Paris Fashions for January 1869

Paris Fashions for January: The Empress and her Ladies. Source: Illustrated London News (2 January 1869): 12. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Commentary from the Illustrated London News

[Unlike some of the Illustrated London News’s fashion reports in other years, which make heavy use of italics for French words and phrases, this one omits italics. — George P. Landow]

The few new bonnets of any style that have as yet made their appearance in Paris are of velvet or satin, and generally of the more brilliant shades of colour. The diadem form, with the diadem mounting up very high, is largely in favour. So, indeed, is the fanchon, which seems destined to live as long as the large chignon. The subordinate trimming consists of lace and bows, the main trimming comprising either feather, flowers, or a little exotic bird posed generally at the sides, but very perched where the crown of the chapeau was accustomed to one. Small white aigrettes are largely worn both in hats and bonnets.

For walking-dresses, which are invariably made extremely short, velvets are quite as much in fashion this winter as they were last season. For toilettes de visite, which are nearly always à traine, satin or faye appears to be most in favour. A velvet walking-costume of a rich chocolate tint consists of a tight-fitting jacket closed in at the waist with a deep rose-coloured sash, and having a short rounded skirt and turn-down collar with large lapels, showing a rose-coloured silk chemisette beneath. The under jupe, which is of velvet, is quite plain; over it hangs a second jupe, in poplin of the same shade, caught up at the bottom in loose festoons. A robe of black and grey speckled plush, trimmed all round with a narrow fur border, has the skirt of the upper jupe sloped entirely away behind, where the long ends of a garnet-coloured silk sash, fastened with a most elaborate bow, hang down. Beneath the short under jupe one catches a glimpse of a garnet-coloured stocking above the speckled black and grey fur-bound boots. We may mention another walking-costume, in Irish poplin and a la Camargo, that is raised very much at the sides and behind, where it is bouffantée by a triple ruche of ribbon. The corsage is trimmed with a ruche at the neck, and the sleeves are ornamented with ruches at the shoulders and the cuffs. The under jupe is bordered with a deep wavy flounce, surmounted by a double ruche of ribbon and an entre deux of small puffs; and the ceinture fastens behind with the accustomed elaborate bow and long ends.

Among visiting-toilettes one may particularise a robe à dull grey faye, which has the train formed of a series of mounting behind half way up to the waist. The second jupe, which, with the tight-fitting sleeves, is in satin of the same relieved, however, with golden stripes embroidered over with little flowers in their natural colours, has an opening behind to admit of the large bouffante of the under jupe being brought through. This costume is completed by a tight-fitting grey velvet jaquette, the skirts of which, sloped off both in front and behind, are shaped at each side into double points trimmed with a triple biais and a rich floss-silk fringe: a similar biais and fringe form epaulettes at the shoulders. Another toilette de visite, also a queue, is in blue velvet, with a rich bleu de roi upper jupe raised very high, so as to form puffed festoons all round, which are bordered with pipings of satin and a deep border of splendid lace. The open corsage has the facings bordered with lace to match, and the sleeves are encircled all the way up with broad satin piping, with rows of deep lace intervening: from the ceinture falls a triple band of rich passementerie, which raises the jupe in front considerably above the knees.

For evening dresses we have to refer to the subjoined descriptions of the various examples presented in the Engraving, all of which are faithful copies of toilettes worn by the Empress of the French and some of the most distinguished leaders of Paris fashion, attendants on her Court. The figures are mentioned in the same order in which they appear in the Engraving, from the left hand to the right. [11-12]

The Illustrations

1. Robe of jonquil-coloured satin, the under jupefestooned and bordered with a lace flounce. Over the upper jupe, which, tegether with the low corsage, is trimmed with white lace, is worn a lace pardessus, ornamented with pale bluo satin bows.

2. Princess Ghika.–Simple robe of blue tarletan, trimmed with a deep flounce, surmounted by bouillons. Coiffure of blueflowers and greenleaves. Large pearl necklace.

3. Duchess de Sesto.—Robe of white satin; under jupe of white tulle, trimmed with plissés and bows of white satin, and with garlands of white daisies and green ivy-leaves. The back of the robe, including the long train, is veiled with tulle, and large tulle sleeves fall from the satin sleeves of the corsage, which is elaborately trimmed with daisies, ivyleaves, and lace. The coiffure is composed of marabout feathers, secured by a peari and diamond buckle, together with a wreath of daisies. The pearl necklace has a large emerald in the centre.

4. Robe of violet satin, trimmed with a double row of bouillons. Pardessus of darker violet velvet, together with train of striped velvet combining the two shades of violet, trimmed with black lace.

5. Empress Eugénie.—Robe of pale salmon-coloured satin, with fluted flounce, trimmed up the skirt with three rows of bouillons of silver-spangled tarletan. Corsage of satin, trimmed with rows of white lace. Tunic of white watered silk bordered with floss-silk fringe. Coiffure composed of a diamond brooch posed in the centre of a blue velvet bow.

6. Princess de Metternich.—Black satin robe, trimmed with lace and ornamented with bouquets of carnations and variegated pinks and leaves. Low black satin corsage, trimmed with lace to correspond. Necklace of diamonds.

7. Countess de Pourtalès.—Robe likewise of black satin, trimmed with a rich fringe strung with jet ornaments and looped up to form a bouffant behind by a band of blue velvet on which a garland of pinkroses is posed. The shoulders are ornamented with bows and roses to match. The train, which is composed of bands of black velvet on satin, is bordered all round with black lace. The gauze under jupe is trimmed with lace and black satin bows relieved with jet. The coiffure consists of a diamond aigrette, together with several diamond stars. Diamond necklace and earrings. 8. Train of rose-coloured gauze over a robe of bluesatin. Coiffure, a coronet of daisies.

9. Robe of rose-coloured satin, ornamented with lace flounces. Train of white tulle, trimmed with lace. Blue satin sash, fastening behind with large bow; smaller satin bows fixed on each shoulder. Coiffure of small blue flowers.

10. Robe à traine of tulle over a yellow satinjupe trimmed with flounces at the bottom. Corsage of yellow satin trimmed with tulle. Sash of rosecoloured ribbon. Coiffure composed of a velvet bow of the same colour sparkling with diamonds.

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Last modified 20 January 2016