The Royal Lady's Magazine

April 1831


       Although the month of April is never very fertile in new fashions, yet luckily there are always some elegantes to be found, who, tired of furs, velvet, and satin, seize the first days of sunshine to appear in spring toilettes. We have selected a few articles of out-door dress now in preparation for some of those ladies, which our fair readers will find not less remarkable for novelty than elegance.
        The first we shall describe is a morning carriage-bonnet, of white gros d'orient; the brim, without being larger than those worn last month, is something deeper in front, but slopes off more at the sides, and is equally short and close at the ears: the lining, of very pale rose-coloured satin, is partially covered on one side by white blonde lace, arranged in three festoons, which are formed by very small white roses: the crown is of a melon shape, the material laid plain on one side, and in full folds on the other; these folds are gathered on the right side in front under a full knot of riband, from the base of which issues a bouquet composed of long light sprigs of white roses, with their foliage-they incline towards the left side. A knot, similar to that in which the bouquet is placed, but without flowers, confines the folds near the left ear behind. The brides are trimmed with narrow blonde lace; and instead of tying in bows and ends, fasten in a rosette under the chin.
        A carriage hat, of blue gros de Naples glace, has caught our fancy, by the mingled grace and lightness of its form and ornaments. The crown, higher before than at the back, was trimmed with a long white ostrich feather, placed near the top, and which drooped in a serpentine direction round it. A wreath of white gauze riband, resembling oak leaves, crossed the brim on the inside, and, turning a little over it, terminated in a very light rosette of cut ribands.
        A pelisse, intended to be worn with the white bonnet that we have described above, is composed of emerald-green gros de Naples; the corsage comes up to the throat behind, and turns over in the shawl style: the lappel differs from any that has yet been seen, by being quite square behind; it is of moderate and equal breadth from the shoulder to the waist, leaving the bust partially exposed. The upper part of the sleeve is arranged in two bouffans, shallow in front of the arm, but falling nearly to the elbow, and of the usual extraordinary and ungraceful width: the rest of the sleeve sits nearly, but not quite close to the arm; it is ornamented at the hand by three vine-leaves; they are satin, of a darker shade, placed in an oblique direction. The pelisse is open in front, and the corsage and fronts are trimmed round the border with vine-leaves, also of satin; those at the lower part of the border are larger than those on the corsage.
        Boa tippets are expected to be worn during the whole of the month, but they will be of swansdown, or of marabous. We have seen some chemisettes, for morning dress, composed of cambric, plaited in bias compartments, and embroidered between each compartment. The collar is made en pelerine, very deep, cut round in large dents, each embroidered in the centre. These chemisettes fasten up the front by small dead gold buttons.
        A few morning dresses, composed of jaconot muslin, are principally remarkable for the richness of their embroidery; though there is also some novelty in the corsages, made nearly but not quite up to the throat; the upper part sits close to the shape, both before and behind; the lower part has a slight degree of fulness: a very rich embroidery, in detached bouquets, one in the center, one on each shoulder, and one behind, adorns the upper part of the corsage. The sleeves are arranged from the shoulder to the elbow in two large bouffans, the first very large, the other much smaller; the remainder of the sleeve is of a very moderate and graceful width; it terminates by a broad band of rich embroidery. The skirt is worked round the border in detached bouquets; they are placed a little below the knee, at some distance from each other, and, though rich, are of a very light description. It is expected that muslin dresses will only be partially adopted during this month, except in half-dress, for which muslin under-dresses, embroidered round the border, are likely to be very generally worn with open dresses of gros d'orient or gros de Naples cameleon; these last will be made in the demi-redingote form; the trimmings of two struck us as very novel; one, which was upon a dress of blue gros d'orient, consisted of eight rouleaux, so small that they did not all together form above two inches in breadth; they were alternately blue and white, and arranged in a kind of zigzag round the corsage, and down the fronts of the dress. The other trimming was a wreath of cockscombs of the material of the dress, gros de Naples cameleon; these ornaments were bordered with narrow white blonde lace.
        Satin d'Algar has taken place of velvet in evening dress; the rest of the materials we mentioned last month continue in favor; white blonde lace dresses, white crape, and gage Donna Maria; the two latter, embroidered in gold or silver, are considered most distingue. Silver, emerald, green, blue Adelaide, violet, various shades of rose-colour, and citron, are the most fashionable colours.

