French Walking Dress, August 1804

Journal des Dames et des Modes, Paris, August 3, 1804.

“Mameluck Bordé en Mousseline Turque.”

The model seems to be adjusting the comb in her hair before putting on the pink bonnet shown beside her. It is a very French pose, one you would never see in a British print, showing a bit of action with a hint of sexiness. The print was designed by the famous Parisian artist Carle Vernet, who was a master of drapery, as you can see. The engraver was Pierre Charles Baquoy.

The overdress, or robe, is made of pink Turkish muslin with what looks to be an embroidered border of red and gold. The white underdress, or petticoat, is likely also made of muslin or another lightweight summer fabric. The entire ensemble is very much in the neoclassical style.

It is intriguing how the bright red shawl is worn under the arm and tied in the back. It is not clear whether it is crossed in front, or simply brought over the neck and under the arms. It is a striking pop of bright color against the pastel pink.

The pink bonnet appears to be a capote, with a soft crown of fabric, wrapped with puffings of the same, and a stiffened brim.


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