Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fashion Forecast 1828, Part 1

What was the fashionable miss wearing in the first half of 1828?

This Ball Dress from January Ackermann’s Repository amuses me a little as the three large borders of the skirt feature ornaments that look like the “yo-yo” puffs that were once popular for quilts and other crafts. Though the illustration doesn’t quite do it justice, there’s a backing of black satin behind them according to the accompanying text, which must have made this dress quite striking. Also notable is the “zephyr” cape, a sort of flounce around the neckline, and the cone-shaped hairstyle: 

This is a very cozy-looking Promenade Dress, slightly military in appearance with the black trim and brass buttons at hem and cuffs, though the blue and red hat and pale green gloves don’t really seem to match. Note the leg-o-mutton sleeves (called in this period “gigot” sleeves) that we started seeing last year...and still those enormous muffs that we’ve seen for nearly twenty years now—some fashions never die! (February, Ackermann’s Repository):

Also from February’s Ackermann’s in this understated Evening Dress, with a white overskirt trimmed with two deep ruffles and red trim to match the deeply pointed bodice, gauze oversleeves covering the long sleeves as well as curious little shelf-like epaulettes at the shoulders. Her gloves appear to have red floral embroidery on the backs of the hands, and her headdress reminds me of a chef's toque, a tiara with a fabric pouf inside:

Another white dress, but this Dinner Dress is somewhat less restrained! The large bouffant ruffle at the hem is topped by a row of large bow encircling the skirt; there’s a belt of what looks like heavy embroidery, and sleeves and a zephyr cape similar to the first image. And that hat!—perhaps an overgrown turban in pink, trimmed with darker magenta ribbons. Striking, perhaps, but nothing I’d wish to wear for an entire evening! (March, Ackermann’s Repository):

I’m pleased that I have the complete description for this Ball Dress, as it refers back to an incident we already know: “White tulle dress over a Feodore blue satin slip; the waist is long, and pointed at the back and front, and bound with gold lace: the stomacher extends to the top of the shoulder, where it terminates in an obtuse angle, projecting over the sleeves, and united to an angular cape, that decorates the back: a branch of white Persian roses spreads over the front, and gives the stomacher an elegant appearance: it is terminated with a rosaceous ornament of rubies set in gold. The sleeves are short and full, and kept out by the stiffened sleeves of the slip. The skirt is made equally full all round, bound with white satin, open in front, but united at regular distances by five rosaceous ruby clasps set in gold: branches of white Persian roses form its rich and delicate border: it is a quarter of a yard shorter than the slip, which is terminated by a blue satin rouleau. The hair is parted in front, dressed in large bows,and adorned with papilionaceous bows of blue and gold tissue ribbon. White kid gloves: medallion bracelets outside. Ear-rings a la Flamande; gold necklace, with a diamond-shape locket in front; gauze scarf; white satin shoes." Note the reference to “Feodore blue”—Feodore being the older half-sister of Princess Victoria, who was of social prominence in 1827 and 1828. And the tongue-twister “papilionaceous” simply means “butterfly-shaped”! (March, Ackermann’s Repository):

Here’s a delightfully spring-like Carriage Costume from April Ackermann’s, in lilac with a profusion of trim—double flounces at the hem, sleeves en gigot with what looks like slashes and puffs of fabric drawn through (very Tudor!) and a deep double van dyke lace collar with a small, upstanding capelet collar. A lace headdress tied under the chin and an unusual wheel-shaped reticule decorated with gold tassels finish this outfit:

Well...this next Evening Dress leaves me at a little loss for words, though upholstery is what springs first to mind! Noteworthy, however, is the print fabric—not something we’ve seen very often in these fashion plates. Rosettes decorate the deep gathered hem and the gauze oversleeves, and the layered capelet over the shoulders echoes the ones in January and March’s dresses. Very--um...striking! (April, Ackermann’s Repository):

And to close with, we have a Morning Dress from June’s Ackermann’s with rather unusual sleeves: look closely, and you’ll see that there are sort of false sleeves lined in pink hanging from the shoulders behind the real (en gigot) ones, similar to the false sleeves that were all the rage in the medieval period! Asymmetrical ornamentation up the skirt, a deep pointed bodice, and broad lace collar make up the rest of this dress. The large hat almost deserves its own paragraph, with its broad brim and fancy ribbon trim:

What do you think of the fashions of the first half of 1828?


Leandra Wallace said...

My fav was the evening dress. The first one...not the upholstery one! =)

Marissa Doyle said...

Yes, the upholstery dress is a bit...couch-like. :)