Favorite decades: 1910's, 1800's, 1870's
Favorite artists: Anthony van Dyck, Giovanni Boldini, Henry Fuseli, Thomas Lawrence
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A “Fashion Gossip” column describing cutting edge Philadelphia fashions, Winter 1885-86 US (Philadelphia), Strawbridge and Clothier’s Quarterly
[Very charming indeed, are some of the latest house-dresses, or tea-gowns, as the most elaborate of them are called. A fanciful one is made of pale-pink surah, the point literally covered with waves of écru, Malines] lace, broken here and there with loops of pale pink and light blue ribbon.
A caprice of many ladies is to have their house-costumes all-white; and very dainty are princesse gowns of cream-white cashmere or surah, trimmed with quantities of soft lace or bands of white down.
Figure No. 8, illustrates a neat home-dress of soft silk, lined with quilted silk. It is light-blue in color, and is made with short full train. The front, pockets, cuffs, and collar, are artistically embroidered in yellow marguerites with shaded brown and green foliage. There is a silken cord and tassels about the waist. The cap is made of cream Valenciennes lace, with loops of narrow blue ribbon in front. A favorite new material for house-wear is ivory-white bourette cloth. The rough surface is barred with twisted gold and silver threads, and soft white, flossy balls. Wool armure goods and camel’s-hair cloths, in white and cream, are also much used for tea-gowns.
And still the rage for lace of all kinds, continues. It is one of the few articles for wear that seasons have no effect upon whatever. The dress of sheer mull, destined to be worn in August, smothered in lace just as is its pretentious sister that will sweep the floor of the December ball-rooms.
A pretty style of making a lace dress is shown in the illustration Figure No. 9. The lace, which is cream Spanish net, is draped, over a skirt of light silk, high on both hips, and falls without further looping over the train. There is a sash of bright olive velvet. Over the tight-fitting bodice of silk, lace covered, is a little Figaro pointed vest of olive velvet. The points, back and front, are fastened with a rhinestone buckle. The elbow-length sleeves are made of alternate layers of insertion and plain net. There is a high velvet dog-collar about the throat, studded with rhinestones, and fringed with tiny olive-tinted feathers. The gloves are long tan gants de suéde.
Rhinestone ornaments are still in favor for holding draperies in place, and are especially appropriate when the draperies are lace. Among the curious designs is a great dragon with mouth open, showing a double row of pearl teeth, and enriched further with a pair of glittering ruby eyes. But designs of this description are a caprice, and it is always far better taste to choose the really graceful arrows, spears, crescents, etc., that serve the purpose without shocking sensitive nerves.
The afternoon house-dress shown at Figure No. 10, is certainly an original design. It is made of blue plush, stamped with bronze figures; and an Oriental gauze run with silver and gold threads. The skirt of the plush is bordered with a full gauze ruching. The polonaise is laid in full deep pleats in the back; the front, from the throat down, opens over the gauze very full pleated; narrowed in at the waist with a plain, plush band, fastened with a silver buckle. The gauze is carried around under the polonaise to simulate a second skirt. The two front points of the polonaise are finished with bronze tassels. The sleeves are elbow-length; trimmed with a gauze puff, and pleating. There is said to be more variety in Oriental laces than any other of the inexpensive, or rather those laces that are classed under the head of novelty, and which are inexpensive in comparison with the costly pointes. Black Oriental laces are now in the market, and they are very good in effect. Some of them are embroidered in floss and silk, intermixed with fine colored beads.
Old-time Llama and thread laces are being reëstablished in favor; indeed, the more antique looking the lace, the handsomer it is considered, even if time’s finger has rubbed off its sheen and given it in its place a color that the uninitiated would call rusty.