Evening Dress, February 1810

La Belle Assemblée, February 1810.

“Evening Dress”

This unusual dress includes an odd jacket with an old-fashioned stomacher (the long panel in front which in the previous century was worn with an open bodice). The hat also seems a bit out-of-place for an evening dress. Perhaps this ensemble was akin to some of the bizarre fashions one sees in current fashion magazines that you would never actually see anyone wear!

The description mentions an emerald necklace and earrings. But the jewelry in the print appears to be a pearl necklace and gold hoop earrings. It could be that they were meant to be painted green.

The artist has included a woman descending the stairs wearing what is clearly the same dress as the main figure. A very clever way to show us the back of the dress.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“A jacket of pale buff Merino cloth, with antique stomacher, richly embroidered in green chenille, finished with silk tassels; a fine India muslin petticoat and train, embroidered round the bottom with a trimming to correspond, and worn over a white satin slip. A Spanish cap of cloth and green satin, of the same colour as the dress, ornamented with a long green drooping ostrich feather, border similar to the dress. A French shawl of ruby embroidered silk. Emerald necklace and earrings. Green kid slippers with silver roses. Limerick gloves. The hair on the forehead in short ringlets, with a long Theresa flowing gracefully over the left shoulder.”

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