Regency Era Fashion Chit Chat - April 1820 Ladies' Monthly Museum
A change of mourning for his late Majesty has been ordered much sooner than was expected; it took place on Sunday the 19th of March. The Lord Chamerlain's ordered are, grey for undress, and plain black silk for dress; a further change will take place in April, when plain black silk is to be worn, with coloured ribands or flowers, for dress, till the 30th of April, when the court will go out of mourning.
The change in the promenade costume is not as yet very striking; there are several grey silk, poplin, and bombasin dresses; but we see also, even in the early part of the day, as great a number of black silk ones. Pelisses and high gowns appear equally in favour; but black silk scarfs, the ends of which are richly embroidered in colours, are always worn with the latter. Plain scarlet silk scarfs, without borders, are like-wise very fashionable, and give a striking relief to the sombre appearance of the rest of the dress.
Grey silk pelisses, or grey bombasin dresses, are very general in carriage costume. SOme are trimmed with black, but a great many are made with a trimming to correspond in colour with the dress. We have been favoured with a sight of a very elegant and novel high dress, invented by one of our most fashionable marchandes des modes, which we shall endeavour to describe:
It is composed of grey silk; the ground is plain, but remarkably rich and substantial, with a small flower very much raised; the skirt is rather full; it is gored, but much less so than they have lately been worn, so that it is of an easy width round the figure at the waist, and rather wide at the bottom. The trimming of the skirt consists of grey gauze, disposed in a manner very striking and tasteful, but rather difficult to describe; it is laid on very full; the fulness is formed into fluted draperies, about a quarter of a yard in depth; this is headed by a very rich wreath of oak-leaves in grey satin. The body is high; the back plain, broad in the middle, but tapering down at each side, so as to form the shape in a very becoming manner; a short, full jacket, rounded at the corners, is affixed to the back; the fronts are tight to the figure; and the dress fastens in front with small grey silk buttons; a double row of buttons to correspond, ornaments each front; they are brought across from the point of the shoulder nearly to the bottom of the waist. The long sleeve is rather right to the arm; it is ornamented at the hand with a narrow triple ruffle of white crimped crape; very full epaulete, composed of grey gauze; it is formed to correspond with the bottom of the skirt, and is fastened up in the middle of the arm by a band of folded grey satin, about an inch in breadth. The collar is rather high: it stands out a good deal from the neck, and is formed of alternate folds of grey satin and gauze; the letter laid in very full.
We have been favoured also by another house of considerable eminence with the sight of an evening dress and some millinery. The dress, which is in the French style, is extremely novel: it is composed of plain black gauze; and is worn over a white satin slip; the skirt is very full; it is finished at the bottom by a trimming of white gauze, disposed in broad points; these are fluted in a byas direction; the flutings are marked by white silk cord; a very full trimming of gauze, doubled, and cut byas, edges the points, which are headed by a row of puffs, between each of which is a small white satin rose; a rouleau, or white satin, laid on in a wave, surmounts this trimming. The corsage is black satin; the waist is rather long, and is finished at bottom by tabs; they are very short in front, but gradually deeper behind; there are two rows at the back, but only one in front; these tabs are edged with pearl, as is also the bust of the dress; it is cut very low; but the neck is shaded by a fulness of white gauze, which goes inside, and is looped in the centre of the back and bosom, and on each shoulder, with pearl ornaments; the lower part of the body is tight to the shape. Short sleeve, made very full; the fulness confined in front of the arm, in three places, by pearl ornaments. A white satin sash, put on in folds, and fastened behind in bows and short ends, finished this tasteful dress.
The millinery consists of a dress hat, and a half-dress cornette. The hat is composed of rich grey spotted silk; the crown is low; it is ornamented round the edge of the top with puffs of grey gauze, between each of which is placed a little white satin ornament, in the shape of a shell. The brim is very small; and turns up all round, and is pointed in the centre; a pearl star is attached to the point, and the brim is edged round with narrow blond; a white satin band, twisted with pearl, encircles the bottom of the crown, and a rich plume of feathers is placed on the right side, so as to droop over to the left; this is certainly the most elegant dress hat that we have seen for a considerable time.
The cornette is composed of white net; the caul is exactly in the shape of a scallop-shell; it is ornamented with very narrow rouleaux of grey satin; the head-piece projects a little on the forehead, and is a good deal cut on each side of the face, so as to display the front hair; a full quilling of net, edges with narrow grey satin riband, goes all round; there are no ears, but a grey satin riband passes under the chin, and ties in a full bow on the right side; and a bunch of small roses, composed of grey crape, is placed rather high on the left side of the crown.
We have been informed by an English correspondent, on whom we can rely, and who is now residing in Paris, that the mounring for the Duc de Berri, which lasted for three weeks only, never extended beyond the circle of the court, all other persons appearing as usual in colours. We have the pleasure to say, that our countrymen and women, who are now in the French metropolis, have not shewn themselves thus deficient in respect to the memory of their lamented Prince, and late venerable Sovereign; the mourning for both of whom is to last three months; the first six weeks, which are now over, in black, the last in white, with black ornaments. Ladies wear, for the promenade, cambrice muslin dresses, with black silk or velvet spencers; black bonnets lined with white; white gloves and black shoes. Waists are now made exceedingly long; the backs of dresses much narrower than they have hitherto been; and both in in and out-door costume, the dress tight to the shape. The major part of the spencers are now made with jackets, which do not come farther than the back, and are made very full. All long sleeves are nearly tight to the arm; but the epaulettes are very full; those are considered most fashionable that are slashed in the Spanish style. The lower part of te sleeve has very seldom any ornament. Collars continue to be made very high behind, sloped down a little in front, and to stand out a good deal from the neck.