Monday, October 21, 2013

Regency Fashion ~ October 1813

The Battle of Vittoria was one of Wellington’s great victories and much celebrated on the home front in 1813. The Prince of Wales arranged for a grand fete to be held in Vauxhall Gardens. This took place in July 1813. However it seems that the modistas of the day decided to name ballroom gowns after the fact, so one can assume the celebrations continued.

This gown appeared in La Belle Assemblee’s September edition as fashion for October entitled

Vauxhall Vittoria Fete Dress.

It is described as follows:

A short dress of crape over a very slight white satin petticoat, made more scanty in the skirt than  we have seen them for some time. The skirt is ornamented round the bottom with a trimming composed of crape and small pearl beads in the form of laurel leaves, each of which is edged with those beautiful imitations of pearls and a row also goes up the middle of each leaf, which has a novel and very elegant effect.  Over this dress is a Princess Charlotte of Wales’ body of pink crape; for the front of this body we refer our readers to the Plate; the back is made uncommonly broad, and extremely low both behind and before.  The sleeves are crape over white satin, fancifully ornamented with beads to correspond with the trimming round the bottom. A similar, but much smaller, trimming goes round the bosom and back of the neck. A small white crape jacket finishes this dress. The hair cropped behind, and disposed in loose ringlets in front; a superb white lace veil falls from the back of the head and is taken carelessly on the arm as a drapery. A fancy half wreath is placed to the side. White kid gloves and slippers; emerald necklace, ear-rings and bracelets.
I find the reference to the Princess Charlotte of Wales body interesting. It looks a bit like a bustier doesn't it, and rather daring, don't you think?  It seems to be a gown that leaves very little to the imagination.
I will bring you the second gown a little later this month. Until next time, Happy Rambles.