Monday, March 31, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 18e Cahier, 2e Figure

August 1, 1786
A Man in great mourning, in a wool coat, without buttons on the parements and on the pockets. One wore, in summer, great mourning in voile, without buttons on the parements and pockets. The front of the coat of our drawn Man has only six buttons, one on top, two in the middle, and three at the bottom. He wears a black sword, trimmed with a black crêpe. His shoe buckles and carters are of bronzed steel. His shoes are of beaver: they can be worn of goat skin, lustered with glossy wax. His neck is trimmed with a wide cravat, whose two ends come to fall on the front, and cover the jabot of his shirt. The manchettes and jabot are of batiste, with flat hems. He wears under his arm a large hat, whose crown is trimmed with a black crêpe. His hair, in the back, is enclosed in a large purse. His grecque and his curls are hardly powdered.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 18e Cahier, 1ere Figure

August 1, 1786
It would be necessary on the occasion of a period of mourning to talk about its fashion: for the death of DON PEDRO, King of Portugal, we have furnished it. It has been worn for twenty-one days; we will say how when we have spoken of the periods of mourning according to our practice.

Mourning (1), which is the mark of grief, and which draws its name from it, was worn and is worn by all civilized Peoples. It has not taken the same form in all; but in all it has the same object. The Women of Sparta and Rome wore it in white, and they varied it as we do, due to the temperaments that the times apportioned to sadness. It lasted an entire year. Men without a doubt wore their clothing in the same color; but they added other signs. The Greeks, in the manner of the Orientals, cut their hair; the Romans, to the contrary, grew theirs, with their beards. The Greeks did more; on the tombs of their parents and their friends, they not only cut their hair, but also the tails of their horses. They practiced the same ceremony in public calamities, after the loss of a battle.

(1) Dolere, to be sorrowful, to grieve, to have heartache.

Mourning was also worn in white, in Castile, on the death of Princes, until 1498, where black was taken on the death of Prince Don Juan. White is at present the color of mourning in China; blue or violet in Turkey; yellow in Egypt; light-grey in Ethiopia; and mouse grey in Peru.

Each Nation had its reasons for choosing a certain particular color which indicates mourning. One supposes that white marks purity; yellow or dead leaf makes apparent that death is the end of human hopes and of life, because the leaves of trees, when they fall, and plants, when they are sere, become yellow; grey signifies the earth where the dead return; black marks the deprivation of life, because it is a deprivation of light; blue marks the happiness which it is hoped that the dead enjoy; and violet being a color of mixed blue and red, marks, on one hand, the tribulations of this life, and on the other, what one wishes for the dead.

In our country and in the countries of the People our neighbors, it is black which is now the mark of mourning: in ours, as in theirs, the practice of mourning has not been known in all times; for it was not the same at the beginning of the reign of Philippe-Auguste.

Since the Order given in 1716, by Louis XV, who reduced the time of mourning by half, and fixed its manners, so that great mourning was only made for one's father and mother, grandfather and grandmother, husband and wife, brother and sister. Great mourning is that which is split into three terms; wool, silk, and little mourning, or coupé coats.

Other mourning is split into two terms; black and white. Drapery is never put up for this type of mourning. Whenever there is no drapery, women can wear diamonds, and men, the sword and silver buckles.

In mourning for a father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, wife, men wear large and small pleureuses* during the first three weeks, and the little ones only during the following three.

* white linen manchettes worn specifically as signs of mourning

For father and mother mourning lasts six months: six weeks with large and small pleureuses, six weeks after the wool without pleureuses, six weeks silk, and six others of little mourning.

For grandfather and grandmother, four and a half months: three weeks with large pleureuses, three weeks with small ones: six weeks in wool, and six weeks in little mourning.

For brother and sister, two months: wool for a month, silk for fifteen days, and little mourning for fifteen days.

For uncle and aunt, three weeks: fifteen days in wool, and fifteen days in little mourning.

For a first cousin, fifteen days: eight days with effilé, and seven days in little mourning.

For an uncle in the mode of Brittany, that is, a second cousin, eleven days: six days in black, and five days in black and white.

For the child of a first cousin, eight days: five days in black, and three in white.

A wife for her husband, a year and six weeks: four and a half months the batiste, cape, gown, and petticoat of étamine; four and a half months in crêpe and wool; three months silk and gauze; and six weeks half-mourning.

