Paris Fashions for March 1872

Paris Fashions for March [1872]. Source: Illustrated London News. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Commentary from the Illustrated London News

The recent mild weather has caused considerable change in the prevailing fashions, and winter costumes have been completely thrown aside. The faille jupe which has supplanted them just touches the ground, and has one or two deep flounces six or eight inches from the bottom, headed with bands of velvet of the same colour as the velvet pardessus or tunic. This latter is usually made short behind, and has long lappets, either straight or wing-shaped, falling down in front. Velvet polonaises are also worn caught up behind in a puff and turned back in front, and trimmed in the same style as the lappets of the tunics.

The spring, however, is near at hand, and promises to completely revolutionise the existing state of things. The tints which seem likely to be the most fashionable are Sévres and Mediterranean blue and Adriatic and mignonette green; and one of the materials destined to replace the faille and velvet now in vogue is cashmere, which will be worn embroidered, braided, and festooned, with an under-jupe composed of three plaitings surmounted with narrow fesroons; and a tunique Princesse, forming both corsage and upper jupe, trimmed with the same festooned plaiting as the under-skirt, and caught up behind with bows of faille, to form a large puff.

Toilettcs de soirée, with low corsages, are beginning to be very generally worn, and are of brighter colours than have been the fashion during the past winter. A toilette Marquise seen at the Opéra last week was of blue China faille, with a jupe à traine, trimmed with a deep plaited scalloped flounce, headed with Watteau bows. The corsage, high behind, but cut low in front, was bordered with Alençon lace and a succession of little bows; while a tablier à plastron of rose-coloured faille, similarly trimmed with lace and bows, fell gracefully in front. The sleeves, à la Louis XV., descended to the elbows, and had a scalloped flounce, trimmed with more little bows, veiled with a transparent flounce of Alençon lace. A large bow of rose—coloured faille was posed on each shoulder. The coiifure consisted of a Louis XV. puff, composed of blue feathers, Alençon lace, and a bouquet of roses; while Louis XV. shoes, of blue faille, with rose-coloured heels, trimmed with lace, blue bows, and a rose-coloured puff, completed the toilette.

Ball dresses, unless worn by very young girls, have very long trains, two or three tunics, puffs as voluminous as paniers, and, at times, lace basques falling over the latter. The coiffures are generally composed of a tuft of flowers placed on the very summit of the head, with trains of foliage or ribbon falling down the back even to the Waist. Black or white lace, according to the colour of the toilette, is commonly mingled with the tufts of flowers.

A change has already taken place in the trimming of chapeaux, and when the spring arrives it is probable that their shape will also be modified throughout the winter the prevailing style has been to pile feathers, flowers, lace, and bows upon the crown of the chapeau, so as to form a kind of pyramid, but it is now becoming the fashion to place the trimming at the side and to allow the feathers to curl round the crown. The chapeau is thus reduced to a moderate height, and certainly presents a more graceful appearance.

The Illustrations

Fig. 1. Toilette d'intérieur, of which the under-skirt is of pearl grey poult de soie, worn in connection with a tunic and corsage of dark blue velvet. The tunic is trimmed at the bottom with a very deep flounce, bordered with fringe. and is slashed at each side so as to show the poult-de-soie skirt beneath. The corsage has a little scalloped basque edged with fringe behind, and two long wing-shaped lappets,also bordered with fringe, falling on each side. The sleeves are of medium size, and are trimmed at the wrists with a scalloped plaiting. A bow of blue velvet is worn in the hair.

Fig. 2. Toilette de soirée à demi-traine of pale Adriatic green silk, the under-skirt of which is trimmed with a double flounce and rows of white lace. The tunic, which forms a large puff behind, is open in front with a scalloped trimming at the edges, and is ornamented with two fan-shaped plaitings edged with lace on each side. The elaborate ceinture is composed of several lappets of various lengths trimmed with lace, falling in front and at the sides, and of two long ends also trimmed with lace, but which fall behind below the puff. The corsage, which is low, has a trimming of roses extending from shoulder to shoulder across the breast. The hair is arranged in curls, falling over the forehead, and is surmounted with a row of pearls, a bow of black lace with a rose similar to those of the corsage being posed at the left side.

Fig. 3. Toilette de promenade of iron-grey faille, the skirt of which is trimmed with a plaited flounce about 18 in. from the bottom of the robe. The corsage tunic, edged with rouleaux of black satin and narrow fringe, has pointed basques in front and a puff behind. The sleeves, turned over at the wrists, are edged with similar rouleaux and fringe. The chapeaux, of black tulle, is trimmed with black ribbon velvet, a band of which is twisted round the crown, which has at the side an aigrette, white ostrich-feather, and small velvet bow. The strings of black ribbon velvet are fastened with a bow beneath the chin.

Fig. 4. Toilette de visite of dark mauve faille just touching the ground, the skirt of which, trimmed at the bottom with a deep flounce, forms a large puff behind. With this toilette is worn a pardessus of maroon-coloured velvet cut very short behind, with two long lappets falling in front and loose sleeves open at the bottom, the whole being richly trimmed with passementerie, lace, and fringe. This novel style of pardessns is at this moment very fashionable. The chapeau of felt is trimmed with faille ribbon of the same shade as the dress, twisted round the crown nd terminating in long strings. A bow and white rose are posed in front of the chapeau, a second bow with long fringe ends being placed at the left side.

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“Paris Fashions for March.” Illustrated London News 60 (16 march 1872): 261-62. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 20 January 2016.]

Last modified 20 January 2016