What was the fashionable miss wearing in the first half of 1834?
Big sleeves, of course! In this Morning Dress at left we see gigot sleeves with giant flounce epaulettes trimmed with dark lace and a high neck with a ruffled frill. The Walking Dress is made along similar lines but with a diagonally pleated bodice. Both have plain skirts; heavy applique decoration around the bottoms of skirts is a thing of the past. Note the heavy mantle in green trimmed with deep lace flounces at right. (The Court Magazine, January):
Here’s a show-stopper of a Dinner Dress from February’s Court Magazine, in pink satin with black lace flounces on the skirt and sleeves and at the cuffs of the gauze oversleeves. The bodice is pink covered with more black lace. The headdress, a simple straw bonnet with ostrich tips and lace lappets, forms a strong contrast. And isn’t the background lovely? These Court Magazine prints are some of the prettiest ever published:
Also from February’s Court Magazine are an Evening Dress of buff with lace trim in both black and white and hectic little black tassels decorating the tops of the sleeves. The hairstyle is gravity-defying—imaging doing that without hairspray! The Full Dress of what looks like a dark and dramatic chintz (perhaps also covered with black lace?) is made in a pelisse style, with a white underskirt and fancy gold belt and white sleeves under the black lace flounces. The bonnet includes an ostrich plume and broad ribbons perhaps of the same chintz as the skirt. Chintz was, incidentally, very “in” this year:
Both this Ball Dress and Opera Dress from April’s Court Magazine rely on lots of white lace frills contrasting with plain fabric to make a statement. The Ball Dress at left features swags of lace up the front of the skirt asn well as frills starting at the V of the bodice and extending up into the sleeves, which are trimmed with large bows which must have fluttered and waved fetchingly during dancing. The gold Opera Dress is remarkably plain in styling, with a large lace-trimmed pelerine with long tailed down the front and forked on the tops of the gauze oversleeves. The dashing little flat bonnet trimmed with ostrich tips and lace is adorable:
Here are a pair of Evening Dresses from May’s Court Magazine. The green dress at left is in the pelisse-robe style with a figured muslin underskirt and bow trimming; with oddly flat, lace-trimmed flaps over the sleeve and a gauze chemisette peeping above the bodice. A snazzy turban trimmed with gold tassels finishes tihngs off. The dress at right of gold-embroidered white satin, with a pleated bodice and sleeves trimmed with more gold embroidery:
Since June is the height of the London Season, a Court Dress is definitely the thing. This one looks almost Tudor, with its overskirt of richly figured fabric over an underskirt and very square bodice and headdress reminiscent of the French Hoods Anne Boleyn was reputedly so fond of...but the full sleeves with deep falls of lace are all 1834, and the headdress feature the requisite three ostrich feather and lappets required of court dress. Stunning! (June, The Court Magazine):
What do you think of the fashions of the first half of 1834?