Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Keeping Away from the Joneses, La Belle Assemblée Style

Leafing through one of my La Belle Assemblée albums for something to blog about, I found this Summer Walking Dress from the July 1809 issue—and had a bit of a chuckle.

Here’s the original text:

A round robe of jaconot muslin, high in the neck, to lace up the back with coloured lacing, finished round the collar with scollop edging; long sleeves trimmed to correspond, a broad lace let in round the bottom between two rows of small tucks. Sash of corded ribband. Purple and green shot short pelisse, trimmed with broad scollop lace, confined tight to the figure with green band to correspond. Steel clasp. A half handkerchief of green figured silk round the neck. Fine worked or lace tippet handkerchief, edged with scollop lace, and ornamented with tassels, thrown carelessly over the back. Bonnet of figured sarsnet and lace, with pendant end [and?] tassel on the left side.   Shoes of pale green kid. Gloves of York-tan.

Aside from wondering just what sort of corset the model was wearing (or why the artist had no idea of how to depict the female bust), I was, of course, struck by the bonnet. I think I’ll have to run one of these up instead of using my quilt stash for making masks. Worn with an 1860s crinoline, it would do a fine job of aiding in maintaining physical distance, don’t you think? Throw in the parasol, and no one could get within six feet of you. Of course, a crinoline and parasol in the grocery store might be somewhat awkward…

On the other hand, the whole outfit looks quite comfortable and unfussy, and that little face curtain would definitely aid in keeping the sun off one’s complexion in ssummer. So perhaps there isn’t much to be amused by after all...

No comments: