Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fashion Forecast: 1813

What was the well-dressed young woman wearing in 1813?

She might be stepping round to Hatchard's Bookshop in Piccadilly in this Morning Walking Dress to pick up a copy of a certain newly-published novel called Pride and Prejudice, just released this month. Doesn't the ermine-lined pelisse look cozy? (Ackermann's Repository, January 1813):

Or maybe she's off to the opera in an elegant Opera Dress (Ackermann's Repository, January 1813). 1813 was a good year for opera, by the way--both Richard Wagner and Guiseppe Verdi were born this year. I love her tiny, box-like reticule and the ermine tippet.

Spring at last! Our fashionable young woman takes advantage of the milder weather to get out in an elegant Carriage Dress topped with "a Russian mantle of pomona or spring green sarsnet, lined with white satin, and trimmed with rich frog fringe and binding" (Ackermann's Repository, April 1813):

Fortunately court mourning for the Duchess of Brunswick, sister of King George III who had died in March, didn't last long enough to keep this charming Full Dress, with its white ruffled sleeveless overdress, out of circulation. (Ackermann's Repository, May 1813):

I love this Promenade Dress from September because of her lovely pose (reading a book, of course!) and the delightful deep knotted fringe on her sunshade. From the original text: "A white jaconet muslin high dress, with long sleeves and collar of needlework; treble flounces of plaited muslin round the bottom; wrist and collar confined with a silk cord and tassel. The hair disposed in the Eastern style, with a fancy flower in front or on one side. A Vittoria cloak, or Pyrennean mantle, of Pomona green sarsnet, trimmed with Spanish fringe of a corresponding shade, and confined in graceful folds on the left shoulder. A white lace veil thrown over the headdress. A large Eastern parasol, the colour of the mantle, with deep Chinese awning. Roman shoe, or Spanish slipper, of Pomona green kid, or jean. Gloves or primrose or amber-coloured kid." (Ackermann's Repository, September 1813):

October 1813 was an exciting month in world news: after the decisive Battle of Vittoria in June, Wellington forged on into France this month, winning a victory on French soil against Marshall Soult at the Battle of Bidassoa. Perhaps our young lady needed a quiet morning at home to catch up on reading the newspapers. Note the veil-like cap protecting her curls (Morning Dress, Ackermann's Repository, October 1813):
Later in October came the beginning of the end for Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig. Maybe our young lady in this oh-so-pretty pale green evening dress is looking over music for a victory march! Note the bands of embroidery at hem, sleeves, and back of the bodice--and isn't her hairstyle pretty? (Ackermann's Repository, October 1813):

What do you think of 1813's fashions?

7 comments:

Rachel said...
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Rachel said...

I think I would be wearing the ermine while walking to Hatchard's. It's amazing that the bookstore is still open today! I wandered through that shop while I was in London three years ago.

Thanks for the post on fashions ;)

inthehammockblog said...

I love them all, especially the blue and white dress.

ChaChaneen said...

I think all the fashions are just lovely! I just noticed how thing the fabric is, like sheer, you can see right through it. All the more reason to stay in shape! ha ha

Dara said...

Lovely as always!

If only fashion were as classy now...

Marissa Doyle said...

Well, fortunately you had a chemise, corset, and a petticoat or two between you and your frock...but yes, lighter-weight fabrics like muslin were favored in this time.

Emma Hox said...

I love the dresses of this era, sometimes I wish I could find them still. I love the morning dresses and of course the opera dress. Lovely!