Paris Fashions for January 1869

Paris Fashions for January. Source: Illustrated London News (6 January 1872): 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]

Parisian fashion, discreetly enough, still continues to confine itself within modest limits, spite of the efforts which are every now and then being made to bring about a return to the extravagant toilettes of the Second Empire. Costumes de promenade are alike sober in colour and simple as regards trimming; woollen materials, moreover, in lieu of velvet, being principally in vogue, and the favourite shades being deep naval blue, warmish brown, myrtle green, violet, and a peculiar bronze tint that has lately come into favour rather than more brilliant colours. The trimming consists of braided arabesques or narrow bands of velvet of the same shade as the material, and silk fringe. For toilettes de visite black or sombre coloured velvets, with a trimming of passementerie, jet, or fur, are worn in preference to brighter tints. Chinchilla and ermine, the latter of which has been greatly neglected of late years, appear to be the mode during the present season, astrakan being reserved for the trimming of cloth polonaises, which form tunics and corsages at the same time.

The robe of the epoch of Louis Quinze, with its general fanciful elegance and its double jupe more chiffoneés and bouffant than ever, still retains its place in the favour of Parisian élégantes. The under jupe is worn both long and full; corsages are usually open, being cut square en chale or heartshape; while as regards sleeves, they are tight, and trimmed with biais of velvet or hands of fur, and of the open sabot shape, terminating in a plaited flounce. Chapeaux are small and of rounded shape, their turned-up fronts reminding one of visors. Curtains are still wanting, but promise to make their appearance before long. The chapeau rond, heretofore admissible only for riding or for the country is becoming worn at the promenade an Bois, with, however, much additional trimming. Coiffures have undergone considerable change. The hair is thrown up in front in the Louis XIV. and Louis XV. style, while behind it hangs like a loose chignon in a thick net. The Alsatian bow is greatly worn as an afternoon coiffure, and is extremely becoming; while for evening coiffure black and white aigrettes, rising from out of a puff of velvet or ribbon, are the mode. Black lace mantillas, fixed to the hair with a flower or how, are also coming into fashion.

The Illustrations

Fig. I. A walking-costume in grey cloth, the upper skirt of which is caught up at each side and at the back, and is edged with a plaiting, headed with a band of broad black velvet. Four similar bands trim the underskirt, which just touches the ground. The pardessus, of the same material as the dress, is trimmed with astrakun, bands of which simulate pockets and a berthe, as well as bordu the sleeves and the garment. The round chapeau is of the Tyrolean form, and is trimmed with a large ostrich feather, falling down behind.

Fig. 2. A toilette de promenade in claret-colcured cashmere composed of a jaquette, a tunic, and a robe in demi-traine, Which latter is trimmed with a deep flounce headed by four plaitings of different widths. The tunic is caught up on each side so as to form a bouffant behind, and is edged with an elaborate braiding, finished by a deep fringe. The sleeves, jockey, and front of the jacket are trimmed in the same style as the tunic. The chapeau is of beaver, and has an ostrich feather falling behind, while a duck’s wing is coquettisbly fastened on the left side.

Fig. 3. This is a ball-dress of white and green satin and Brussels lace. The under jupe, made of white satin, is quite plain, and forum a long train. The upper skirt. made of green satin, is edged with deep lace, and forms a tablier in front, a bouffant behind and a demi-train falling in graceful folds over the white satin skirt. This demi-train is caught up at the sides with branches of roses. The low corsage, cut en coueur, is bordered with lace, while a full-blown rose is artistically fastened upon each shoulder. The coiffure is in the Louis XV. style.

Fig. 4. Robe of pale mauve silk à traine, with a brown silk tunic, forming tablier as corsage. The pagoda-shaped sleeves of this tunic are trimmed with four rows of plaited mauve ribbon, matching the skirt, while the tunic itself is edged with a little flounce, surmounted by a plaited lilac ribbon. The point of the dress is trimmed with three flounoes, with ruched head, and is slightly gathered together. A ruche trimmed with two bows of black velvet, one of which is embroidered with coloured flowers and edged with silver fringe, separates the ample traine, which is embroidered with flowers at the bottom, from the dress.

You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Hathi Digital Library Trust and the University of Michigan and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. — George P. Landow]


“Paris Fashions for the New Year.” Illustrated London News 60 (6 January 1872): 21-22. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 20 January 2016.]

Last modified 20 January 2016