Ball Dress, May 1816

La Belle Assemblée, May 1816.

“Ball Dress.”

The “imperial wings” at the shoulder is not something I have seen before, though it is rather elegant.

Notice the short the hemline, well above the ankle. Though hems were definitely shorter at this time, especially for dresses meant for dancing, I’m never sure if the very short hemlines seen in prints were entirely accurate, or more of an exaggeration.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“Frock of white crape over white satin, ornamented with crape bouillone, interspersed with bunches of ribband, and finished by an elegant festoon wreath of roses. Short sleeves of crape, not very full, trimmed with blond, and surmounted by imperial wings elevated. The hair arranged in bands, with very few curls, and short at the ears; a bandeau of pearls, surmounted by a bunch of full blown roses. Ear-rings and necklace of pearls, the necklace fastened in front by an amethyst ornament; broach and bracelets of the same. White satin shoes, with pink rosettes; and white kid gloves.”


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