Monday, November 6, 2017

Fashions for November 1881

Monday, November 6, 2017
November 1881 Fashions
Loretta reports:

For those readers who, like me, aren’t familiar with the terminology of dress and dressmaking, some of these descriptions amount to a foreign language. I’ve made what discoveries I could in limited time, and footnoted the more puzzling ones.

If you compare to the fashions of a decade earlier, you’ll notice that the circumference of the dress has decreased a great deal, for a more form-fitting look below the waist, the look of the “princess” style.

Along with the change in dress construction, and the tighter skirts, we see less skin on display in evening dress than a decade before. Many evening dresses have high collars or high necks and elbow-length sleeves like the green one.

Fig. 1—(281).—The Templemore Afternoon Tea Gown of dove-colored cachemire,[1] trimmed with blue satin and coquilles[2] of white lace. The dress is made in princesse form, with a bouillonné [3] plastron [4] in front, edged with lace, and has a Suisse belt: the collar and sleeves are very pretty. Will take 5 yds. cachemire double-width; 4-1/2 yds. satin: 18 yds. lace.

Fig. 2.—(292).—The Alice Home Toilette of silver-grey alpaca, trimmed with red satin ribbon of the shade called Princess of Wales's. The body is gathered front and back, and trimmed with a handsome lace collar: the overskirt is laid in pleats in front, and is elegantly draped behind; it is trimmed all round with a satin ruching, a fringe, and lace. The underskirt consists of lace or embroidered flounces, edged by a satin balayeuse. Will require 4 yds. double-width alpaca for overskirt; 9 yds. wide embroidery, or 12 yds. lace : 3 yds. narrow embroidery or 4 yds. Lace; 16 yds. satin ribbon ; 2-1/4 yds. balayeuse.

Fig. 3.—(283).—The Ernestine, an Elegant Dinner Press of olive-green satin, trimmed with brocade. The cuirasse [5] body is pointed back and front, edged by two cross folds of satin, which may be of the same color as the sash, or olive-green, as represented on the plate: the underskirt is composed of wide tabs of brocade and plissés [6]  of satin, crossed by draperies of the same: the back is well puffed and ornamented by a long moiré sash, matching in color the flowers of the brocade. Quantities required: 10 yds. satin; 4 yds. brocade; 4 yds. ribbon for sash.
The London and Paris Ladies' Magazine of Fashion 1881

[1] cachemire: I had thought this was simply an alternate or Frenchified spelling of cashmere. However, Cunnington’s Englishwomen’s Clothing in the Nineteenth Century differentiates the two. Cachemire is “a textile of fine wool and silk, the patterns usually of Eastern shades.”

[2} coquilles: scallops

[3] bouillonné: Per OED—in dressmaking, “a puffed fold”

 [4] plastron: Per OED: “In women’s dress. A kind of ornamental front to a bodice introduced in the latter half of the 19th C; extended to a loose front of lace, or some light fabric edged with lace, embroidery, etc.”

[5] cuirasse: Per OED, a close-fitting (sleeveless) bodice, often stiffened with metal trimmings or embroidery, worn by women.

[6] plissés: Per OED, refers to material “shirred or gathered in small pleats,” IOW, pleated material. From what I can ascertain, this isn’t the plissé you find in a quick Google search—a sort of seersucker—which is produced by a chemical treatment. The image does seem to show pleating.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Anonymous said...

Yes, you are completeley right with the "plissè". It is a French word and means "pleating".
I really love your blog.

Greetings from Europe.

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