Civil War Era Fashion Chit Chat - July 1864 Godey's Lady's Book
Chitchat upon New York and Philadelphia Fashions for July
The various wraps to be found at the establishment of Brodie in New York are perfect marvels of taste and art. The silks are of the stand alone quality, and the shapes and trimmings the most elegant we have seen.
Many are of the circular shape, trimmed with gimp ornaments and chenille tassels. Directly at the back of the neck is a Louis 13th box of the silk, with long ends richly trimmed.
Another style, both for cloth and silk, is a basque with three tails at the back and a skirt attached. This style is rather novel; but prettier in silk than cloth.
Paletots cut slightly into the figure are among the favorites. Many of these are slashed at the back and on each side, the slashes being caught together with gimp straps and ornaments, and richly trimmed with lace. This style of wrap has pockets in front covered with either lace or gimp. Some have gimp epaulettes which extend down the back below the waist. Others are made double-breasted with revers lined with white silk.
We have seen another style with a stuffed crescent-shaped epaulette, of the silk trimmed with very large jet drop buttons, which was exceedingly stylish.
The jaunty little jackets which are so much worn by misses, are made of all materials; some are trimmed with a box-plaited ruffle, edged with a narrow fringe, and the effect is exceedingly pretty. Indeed, they are all trimmed with irreproachable taste.
Checked, striped, and plain cloth circles of all the new and indescribable shades, are generally finished with a woollen chenille fringe. As we are not indebted to our foreign neighbors for this trimming, it being made both in New York and Philadelphia, the match is generally perfect.
Though these silk and woollen garments are requisite during the entire summer, lighter tissues are also needed. We would, therefore, call attention to the fresh attractive barege wraps, so pretty and convenient for warm weather. These are trimmed with flutings, narrow velvets, quillings, and bows. Of the latter style, we give an admirable illustration in the present number. Besides these inexpensive barege wraps, are the ever fashionable real lace points, and a great variety of both black and white mohair mantles and shawls.
The Oriental looking scarlet cloak is still worn at watering-places, also white cashmere and silk mantles trimmed with black insertion and chicoree ruches.
This muslin mantles lined with colored silk, and the hood formed of muslin and Valenciennes insertion, are very elegant and dressy. Indeed, such is the bewildering variety to be found at Mr. Brodie's establishment, that choice is really embarrassing.
On lately visiting the distinguished fleuriste, Mme. Tilman, of 148 East Ninth Street, New York, we were shown many beautiful things, though there seems to be rather a lull in the production of novelties; owing, we suppose, to the little demand for them, the warm weather having driven the fashionable world to the various watering-places. However, at this hothouse of elegance there is always something pretty to be seen.
Conspicuous for simple elegance among the bonnets was one of rice straw. It was trimmed with narrow bands of sea-green velvet and a marabout feather, tipped all over with tiny particles of mother-of-pearl, which, cameleon-like, changed color with the slightest movement. The inside trimming was a ruching of green crepe lisse, and almost fragrant roses.
For young ladies, nothing can be prettier than the vaporous-looking tulle bonnets with falling crowns. These are trimmed with violets, rose-buds, or lilies of the valley.
Another pretty style is a pressed crepe, spotted over with beads resembling water drops.
A novelty in the way of a hat had a bird of Paradise feather fastened in front and passing over the crown. A very small circular veil, formed of figured net edged with a narrow thread lace, was fastened in with the crown lining, which caused it to fit closely to the face in the mask style. Spun glass is but little used by Mme. T.; indeed, we saw it but on one hat. It was, however, of such exquisite fineness, and arranged so charmingly with scarlet velvet and fine grass, that the effect was exquisite.
Another pretty hat had in front a peacock with its beautifully crested head. It was small, and fitted very closely to the hat, the tail clinging to the sides of the crown. This is decidedly the prettiest peacock trimming we have seen, for, generally, the feathers are too large and sprawling.
Buff and salmon are very much used for the trimming of both bonnets and hats. On many of the bonnets a single flower is arranged on the outside. For instance, a water-lily, the leaves glistening with dew-drops. Or the bright tinted tulip. Of the latter flower we have seen many elegant specimens. Feathery, silvery, pearl, and silk grasses enter largely into the composition of moutures for bonnets and headdresses. Upon examining the elegant, wavering grasses, we found the hundreds of little spikelets to be formed of mother-of-pearl and steel; but so tiny and delicate, that the least breath would set them in motion; and the various lights thrown on them caused them to glitter almost like jewels.
Large, fancy wheat ears in salmon or buff crepe, with long silky beards, form a very stylish trimming for a black horse-hair bonnet.
Mush artistic skill is displayed in the arrangement of headdresses, though there is but little change in the style; nor will there be, until there is a decided change in the arrangement of the hair.
