Tuesday, August 10, 2021

A Walk in the Park

Well, here’s a pretty thing! La Belle Assemblée has done (did?) it again with a charming ensemble for a summer walk in the park.


The description reads:

No. 2.—Kensington Garden Dress

Mantle of green crape, with a train terminating in a point, trimmed all round with feather trimming of the same material; a tippet with a pointed cape attached to the mantle, the ends of which cross the bosom, and are tied behind with a ribband; with this is worn a Gipsy hat of the same coloured crape; the crown quartered with a small knot on the top, and on the left side a cord and tassels; the hat trimmed at the edge the same as the mantle. Robe dress, walking length, of white washing sarsnet, with an embroidered border.

So much going on here! First, while I love the color green, 19th century green clothing always gives me the heebie-jeebies because many green dyes were…well, as poisonous as heck. This might have predated the arsenical greens of a slightly later date, but still…

I do love the idea of a diaphanous cloak, though. I would love to see a sample of the fabric this was made from. And the feather trim! It says in the description that the trim is made from the same material as the mantle itself, so I assume it is made of little tongues of fabric that probably ravel a bit and look quite feathery. The tippet adds a layer of interest—I would like to have seen a back view. And oh my goodness, I can just picture a “meet-cute” where our absent-minded hero, his nose buried in a book, crosses paths with our heroine by stepping on the trailing point of her mantle…

As for the rest: I wonder if the brim of the hat was stiffened with wire or a strip of buckram under the feather trim? The gloves appear to be York tan, with slippers of a similar shade. And that parasol! Blue plaid with a fringe—what a confection.

I would totally have worn this dress (especially if I got that meet-cute with the handsome book-reading fellow!) How about you?

* * * * *

One more thing: I’ve been posting these wonderful La Belle Assemblée prints and the Ackermann fabric samples I’ve been featuring on my Pinterest account. Have a look! It’s kind of neat to see them all in one place.


No comments: