Fashions for December – 1856

Exactly 150 years ago this was the fashion for December

FIGURE 1 is a dress of rich light-blue taffeta, with flounces of velours epingle, representing tangled beds of roses, in their natural colors. The berthe and sleeves are similar in design, but narrower. The berthe forms epaulettes on the shoulders, and meets in a point about the mid-depth of the corsage, which is pointed. The skirt is full, with three flounces, of which only the upper one appears in the figure. Upon the edge is woven a narrow fringe, and narrow lines of blue velvet run parallel with the flounces. A bouillonnee of the same material as the dress trims its top, which is further enriched with an engrelure of point lace. The under-sleeves are puffed, with narrow stripes of cerise velvet running lengthwise. The hair is ornamented with autumn-tinted vine-leaves and green grapes.

In Figure 2, the HEAD-DRESS is a transparent, quarilled with black velvet, each mesh ornamented with a pearl, and surrounded with black lace, set on full, intermingled with ivy-leaves, berries, and crimson fuchsias.

Figure 3 is a SORTIE DU BAL of white glace. The shoulders are laid in narrow flat plaits, which merge in wider ones below. A deep pointed hood, with tassels at the back, falls upon the shoulders. Its general form is circular. The passamenterie is of azure velvet ribbon and lozenge-formed puffs of taffeta of similar shade, with a pearl on each corner. The spaces between the puffs are occupied by fan-shaped ornaments of bugles–blue and white alternately. A cord, with loops and tassels, gives an appropriate finish to this garment.

FIGURE 4.–EVENING DRESS. Hair a la Grec, with coiffure of miniature fruits and flowers. Long drops ornament the ears. Three rows of black lace cover the shoulders, and, forming the sleeves, terminate in a point at the waist, where they form a V-shaped front to the corsage. At the back the lace passes across, making three flounces over the dress, which is of azol-green taffeta. Alternate bouillonnees of lace and twists of the silk occupy the front of the corsage. The skirt is very full, and set on in hollow plaits, with three lace flounces, festooned, and caught up in front by ribbons.