French Walking Dress, September 1806

Journal des Dames et des Mode,  September 15, 1806.

“Costume d’un Jeune Dame à la Campagne”

This Paris publication was published 6 times a month, every 5 days, and included a fashion print in each issue, with two prints in the issue on the 15th of the month. This seems to have been a very popular magazine among British ladies as well, or at least British publishers. All the major British magazines for ladies “borrowed” prints from this French publication.

I love this print.  It is so deliciously French.  No British fashion plate would ever be this blatantly sexy.  There is nothing much left to the imagination with this thin, white, probably muslin dress. And the look in the model’s eye is rather provocative, too.

A couple of fashion observations:  Note that she wears over-the-elbow gloves. This seems to be a French mode.  In British prints, long gloves are primarily shown with evening wear.  British prints seldom show a short-sleeved dress for day wear, regardless of the season.  Maybe that’s just a matter of British prudery in print, but day wear for ladies is almost always shown with long sleeves and short gloves. Also take note of the hat the lady in the print is holding.  This style of bonnet with the long, flat brim (which looked like a tunnel when worn, almost completely obscuring the face) was only seen in 1806-1807. A very quirky style that was, thankfully, short-lived.


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