Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Lace in fashion in 1831

I was delighted to buy a lovely little book recently called ‘The Ladies Pocket Magazine’ printed in 1831. It includes all sorts of snippets of information, poems, stories and tips on etiquette, but what attracted me to it in the first place were the hand painted engravings of fashions. The two illustrated here are a dinner dress and a walking dress. The accompanying text describes the dinner dress as ‘a dress of gold coloured gaze popeline over white satin, the corsage cut rather high, and made with a little fullness is finished by a falling tucker of blond lace’. The skirt is also decorated with ‘very narrow blond lace’. The walking dress is described as a ‘gros de Naples dress’ and the colour as ‘a new shade of Chinese green’. The lace in this one isn’t specified it just says ‘lace collarette and gauze scarf’. The author then describes the latest new fashions (presumably from London). This is followed by a section on Parisian fashions in which two specific outfits are described (a dinner dress and an opera dress) although sadly there are no illustrations of these two especially as the dinner ensemble includes a blond lace cap. Although the information is scanty, my little book is providing a fascinating insight into the fashions and concerns of 1831.

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