Ladies Fashions for January 1851

The evening costumes of the present season are characterized by profuse trimming. The skirts of the newest dresses, excepting those composed of very rich materials, are all very fully trimmed. Corsages, whether high or low, are ornamented in some way or other. Flounces, employed to trim the skirts of ball dresses, are made somewhat fuller than heretofore. Even lace flounces, which used to be set on plain, are now gathered up in slight fulness. To add still more to the appearance of amplitude in dresses trimmed with lace, some dressmakers edge the skirts with a fontange of ribbon. With ball dresses of transparent textures, trimmed with flounces of the same, this fontange of ribbon is frequently placed at the edge of the slip worn under the dress. Tulle dresses are now fashionable for ball costume. Some pretty organdy muslins, intended for very young ladies, have just been introduced. These dresses should be made with two jupes, simply edged with a broad hem.

Cloth is adopted for morning walking dresses, redingote form, open down the front, and embroidered in arabesque pattern, in silk braid and other trimming; the sleeves are worked at bottom, and open, to admit underneath cambric or muslin sleeves tight at the wrist; the body is embroidered to match the skirts. With this redingote is worn a pardessus of the same cloth, embroidered in front and at bottom with braiding of from two to two and a half inches wide.

The more showy dresses, and a little décolletées, are square in front (Louis XV. style), the body pointed, the skirt plain, and but few flounces. The colors are sombre and plain; the materials are velvet, satin, damask, watered, antique, and some plaids, for the theatres and for half dress. These dresses are always worn with open sleeves, trimmed with engageantes.

Short velvet cloaks, richly embroidered either in satin stitch, silk braid, or gimp, are in vogue, the preferred colors being burnt-bread and black. Short velvet cloaks, of the paletot shape, half tight, trimmed with lace, embroidered entirely in satin stitch, and with narrow braiding, are also worn.

On mantelets of silk, entirely embroidered velvet ribbon is worn; or stamped velvet flowers, upon the stuff, produce a very pleasing effect. The braid used for the arabesque pattern is commonly plain, or has only a thick cord, and is from half to three quarters of an inch wide. Walking boots, entirely of leather, are the most fashionable.

In the Illustrations which we give this month:

I. Is a Cap of Alencon lace, with flat bows of ribbon, and lappets of the same.

II. A Bonnet of pink satin, covered with cut black velvet. A trimming of black lace encircles the crown. The bonnet may be lined either with pink satin or with black velvet; and the under trimming consists of small pink flowers. Strings of pink satin ribbon.

III. Engageantes of India muslin, with two rows of Mechlin lace, one above the other.

IV. Velvet mantelet, with arabesque in silk braiding, a quarter of an inch wide, and satin stitch, slightly fitting to the waist; wide sleeves, and entirely embroidered.

V. (See the group of figures upon the following page.)

(I.) Evening Costume for a Bride, back view.—The headdress a wreath of white roses, mingled with orange-blossom. Back hair arranged in twists, in the style called nœud d' Apollon. Across the forehead may be worn a narrow bandeau of pearls or diamonds. Dress of white crape over white satin; front of the skirt with bouquets of the same flowers as those in the wreath. The corsage has a berthe of folds of white tulle. The sleeves slightly full, and ornamented on the shoulder with epaulettes of tulle. Necklace, a single row of pearls. (II.) Costume for an Evening Party.—Dress of brocade, the ground a dark violet color, with large bouquets of flowers in a variety of hues.

A sortie de bal of cerulean blue satin, edged with a broad band of velvet of the same color, on which a braid is disposed in a zigzag pattern. The headdress of loops of narrow blue velvet ribbon fixed on each side of the head. (III.) Bride's dress suited to the Nuptial Ceremony.—Robe of white satin; the skirt ornamented with side trimmings, consisting each of a row of lace, headed by a fronce of white satin ribbon. This trimming is set on spirally up each side of the skirt, and is attached at intervals by small bows of white satin ribbon. The corsage is half high at the back, and is sloped somewhat lower in front. The front of the corsage is trimmed with rows of lace set on horizontally. On the neck is worn a chemisette of lace. The sleeves are finished at the ends with a full trimming of white satin ribbon. The under-sleeves are loose at the ends, and are edged with two rows of lace. On each arm a bracelet of gold, one of the serpent pattern, and the other fastened by a cameo snap. Bridal wreath of orange-blossom and jasmin. A very large veil of tulle illusion is fixed under the wreath instead of being thrown over it, as is sometimes customary.