First, the exciting part! Eighteen of you posted guesses on the identity of the object I posted in last week's post…and six of you guessed correctly. It is indeed an invalid spoon, useful for feeding people confined to bed (or perhaps, infants); here’s an image of one almost exactly like mine (but in slightly better shape). And the winner drawn at random from among those names is Rachel! Rachel, please send me your address via the contact form on my website and I’ll get your ARC of Courtship and Curses out to you. For everyone else, I’ll be doing another ARC giveaway next month, so stay tuned!
And now, for this week's post--a Fashion Forecast! The prints in my collection for the next few years are so yummy, I’m doing them by the half-year so as to show you more of them.
So…what was the well-dressed young lady wearing in the first half of 1826?
How about an Evening Dress in...yes, polka-dots! This delightful pink dress features rows of lappets around the hem and across the bodice and around the shoulders; note the nearly transparent gauze sleeves as well. And is it my imagination, or is that bird looking at her be-plumed head very suspiciously (or perhaps nervously?) From January's La Belle Assemblee:Primrose yellow is the perfect color for a February Dinner Dress from Ackermann's Repository, elegantly adorned with appliqued trim and ruffles around the hem and small puff sleeves. This year you'll begin to notice the widening of the shoulders and sleeves, which will grow to enormous (and amusing) proportions over the next ten years): Another confection of an Evening Dress in white and pink, again with gauze oversleeves (a popular style over the next few years, as we'll see) and pink ribbon trim. Note her very elaborate hairstyle, with braided hair wrapped and entwined with a pink scarf. And I wonder if she brought her dog out to parties with her? (Ackermann's Repository, February): The perfect Carriage Dress for a turn around Hyde Park in April! Bands of white fur and fabric self-applique decorate the skirt, and a large lace collar finishes it off. Note her quizzing glass hanging from a chain around her neck and tucked into her belt, the better to see who else is out riding during the fashionable hour (Ackermann's):I seem to have a lot of Evening Dress prints for this year...here's another delightful one in yellow with concave tiers of lace and a deep ruffle around the neck and trimming the sleeves. Note again the elaborate hairstyle, with locks of hair interwoven with a scarf, as well as a light scarf of a shawl dyed in graduated colors that wouldn't look out of place today! (Ackermann's, April):Here's an unusual one--a mother and daughter print, from May's Ackermann's! Mama is in a Ball Dress with a scalloped hem trimmed in burgundy to match the ribbon sash and red rose clusters decorating her skirt and wreathing her head. Her daughter's dress echoes it in style, with a blue-trimmed white overdress over a blue petticoat and blue-trimmed pantalets...and don't you love her little elbow-length kid gloves? I hope Mama lets her peek through the bannister to watch the guests arrive:I love this dramatic Dinner Dress, from the June edition of Ackermann's. The green dress is trimmed with contrasting gathered rouleaus of peach and fuchsia, and touches of the pink and peach are repeated in the ribbon trim on the bodice and belt (see the cameo at her breast?) and the large, pouffy, turban like headdress finished with feathers. Gauze oversleeves are back as well. What a fashion statement!Let's finish with a knockout of a Ball Dress, consisting of a white gauze overdress over what looks like (I'm guessing here) blue satin. The overdress's skirt has what looks like cornucopias made of broad ribbon overflowing with flowers and a fat rouleau at the hem, and a twisted band of ribbon across the front. Another ombre-dyed scarf is draped across her shoulders, and her hair is braided and curled and woven with blue to match the underdress. A definite Cinderella dress! (Ackermann's, June):What do you think of the first half of 1826's fashions?