« PreviousContinue »
Cabinet of Qaste,
OR MONTHLY compendium of Foreign COSTUME.
By a Parisian Correspondent.
costume or PARIs.
EveRY improvement in our manufactures brings them nearer to perfection, and demands praise; and even the most trifling production among Fashion's inventions is not without its merits. Thus, the plain, and simply-striped ribbon for the spring solicits approbation, as imperatively as does the most elegant and superb scarf lately produced for that season. Though such scarfs will very soon, no doubt, be seen in out-door costume, they are fitted only for a bride of wealth and fashion on her first presentation; especially as they are chiefly of blond, of the most splendid and novel patterms, and their price is extremely high. At present, we observe high dresses in the promenades, with no other addition than a pelerine of the same. This pelerine is cut in four points, and is bordered with a rouleau. When the weather is mild, some of our young females have already adopted their favourite muslim and cambric camerous, with a coloured silk petticoat. These camezous are laid in innumerable small plaits, as well as the sleeves and the colerette. A sash of ribbon, painted over with little birds, divides the canezou from the skirt. Cachemire shawls are still worn, but they are thrown carelessly over the shoulders, where they hang, till an easterly wind, or the dread of losing them, causes their fair wearers to twitch them rather tighter round their forms. The weeping willow feather yet continues in high favour, and graces the hat of a Parisian lady of fashion in the public walks, or in the carriage at the Bois de Boulogne; where may be seen, ladies who are renowned for studying every new mode, with hats of rose-coloured crape, or of a bright jonquil. These hats have a very broad brim, with the crowns lower on one side than on the other. They are finished at the edge of the brim by a broad white blond, and are ornamented with a weeping-willow feather, of an enormous
length. In front of some white hats, as well as in those of Swedish-blue, are placed two birds-of-paradise, fastened by rosettes of gauze ribbon, with grass-green stripes, of satin, or with bright rose-colour. Hats of gros de Naples have a broad band round the crown, one end of which falls over the brim, and the other ascends to the summit of the crown, on the contrary side. Rouleaua are entwined over this band. On the generality of hats, as well as on bonnets which are made of crape, lilacs, white and purple, are the flowers most in fashion. The branches are placed obliquely, and there are often three branches on the same hat: for instance, one, on the right side, on the crown; another, in the front; and the third, on the left, on the brim. Many bonnets are seen ornamented with a bouquet of double wall-flowers, mingled with mignionnette and heath in blossom. One simple bunch of lilac, or a branch of the Acacia, placed in front of the crown of a white hat, either of crape or gros de Naples, is often the sole trimming. On such hats a broad ribbon is crossed over the top of the crown, and fastening on each side at the edge of the brim, the ends, which float loose, serve for strings. Bonnets of white watered gros de Naples, or of satin, trimmed at the edge with a broad blond, are expected to be much in fashion the remainder of the spring. I have seen a very pretty bonnet of dark green silk, ornamented with bows of green and black satin ribbons sewed together; the border was surrounded by black blond, and under the brim, which was lined with black satin, were a few green rosettes. Hats of chip and straw have partially made their appearance; and the magasins des modes are filled with them, of various shapes and dimensions. A dress of red palmyrene, worked in flat embroidery, with long white sleeves of crêpe-lisse, is reckoned extremely elegant: the corsage is in drapery, and pointed at the front; a friar's belt encircles the waist. Dresses of coloured organdy are trimmed at the border with a broad bias fold; over which is embroidered, in white cotton, a wreath of flowers, which produces a very pleasing effect. These dresses are now in the most approved style of fashion; their price, therefore, is
extremely high; those of pink or blue, embroidered with white, are most admired. Humming-bird-green is expected to be the most approved colour for spring. Several dresses of gros de Naples, of that hue, have already appeared: it is much like the drake's-neck-green, but, if possible, brighter; though equally deep, and of the same blue tinge, shining like foil. Almost every gown of silk or poplin has the corsage à la Marie Stuart ; the bodice lined; and, in order to mark out the waist, the dressmakers introduce small pieces of whalebone down the front, the sides, and the back, lacing them on as they would a corset. These corsages necessarily require a drapery across the bust. At the border of some dresses are three rows of points resembling flounces: they are, nevertheless, put on straight; on the top row is a braid of silk. Some dresses have bias folds at the border, crossed over by braids which incline towards the head, and are fastened by a button or a bow. Those sleeves which are en gigot, are wider now at the top of the arm than ever. They are separated by two bands: the second part of the full sleeve is much narrower than the first, and terminates at the elbow. A narrow Tuffle encircles the wrist. Ball-dresses are of white tulle, with the short sleeves rather longer than usual, finished next the elbow by a narrow ruffle of blond. On the shoulders are three rosettes of satin. The corsage is of blue satin, with a Sérigné drapery across the bust; it is pointed in front, and a friar's belt is worn round the waist, terminated by a tassel. The trimming at the border of the skirt consists of a bias fold surmounted by triangles in wouleaua of blue satin. The manner now of plaiting the skirts of dresses at the waist requires a very fine shape, and an excellent carriage. I saw a dress finished, a few days ago, for a young lady, of white cachemire gauze, the border of which was ornamented with five broad straps of white and ponceau, sewed together, alternately: they were composed of a sort of
