The word for February 1810 is swansdown. Both of our fashion plates for evening dress include cloaks “trimmed entirely around with with swansdown.” I’ve never seen a garment with swansdown trim; is swansdown as warm as fur?
Not sure why the lady in the first plate is holding an opera glass, when the label on the second plate is “Opera Dress”…
N.B. The color of the “Evening or Full Dress” in the first plate is described as purple, not black, as it appears to my eye in this print.
Arbiter Elegantiarum‘s commentary includes a lengthy report on men’s fashions this month, although sadly no pictures accompany it. We do have a reference to waistcoat colors, which mentions an “India rib patent green print,” reproduced on the fabric sample page at the back of the journal (see sample #4 below).
Arbiter‘s actual commentary, though, focuses on female dress. Fascinating to see how women’s dress can simultaneously be seen as of “indicative of easy virtue” AND “originated with some desperate prude” (123). Pretty amazing to see how Regency-era women had to toe such a narrow fashion line to avoid sexualized judgments…
Ackermanns Repository, February 1810, Vol 1, issue 4, pages 122-24.
This month’s fabric samples include a technological innovation: “A patent has lately been obtained by Hewson, Higgins, and Ilett, for printing green on cotton goods, a discover never before offered to the public.” I rather like the little green starbursts on this sample, and can definitely picture the fabric made up as a waistcoat. Alas, this green was in all likelihood the quite toxic Scheele’s green, made from a compound of arsenic.
Ackermanns Repository, February 1810, Vol 1, issue 4, pages 130.
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