Late Victorian Era Fashion Chit Chat - March 1867
The World of Fashion
Observations on London and Parisian Fashions
On our Plates of Costumes for the present month, we have given a variety of the most elegant costumes suited for the commencement of the Spring, and have included those styles that indicate the principal characteristics of the prevailing Fashion.
Among the most fashionable garments for out-door wear, we will first mention the tight-fitting Peplum Paletot or Casaque, usually made of black silk, and worn with a ceinture or waistbelt. The favorite trimmings are passementerie, jet, silk cord, and black lace.
The looser styles of Paletot are however almost more in favor than the close-fitting, and are from their form most appropriate to the present plain style of dress skirt. The Bretonne style of Paletot (shown on Plate 4) with its rich parti-colored trimming, and its elaborately worked escutcheon ornaments, is in very great favor in Paris at the present time. For Suits, again the loose Paletot is admirably adapted, and it may be trimmed in any way to match the dress. The greatest novelty is however the white Paletot, shown on Plate 1, with its elaborate jet trimming which has a most distingue appearance.
For dresses, the Princesse form, without seam at waist, is being generally adopted. Skirts are always gored so as to sit almost plain all round, and double skirts are becoming very fashionable; the under skirt or petticoat is of course cut rather short, and the upper is looped up in various ways, some of the newest being shown on our Colored Plates.
These Princesse dresses generally have the seams ornamented by some kind of trimming; the rows of jet shown on fig. 3, Plate 4, being very elegant and appropriate, and the purple ruching covering all the seams of the skirt in fig. 1, Plate 1, has a most charming effect, especially as it is combined with the openings left round the bottom of skirt, through which the richly embroidered petticoat is seen.
The open or Watteau style of body, shown on fig. 1, Plate 2, will be this season more in favor than ever. Waists are always round, and are becoming shorter.
One of the greatest novelties in Paris, is the forming skirts into very narrow pleats or quillings. It is however only the very short skirts that can be made up in this way.
The Ball toilettes, shown on our third Plate, are admirable specimens of the richness and elegance that distinguish the newest Fashions. Flowers are used but sparingly, and are generally placed singly and with but few leaves. The single flowers, separating the folds of the bouillons in tulle skirts, have a very novel effect, and the regularity of these forms is quite in harmony with the present style of dress.
In Evening Headdresses, the same ideas prevail. Simple elegance, rather than profusion, prevails in the ornaments, while the art of the coiffeur is taxed to the utmost, in the variety and novelty of form given to the hair itself.
In Bonnets there is an immense variety of form; the Fanchon and the Benoiton being the favorite shapes. The trimmings are now most varied. Flowers, feathers, lace, and plaits of velvet, being all used. Grelots or pendants, either of jet or pearl, are also very fashionable, and indeed almost every bonnet has now either the jet or the pearls, as forming an important part of the ornamentation.
The series of Spring Costumes will be continued in our April and May numbers, and will include all the best and choicest productions of the most renowned Artistes des Modes. Our exclusive sources of information will render this selection of elegant novelties of especial value to our subscribers.