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LA BELLE ASSEMBLÉE.
For MARCH, 1809.
EXPLANATION OF THE PRINTS OF FASHION.
No. 1.-A MORNING OR WALKING DRESS.
A round gown of French cambric, or fine jaconet muslin, let in with lace beading round the feet. A Roman stomacher front, ornamented with the same, and laced with cord. High Armenian collar in small half plaits, edged with vandyke lace; antique ruff to correspond. Reversed strap back, buttoned from
the throat to the termination of the waist. A helmet poke bonnet of light blue, or green velvet, bound with Chinese floss, and ornamented with bands of vandyke lace and beading. Half-boots of fine cloth the colour of the bonnet, calashed with yellow Morocco, and laced with black cord. An occasional kerseymere scarf, or shawl, of crimson, with deep gold-coloured shaded border, and fringe. Gloves pale-grey kid, or York tan. This dress is furnished by the Miss Walthers, No. 75, Margaret street, Cavendish-square.
No. 2.-CARRIAGE COSTUME.
A Polanese coat, and Saragossa mantle, of fine Vigonia cloth; the colour spring green, trimmed round the edges and up the front of the coat, with black velvet bindings, and edg. ings of gold lace. A high puckered collar, confined round the throat with a gold cord and acorn tassels. A belt of black velvet, and rich gold clasp. Military cap formed of the same material, and trimmed also with black velvet and gold. A short white lace veil falling from the edge of the cap just below the chin. Half boots of green kid or cloth, calashed and bound with black, and laced with gold cord.
No. XLII. Vol. VI.
TILL the approach of the demi-saison, our splendid, will admit of little variation as to fashions, though numerous, tasteful, and style or substance. The changeful temper of the atmosphere sufficiently sanctions that sendegrees of heat and cold to which our versatile sible variety which adapts itself to the several climate is subject, and which renders a habit would be unseasonable and inconsistent at anappropriate at one period of the day that other. Let not therefore our fair countrypositions unsteady and wavering; but rather women be longer stigmatized as possessing dislet us applaud their good sense and genius, which so readily perceives, designs, executes, and adapts. In our Prints of Fashion for the present month is displayed a morning and earriage costume, comprising in their separate constructions much neatness and unique elegance. As the most clear elucidation of these habits is given under our usual head of explanations, it is unnecessary that we here dweil further on their becoming attraction, than to recommend them more forcibly to the notice list of out-door habiliments, that given in No. 2, of our several Correspondents. Amongst the of our Figures, may be placed at the head.--Mantles and coats of green Vigonia, or Merino cloth, of various shades, from the sober hue of the Spanish fly to the more lively pea-green, have succeeded to the purple, which though a colour most pleasing in itself, is now become too general to find a place in a select wardrobe. Scarlet cloaks are no longer seen on genteel
women, except as wraps for the Theatres ; || the satiated eye turus overpowered by their universal glare, to rest on more chaste and more refreshing shades. Mantles and pelisses are now considered more elegant when trimmed with gold or silver lace, or binding; or with black velvet, bound, or laid flat, and which is sometimes finished at its terminations with a narrow gold edging, or flat braid. Some are decorated with borders of coloured chenille, but these can only consistently belong to the carriage costume.
therefore by noticing such as appear most worthy of delineation.
The robe à-la- Dido, formed of Tyrian bright velvet, or sarsnet, ranks high in fashionable splendour. It is trimmed with gold lace, and a Roman girdle of gold tissue, confined in front with a rich embossed clasp, ornaments the bottom of the waist. The hair is secured with a caul, or gold net behind, and ornamented with a bandeau or diadem in front. The Carthage cymar, or fancy scarf, formed of Paris net, with gold embossed border and stars, shades the shoulders, which this splendid costume would otherwise too much expose; but we remark that sometimes in full dress the robes are made to sit bigh in the neck, like morning habits, but more ornamented about the throat and bosom : we cannot, however, in any way subscribe to a fashion which levels a just distinction. The throat and bosom, if well formed, should be exhibited in full dress, as far as may be permitted without infringing on those rules of delicacy which propriety proscribes, and which can never in any instance be departed from without danger and disadvantage. The fair and uncovered throat allows a place for the necklace, which almost exclusively belongs to this species of costume, and which can never appear to advantage when worn over the robe. Muslin or net round dresses, are worn over coloured satin or sarsnet, with a deep biuding over the same round the bottom; or trimmed with a deep vandyke lace: we, however, never recollect the period when coloured dress(9 were so universally adopted. Those of the intermediate style are made round with demitrains, and a simple cuff of deep antique lace ; the same falling flat round the bosom, with a plain drawn tucker above. There is much appropriate neatuess in these well-contrasted
habits. Trinkets at this season exhibit much
taste and splendor. Diamonds, and every species of gem, set transparent, and judiciously adapted to the dresses with which they are worn, adorn our fair fashionables in full dress. Bracelets are now worn broad, the size of the wrist, and corresponding with the armlet. This latter ornament is not, however, very general. Clasps of the most brilliant cut steel succeed those of gold or silver, and in absence of the diamond and other valuable gems, we know of none to exceed it in splendour. Combs of steel also rank amidst other fashionable ornaments for the hair. Shoes are now very much trimmed, and are more showy than we have observed them for some years. Halfboots of cloth, the colour of the pelisse or mantle, are also much in request. The ap
Bonnets continue to be formed of the same materials as the coat or mautle, and trimmed to correspond. The Patriotic belmet, and the College bonnet, each worn with short white lace veils, are amidst the most novel and attractive articles of this kind. The purple and the green beaver hat, somewhat of the Spanish form, turned up with a loop and acoru tassel of gold, falling towards the left eye-brow, and ornamented with a small Persian plume of the same colour, is making its appearance, and as a carriage decoration, possesses much becoming attraction. The fair pedestrian, however, discovers a due discrimination of taste and judgment, when she appears in this article divested of the feather and gold ornament. The former is far more genteel and consistent formed of silk, the colour of the hat; and for the latter, we cannot so far deviate from our expressed ideas of that proper distinction we have ever recommended as to allow them a place in the walking or morning dress. Feathers, however constructed or disposed, and gold, however introduced or applied, may become fashionable on these occasions; but can correctly only belong to full dress. The morning habit will best recommend itself to females of a just taste, by a neat, unstudied, and unobtrusive elegance. The construction of gowns and robes are at this time exceedingly various and attractive. In the morning dress, whether the gown is formed as a wrap, Spanish jacket,|| or round frock, it is invariably worn high in the neck; either with the arched collar semblable with that given in No. 1, of our Prints of Fashion, or with a vandyke ruff, or collar la-spencer. The antique cuff is attached to every species of long sleeve. In full dress, however, the loose Turkish sleeve, falling in a point at the elbow, where it is sometimes finished with a correspondent tassel, is in the first style of novel elegance. Were we to attempt a description of the several attractive garments displayed by our fair fashionables at this season, we should find it an Herculean labour, so numerous are the claims to a tasteful distinction. We shall content ourselves
propriation of gloves will speak for themselves in Grosvenor-square, is one of the most spaci
to every female of a correct taste; otherwise we refer them to our former remarks on this head of our subject. The most genteel colours are Saragossa brown, various shades of green, amber, and pale geranium; the most general, purple and scarlet.
ons and sumptuous mansions in town. It is just furnished in the highest style of the present mode. The drawing room comprises a most attractive assemblage of the Greek and Chinese. The eating room is the west convenient, novel, and elegant desigur I have ever witnessed, and serves at once as an emblem of our advancement in luxury and genius, as well as our just sense of what constitutes the comforts of affluence.
LETTER ON DRESS,
EXPLANATORY AND DESCRIPTIVE.
BE convinced, my dear Frederica, by this my haste in fulfilling the promise I gave you at parting, that however beguiled by the fas cinating pleasures of this gay metropolis, they will never be suffered to intude on those emotions sacred to friendship and to you. I shall during my sojourn here, give you a fall and particular account of my pursuits and my pleasures-my rovings and my wanderings, should I be so affected. And if any attack of the arch God should assail this hitherto stubborn heart, you shall have a faithful detail of the combat-whether I commence open hostilities, or surrender to terms of capitulation. I have already found that love in the country and love in the city is quite a different sort of thing. No sighing and whining here. Our Cupids abound in native roguery, and approach us clad in smiles. Here the rosy God rejects constraint and flies controul, and shoots his arrows free as-air. You, who are well acquainted with my disposition, will therefore readily perceive that I am in more danger from a town than a country Cupid. In the latter there is more sentiment and more deception; in the former more fire and more fairness, and that grees best with my spirit and my candour. But truce to a subject in which I have only theoretical knowledge.
Let me now proceed to give you some account of this stylish family, with whom I have the prospect of passing a most agreeable season. It consists, first, of a host and hostess; the former a most accommodating good humoured sort of a husband enough, aged fifty; the latter, an elegant stylish woman, about forty; two daughters, very pretty, endowed with every fashionable acomplishment, aged from seventeen to twenty; a gay and dashing brother, three years older, heir to the fortune and honours of the family; and an elegant and interesting man, about thirty, who is like myself, on a visit of courtesy, but who has stronger claims to hospitality, from being a cousin of the lady of the mansion. The house, which is situated
But I must not pass over the unique clegance of the sleeping rooms; to each of which is attached a boidour, fitted up in the most tasteful and appropriate style. A private door, ingeniously contrived, leads to the sleeping rooms, while a public one leads to the grand stair-case. The drapery, furniture of mine, is a mixture of pea-green and pale rosecolour, representing the damask patterns. The poles and Grecian longes are bronze, twined with raised oak-leaves and berries in gold, and the cabinets and bookcases are rosewood, inlaid with ivory and ebony after the Chinese taste. The windows are filled with native and exotic flowers and shrubs. The ground of the carpet is shaded green, with red and white roses scattered over, in true Arcadian taste.
