Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fashion Forecast 1832

What was the well-dressed young woman wearing in 1832? As I said for 1831, BIG was in...and that trend would continue for the next several years. The dresses on this plate from February’s La Belle Assemblee’s aren’t too enormous, but I would like to know how the lady at right got her puffy dress sleeves into the sleeves of that coat! Note also the white fur boa in center:

Also from La Belle Assemblee are an Opera Dress and an Evening Dress. Note the interesting sleeves on the Opera Dress with its lappets, and the pleating on the deep ruffle edging the Evening Dress’s skirt. I’m glad to see that the Opera Dress doesn’t include a large hat or headdress, as several earlier Opera Dresses from Ackermann’s did...for which I am sure opera-goers seated behind were grateful! (April):

Prints were truly coming into their own, as can be seen in this trio of dresses from June’s La Belle Assemblee. The Carriage Dress at center is of especial interest, with an elaborately dagged pelerine capelet over gigot sleeves. And the hats! Millinery would also follow the trend of exuberance in the next few years, with lots of plumes, frills, ribbons, and flowers:

Here are a charming Ball Dress, again with sleeves in lappets and a pink overskirt, which must have been lovely when its wearer was in the middle of a lively dance. And I’m trying to decide what the seated lady in the Opera Dress is holding in her hand—doesn’t it look like a feather duster? (Court Magazine, July 1832):

Here’s a print of great interest, from the September issue of Court Magazine: a bride and bridesmaid, probably inspired by the marriage in August of King Leopold of the Belgians (Victoria’s uncle and husband of the late Princess Charlotte of Wales). And yes, the bride is wearing white with a veil draped around her hat, contrary to those who say that Victoria herself established the fashion with her own wedding in 1840). Both dresses are in the current style with full skirts and sleeves, but show a good deal of restraint in ornamentation:

Also from September’s Court Magazine are a Dinner Dress, Evening Dress, and Morning Dress, with their descriptions: Dinner Dress. A pink watered silk dress, à colonnes satinées; body with pointed folds, and bow of gauze ribbon; short sleeves, with epaulettes trimmed with blonde; white tulle Zephyr scarf. White crape hat, and pink feather. Evening Dress. A gauze muslin dress, striped green and pink, with a small running pattern over the stripes; body with small pelerines, trimmed with rouleaux. Cap open behind to show the hair, and trimmed with green gauze ribbon. Morning Dress. A chaly [challis, maybe?] dress, with small bouquets over a white ground; high body, crossed over, and epaulettes on the sleeves. Blue watered silk capote [a type of bonnet], with an alöes.[the plant, perhaps?]

Aren’t these Court Magazine prints wonderful? From October’s number are a Ball Dress and Evening Dress; the skirt of the Ball Dress decorated with quite outrageous bows around the skirt, and the green Evening Dress with enormous gauze oversleeves and a pink polka-dotted turban:

This plate from December’s Court Magazine is described as a Carriage Dress, but it’s hard to see anything of the dress because of the enormous caped and fringed mantle covering most of it, with a definite paisley design around the hem—perhaps made from an Indian textile or at least copied from one?

What do you think of 1832’s fashions?


Regina Scott said...

They are truly lovely, but all I can think of is one of them turning and smacking her escort with her sleeve. How to keep a beau at a distance, fashion style! :-)

Daisy said...

I love these dresses especially the center one in the first picture and the wedding dress.

Barbara Arent said...

I wonder if they thought the large sleeves gave them more of an hour glass figure and made their waist look smaller.

Marissa Doyle said...

I doubt it was anything that thought out, Barbara--fashion rarely is. And Regina, the sleeves might have feather or cotton pads to give them fullness...or they might have wire or wicker frames. So beaux definitely had to beware!