Evening Dress, August 1814

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, August 1814.

“Evening Dress”

The short hem of this dress suggests a ball dress or dancing dress, which are often depicted in shorter lengths. In this year, we begin to see hems rise ever so slightly in evening dress, which continues in a gradual rise through the end of the decade. Even so, this hemline is much shorter than most at this time and, if presented accurately in the print, would likely have been considered a wee bit shocking!

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“A plain blond lace frock over a slip of white satin, the bottom of the dress drawn up in festoons above the ankle, and confined alternatively with roses and bows of white satin ribband; full drawn back, headed with a quilling of blond lace, continued over the shoulder, and brought to a point at the bottom of the waist in front, forming a stomacher, ornamented and crossed with the satin bead or pearl, and roses fancifully intermixed; a rich pearl shell ornament in the center of the bosom; short full sleeve, trimmed and festooned to correspond. The hair, brought smoothly up behind, terminates upon the crown of the head in a full cluster of curls; a pearl tiara separates it from the front, which falls in ringlets. Necklace of pearl; ear-drops, and bracelets to correspond; ribbed stockings; slippers of white satin trimmed with silver; white gloves of French kid, falling below the elbow; and fan of carved ivory, richly wrought in Russian characters.”


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