Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Color your own ball dress for January 1808

I posted La Belle Assemblée's color plate for January 1808 at Two Nerdy History Girls.  This interesting ball dress, alas, appears only in black & white.  I've come across this before:  hand-colored plates for colorful fashions, and black & white for white dresses.  It's not a rule, by any means—one often sees hand-colored fashion plates of white dresses—but, especially in the earlier part of the century, maybe it made more sense to reserve hand-coloring for colorful clothes.  Still, you can make yours a different color, if you like, or maybe just add touches of color here and there.

A Neapolitan robe and petticoat, of white, or coloured satin, made quite plain. Armorial vest of white satin, beaded in gold stripes. A cestus d-la-Cleopatra, composed of wrought gold and amethysts. Hanging sleeve, gathered in front of the arm, with brooches of the same. The hair confined from the roots, the ends flowing in irregular curls, leaving the forehead and temples exposed. An Indian casque of tissue, with amethyst ornaments. A long veil of gossamer gause, rounded at the end, and embroidered in a delicate border of silver, or silk, flowing from the centre of the crown, over the right shoulder, and forming a drapery in front of the figure by the attitude of the left hand. Pear ear-rings of amethyst or pearl. Necklace of pearl, with amethyst star in the centre. White satin slippers, edged with silver beading, and white kid gloves above the elbow.
La Belle Assemblée, Volume 3, 1807

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