A husband for his wife, six months, as for father and mother.

The mourning for a brother, a sister, and uncle, and an aunt, whose length has just been fixed, is augmented and worn for six months when one inherits from them, also for the father and mother.

Ecclesiastics wear great mourning with a white rabat, a cassock and belt of crêpe.

Military men in uniform mark mourning with a black crêpe, knotted around the arm; and when they are entirely in black, they wear a gold dragonne* on their sword.

* cord or braid with a tassel

Uncles and aunts wear mourning for their nephew, when he is the head of the family; and it is worn regularly as that of the father and mother.

The Chancellor is the only one in the Kingdom who never wears mourning, for whichever person that it may be, because he is detached, in some way, from himself, in order to only represent Justice, of which he is the head.

The King wears mourning for the late King in a suit of violet wool, for the first three months; but at the end of the three months, His Majesty wears mourning like all his subjects.

All subjects wear mourning for the late King as for the father and mother, and for the same period.

When it is a foreign King, who is not the father of the Queen, or when it is a foreign Queen, who is not her mother, mourning is worn for twenty-one days, as thus for the King of Portugal. If the foreign King or Queen are the father or mother of the Queen, mourning is worn as for the late King of the Kingdom.

Mourning for the King of Portugal is worn regularly, but rather freely: men wear manchettes with effilé, silver buckles, and a black underside, that is to say, stockings, breeches, and waistcoat of black silk cloth: for the rest, they are dressed in a colored frock coat. Several wear black cloth frocks, with a black silk underside. But one had been able to count in the promenades and other public places, as many people who wore a fully dressed and complete black suit, with sword and silver buckles, as in an informal one. White stockings are no longer seen, with black breeches and white vests or gilets, decorated with embroidery of black silk; it has been a long time since this Fashion occurred, and since fully black undersides were worn. The two eras of mourning have not been, so to speak, observed by men, except in manchettes, which, in the first period, were of plain muslin, with effilé, and in the second were of entoilage, with pinked effilé. Neither in the first, nor in the second, was anything white worn on the underside. One has reason to presume that this ancient Fashion will not come back for a long time; even less than that which consisted of wearing white stockings, with black breeches and vests, which is the accoutrement of all the Apprentice Tailors in the Comedy of the Bourgeois Gentleman: it was felt how hideous this Fashion was. Thus, until it comes back for mourning, from now until a very long time in the future black undersides will be worn. Already even the Newspapers which announce mourning, speak no more of white stockings and embroidered white vests, when they indicate the little mourning.

Women wear, in the first period, black silk gowns, trimmed with the same, or black gauze; hats, gauze, and diamonds. A very-great number wear a white muslin gown, with a black petticoat and a black stomacher, chapeaux-bonnettes and diamonds, or gauze caps and black and white plumes.

In the second period, they wear gowns of white silk, plain blue or pink ribbons, gauze, and diamonds. A very-great number vary this dress. Some wear puce caracos, with black stomachers, and white taffeta petticoats; other pink caracos, with petticoats of violet color; others black gowns or black caracos, with white petticoats; still others wear white gowns, with a black bodice and white petticoats: all indifferently wear caps, gauze made into poufs, or chapeaux-bonnetes.

What we have just said on the manner which morning was worn for the King of Portugal, will serve as a rule for the first mourning at Court which will come.

We have represented in the Ist PLATE, a Woman wearing mourning following the first period. She is dressed in a gown of black taffeta. The petticoat matches the gown. On her neck is a kerchief of white Italian gauze, with large frills. The manchettes of her gown, made in sabots, are also of gauze, like the kerchief. Her head is covered with a chapeau-bonnette of white crêpe, wrapped with a wide black ribbon, and surmounted with four black plumes. Her hair, in the back, is tied very low in a large cadogan, held with that bronzed iron ligament, of which we spoke in the previous Book. Two large curls on each side fall on her chest. her shoes are of black taffeta, and are frilled with a black ribbon all around.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 17e Cahier, 3e Figure

July 15, 1786


A Ring chart.

M. Bourignon de Saintes, Correspondent of the Royal Society of Medicine, for several Academies, and of MONSIEUR's Museum, has made us the honor of sending us Research on Rings and other Jewels of women of antiquity, and gave us permission to put it into our Books. We will not fail to use it, to express our gratitude to him, and to get our Subscribers to see the similarities between past eras and our own.