Sprays of pink coral, scarcely to be detected from the real article, arranged with grasses and shells, form a charming coiffure. Marie Antoinette tufts of the rarest flowers, and of the most graceful coloring, are to be found at Mme. Tilman's. Of the tufts and half wreaths of which we have spoken in a previous article, we shall shortly give illustrations. Many other beautiful fantasies we could mention; but we must also speak of children's hats.
For information we visited Mr. Genin's establishment, 513 Broadway, New York. Among the newest and most becoming styles, are the Arion, Casquet, and Armenia. The former has the crown tapering in front, and rounding at the back. The brim is narrow in front, runs to a point behind, and the edges are curled. The Casquet resembles the Arion, only that the brim is narrower and not curled. The Armenia has a high straight crown, narrow brim, which forms a curve both front and back, the side being perfectly straight. In some of the models, the brim at the side consists merely of a tiny roll of velvet.
Besides the above mentioned styles there are many others; but the three we have named seem to be the favorites, and are to be had in all sizes from ladies to infants.
Some of the dress hats have the brim entirely covered with velvet. The principal trimmings for ladies and misses are feathers and velvet. All kinds of feathers are brought into requisition - peacock's, heron, king fisher's, cock's, and even eagle plumes.
For children, flowers, shells, wheat ears, and ribbons, are the accepted trimmings. Straw ribbons and tassels arranged with high colored velvets, are very dressy.
For school hats, the different shades of gray or cuir, and the mixed straws, are the most suitable both for misses and boys. The turban and Scotch styles, though old, are very much adopted, and with the mask veil and the hair arranged en Grecque, present quite a jaunty and pretty appearance. They are suitable, however, only for misses.
Where ribbon is used, it generally terminates in long streamers at the back. Frequently, however, narrow ribbon velvet is laid in deep points round the crown fastening underneath, a tuft of feathers or flowers in front.
A drawn rosette of salmon-colored crepe lisse, with a scarf of the same, edged with a delicate straw fringe, forms a very light and pretty trimming for a hat.
For little boys, there are numerous styles; some have a round crown, with rolled brim. These are generally of a plain colored straw, trimmed with a band of blue or brown ribbon, fastened at the side with a pearl clasp. More fanciful shapes are trimmed with an aigrette, consisting of a small rosete of peacock's feathers, from which spring three straight fethers or a wing. The sailor-shaped hat is also fashionable.
Infants' hats are generally of white straw, bound with velvet, either a bright blue, lilac, or cherry. Narrow bands of the same encircle the crown, and, in front, a short white plume is caught with a bow of white ribbon. For a boy the plume passes over the crown, for a girl it falls at the side.
We can but give our readers a general idea of what is worn in our principal cities. So varied are the styles and trimmings of Mr. Genin's hats, that full opportunity is given for the exercise of taste in the selection of them.
As the warm weather is hurrying persons to the seaside, a few hints on bathing dresses may be acceptable.
There is no dress so easy of accomplishment as a neat, tasteful, and comfortable bathing dress; and yet, sometimes, when watching bathers at the sea-side, one is tempted to believe such an achievement impossible.
Instead of the usual flannel, Mme. Demorest is making bathing dresses of moreen, and considers this material better adapted for the purpose. It is of a strong, firm texture; not too heavy, does not cling to the person after being in the water, as it immediately drains off.
A very handsome suit just finished at her establishment, No. 473 Broadway, was of drab moreen, the waist plaited to a yoke, and into a belt at the back, the front left loose and belted in like a morning wrapper. The skirt not too short, about half way below the knee, and plaited at the back in large box plaits; the sleeves full, and fastened by a close band at the wrist; a small round collar of the same material give a neat finish to the throat. The trimmings consist of a band of scarlet cloth, one inch wide, stitched all round the skirt, a short distance from the edge; the same on cuffs, collar, and belt. Bloomer pants, fastened into a band of scarlet cloth at the ankle, completes the dress. This suit should of course be lined, except the skirt, and was, in this instance, neatly done with a very thin muslin, with just sufficient texture to make it smooth; and the seams were covered in the same manner as a double gown.
Another of the same goods cut like a circular, only joined on the shoulders, was nearly finished and was exceedingly pretty. The skirt being very full, with full sleeves and pants, and dark blue trimings instead of scarlet, made a very tasteful suit.
But we doubt the propriety of any but a genius at the work attempting to cut it. However, we remember that a duplicate pattern may be had from this establishment of any and everything desirable in the dress department.
By the way, why does not some leader of fashion at Newport or Cape May introduce the havelock as a appendage to a lady's bathing hat? It is so disagreeable to have the sun beating down on one's neck, which it will do, in spite of the wide-brimmed hats. We merely throw out the suggestion.