Friday, March 8, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 30e Cahier, 6e Figure

Young Lady in a Polonaise of taffeta trimmed flat with bands of another color: she is coiffed with a handkerchief with pinked borders, fitted with taste and bordered with flowers. (1780)

ROBE A LA CLEOPHILE.*  This is a Polonaise, noteworthy for its manner of being pulled up with beads and tassels, in the method that the two seams of the waist fasten the places where it is pulled up.

This manner of pulling up gives a very wide form to the drapery, and seems to lend it new graces: this is what the Elegant Women of the Capital did not fail to notice, and Cléophile cannot complain of having not been feted.

* At first I thought this was in reference to Danaus cleophile, the Jamaican monarch butterfly, but it seems that it was only identified in 1819.  However, then I found a list of ballet dancers in The Lady's Magazine (1775) which includes a woman named Cleophile.


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