Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fashions for May 1819

Wednesday, May 2, 2012
English Walking Dress
Loretta reports:

In his/her General Observations on Fashion and Dress, the fashion writer of La Belle Assemblée waxes rhapsodic about the month of May.
The fashions of the delightful month of May are generally ushered in by Taste accompanied by the Graces: Flora is seen strewing her treasures in their path; Art and Invention guide the hand of Industry, and preside over the loom, while Fancy lends her unremitting aid to perfect those articles of the toilet devoted to female attire.
MAY, 1819
No. I.—Walking Dress.
Pelisse of light fawn-coloured twilled sarsnet, or satin, elegantly ornament ed with trimming of the same en languettes, each languette beautifully ornamented with a rich yet light trimming of pink and black, with ornamental buttons. Large promenade bonnet of light fawn-colour, trimmed to correspond with the pelisse, and worn over a cornette of fine lace. Fawn-coloured satin sandal boots, and Limerick gloves.
N. B. We are indebted to Mrs. Bell for this chaste and appropriate spring costume; by whose unrivalled taste also we were favoured with the superb Evening Dress, trimmed at the border à-la-Flora, given in our last Number.
No. 2.—Parisian Opera Costume.
Parisian Opera Costume
Round dress of pink gossamer satin, ornamented with white plûche de soie. Dress hat of white satin, with full blown Provence rose on one side, and a superb plume of down feathers. Necklace formed of two rows of large pearls. White satin slippers and white kid gloves. Kaleidoscope fan of carved cedar.
La Belle Assemblée, May 1819
The magazine regularly boasts of the Duchess of Kent’s patronage of Mrs. Bell's establishment, the Marchande—or Magazinde Modes, in St. James’s Street (where my own dressmakers have set up shop). If you click on the LBA link and read further on, you’ll find her name dropped in relation to a wedding bonnet.


Norma Shephard said...

How timely. I'm preparing an exhibit text for a millinery retrospective I'm curating, and this lovely excerpt has set my mind to thinking about the garden gazing and bird watching that used to be possible simply by passing a millinery shop window.

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