Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Just Charming!

It’s lots of fun to find outré, outrageous, and out-to-lunch fashion images to share with you. But sometimes it’s nice to see a dress that you or I might actually not have minded wearing out to a party or ball…like this Ball Dress from the January 1817 La Belle Assemblée.

Isn’t it just adorable?

The original description reads: A frock of tissue gauze, the ground white, flowered with amber, flounced round the border, and the flounce elegantly surmounted by a wreath of yellow crocusses. Full long sleeves of tulle. The hair dressed in the modern British style, with a full plume of white ostrich feathers tipped with amber, and placed rather backward on the summit of the head. Amber necklace in two rows. White satin slippers; white kid gloves; and small white crape fan richly embroidered in silver of a Vandyke pattern.
The fabric is lovely, though I wonder if it was a print or if the flower pattern was embroidered. I rather expect the former, as we've seen plenty of print fabrics in our Ackermann fabric sample posts. In another year or two the hems of dresses will be overburdened with flounces, appliques, wreaths, and any number of other decorative elements, but for now, a flounce, a ruffle, and a wreath of flowers suffices…and crocuses! What an inspired choice for an early spring outfit, and so dainty! 

I also like the gauze sleeves, with the ribbon trim and small ruffle at the wrist, more crocuses at the upper arm, and the graceful neckline with more ribbons and ruffles.

What do you think? Would you have worn this dress to Lady Thingummy’s ball? ☺

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