Page images
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic]

on each side, with plaits across the forehead, ornamented with puffs of saffroncoloured gauze, and an elegant plume of white feathers.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS on FAS H I O N S AND D R E S S. NotwithstanDING the shortness of the mornings, it is not till between two and three o'clock, in what was formerly called the afternoon, that a carriage is to be seen, either in the most fashionable drives, or before the most approved and tasteful shops. A few splendid equipages are conspicuous now in Hyde Park, emblazoned with the arms of our ancient nobility; but the greater number of carriages, though well and respectably appointed, have only an humble cipher under a family crest on their pannels. These, however, contain many fair forms, distinguished for the elegance of their dress, and mixing in all the elegant and modish scenes of polished life. From such, as well as from the high-born dame, whose brows are encircled by a coronet, we select our observations, and give our statement of British costume. Mantles form the favourite envelope for out-door costume. Many of these, when of silk, are made to draw tight to the shape; a fashion which is by no means calculated to set off the back and shoulders: these envelopes are most admired when of levantine. In curricles, or other open carriages, they are of fine merino, of a tartan patterm, and are lined throughout with plush silk of some striking colour. They have a large pelerine cape, the same as the cloak ; and a collar of plush silk, when the weather is very chill, wraps over the lower part of the face, and is fastened by a chain cordon, and hooks of gold. Black velvet pelisses, also, form a favourite out-door covering. These are elegantly fastened down the front, from the throat to the feet, with small gold butterflies; the wings extended. Silk pelisses are generally of a dark colour, fastened close with buttons or rosettes: the bust is finished in front in the Anglo-Greek manner, except that there is no lacing across, to form a stomacher. A double row of antique British points ornaments the wrists of sleeves, elegantly full, but not en gigot. Several satin pelisses are closed by straps

en languettes, and a small gilt buckle fastens each strap. Many ladies wear black satin mantles, lined with blue, or with cherry-colour: these have two pelerine capes, and a very wide collar. Hats of coloured silk, of the usual capacious size, and unbecoming form, are yet seen in carriages. We saw one—to be sure it was on so pretty a woman, that we were led to believe she would look well in any thing—of more moderate dimensions than the usual standard, and the shape did not appear so much amiss. It was of celestial blue gros de Naples, tastefully trimmed with puffs of gauze of the same tint, and fancy flowers of blue and white. Large cottage bonnets, of a becoming shape, seem likely to be in general request for the promenade. They are of black velvet; many of them ornamented with long black feathers, of the weeping-willow kind; but the most approved style, particularly for the promenade, seems to be that of placing aigrette feathers, or flowers, formed of black velvet and feathers, with coloured stalks, among the puffings of satin or velvet, with which the bonnet is trimmed. Some ladies, however, prefer their black velvet bonnets being trimmed with rich and splendid flowers, of bright, but wintry hues. These are scattered sparingly, and are made of velvet. Bonnets of coloured satin, with a broad blond at the edge, are much admired, and often seen on the heads of ladies of distinction. Many of these bonnets are pink, and have a white blond at the edge. We have seen one of richly striped satin in bias; purple, orangecolour, and black; with a black blond at the edge of the brim; the crown ornamented in arcades, with black blond, and tiger lilies in velvet. Plain bonnets of black velvet, with a few puffs of the same, intermingled with black satin, are reckoned most genteel for the promenade. In half dress, and even in home attire, silk dresses now seem chiefly in favour. They are of Madras, or gros de Naples: the former, however, seems the more favourite material. They are trimmed with a full, narrow flounce, pinked, set on in very perceptible, and sometimes sharp, or pointed festoons; the sleeves en gigot, and terminated at the wrists by a deep, pointed cuff, turned back, and finished by a riche. The dress, when for home, is made par

« PreviousContinue »