Friday, December 21, 2012

Godey's London Fashions for May, 1834: Evening and Opera Costume

EVENING AND OPERA COSTUME. - A robe of celestial blue satin, opening en tablier, over a white satin skirt, and trimmed down the fronts with white blond; five moss roses are placed along this edging, and from the three lower ones, little garlands of roses cross over the white satin.  Corsage à la pucelle, blond lace Sevigne with a rose on each shoulder, and in the centre of the bosom smaller ones, reaching thence to the point of the waist; double sabot sleeves, a rose confining the fullness.  Coiffure en cheveux, adorned with agraffes of gold, and a beautiful spiral garland.  Pearl necklace, gold ear-rings, with pearl drops.


 A robe of celestial blue satin, opening en tablier, over a white satin skirt, and trimmed down the fronts with white blond; 
A tablier is an apron; one magazine even gives an explanation of "opening en tablier".
The Lady's Magazine, 1832
"Opening" is a slightly misleading term - it's more like the skirt is split at the side fronts to look like it's open with an apron filling in the middle.

Modes de Paris, Petit Courrier des Dames, 1834
five moss roses are placed along this edging, and from the three lower ones, little garlands of roses cross over the white satin.
Moss roses are here cabbage rosesI can't find anything to illustrate this, sadly.  There are probably supposed to be five roses along each edge of the two openings in the skirt, and the garlands are what holds the tablier in with the rest of the skirt.
Corsage à la pucelle, blond lace Sevigne with a rose on each shoulder, and in the centre of the bosom smaller ones, reaching thence to the point of the waist; 
I cannot find any other references to "corsage à la pucelle".  It probably refers to Jeanne la Pucelle, Joan of Arc, because historicism!  A sevigne was already determined to be the drapery around the neckline often called a bertha.  Matching trims over each shoulder, in the center of the neckline, and down the front is a fairly common placement pattern.

Wedding dress, 1837; MMA C.I.53.7.1
Modes de Paris, Petit Courrier des Dames, 1834






 
 
double sabot sleeves, a rose confining the fullness.   
Looking into sabots again, I found some more descriptive sources.

The Lady's Magazine, 1834
La Belle Assemblée, 1835







 
(elbow) - La Belle Assemblée, 1830
New Monthly Belle Assemblée, 1836
The Schoolmaster, 1832







Atkinson's Casket, 1836
The Ladies Pocket Magazine, 1836
"Short sleeves with double sabots separated by a ribbon which is tied at the under part of the arm." - The Court Journal, 1835

Sorry for dumping all of that!  The trouble with looking for quotes is that they're all interesting, and I want to save them all for later.  The earliest one, which was helpfully illustrated, is very clearly describing the little piece that holds the sleeve in as a puff.  The next, from 1832, is less clear - there are two sabots, and there are two puffs.  Around this point, the meaning was switching from "band of fabric that holds a full sleeve into a puff" to "a puff on a sleeve", or "a puffed sleeve".  So the double sabot sleeves mentioned in the description are full sleeves in two puffs, with yet another rose trimming the band between them.

(Imagine what I could accomplish if I focused my attention on other things.)

Evening and walking dresses, autumn 1836
Evening dress, ca. 1836; MMA 1988.105.5a–d
Coiffure en cheveux, adorned with agraffes of gold, and a beautiful spiral garland.  
La Belle Assemblée, 1832
A coiffure en cheveux is simply a hairstyle with no bonnet, hat, or cap.  Agraffe is a term used frequently with regard to hair jewelry; it's literally a clip or fastening.  I've also found references to agraffes being used in hats and mantles, which leads me to think they are sort of all-purpose brooches that can be fastened in the hair if you choose.

Morning and evening dresses, winter 1831

Walking and evening dresses, spring 1831

Evening dress, spring 1836

Carriage dress, 1836
Pearl necklace, gold ear-rings, with pearl drops.
 (Self-explanatory.)
Morning, dinner, and opera dresses, winter 1831

Modes de Paris, Petit Courrier des Dames, 1834


2 comments:

  1. Dear Cassidy,

    Why oh why have you made me fall for the early and mid-1830s? The double sabots, the wide necklines, the entirely silly-but-charmant hairstyles?

    This comment: "(Imagine what I could accomplish if I focused my attention on other things.)" elicited such a giggle-snort. It's so true.

    Very best, and I wonder what you are dreaming of making? My personal favorite so far is that bronzy Met dress, Evening dress, ca. 1836; MMA 1988.105.5a–d.

    Very best,

    Natalie

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    Replies
    1. I keep asking myself the same question! All of the research is making me want something with absurd sleeves. But the vocabulary is the best part, I just love learning new fashion terms.

      I'd probably have a cure for the common cold if I'd gone into medicine!

      There's a late 1830s day dress pattern that I took that I'd like to use - that's why I made that chemise, and now I'm waiting on some twill to come in the mail so I can start a corset. For the most part, these posts are really research for the same of research, though.

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