This elegant retreat I call my Sanctuary; for it is here that I fly to regulate my mind when shaken by the whirlwinds of pleasure; it is here that in the turning over the pages of some well-inspired author, I compose my distracted senses, and learn lessons of reason and rationality. But to quit my sober strain, let me proceed to tell you that we have already had one most brilliant concert and ball since my arrival. The first public and many private singers lent their voices on the occasion. The dancing was exquisite, but I thought it favoured rather more of public science than private elegance. The dresses of the ladies were of unrivalled attraction. Some very splendid robes of velvet and cloth, in green, purple, and orange, trimmed with gold and silver, with rich antique stomachers, aud military fronts, in gold mosaic patterns, had a large share of my attention. Sometimes these dresses were relieved by trimmings of antique lace and beading, while the same was introduced in various fanciful directions in the bosom and sleeves. But as this letter will be accompanied with a long list of general informatiou, I shall accommodate you with a few particular delineations, and then close my
We are all going on Saturday next to a grand ball given by the Countess of L-; and I
know not how better to fulfil my intention than by giving you a description of our several dresses which are chosen for the occasion.
were never more in vogue than at this period : yet I have the courage to depart from the general order of the day, on the ensuing occasion, aud intend appearing in a French frock of white figured net; but with a view of accommodating myself a little to the general standard, I shall wear it over an under dress of pink satin; not a particle of gold or silver will be allowed to glitter on my little person. A girdle of pink satin, with a Roman clasp of finely cut steel, will simply confine my waist; a
simple tucker of French net will shade my bosom; a single row of pearl will constitute my necklace and bracelets; a simple Persian pin of the same, confine my hair. My slippers will be white satin, with pearl buttons; and thus you will see I am determined not to obscure the little attraction which my petit person may or may not boast, with a redundancy of ornaments; and it would be more to their advantage, I believe, if every little woman would be guided by me in this single particular. I have scribbled so much of worldly trifles, that I have little room for more intellectual matter.
The lady of our mansion has ordered a most, superb robe of the finest orange coloured cloth. It has a broad black velvet border, laid Bat round the bottom, above which is seen a gold lace. The same is continued up the front, with the gold lace terminating its edges, and continued, in the form of a nun's bib, across the bosom and shoulders, and it is finished in pointed capes behind. The sleeves, which are long and wide, are formed of black and gold tissue; the shoes are of black satin, embroidered with gold at the toes. Her hair (which is still very fine) is ornamented with a Spartan diadem, composed of the finest brilliants; her necklace, bracelets, and earrings are also of diamonds. The commanding height and extreme elegance of this lady's figure, suits well with the splendid attraction of this babiliment. Her two daughters will wear dresses similar with each other; and are, round robes of pale-blue or pea green, twill garsnet, short Turkish sleeves, with high fronts; the whole trimmed with black velvet bindings, and silver or gold lace. Their Bair is to be disposed à-la-Greque, confined with a comb of the finest pearl; necklace and earrings of the same. Their shoes are white satin, laced with silver cord at the toes, and the quarters trimmed with correspondent fringe. They will each wear a Carthage cymar of cobweb net, bordered and spotted with silver. The above-mentioned style of trimming, com posed of black velvet and gold lace, is all the rage amidst the hurt ton, and coloured dresses
I inclose for your amusement, "Tales of the Manor;" and will send you Sir Robert Ker Porter's book the instant it makes a public entrée. It is true, as you have heard, his ingenious sisters are engaged in some novel productions-depend on them the moment they issue from the press. I wonder not at what you say on this subject. Who can but look forward with pleasurable expectation to any forthcoming work from the authors of " Thad deus of Warsaw," and "The Hungarian Brothers."-Farewel.
London: Printed by and for J. BELL, Southampton-street, Strand.
COURT AND FASHIONABLE
Lady Charlotte Duncombe
FOR MARCH, 1909.
1. An Elegant PORTRAIT of the RIGHT HON. LADY CHARLOTTE Duncombe.
2. TWO WHOLE-LENGTH FIGURES in the FASHIONS of the SEASON, COLOURED.
3. An ORIGINAL SONG, set to Music for the Harp and Piano-forte; composed exclusively for this Work, by Mr. M. P. KING.
4. Two elegant and new PATTERNS for NEEDLE-WORK.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF ILLUS
ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS. Hymenæa in search of a husband....... Second-sight.....
Independence; or, The Trustee........ On the construction of Theatres..........
Anecdotes of dress, and the caprices of
Extracts from Sir John Carr's "Tour
London: Printed by and for J. BELL, Proprietor of the WEEKLY MESSENGER, Southampton-Street,
Strand, April 1, 1809.