Evening Dress, March 1817

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, March 1817.

“Evening Dress.”

Towards the end of the Regency period, we see more evening hats and plumes. This one is quite elegant, with its tiara-like setting of pearls against white satin.

The trimming of this dress, down the front and in three rows along the hem, is made of narrow strips of swansdown, which is quite unusual.

The description describes the jewelry (necklace, earrings, and bracelets) as being made of pearl, though they are painted gold and do not look like pearls. Perhaps the jewelry was changed on the model and never corrected in the description. Besides the gold necklace, she appears to be wearing a quizzing glass on a gold chain.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“A soft white satin gown, made a walking length, cut very low round the back of the neck, and slanting down at each side of the bosom, so as to meet at the bottom of the waist in front. A narrow cestus of lilac satin, disposed in folds, and finished by a bow in front, goes round the waist. The trimming of this dress is swansdown, disposed with much taste and novelty: there are three rows round the skirt, each of which is ornamented with a lilac bow in front. A row of swansdown goes up the front and round the bosom; it is so disposed that it displays a white lace tucker. The back is quite tight to the shape. Chemisette, long sleeve, made very loose and drawn close to the wrist, which is trimmed with swansdown and a bow of lilac ribbon; a bow to correspond loops up the fulness on the shoulder. Head-dress, the imperial tocque, composed of white satin; the front, in the form of a tiara, is superbly ornamented with pearls, the crown is set in full; it is of a very moderate height: a plume of white feathers, placed upright in front, finishes this tocque. The hair is disposed in light curls over the forehead, and low at the sides. White spotted silk shoes, and white kid gloves. Necklace, ear-rings, and bracelets, of pearl.”

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