The Whims of Fashion, October-December 1802

Happy Monday everyone. I’m back for the last day of fashion plates in 1802, which will take us all the way to December.  You can rejoice about these plates because color has returned.  Yep, yesterday’s black and white plates have gone packing.  Hallelujah!  If you missed any of the previous posts, find them here: January-March, April-June, July-September.

October of 1802

In Paris:

What do you guys notice about this month? A star-printed dress. Love it! Can’t say I’ve seen that before. Yellow has obviously been making strides as there is no pink or rose to be seen. The magazines does refer to capotes bonnets (see satire here) of pink taffety being worn though.

Fashion is beginning its trickle down this month.  The black straw hat  has been adopted by the middle classes. For the elegantes, jonquil hats and sky blue dresses are now the thing. The hated cropped hair a la Titus is starting to die out, and the full bodies of dresses are being pulled in for a slimming style. Turbans have come back, but they are now made of shawls. The other headdress of choice is a veil worn at the halfway point on the top of the head. Similar to the dress pictured, black hats are ornamented with coquelicot, or corn poppy colored, stars. Feathers are less common, and instead scarlet poppies are worn. Full sleeves have also seen their moment come and go.

In London:

The only fashion of real note is sky-blue muslin dresses worn tight around the neck with white muslin sleeves. Silk seems to be the preferred fabric for bonnets, caps, and headdresses. Black remains popular.

November of 1802

In Paris:

Check out the hair. It’s tufted up top and pinned with a golden arrow. Kind of fabulous, kind of not. Hair dressing has made a leap, and there’s even a reference to the locks of hair that fall over the turban being two different colors. Hmm, wonder how they achieved that.  Artificial hair? It’s mentioned all throughout 1802, maybe as a side effect of regret from hair a la Titus?

So what’s new, you ask?  Feathers are dead, and flowers of the capuchin color are worn instead.  Based on earlier references to capuchin accessories and dresses, I take capuchin to refer to the robes Capuchin friars wore, so I think they’re talking about brown flowers–which is different.

On account of the cooling weather, black beaver hats are making an appearance. “Two kinds of dresses are also remarked in the most fashionable circles: one is kind of fold, formed by a shawl which falls down upon the neck and discovers the hair in the midst of it; the other is a turban made with a shawl, embroidered with spots of gold or silver, one point of which hangs down on the left shoulder. The accompaniments to the first dress are gold pins in the shape of arrows, caducea, or lyres combs with gold or diamonds.” Marigold, jonquil gold, rose, and pistachio green are the favored colors. Also, white fur, which was popular in winter of 1801, has returned. Something fun about November? The most fashionable ladies wear tinseled turbans with their evening dresses.

In London:
Humbug.  The descriptions are omitted this month, so we are out of luck.

December of 1802

In Paris:

Rose, white, and marigold are the colors for December, though lilac is mentioned as a “rival.” Maybe a throwback from summer since it’s now chilly outside.

Hairstyles range from simple to complicated. The most fashionable is a l’Angloise, which is described as “cut square and turned back over the forehead.” To complement this style, the hats are now high upon the head so that the hairstyle will show. Black velvet hats are gaining ground, and are worn with orange velvet bands. Orange colored velvets hats are also common. There is mention of gaiter boots “which resemble leather and stuff.” Greatcoats in whitish or drab colors appear with body coats of blue and black underneath. Is this 1802′s answer to winter wear? Beaver hats are already becoming unstylish, and I see in December the first mention of fans. They are popular in white crape, black, or Egyptian brown, and sport spangles of gold, silver, or steel.

In London:

Amber, coquelicot, green and purple are the in colors. White cambric muslin dresses are popular (still!) Lace remains popular, but cloaks are now longer worn; pelisses and fur tippets have taken their place.

And whew, we’re done. Are you guys sick of plates yet? I think I might be and that leaves me trolling through my notes about what I should write about next.  I do have something Elizabethan in the works, but I take suggestions!

If you haven’t had enough fashion plates, I have two sites for you.  The Incroyables et Merveilleuses has plates from the Directoire period here.  The Los Angeles public library also has a mind-boggling rich resource in the Casey Fashion Plates here.

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