Paris Fashions for October 1860Illustrated London News (20 Oxctober 1860): 291.

Commentary and captions from the Illustrated London News

The month of October, especially that of the year of grace 1860, brings us into the autumnal season, which may be said to have prevailed ever since the month of May in this memorable summerless year. Our Illustration in this day's Number indicates the transition period from moderately warm and genial weather to that when heavier toilet becomes necessary. We have been forced to abandon the reproduction of those charming costumes which generally characterise Parisian attire during a fine summer, and to represent such as are worn by the élite of French society, already returned in cool haste from their voyages to Ems, Baden-Baden, Savoy, or the Pyrenees.

The most striking features in the style of ladies' dresses at present is the amount of fluting employed for the ornamentation of the skirts, corsages, and sleeves. The extent to which it is used is quite remarkable, and its variety, in width and application, endless. Two of our Illustrations are devoted to dresses of this description. The general form is without change since our last; but robes of chequered pattern appear to have lost their recent vogue, at vogue, any rate for a time, although they are certainly neat and pretty.

Rice-chip or crape bonnets are much worn for weddings and visits of ceremony, but they still bear the stamp of simplicity that has characterised them throughout the present year. They are, however, occasionally ornamented with black ribbon and a rose or two, or by a small peacocks' feather. Swans’ plumes are employed for the turned-up chapeaux, but these are especially suited to very young ladies.

As our Illustrations contain none of those garments, we reserve our observations on the subject of capes, shawls, paletots, and cloaks till next month, when we shall give one or two figures au grand complet.


Figure 1. Walking Dress. — This dress is of light green taffety, ample in the skirt, w hich is ornamented at the bottom by two flounces of box plaits. About four inches above the flounces there is a narrow edging, likewise of box plaits: this addition prevents what would otherwise be a too formal appearance in the dress, consisting, as it does exclusively, of one material. A similar trimming, but of smaller proportions, ornaments the sleeves and the corsare, to the latter of which it imparts the semblance of a berthe. The bonnet is composed of velvet and tulle, trimmed with detached flowers, and having round the front edge narrow lace.

Fig. 2 — Dinner Toilet. Slate-coloured silk dress, the skirt trimmed with two purple bands bordered on each side with a narrow guipure: on these bands are attached, at regular intervals, a series of rosettes, in the centre of each of which is a velvet button. The corsage is high necked, and has a trimming corresponding with that on the skirt. The waistband, also purple, is edged with guipure, and terminated by a deep fringe. The sleeve consists of a single bouillon, on the edge of which is a narrow trimming in keeping with the other parts of the robe. White crape bonnet, trimmed with blonde, the tour-de-tête ornamented with small green leaves.

Fig. 3. Another Walking Dress. — Robe of rose-coloured taffety, somewnat resembling Fig. 1. in its general arrangement. The three fluted flounces are of unequal proportions, the uppermost one being wider than the other two together. The loose hanging sleeve is trimmed with fluting to match that on the skirt. The under sleeve is of blonde, fastened at the wrist with a black velvet band and silver clasp. From the waist descend two silk streamers, edged with black, and deeper in colour than the dress. Rice-chip bonnet, the cap consisting of blonde and roses.

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Last modified 21 November 2015