Monday, August 06, 2007

July Chitchat

July, 1852
Godey's Lady's Book
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Vol XLV Page 106


So many of our fair ladies have deserted the town for the country, that our shops are "halls deserted." This and the succeeding months have few decided changes. Almost every one has finished her summer wardrobe, and is not yet thinking of fall costumes; so there is little to be chronicled, save a few novelties in mantillas, lingerie, etc.

Lace application is now applied to mantillas with great success. It is done by drawing a border on the silk, which is first cut after a scarf pattern, and lining the silk with common cotton net lace of the same shade. This pattern is followed by tacking a narrow silk braid on the outline, and cutting out the silk, leaving the centre of the pattern in lace. It has a very light and graceful effect, but is scarcely suited for anything but a scarf pattern. We have already described a still neater style of lace insertion. (See June number.)

The favorite colors for mantillas continue to be white, black, and lavender; some in muslin have been seen, and one in exquisite taste, which we must describe to our lady readers. The mantle itself is of the finest Swiss muslin, with a vine of fine embroidery encircling it. There is a small circular hood that can be brought into use, also richly embroidered, and fastened by a bow of pure white ribbon with flowing ends. The mantle and hood are lined with the softest white Florence silk, and altogether has an air of indescribable grace and lightness. For a watering-place, nothing could be in better taste, or more really useful, to be thrown on for short promenades, with a dinner or evening-dress, or after dancing. It may be lined with pink, violet, green, or any shade that suits the fancy.

Speaking of watering-places reminds us of a very neat style of travelling bonnets brought out by Miss Wharton, or rather a favorite style revived. It is a casing, or drawn hat of fine brown grass cloth, a close but not unbecoming shape, trimmed by a double ruche of blue ribbon on the outside, and noeuds and strings of the same inside the brim. Straw travelling bonnets have been worn so long, that this will be welcomed as a change. For bareges, Organdy muslins, or, indeed, thin tissues of any kind, Miss Wharton has adopted the "infant waist;" a belt slightly rounded behind and before, scarcely more than a slope, indeed; the slight fulness of the waist has perhaps three shirrs, drawn with fine cord; the lining is cut out at the throat. This gives a simple and graceful air, especially suited to young ladies. A collar, pointed in style, and of slight depth, is attached to the open corsages of older ladies. Small bishop sleeves, with cuffs, are used for morning-dresses, which saves the trouble of a cambric undersleeve, and are really very neat. The ordinary pagoda, or loose sleeve, is still in use for thin dresses. We have seen an Organdy muslin finished by ruffles of the same, they being headed by a fine edge of Valenciennes lace. Others are made cut up, or rounding up on the inside of the arm, instead of towards the elbow, as described in May.

Thick white silks, either of moire d'antique or with a heavy cord, remain still in favor for bridal dresses, relieved by having the corsage and sleeves covered with light puffings of thulle or blonde. The dress of Lady Constance, youngest daughter of the Duke of Sutherland, recently married to the oldest son of the Marquis of Westminster, was of white satin, with guipure flounces. The head-dress was of white roses, entwined with orange and myrtle, and a splendid guipore veil falling almost to her feet. The corsage and sleeves were of lace, and the ornaments were a magnificent carbuncle set in brilliants, the gift of the queen, and a necklace of pearls, diamonds, and emeralds.

Rather an extravagant costume for a young lady, and quoted not for imitation, but as a matter of simple feminine interest. FASHION.