Sunday, June 10, 2012
Late Victorian Era Chit Chat-December 1880 Peterson's Magazine
Late Victorian Era Chit Chat-December 1880 Peterson's Magazine General Remarks Since the days when Titian and Tintoretto painted, we think nothing more gorgeous has been seen than the materials now in use for elaborate toilettes and. The brocaded velvets and satins, the cold embroidered camel's hair, and silks, surpass all powers of description. In velvets large clusters of hazel nuts, cherries, carnations, tulips, roses, etc., may be seen, standing out like carved work. The satins are brocaded in clusters of lilacs, poppies, morning glories, or dozens of other flowers; but usually in the same color, though of different shade from the ground work. We say usually, but the single color is not universal, as some of the most elegant are of different colors, as of small sunflowers in dull yellow, with brown velvet centers, on black, or brown velvet. This cost $20.00 per yard; or trails of exquisite pink and blue morning glories, on a peach colored satin at $7.50 per yard. Or soft Marshal Neil roses, the yellow lying softly on a black, brown, or amethyst ground. A black cashmere, covered with roses, woven in gold threads, at $30.00 per yard. But such stuffs are hazardous in the hands of the uninitiated. They must be most carefully employed, or they become vulgar. They are used principally as trimmings, trains, draperies, etc. When nearly the whole costume is made of them, it must be of the very simplest make. But we are happy to say that, for ordinary wear, and ordinary purses, much cheaper and plainer materials are to be found in the greatest abundance. Quiet silks, cashmeres, and camel's hairs, in all the new colors, are in profusion, either plain, or, in the case of silks, brocaded in some quiet style that anyone can wear. There are also innumerable broched woolen goods, for jackets, bodices, or that trimming of dresses. Plaits are revived for trimmings, the handkerchief costumes, in woolen goods, being quite fashionable. Only tall, slender persons should purchase these. Dark green, as well as brick red, and the many shades of purple, are all popular. Soft, light woolen material, such as albatross cloth, nun's veiling, and fine camel's hair, is much used in combination with silk, and even satin for evening dresses, especially for young ladies. But the general style of making dresses is unchanged, the modifications are numerous, however, to suit all tastes. We cannot too often reiterate, that never was there a time when a woman could dress so much as she pleased, and never before could an old wardrobe be made over into a most fashionable new one. For the street, short dresses, and for the house, long dresses are the rule. As we said, last month, small tournures are beginning to reappear, to give the dress a little fullness below the waist, and this may mean a stiff crinoline, or even a hoop, in time. The fashion of wearing waists different from the skirts of dresses is still liked, as in this way an old skirt can be utilized. The fichus, jabots of lace, etc., add so much to plain, or limited number of dresses, that the varieties are very great. Wraps are worn much longer than they were some years ago, also looser, if made as a wrap only; but jackets are generally tight fitting, though even here personal taste may dictate the style. For the wraps, plush, satin, Sicilienne silk and cashmere, as well as that is used. Some of the most expensive are lined throughout with bright colored plush, figured and striped silks, or satins in gay colors. It will be seen that the somber hues, so long the only correct thing, are no longer quite so fashionable; but they are much safer, with a small wardrobe. Many carriage wraps and opera cloaks are made of the expensive materials, such as camel's hair wrought with gold, brocaded velvets, etc., which we have described. Bonnets and hats are still worn according to the fancy, though some of the newest bonnets are a little larger than those of the summer. The trimmings fall front as a rule, rather than back, and all sorts of materials are used as garniture. The most stylish are simply trimmed, but many are very elaborate. Plush and beaver bonnets and hats are very popular.