silver tissue, which produced a very
charming effect. The corsage, a la Marie Stuart, was of pomoeau satin, and the drapery across the bust was fastened in the middle by a Sévigné brooch, in diamonds. On the heads of young ladies recently married, is worn a superb veil of white blond. Small caps of gaze-lisse are very general in half-dress: they are in the shape of a béret, and under them, lying on the hair, is a wreath of flowers, or small detached bouquets. The antique Grecian head-dress consists of purple fillets across the forehead, which tie behind among the plaits of hair so disposed as to discover the nape of the neck. Some ladies have this kind of coiffeure formed of pearls and flowers. In full dress, ears of corn, in brilliants, are favourite ornaments in the hair. A favourite ball head-dress is a wreath of white-thorn, in flower; known well to me, when I was in England, by the name of May-blossoms. An arrow, formed of gold, or of topazes, is a favourite ornament on the hair, at evening parties; it is placed among the bows, and inclines towards the forehead, whence it seems to have raised up one of the curls, which is negligently thrown on one side of the arrow. Sometimes it is a bandeau, with a Sévigné ornament that crosses over the forehead. When the hair is ornamented with bows of ribbon, the bandeau is composed of twisted ribbon, the same as the bows. A cameo, with a bird-of-Paradise, is a favourite coiffeure at dress-concerts: on the same occasions, a Japanese rose, with its bud, and several strings of pearls, clasped together by a diamond brooch, is a head-dress as elegant as it is distinguished; and was first seen on the hair of the famous Mademoiselle Sontag; of whose merits and attractions, the English will, ere these remarks can meet their eye, be able to judge for themselves. The favourite colours are, hummingbird-green, lavender-grey, iron-grey, ethereal-blue, jonquil, and lilac.
- orNEW PUBLICATIONS, MUSIC, THE ENGLISH AND FOREIGN DRAMA, THE FINE ARTS, LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE, &c.
For a work connected with antiquarian research to be written in a style attractive to the general reader, is an event of such rare occurrence, that we hail, with more than usual satisfaction, the appearance of a finely-embellished quartovolume, entitled “Proceedings of the Expedition to erplore the Northern Coast of Africa, from Tripoly eastward, in 1821 and 1822; comprehending an Account of the Greater Syrtis and Cyrenaica, and of the Ancient Cities comprising the Pentapolis; by Captain F. W. Beechey, R.N., F.R.S., and H. W. Beechey, Esq., F.S.A.” Our limits, however, allow us to do little more than indicate the origin, objects, and results of the expedition to which the narrative before us refers. From the Introduction, we learn that, when Captain Smyth visited the Northern Coast of Africa, in the year 1817, he obtained much information connected with the state of the country and the points most deserving of notice which it presented. He “had proposed to extend his journey eastward; for the friendly disposition of the Bashaw of Tripoly had been diligently cultivated by himself and Colonel Warrington, His Majesty's Consul General at the Regency, and the whole tract of country between Tripoly and Derna was open to the researches of the English. Circumstances, however, prevented him from doing so, and on returning to England, he submitted the information which he had been able to collect to the Admiralty, and suggested that a party might be advantageously employed in exploring the Greater Syrtis and Cyrenaica, as well as the country to the eastward of Derma, as far as Alexandria and the Oasis of Ammon. “Many spots,” observe our authors, “ of more than ordinary interest were comprehended within the limits of the Greater Syrtis and Cyremaica: some of these had been the favourite themes of mythology, haunts in which the poets of Greece and Rome had loved to linger: and others had been cele
brated in the more sober language of historians whose same is less perishable than the objects which they describe. But whatever might once have been the state of a country placed before us so conspicuously in pages which are dear to us, there had not, in our times, been any opportunity of ascertaining its actual condition. The name of Cyrene was familiar to classic ears, but no one had visited its remains; the ‘secret springs’ of Lethe, and the Gardens of the Hesperides, had almost been confounded with the fables of antiquity; and the deep and burning sands, overspread with venomous serpents, which were supposed to form the barrier between Leptis Magna and Berenice, had rarely been trodden since the army of Cato had nearly found a grave beneath their weight.” Under all the circumstances of the case, it appeared to Captain Smyth, that, as he was “about to sail in the Adventure, to finish his survey of the northern coast of Africa, it might so be arranged, that a party on shore should proceed simultaneously along the tract of country mentioned, communicating, from time to time, with his vessel, as occasions might offer in the course of their route.” The proposition was in consequence submitted to the Admiralty and the Colonial Department; it was liberally acceded to by Earl Melville and Earl Bathurst; Lieutenant Beechey was appointed on the part of the Admiralty to undertake the coast line from Tripoly to Derna—if practicable, as far as Alexandria; Mr. Tyndall, a young gentleman on board the Adventure, was to assist him in the survey; Lord Bathurst appointed Mr. Beechey to examine and report on the antiquities of the country; and Mr. Campbell, R.N., was nominated to accompany the expedition as surgeon. The party embarked in H. M.'s S. Adventure, and sailed from England for Malta, in July, 1821, with Captain Smyth. At Malta, they were joined by Lieutenant