"Wearing rings," says M. Bourignon de Saintes, "dates back to the furthest times past. The Chaldeans, the Babylonians, the Persians, and the Greeks wore rings. The Sabines also had them in the times of Romulus: theirs were similar to those of the Greeks. From the Sabines, they passed to the Romans.

"Rings were of gold, silver, copper, iron, or glass. Some were made of a simple metal, others of a mixed or alloy metal; for sometimes iron or silver were plated, or surrounded gold with iron. The first were simple and of a common metal; following that, they were made in silver and gold, and soon no others were worn, or at least not unless they were gilded.

"A ring distinguished free men from slaves, in the beginnings of the Republic: the citizens wore them of glass. The right of wearing them in gold only belonged to Senators who had satisfied some ambassadorship in a foreign Country. This practice was then permitted to other Senators, and became at last the proper and distinctive sign of Knights. In this era citizens and freedmen wore silver rings, and slaves those of iron; but after the ruin of the Republic, the gold ring was no more than a weak distinction which was accorded even to freedmen. Augustus was the first to whom they were obliged for this honorable favor: Septimus Severus extended it to simple soldiers.

"The ancients singularly varied the manner of wearing their rings. The Hebrews placed them on the right hand, the Greeks on the fourth finger of the left hand, the Gauls and ancient Britons on the middle finer. Before they were adorned with precious stones, when the face was engraved even on the plaque of the ring, they were worn indifferently on either hand; but Fashion having made a rule for the practice, they were put first on the fourth finger, then on the index, the little finger, and successively on all the fingers, except the middle one. After art had added stones, they were worn on the left hand, and by a sought-after delicacy, on the right hand.

"The Greeks and Romans multiplied them gradually, until they were worn with several on each joint of each finger; they had pushed luxury and magnificence to the point of having winter and summer fashions, and others that were only worn on birthdays. Seneca declaimed much against the vanity of women, who wore one or two inheritances on their fingers.

"Marriage rings were round and plain, that is to say without any stone, and they were of iron. In later times they were gold, enriched with precious stones. The ring which the fiancé gave to his intended, was a mark of the engagement that he contracted with her, and of the power that he gave her to rule his household. Religion sanctified further this practice; for the benediction of the nuptial ring is found in the ancient Liturgies.

"Some Authors trace the origin of wedding rings to the Hebrews; they base this on a passage from Exodus. Leon of Modena however supports that the Hebrews never used the nuptial ring."

About us, we imagine that the Rings that are worn today, have only given birth to the practice of wearing the nuptial ring, whether this ring came from the Hebrews, or it only came from the earliest times of our Monarchy. We do not remember having read in our History any passage which gives its origin. This ring could be subject to as many variation, in material, as those of the ancients; it is that which we are ignorant of. But, still, we think that it is to that which rings owe their birth. The custom which the French have of taking the hand of a young person on whom a ring is seen, be it for congratulating her on her marriage, be it for the right to admire a beautiful hand, and of complimenting it, must give to women the desire of parading richness or taste. They will have first worn a single enclosed diamond, then two, then a great number of the same ring, then finally a great number of rings.

This practice may have been adopted by men, that is what stuns us. Have these Messieurs pretended to admire their hands, and to kiss them? The great Bayard may have worn a ring with the device, without fear and beyond reproach, that he had made for the brave Knights who followed in his exploits to wear, it was a mark that a man could show on his hand, that Bayard had chosen. Our Great Men may thus wear a ring with a device as just as that of Bayard, and give a matching one to each man in whom they have recognized merit, and that they will have adopted, this is what we will applaud; but our men wear rings, our Turcarets, over-all, have their fingers covered by them ... We do not perceive that we should speak of Fashion, and that we take censure for it. What matter? these reflections will be put with the number of complaints, and Fashion will not go less in its train.

It must be confessed however that if it is a bad thing, this bad has something agreeable. It is useful at least, in that it is not the smallest branch of commerce, and, to consider it under this point of view, is necessary. Also we only criticize it a little, because we respect its effects. Wear on, Messieurs, wear a great number of them; it is the Fashion, and it is a lasting Fashion; it has as much taste as richness. Those made today have a pretty form, and this can still justify the Fashion.

