Promenade Dress, August 1818

British Lady’s Magazine, August 1818.

“Promenade Dress.”

Starting in 1818, we begin to see bonnets made of or decorated with cork. I have no prints prior to 1818 showing cork bonnets. Almost every time we see a bonnet made of cork, it is with a dress designed by Miss Macdonald. Other issues of this magazine name her as the “inventress of the Ionian Cork Hats.” I’m not sure what makes it Ionian, or why it was named after that region of Turkey.

Note that the closed parasol appears to have two handles. That is actually two parts of a folding handle. Collapsible handles are seen as early as the 1790s.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“Petticoat of cambric muslin, handsomely trimmed of worked muslin of the wheel pattern, and two rows of open work, lined with pale pink; open robe of fine India mulmull [a lightweight sheer cotton fabric] trimmed at the edge with rich cotton trimming, and a rolleau of very thin muslin lined with pink, long sleeves, very full at the top, and ornamented with bands and a profusion of buttons, small French cuff, surmounted by two rows of buttons; Ionian cork bonnet, lined with pale pink satin, plume of white feathers, and broad pink strings; fawn coloured shoes, green parasol, and white kid gloves.

“The dresses we have given are taken from the most fashionable belles at Cheltenham; and we understand were made by Miss Macdonald of South Molton Street, Bond Street.”

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