After a bit of a hiatus, to concentrate on the publication of A Lady without a Lord, I’m back with the latest installment of the great Ackermann’s fashion print project!
A Regency evening gown with pockets? I’d never imagined a fancy ball gown would ever contain a pocket, but December 1812’s issue of Ackermann’s proves me wrong. Not only does the Evening Dress in Plate 41 contain pockets, said pockets are even ornamented with crimson and gold bows! I would have thought a bow on a pocket would ruin the effect of the long line of the Regency dress. Would you adorn your gown with a pocket ornament, if you were wearing such a dress?
In addition to the description of the Morning or Carriage Costume in Plate 42, Ackermann’s columnist reports that “it is sometimes fashionable to adopt the muff of silver bear, or blue fox,” which is “making great advances towards a fashionable celebrity.” Muffs and tippets of the same fur are also recommended, as are “velvet hunting caps, trimmed with fur.” Does the “silver bear” refer to the now-extinct Mexican grizzly bear, I wonder? And what species is the “blue fox”? An Arctic or Siberian fox? The lady in the print has a cape trimmed with “Angola trimming fur”—from the Angola Colobus monkey? Did adorning themselves with exotic furs make Regency-era women curious about the distant countries from which they came, do you think? Or the fauna native to them?
This month’s issue includes no fabric samples, only an elaborate pattern for needlework. To decorate a waistcoat or the hem of a ball gown? Those flowers look quite modern to me!