Saturday, June 30, 2012

Edwardian Era Fashion Chit Chat - December 1901 The Delineator

Edwardian Era Fashion Chit Chat - December 1901 The Delineator The Fashions of London The popular trimming for evening as well as in the daytime is fur. For evening there is no doubt that the few who can afford such pleasures cast their votes for sable. Sable coats and Sable capes are as much in evidence as money conditions will permit, and we have learnt to decorate our furs with considerable charm, a sable coat which reaches the ideal showing an entire vest of Irish lace held with a jewelled buckle, the inside of this being softly frilled with fine lace, while the bell-shaped cuffs and the shaped flounce which borders the coat are outlined with broad patterns of Irish lace, tinted to a deep cream tone. Another luxurious garment of fur is in the cape form and shows alternate stripes of the finest cream-coloured lace and chincilla, the lining to this being of soft cream-coloured satin covered with a kilting of chiffon. Kilted chiffon linings are, I confess, somewhat incongruous, but none the less attractive. Ermine is again in favour. A beautiful Empire coat of sable with an ermine yoke and facings is a notable example of present day extravagance, and in this, too, the lining shows soft frillings of chiffon and lace over the essential satin. As for evening dresses, while we have by no means abandoned the charms of lace and chiffon we are undoubetly recognizing those of brocade. I am afraid, though, that we are not obeying very faithfully the mandate of her Majesty Queen Alexandra, that these broacdes should be of British manufacture. And I was told by some authorities that the expense of producing English brocades, by reason of the climate, the workmen, the machinery, and other disabilities, is rendered almost prohibitive, and it would take at least a century to reestablish the silk trade into any sort of practical working order in England. Of course, it is possible to produce beautiful brocades here, but not in sufficient quantities or in sufficient qualities to meet the universal demand, at an obtainable price. Very beautiful effects in brocade are produced by the introduction of velvets and chine patterns on soft grounds of satin; flowers will be in chine, while a ribbon will be simulated in velvet on a foundation of soft cream satin, such fabrics lending themselves to adornment by the picturesque fichu, deep frills of lace on the sleeves and lace-robed fronts. We have not lost our affection for the sequin, and it twinkles on many a lisse and lace gown, which may be found garlanded with chiffon roses amid leaves embroidered in green ribbon. There is a revival in favor of passementerie trimmings, galons of all description and silken tassels; and very decorative these are, especially the last, when used on plain cloth tailor-made dresses. The galons, too, make effective trimmings to cloth dresses, which are in the Louis treize style, for such collars and revers seem to call aloud for bindings; and most of these galons have light grounds and dark patterns upon them. But in addition to plain cloths this winter we have worn much zibeline, and corduroy velvet strapped with plain face cloth has been popular, while we have evinced much appreciation of velvet; and cloth skirts with velvet coats bearing embroidered waistcoats and galon bound collars and lace jabots the conspicuous favorites. These may be well accompanied by a tricorn hat whose outlines seem to have altered a little to suit the shape of the individual and whose popularity is firmly established. An admirable example of a tricorn shows a brim of jet and a crown of the softest white beaver cloth, while on each side of the brim are placed black and white wings. White beaver cloth decorated with yellow lace makes some of the most fashionable hats, while a combination of sable and lace forms and attractive toque, and Irish lace appears alike on millinery, evening dresses and costumes. The Empire style still counts many devotees, and an effective way of achieving this is with a deep belt and sleeves entirely formed of jewels, lace or passementerie, or thickly embroidered net, the gown opening in the front to display a lace robe and being cut without fullness in the bust or the back. Such dresses look well in soft stuffs, and I have seen an admirable example of black belt and sleeves being made of silk guipure with a black velvet appliqué, while the gown itself was of the finest black Chantilly lace well lined and ruffled with chiffon, chiffon forming the front. A piece of rose point was used for the chemisette, which appeared just above the belt. The Fox boa in white, and gray and in black continues to be seen about the neck of fashionable women, and an excellent effect was produced by a white cloth coat and skirt, a blouse of Irish lace, a white toque with a large white bird at one side, the whole being completed by a white Fox boa and muff. Birds and ostrich feathers are the favorite trimmings for millinery at the moment, and the threatened alteration in the coiffure, which is to be removed from the top of the head to below the crown, comes slowly but surely. To achieve the best results under such conditions, it is necessary to have a head of a good shape, and that advantage not having been granted to all of us, we arrive at becoming results in the evening time by the addition of scarfs of chiffon held with jewels, vainly imagining that we are copying the famous picture of the beautiful Emma Hamilton and, of course, sighing for a Romney to immortalize us. Hats are flat in shape and style of trimming, to a surprising degree, but second Empire styles in both fur and felt are worthy of mention. An admirable example of the Louis XIV style is made entirely of jet and is not at all heavy; to white ostrich plumes are arranged to fall softly over the brim on the hair at the left side. Trimmings are indeed wonderful; embroidery is a most important item, and it was never more delicate for more original in design. An novel narrow trimming that suggests fringe is used for skirts to form zigzag entre-deux halfway down. Another skirt trimming that is the greatest novelty shows a VanDyke design in silk embroidery, lace or chenille on taffeta. Six points are formed on the skirt, top and bottom, with these van Dykes, and they appear as though woven in the material. Black and gold soutache trimmings are used for the Empire bodices and jackets that are in high favor. Frequently this trimming forms a short bolero that terminates above or just below the bust. A heart shape cut in a piece of the material and fastened down each side of the shoulder seam with jewel buttons in a pleasing design is a novelty in this ornamentation, which is as much seen as ever. The newest neck chains are very massive and much ornamented, while the curiously fine, almost threadlike chains, glittering with tiny diamonds set in platinum, are much worn and very beautiful. Gems of all kinds are literally draped over the shoulders of evening bodices.

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