They are very-large now, very different from those that were worn less than two years ago, which were only often composed of a large enclosed stone. A large diamond, a large brilliant stone is put in the middle of an oval, squared, lozenge, plain squared, eight-sectioned squared composition stone. In the middle of this composition stone, the diamond is surrounded with other fine stones, or roses, or it is alone. The composition stone is surrounded with diamonds, or roses, or pearls; or it is nude, it is all plain. If the stone in the middle is not rather large, two smaller ones are put at the two ends of the setting: it is surrounded as well with other diamonds. Most often the setting is dotted with little diamonds mounted in little stars, and these are called Rings au Firmament. If the stone is rather strong, it is put alone in the middle of the composition stone, and it is still dotted with little stars in diamond.

The lozenge settings have four sharp points, or are little marked, and hardly form long ovals. The squared are long, or are perfect squares, and are all with cut angles.

The compositions stones have a green, Sky blue, violet, puce, yellow, or grey ground.

In the place of white stones in the middle of the setting, colored stones are placed, in observing the unity, as there should be, of the composition stone of the setting with the surrounded stone. It is necessary that that of the setting matches the surrounded stone in a manner which flatters the eye, the only judge of taste. These latter ones are called, Rings à l'Enfantement. If they are large, they are for women, as for men.

You can make your choice from the Rings drawn in the Ring Chart represented in the IIIrd Plate; the colors seem to match well.

This Ring Chart is drawn from the Shop of M. Moricand, Merchant Jeweler, residing in the place Dauphine, no. 30. All sorts of works in jewelry are found in his Shop, such as Mirzas, Medallions, Crosses à la Jeannette, all in brilliants, diamonds, and roses. The Curious will also find there all sorts of colored Stones, fine, crude, or cut, Stones engraved with reliefs and in hollows, fine Pearls, together with antique Stones, of the best kind. Those who ask it of him, are sure of being very-well served.

One can also write, for Rings, to M. Granché, at the Little Dunkirk. He possesses a very-rich assortment.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 17e Cahier, 2e Figure

July 15, 1786

IF however there were some rebels who never wanted to submit (for there are some in many Empires), and who, from contrariness, still preferred to renounce all coiffure, and get rid of all panaches, from where I permit removing them, than to adopt the Hat which I spoke of in the Ist Plate; as my empire is sweet, easy, and that I only want to command subjects with good will, it may be permitted to them, conforming with the IInd Pl., in making a coiffure en cheveux, and in only wearing as a parure on the head two ribbon bows, of which one is attached in the back, over the toque or chignon comb, and the other on the front of the head, three or four inches long. This will be, if I can say it, my little uniform.

We have received these two orders, and we have brought them back. Our Subscribers may sport one or the other.

The Woman represented in this Plate, is dressed in a Gown of gauze with white satin stripes, and soft lilac stripes. This Gown, made à la Turque, is bordered with a ribbon of soft pink. The petticoat is of striped white gauze, and the flounce is of the same gauze as the Gown.

The Woman wears on her neck a scarf of checked white gauze. This scarf, crossed in the front, is thrown back behind, and knotted below the waist; and its ends, trimmed with white silk fringe, fall to her heels. Her shoes, lilac color, are flounced with a pink ribbon.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 17e Cahier, 1ere Figure

July 15, 1786

"IPHIS sees on the promenade a shoe of a new Fashion; it sees hers, and it blushes; it no longer believes itself dressed; it came to be shown, and it hid; here it is restrained by the foot in its chamber all the rest of the day." It is there without a doubt what led Circe to say, some time ago: "Yes, if it was necessary, I would go to Rome to find Fashion; I am jealous of pleasing, and I know how much it adds to the means."* This homage is very sincere. Here is Fashion, and it comes to introduce itself to you. For fifteen days, at least, retrench the plumes of your coiffure. Though you murmur about it, and though I complain about it myself, one must obey. You will take them up again in a short time; but during these times one must depose them. Your head may only be covered with a Chapeau-Bonnette, whose brim falls en toît all around, and whose crown, very puffed, and very large, may be tied with a ribbon, forming a large bow in the back. This is your whole coiffure. This Hat may be of blue gauze, or, if you like it better, pink gauze; it may be of a very light blue or pink taffeta, and tied with a violet ribbon, or a white ribbon; but there is nothing more: I want it. I only change it for the parure; but it pleases me to change it.

