Monday, August 11, 2014

Regency Fashion August 1814

Hot days of summer here in the Northern hemisphere.  What are you wearing at the beach?

I bet it looks nothing like this.  Our ladies of 200 years ago might have had the prettiest ballgowns, but I bet you wouldn't swap your bathing suit for this one. Though to be honest it is  a walking dress too.  I liked seeing the cliffs in the background and the bathing machines lined up on the beach. And that must be a towel over her arm.

Reminds me a bit of a scene in my next book Captured Countess out in December.  Our heroine, Nicky, is learning to swim -- with the King.

All right, here is the official description. But I am not sure what Carcassian refers too? Circassians perhaps?

From La Belle Assemblee:
Carcassian Ladies’ Corset Bathing & Sea-side Walking Dress 
High dress of rich Indian or Parisian chintz, made in a form peculiarly novel and elegant; it is trimmed with chintz bordering to correspond, or a rich silk trimming. Long sleeve, with the fullness let in at the top. The collar is extremely novel and beautiful, and the trimming most tastefully disposed, so as to give the appearance of a shirt to the pelisse; it is loose in the body, but fastens in to the waist.  
We forbear a particular description of this elegant and convenient dress, as it must be seen to be properly understood; we have only to observe, that it is made in a form never before introduced, that it is equally tasteful and becoming; it enables a lady to dress herself in a few minutes without assistance, prevents the chance of taking cold by the long delay in dressing; and, when dressed, to look as completely fashionable as if she had employed the longest time at her toilet.  
The principal novelty, however, consists of Mrs. Bell’s new invented Circassian corset, which unites the advantages of being conductive to health and comfort, by being made of novel materials, free from superfluities, such as steel, whalebone, or any hard substance; so that ease, gracefulness, and dignity are given to the female form in a manner perfectly novel and original. It gives relief and protection to pregnant ladies, and at the same time adds dignity and beauty to the appearance.  
Head dress Chapeau Bras. Slippers of pale green; and gloves to correspond.

Now some of you may be interested in the comment on the corset.  Novel materials. One can only wonder. And the fact that she can dress herself after bathing means this outer shell comes off before she takes a dip leaving her in that corset and her chemise?

Until next time