposed in various directions.

A rich cashmere shawl of a bright orange colour completes this superb dress.


Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

I love it! Unlike most masquerade costumes, there would be absolutely NO way to guess the wearer's identity (or even her gender) in this get-up.

Undine said...

"...there would be absolutely NO way to guess the wearer's identity (or even her gender) in this get-up."

Funny you should say that--just before I read your comment, I was honestly trying to figure if that was a man or a woman in the picture!

In any case, I love that turban!

LaDonna said...

Talk about a woman of mystery!

Pauline said...

You have to believe that the real kick would come from being able to wear "trowsers" (and perhaps be imagined a man!) without all the uproar surrounding, oh say, Emma Hamilton in full midshipman dress on the quarterdeck of Horatio Nelson's flagship.

Lauren Lee said...

What an awesome costume! I wonder if a lady and gentleman would dress like this together to go to a costume ball? Considering how everything Turkish was considered scandalous, this was probably super daring.

LorettaChase said...

It really is striking on so many counts--and yes, I'm sure the "trowsers" would have all kinds of connotations: a woman in male dress, in Turkish dress, no less. Scandalous, indeed. (A viewpoint I exploited in my 2009 book.) She's so covered up, yet the costume would be considered daring, I believe.

cara elliott said...

What a wonderful images! Reminds me of Lord Byron in his Greek dress . . .and is stirring some fun ideas for a masquarade scene.

Thanks for sharing!

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