Full Dress, April 1810

La Belle Assemblée, April 1810.

“Last Parisian Full Dress.”

The description below is primarily focused on the dress beneath the wrap, although we see little more than the flounce at the hemline.

I am not sure why both the print and the accompanying text give this print the title “Last Parisian Full Dress.” One has to wonder if they actually meant “Latest” instead of “Last.”

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“It affords of no small degree of satisfaction that we are able to present our fair readers with a correct representation of the latest and most approved style of dress worn in Paris; and we cannot help observing, it is seldom that that style is so divested of whimsicality and indelicacy as in the figure now before us, consequently so well-adapted to the chaste taste, good sense, and propriety, at all times so characteristic of our country-women.

“A round dress of India mull muslin flounced at the bottom with a deep vandyke lace, or frill of embroidered muslin, and finished with a rich gold cord; the bosom is shaded with white crape, in the handkerchief form, plaited in to the bottom of the waist, which is of white apple blossom, apple green, or pale blue satin, and confined by a dead gold band clasped with rubies or garnets; the sleeves are worn short and much off the shoulders; the back very high and of a moderate width. A bouquet of white roses and nettle blossom. A Zealand wrap of pink satin, bordered with a rich wide trimming of swansdown, Chincelli, or Nootka Sound fur. A Kamskatska mantlet of correspondent fur. A gold band, studded with rubies, garnets, or other jewels, ornaments the hair, which is dressed in bands and curls very flat to the head. Gloves and shoes of white kid, with gold rosets.”

It is interesting that the introduction to this print notes how pleased they are to be able to present this latest fashion from Paris, when what they have done is simply copy the print shown here from the Parisian magazine Journal des Dames et des Modes, which this and other British magazines did routinely. This print came from the April 10, 1809 edition of the French magazine, so rather than give their LBA readers a glimpse at the latest French fashion, it’s actually a year out-of-date. The La Belle Assemblée colorists have added pink to the French Pelisse de Satin (which the LBA editors have re-named “a Zealand wrap”), and given more color to the face, making the British print more attractive than the original French print. But it is still an almost exact copy. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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