Evening Dress, January 1815

Evening Dress January 1815Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, January 1815.
“Evening Dress”

The lady in the print appears to be gazing at a pocket case that would have held either a portrait miniature or a painted silhouette. The look on her face suggests it is the image of a loved one. Was it just presented to her by the man she loves, or is he perhaps away and she is missing him?

Note the looseness of the gloves. Evening gloves did not have buttons at the wrist as modern long gloves typically do, making them easy to take off. Without those buttons, the gloves had to be loose enough to remove, and sometimes had ties at the top to hold them in place. Note also the charmingly striped slippers. Kid leather slippers were often painted with patterns, as seen in this extant pair from the V&A.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“FULL DRESS. A celestial blue frock, over a white satin slip, ornamented round the bottom with a deep border of tull or net lace, embroidered with shaded blue silks and chenille; short sleeve, trimmed with  tull or net lace; the dress trimmed entirely round the top, to correspond. Hair parted in the center of the forehead, confined in the Grecian style, and blended with flowers. Necklace or pearl; ear-drops and bracelets to correspond. Slippers of blue satin or kid. White gloves of French kid.”

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