Full Dress, April 1816

La Belle Assemblée, April 1816.

“Saxe-Cobourg Robe”


The prints this month have descriptions that are so brief and lacking in detail that one must assume Mrs. Bell was not involved. In fact, she is not mentioned as having “invented” any of the fashions in the prints of 1816, though her studio is mentioned in passing in the General Observations in most months, including this month, without mention of her name. She is finally mentioned by name in December 1816, but only in passing. So perhaps she no longer held any editorial sway at La Belle Assemblée. I confess I rather miss her effusive and lengthy descriptions of her own designs.

The Saxe-Cobourg robe is named after Prince Leopold of Saxe-Cobourg-Saalfeld, who would marry Princess Charlotte in May. The whole country was agog over this marriage, and we see lots of fashions and accessories named for the Prince.

An interesting element of this print is the muff, which is made of satin and silk, and not fur. It is still as large as the fur muffs seen so often in the fashion prints.

It is also interesting that the headdress is called a bridal veil. In the few prints I own of bridal dresses, only French prints show a veil. None of the British prints do. The description below doesn’t mention the soft turban-like hat from which the veil hangs.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“SAXE-COBOURG ROBE FOR EVENING FULL DRESS. The robe of pink worn over a white satin slip flounced with crape, finished by blond. Bridal veil, fastened with a brooch of pearl and pink topazes, with the hair simply dressed in light curls and parted on the forehead. A muff formed of white satin and gossamer silk trimming. Necklace and armlets of pearls and pink topazes. White satin slippers and white kid gloves.”

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