by Ann Lethbridge
Hardly a day goes by without something going on these days. Here is the UK cover for Captured For The Captain's Pleasure.
I love that her gown is pure regency, and yep bare-chested guy is good for me too.
Indeed the gown could easily feature in one of these monthly articles. I wonder what they will do for the North American version. The differences for the book out this February, and coming across the pond in May are marked. It is like getting a large box with a ribbon around it. The anticipation is almost better than the gift.
I wandered back through the blogs to see what we had done already and saw that this time last March, we were about to change our clocks. The first sign of spring.
As usual I find plates with both a gentleman and a lady of particular interest.
This one is from Le Beaumonde 1807
A MORNING WALKING DRESS, for Gentlemen is composed of a dark brown superfine cloth great coat, ends of the collar in the front cut into a heart; dark blue under coat only visible in front; toillinette waistcoat blue striped with a white and yellow ground, fawn coloured pantaloons, and half boots.
The description says it all and the cane is an interesting accessory. You can see where there half boots come on the calf by looking closely.
Our Lady is equally fine.
AN ELEGANT WALKING DRESS, a straw gypsy hat, tied down with a white silk or a rich half lace handkerchief; a muslin gown, ornamented with knotted work crossing the shoulder to correspond with the bottom of the dress. The body is made quite plain to draw round the bosom, and fulled in the back to imitate the frock waist, with a light yellow sarsnet or camel hair scarf, richly drapered at the ends with various colours; the scarf is worn so that the dress may be exposed, tastefully tied with a careless knot in front. Lilac gloves and half boots made of kid, a beautiful white down muff, adds much to the elegance and splendour of this much admired Walking Spring Dress.
We have see the muff many times before. This one is huge and looks exceedingly soft.
Our next picture is of a less cheerful not and comes from right at the end of the regency period.
A mourning gown from La Belle Assemblee for 1820.
This is labeled
Round dress of black crape over black satin with five fluted flowers of crape at the border. Spencer of black velvet, with the sleeves and bust ornamented in a most novel and beautiful style. Black velvet bonnet, with superb plume of cypress feathers. English antique triple ruff of white crape, black chamois slippers, and black chamois gloves.
It of course shows the fashion at this time for the wider heavier hemline. But also of interest is the use of chamois. We more often see kid for shoes and gloves. I assume by English antique, they are talking Tudor for the ruff. I agree that the ornamention is quite novel.
The rest of the article goes on to talk about mourning fashions. There has been much mourning among royalty during this period, and King George died January 29, 1820, throwing the nobility back into mourning for their King.
As the splendor of an unclouded sky will sometimes cheer the dark reign of Winter so Taste and Elegance will dart their bright beams even though the sable mantle of mourning, and the cloud of universal and unfeigned regret. We fancied but little could be said on the subject of fashion at a time like this; for in her diversified attire it is generally proved thatOn that note, I will bid you happy rambles.
“Motley’s the only wear.”
As we walked through the tasteful shew-room of Mrs. Bell, we found our admiration continually arrested as we stopped before the retired cornette and bonnet, the sable plumed head-dress of majestic woe, the deep and unstudied weeds for those who, at the first awful period of Court mourning, mark by their costume their sorrowing ideas that Britannia sits like a widow, while the lighter white crape turban peeps through the gloom and indicates the white and halcyon days she hopes to witness in the reign of his present most gracious Majesty.
The most appropriate out-door costume for the first weeks of mourning, is a pelisse of black rosadimoi; a silk which is infinitely deeper than bombazin, and is worn only by widows in the very first stage of their weeds; it is also often appropriated to the fabrication of clergymen’s Court robes; the material, however, of the pelisse is entirely new; and forms a truly classical and unique costume for the present sad occasion. The rich rosadimoi is figured; it is thereby not only rendered lighter in appearance, but also it marks a distinction between the very deep mourning for the nearest and dearest of all individual connections, and that which should be adopted for the sire of the people. The pelisse is trimmed with crape in rich quillings; and with it should be worn a bonnet of puckered crape, ornamented with a full cluster of the blossoms of the mournful nightshade, without foliage and formed of black crape.
Black satin hats, with battlement edges, are much worn in carriages; they are ornamented with full plumes of feathers; the most elegant hat we have seen, but we must remark that it will only suit a lovely face, is the chapeau a la-Comtesse; it is somewhat in the Mary Stuart style, and is crowned by a superb plume of feathers; the hat itself is of black velvet. A large dishabille bonnet of the same material is well adopted to the promenade; it has a small curtain of black lace at the edge and is ornamented with two small dropping cypress feathers.
Little has been yet prepared for full dress, but the elegancies of half dress, the most becoming costume to almost every female, are so various at the Magazin de Modes we have above cited, that it is really more than our limits will allow us to record at present. We cannot, however, leave undescribed a most elegant and appropriate mourning dress of fine bombazine, handsomely ornamented round the border en carresux; each square finished with double crape a-la-veuvage, and the doublings headed by crape beadings: the dress is made high and is finished round the waist by an Arcadian jacket frill of crape, terminated by narrow crape puffings: the mancherons at the top of the long sleeves are trimmed to correspond with the frill.
Cornettes for the breakfast table are made of fine India muslin; the border, which consists of full quilling, has a very broad hem on each side; and the only ornament is a small bow of white love on the left side. For elderly ladies the cornette-a-la matrons is much admired, in the present close state of mourning; it is entirely of white crape, and the broad border with large plaits gives it an air of retired sorrow; these cornettes are well adapted for the very early period of widowhood; they are truly becoming and quite as mournful as the widow’s cap of the old school, and which diminishes the charms even of a very pretty face.
Amongst the head-dresses for evening parties, we beg leave first to introduce par excellance, the regal coronet turban of black velvet, surmounted by a superb chivalry plume of numerous small black feathers; this is one of the most tasteful head-dresses we have seen for some time. The private concert turban is also well adapted to musical parties, being light and without plumage; it is of black satin and crape, ornamented with real jet; a dress hat of crape and black satin ornamented with drooping cypress feathers, is much in estimation for dinner parties.
White crape and white love are equally expressive of mourning as black; the young, and the beauty whose complexion is dark, and which is by no means rendered fairer by the approximation of black next the face, have been already seen in turbans made entirely of white crape, slightly trimmed with white bugles; while those of equivocal complexions, to whom also black is not a favourable head-dress, do well to wear a white crape turban, entwined with black beads, and crowned with black flowers or feathers.
Black is not a colour wherein to tread the mazes of sportive dance; we hope, therefore, when our balls begin, that white or grey crape will be adopted for dresses, with the trimmings only of black; and as young ladies now wear nothing more than a bandeau of jet and bugles to adorn their beautiful tresses, such mourning, we think, will be sufficient; and not seeming to
“Bear about the mockery of woe
To midnight dances.”