Bridal Dress, June 1816

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, June 1816.

“Bridal Dress”

Bridal Dress June 1816

This is clearly described as a “wedding dress” in the description, so one assumes it was worn at the actual wedding. But absent the description, and the print title, is would appear to be an evening dress. Since most weddings took place in the morning, this dress, and the others in this collection, perhaps herald a new formality of the wedding ceremony, were participants donned full dress for the occasion.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“A frock of striped French gauze over a white satin slip; the bottom of the frock is superbly trimmed with a deep flounce of Brussels lace, which is surmounted by single tucks of byas white satin and a wreath of roses; above the wreath are two tucks of byas white satin. We refer our readers to our print for the form of the body and sleeve: it is singularly novel and tasteful, but we are forbidden either to describe it, or to mention the materials of which it is composed. The hair is dressed low at the sides, and parted so as to entirely display the forehead: it is ornamented with an elegant aigrette of pearls in front, and a sprig of French roses placed nearly at the back of the head. Necklace, ear-rings, and bracelets of pearl. White kid gloves, and white satin slippers.

“We have to thank Mrs. Gill of Cork-street, Burlington Gardens, for both our dresses this month; and we must observe that the one we have just described is a wedding dress which she has recently finished for a young lady of high distinction.”

One has to wonder why the magazine was forbidden to describe the body and sleeve. Was Mrs. Gill hoping ladies would be curious enough to visit her showroom to see the dress in person? Or was it the bride “of high distinction” who prohibited the description?

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