For the rest, wear, as before, a Robe à l'Anglaise, a chemise Gown, a Robe à la Turque, a Pierrot, a Caraco; wear a very-ample Kerchief on your chest; three curls may fall on your chest; two may fall, one may fall, your hair may hang behind, it may be pulled up in a flat chignon (1); I consent; be free in this respect; but by my express command, wear the Chapeau-Bonnette, all plain.

(1) As the flat chignons are worn very-low, and it is impossible that all the hair be long enough to be carried back to the comb that holds them up, some days ago a sort of ligament in bronzed iron was invented, that is attached inside the chignon, around the middle, and which holds the hair fixedly embraced. They are no longer seen to detach, fall in scattered threads on the chest, and present to the eye a disagreeable mat.

* Iphis is a character in Handel's oratorio Jephtha (1751); this may be related? Circe is from The Odyssey, which has had various adaptations.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 16e Cahier, 3e Figure

July 1, 1786


M. Grancher, Merchant Jeweler at the Little-Dunkirk, just gave to us for drawing a Bout de Table of a wholly new taste and an agreeable form, that he created a little while ago, and of which he has already distributed a rather great quantity. He has represented around the buckets of this Bout de Table the arcades of the Palais Royal, with their pilasters, their capitals, and their grills. In the middle of these two buckets rises an antique urn, decorated with its two handles, and closed with a lid surmounted by a flame. The whole is in silver, with the exception of the two colored crystals which fill the little buckets.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 16e Cahier, 2e Figure

July 1, 1786


1. A Woman in a Juste of grey taffeta, with a pink corset, and a matching ribbon on the front, on top of the corset. On her chest is a full kerchief of white linen-gauze. Her hair is styled in large curls all over her head, and two of these curls fall on her chest. Behind, her hair hangs à la Conseillère. Her hair is surmounted with a pouf of white gauze, trimmed with a pink ribbon with stripes, and a veil falling behind. Above the pouf rise two large plumes, one purple and one pink; in the middle of these plumes is an aigrette made with the ends of peacock feathers.

2. A Woman in a Gown of lemon yellow taffeta. On the front is a bow of blue ribbon. On her chest is a full kerchief of flounced white gauze. Her hair is styled in large curls all over her head, and one of these curls falls, on each side, on her chest. Behind, her hair is pulled up in a flat chignon. Her head is covered with a pouf of white gauze, trimmed with a ribbon with wide white and blue stripes, and a bouquet of artificial roses on the left side; a blue plume and a peacock plume fall at an angle over her forehead.

These two Women's hairstyles are by M. Depain, Ladies' Coiffeur, who always teaches the art of hairstyling, and who resides, since some time ago, in the rue du Théâtre François.
We have said that the grey Juste and the lemon yellow Gown are of taffeta. We would announce twenty Gown of different colors of summer, and we would announce them all of taffeta. Women do not wear gowns which are of another silk fabric. The newest in terms of color, have little chiné designs and little stripes. The only Gowns with which Women vary from taffeta, are of muslin or white gauze and gauze striped with different colors, with a satin stripe; or of brocaded linen, with little bouquets. Under these white Gowns, they only wear Petticoats of white taffeta.
It was written to us on the 8th of the last month, from the Province of Bourbonnais, to ask us if Fashion is general, and if it is the same for Women of thirty and forty years, as for Women of eighteen and twenty; and in the cases where there would be a difference for middle age, we would make it known to her, so that it could be settled in the Province. We respond to the Person who made us the honor of consulting us, that Fashion is one, and that it is the same for all ages; that the majority of our Women, much more than forty years old, do not have difficulty in following it, and that they never appear reprehensible.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 16e Cahier, 1ere Figure (part two)

(Because yesterday's post was very long, I decided to cut the bottom section off and post it today.)

July 1, 1786
A manner of dressing to ride a horse, which is surely not less elegant than than that of our drawn Man, is that which consists of wearing well very white Breeches and a Gilet, with Boots matching those that we have described, and a Dragoon green Coat, all plain, with a scarlet lining. There is in this ensemble something that allures us. We require with this outfit a tricorn Hat, furbished à la Suisse. You can say all you like; but we find that these Hats always gave and give to those who wear them, a much more frank, much more proud, and much more decided air than all thee round Hats do.

