Opera Dresses, February 1811

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, February 1811.

“Opera Dresses”

Opera Dresses February 1811Regency fashion’s romance with international influences is seen in the description of these opera dresses: Circassian bodice, American green velvet, Chinese cord, Armenian head-dress, Grecian frock, French veil. Or perhaps it was simply fanciful naming by designers.

It is is interesting how similar these dresses are. Perhaps the print was a way of demonstrating various options for a basic style.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

First Figure.–A round robe of white crape or muslin, with demi-train and imperial winged frill of plaited lace. A Circassian laced bodice of American green velvet, trimmed with Chinese cord, and confined at the bottom of the waist with a mother-of-pearl clasp. An Armenian head-dress composed of white satin, with silver antique ornament in front. Necklace consisted of a single row of large pearls, with a cross of the same, suspended in the center of the bosom; the cuffs of the long sleeve ornamented with pearl. An Eastern mantle of amber-coloured velvet, trimmed with swansdown. Shoes of velvet, the same as the bodice. Glove, white kid.

Second Figure. –A Grecian frock of celestial blue, or silver grey net, with full long sleeve, and biassed bosom; ornamented round the bottom and bosom with a vandyke border, composed of white velvet and beads; deep antique cuffs of the same. The robe worn over an under-dress of white satin. Head-dress composed of a French net veil, confined and ornamented in front of the forehead with a tiara of silver. Necklace and cross of white cornelian, and gold ear-rings to correspond. A carmelite cloak, of light purple or violet velvet, lined and bordered with white ermine. Blue kid slippers, with silver clasps; and gloves of white kid.”

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