Half Dress, May 1803

Miroir de la Mode, May 1803.

“Half Dress”


Miroir de la Mode was  short-lived magazine published by the famous modiste Madame Lanchester. It began publication in January 1803 and ran for fewer than two years. The prints are very large, full quarto size (12″ x 9½”), much larger than those from Ackermann’s Repository of Arts or La Belle Assemblée, and printed on heavy paper.  The high production values suggest it was meant to be a competitor to the very upscale and expensive Gallery of Fashion published by Niklaus von Heideloff, which also published quarto-size prints.  Unfortunately, Madame Lanchester could not maintain the expense of publishing her own high quality magazine. Because Miroir de la Mode had such a short run, its prints are very rare.

(You can read more about Madame Lanchester here.)

Several of the prints that have survived show a back view of the figure, as in this print. This half dress is composed of what looks to be a short apricot-colored robe over an underdress with train of the same color, both edged in silver lace. The sleeves and neckline are also set with silver lace. The hat, a capote, appears to be composed of the same fabric and trimming as the dress.

As this is her magazine, we can assume the dress was designed by Madame Lanchester.

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