Parisian Fashions

        Longchamps approaches to force our fair Parisians to abandon state affairs for those of the toilette, or rather to blend them together. "Yes," cries a pretty merveillieuse, energetically, "we must have war; it is necessary to rouse France from the lethargy in which she is plunged. Our tricoloured flag shall wave a propos, tricoloured scarfs will certainly be worn at Longchamps; I must see whether Delisle has got some new ones, and order Herbant to mingle the colours in the noeuds of my chapeau. Yes, war is inevitable, one cannot help giving a sigh, though to the charming English muslins; mais c'est egal, I have already bought mine for Longchamps, you have no idea how pretty it is; ma toilette sera delicieuse."
        And en attendant out-door costume affords no novelty, it consists of a redingote of satin, or of gros de Naples, with a boa tippet thrown carelessly round the shoulders. Or if the day is cool, a gros de Naples dress with a cachemire shawl; it is only the capotes, and chapeaux of our fair promenaders, that offer any thing worth of description or remark.
        The first are composed of gros de Naples or gros des Indes, with large drawn brims, longer than those of last season, and low round crowns which are higher on one side than the other; the trimming is composed of two light rosettes of gauze riband, one placed on the right side near the top of the crown, the other very far back at the left upon the brim close to the crown. A large rosette is placed inside the brim exactly in the centre, the ends of which fall over the curls or band of hair upon the forehead.
        Hats are smaller and altogether of a more becoming shape than those worn in the winter. The crowns are low, some of a round, others of a melon form. The brims open on the forehead, but close and modestly deep at the ears, are just of a right length to display to advantage the shape of the throat. Watered silk, gros d'orient, and plain gros de Naples, are the materials for hats; they are trimmed with gauze ribands and flowers. Some have two bouquets of violettes de Parma, placed end to end on the front of the crown in such a manner as to form a V. A long sprig of lilac with its foliage, is also a favourite ornament, it bends in an arched direction over the brim.
        Easter daisies, primroses, and Spanish jessamine, are also employed. The bouquet is placed at the bottom of the crown, but its stalks are so long that the flowers rise above it. Some bouquets are attached to the hat by an ornament of the same material, it consists of three dents trimmed with blond lace. Other bend down upon the brim, where they are arranged in the form of a fan by coques of riband.

St. James's Court Dress

        A dress of tulle over a rich white satin slip; the skirt is trimmed with rouleaux of white satin, and bouquets of blue flowers with silver foliage. Train of rich blue watered silk; the edge embroidered with a rich deep pattern of embossed silver. Head-dress, a plume of ostrich feathers, and a tiara of diamonds and sapphires, with necklace, earrings, clasp, &c. to match; white satin gloves; shoes of silver tissue; blonde lappets.

Ditto Dinner Dress

        A dress of rich crimson satin, the corsage a la Sevigne long gigot sleeves of tulle, with a double ruffle of blonde, and terminating with a gold bracelet, cut a jour. Hat of white crape; the ornament within the brim is composed of white gauze riband with straw-coloured edges, and a fan-like ornament of blonde; the crown is decorated with similar ornaments, and three oiseaux de paradis.

1. Parisian Dinner Dress

        A gown of lilac satin d'Alger, corsage of the demi-redingote form, the pelerine part shallow in front, but deeper behind, is trimmed with blonde lace; sleeves a l'Imbecille of gaze de Paris, over a short satin sleeve. The border is ornamented with blonde lace, headed by a rouleau of lilac satin; the trimming is raised about as high as the knee in the centre of the skirt, by a pearl ornament. The head-dress is a white crape chapeau a la Bonaparte; it has a low crown, and a large turned-up brim, ornamented on the left of the inside with a noeud of lilac riband, and a white ostrich feather placed perpendicularly; two feathers, which droop to the right side, adorn the crown. The jewellery worn with this dress should be gold and pearls.

2. Full Dress

       A pale lemon-coloure3d crape dress over satin to correspond. The corsage is arranged en demi coeur by horizontal folds before and behind: it is cut very low, quite square, and trimmed round the top with a blonde net niche, which also encircles the demi coeur. Beret sleeve surmounted by a double fall of blonde lace, arranged in the form of a scallop-shell. The border us trimmed with white ostrich feathers disposed in creases. The hair is dressed in large curls at the sides, and in two large bows on the summit of the head; it is ornamented with diamond pins, and a bouquet of ostrich feathers. Necklace and earrings diamonds.

3. Evening Dress

        A gown of rose-coloured gros de Varna, the corsage half-high, and sitting close to the shape, is trimmed with light rouleaux of swansdown arranged en brais at regular distances. Short sleeve forming a single bouffant, and trimmed to correspond. The skirt is bordered above the hem by three rouleaux placed rather further asunder than those on the body and sleeves. The hair is dressed low, and in full curls at the sides, and in a single round bow at the crown of the head. A bouquet of wild flowers surmounts the bow. Necklace and earrings pearls.

4. Opera Dress

        A dress of emerald-green gaze de Sire, over satin of the same shade; the corsage, cut low and square, is arranged in perpendicular folds, and trimmed with two rows of blonde lace disposed in the form of a round pelerine, and headed by a blonde net niche. Beret sleeve, The front of the dress is trimmed from the waist to the edge of the border, with bands of riband arranged in the form of a broken cone, they are each looped in the center by pearls, and finished at each end by a noeud en tulippe; the ribands are a shade darker than the dress. The beret is composed of blonde lace and ornamented with pearls, and an esprit necklace and earrings pearls.

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