Romantic Era Fashion Chit Chat - 1837 Ladies Pocket Magazine
Remarks on the Prevailing London Fashions
The weather is still so very unfavourable to the display of summer costume, that scarcely any novelties have yet made their appearance, but they are in readiness, and our fair fashionables only wait for warm and bright sunshine to throw off the demi saison costumes in which they are still enveloped, and appear in the light and tasteful attire of spring.
We may cite, among the new materials that will be decidedly fashionable, the papyrus: let not our fair readers be alarmed at its antique name, for it is really a beautiful material, and perfectly calculated for a spring robe, as it unites the brilliancy of silk with the softness of cashmere, and the lightness of cambric; it has, besides, the very great advantage of never creasing; it is of different patterns, and calculated both for half dress and evening dress. A still richer material, and calculated for grand costume only, is the satin alphie; it is twilled and glazed with white on a coloured ground, which produces a light and transparent shade, like the surface of water. The mose novel and beautiful among the light materials, is a kind of gauze cachemire, which perfectly merits its name, Ariel, for it has all the transparence in which the fancy of a poet might deck a sylph; it is quadrilled in white upon light and delicate colours, as blue, or pale pink. This pretty material is calculated for social parties. The mousselines capree, also a transparent cashmere material, are of large patterns on white or coloured grounds; they are flowered in bouquets of orange blossoms, myrtle, or aloes, with their warm foliage. Very few printed muslins have made their appearance, nor are they expected to be much in favour; the few that have come out are of large patterns, and it may be taken as a general rule, which will admit of few exceptions, that patterns will this year be very large, and the colours both vivid and in great variety. White muslins are expected to be very fashionable, but not till much later in the season.
Very little alteration is expected to take place in the make of dresses. The pelisse robe form will be a good deal in favour in half dress, as the corsage will be partially covered, either by a mantelet of the same material, or one of lace, or embroidered muslin, when the weather grows warmed; it will be made to the shape without ornament. The principal change is expected to be in the sleeves. Some have been already introduced, made quite tight to the arm, but ornamented with ruches in such a manner as did not add at all to their volume. We have seen also some others decorated with puffs placed in a spiral direction, and so small as to take off but little from the tightness of the sleeve. Generally speaking, however, there is great reason to think that sleeves of moderate fulness will continue to be fashionable in half dress, though they may not be in a majority.
Scarfs, light summer shawls, and mantelets, both of taffetas, embroidered muslin, and lace, are expected to be very fashionable in carriage dress. The new scarfs are of a larger size than those usually adopted; the patterns are very rich both in gauze and cashmere. Shawls are either of the half transparent kind, or of cashmirienne, and of uncommon beauty.
We have, as yet, little to say on the subject of hats and bonnets. There is no doubt that rice straw will maintain all its usual superiority; moire is also expected to be very much in favour, as is also a new and very rich material, reps de Venise; it is a silk of uncommon beauty. Some of the most elegant hats that have already appeared, have large brims standing out very much from the face, and leaving it quite exposed. The principal alterations appear to be in the crowns, or rather the backs of them; the curtains are excessively low, and hang much more gracefully without leaving the neck uncovered. We see also a good many hats cut in a peculiar manner behind, so that the back of the brim supplies, in some degree, the place of a curtain. The new hats are for the most part ornamented with bouquets of early flowers, such as mignionet, violets, primroses, heliotropes, and lilacs. These bouquets are of a round form, and placed low. We must observe, however, that though feathers are not in a majority, several of the most elegant hats are decorated with them, or rather, perhaps, we ought to say with a mixture of feathers and flowers. A new kind of shaded feather, called a folletts, is likely to be much in vogue; so are also marabouts. We should observe, however, that the former are employed to trim the crowns of hats only, but the latter, besides being used for that purpose also, are very frequently employed to decorate the interior of the brims of hats, with a mixture of flowers, in which case the crown is generally decorated with flowers only. We may cite, as an example of this stile, and one of the most elegant that has fallen under our notice, a hat of white moire, trimmed next the face with marabouts mingled with roses; the crown was decorated with a sprig of white lilac, which drooped upon the brim. Fashionable colours are apple green, lavender-bloom, different shades of straw colour, azure blue, cherry, pale pink and drab.