Ackermann’s August 1815 issue prints a detailed description of the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo, more than 11 pages long. It also reports on the legislative sanctioning of a monument in commemoration of the victory, as well as a call for a general subscription throughout the country for relief of widows and orphans of men killed in the conflict (151 officers, 2, 284 “men,” Ackermann’s reports).
Fashion, though, does not cease for war, at least not in the annals of Ackermann’s. The only concession appears to be the absence of a needlework pattern for this issue. Primrose and celestial blue, as was reported in the July 1815 column, continue to be popular, but apple-blossom and Pomona green have replaced evening-primrose amongst the fashionable set. Sandals are more in vogue than are boots, and the backs in full dress are “generally brought very low, and frequently to the bottom of the waist.”
This month’s plates do not feature such low-cut dresses, however. The Evening Dress of plate 10 covers much of the back with zig zag rows of tull and satin (I wonder if this continues on to the bodice?), which is meant to match trim which ornaments the gown’s hem. The accompanying cap is likewise made of satin and gathered tull, which looks both fashionable and cool for August’s heat.
The bodice of the Promenade Dress (plate 11) is rather high compared to other dresses featured in the journal this year. The simple lines of the dress are accentuated by the small stripes of the gown, which is made of satin-striped sarcenet of celestial blue and white. The details of the sandal ties in the plate are quite unusual, although no comment is made about them in the description beyond the fact that they are “crossed high up the ancle with blue ribbon.” Was our illustrator taking liberties? Or did some creative shoemaker lace ribbon up the middle of the top of the foot, almost in a gladiator-style sandal? If you know of any similar extant examples from the period of similarly laced sandals, I’d love to see them!