The underlying gowns of both of our fashionable October ladies are white, but added accent colors suggest the changing of the season. The Promenade Costume features a “lappelled cloak, of bright amber or yellow crape,” while the Autumnal Carriage or Morning Costume is adorned not only with a “grey satin spencer ornamented with silver cord and buttons en militaire,” but also with lemon colored shoes and a purple ridicule (reticule).
Does it strike you as strange that a fashionable lady would be wearing a rosary and cross? The one adorning the Promenade Costume above is made of coquilla nuts, from a piassava palm, native to Brazil. Was Mr. Ackermann doing a bit of self-promoting here? An article on “fashionable furniture” in the April 1812 edition reports that “R. Ackermann, having purchased a considerable quantity of this fruit… has converted the shell of it into a variety of highly ornamental articles, specimens of which may be seen at his Repository, No. 101, Strand” (240). Were rosaries and crosses among those “ornamental articles,” I wonder?
This month’s magazine does not include any fabric samples; instead, as Ackermann explains, “it has been suggested… that it might be acceptable to his subscribers, many of whom practise the elegant art of drawing, if a plate were to be introduced in each number for the advancement of the study thereof.” This month’s drawing plates feature “groups of figures for the embellishment of landscape scenery,” in particular, “gleaners and shepherds.” I wonder how many young ladies found the drawing plates helpful, and how many wished that fabric samples had been included instead?