It is only in wool that these Dragoon green Coats can be made, with a scarlet lining, which must also be of wool. But wool Coats seem to be Coats for riding on horseback in all seasons. It is necessary to confess that only wool Coats clothe perfectly; and it is necessary to be well dressed for riding. Without that, beware the stable air.

But, though the Petite-Maîtresse suffers from it, and some regret that she had to abandon wool, it is necessary, in summer, to take on Coats for this season. Choose those which dress you the best; but take summer Coats, Fashion wills it. One has made them for this year which can compensate somewhat, and which redeem in éclat what they lose in form and contour. Some are made in serpentine, others in gragrame, others in chiné taffeta, and others in silk stuff clouded with a thousand dots.

Serpentine is a light fabric of hair and cotton. It has been imitated in cotton and in bourre de soie;* but these have neither the same éclat, nor the same durability. They have stripes down the length, rather wide, and in two or three colors; with little checks in two or three colors; with violet stripes, and with flame-red stripes.

Gragrame, which is either striped or chiné, is a rather firm worked silk fabric and bourre de soie.* What could be seen as one of the prettiest, has puce stripes or violet stripes; and green stripes, with a little white edge.

(These gragrames are found in the shop of M. Fortin, Merchant Mercer, at the corner of the rue Buffy and rue Mazarine.)

Everyone knows chiné taffeta and thousand-spotted silk fabrics. These latter began to be seen last year, and they must be perpetuated in their composition.

Of these different fabrics, there is only that of silk shaded with a thousand dots, which can be used for full dress coats; the others should be worn for frock coats.

Independently of these diverse types of fabrics, one still wears light cotton cloth of very-mixed colors, nearly of the vermicelli type that was worn two or three years ago. These vermicellis were puce, violet, red, or otherwise; those of today are mixed with black, blue, white, melted together.

One hardly wears, this year, these siamoises** with black and white stripes, black and green stripes, green and red stripes, as were worn in a great quantity last year. They were replaced with the serpentines and by the light cotton cloths.

* Silk made from cocoons that have not been unwound. Something like silk noil?
** A linen or cotton fabric imitating some sort of Siamese cloth

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 16e Cahier, 1ere Figure

July 1, 1786
WE are convinced that if there is a situation where one must more particularly follow Fashion, which is nearly always representative of taste and elegance, it is when one goes to ride a horse. There are such obstacles to avoid when one is riding; we mean there are such riders that one does not want to resemble, so that, in order to prevent the comparison, there is hardly any other means to take than dressing stylishly. However, this is not necessary, if one carries in one's air a grace, a facility which emphasizes the class where one would be tempted to confound us, because of our simple and unceremonious habit.

We may not be reproached for always recommending grace, poise, facility, and the other matching qualities, because it is there that, to speak properly, all Fashions reside. Be sure that they do not change as much because people of taste present themselves in public with dress of a new color, than because they dress with grace and facility, when another color has barely been adopted. Fashions are thus less the fruits of satiety and disgust, as the Poets say, than the children of natural graces. Everyone wants to seize the éclat which shines from these people of taste, everyone believes that the dress they wear gave it to them, and everyone adopts their dress. But they did not know how to take an agreeable composure, and the dress, hardly on the body, no longer allured anymore. Another person of taste may be seen with a dress of another color, she may have composure; her dress will flatter like the previous; one will believe that it will be better, and one adopts it.

See, as the Fashion of the Dress and attire of our Man has come, ready for riding, figured in the 1ST PLATE. His Coat, with lapels, is Dragoon green. The lining of this Coat is a buras of the same color, or a color near it. The lapels, the pockets, and the sleeves à la Marinière are trimmed with buttons of white pearl. Under his Coat our Man wears a Gilet with gold stripes and wide green stripes.

He wears Breeches of fallow deer skin, light yellow. On his legs are English Boots of a very-glossy black (a) from the shoe to the calf, and a natural yellow from the knee to the bottom of the calf. It is easy to see that this yellow part is the leather of the boot, reversed on top from the knee to the bottom of the calf.

On his heels are two silver or silvered copper spurs, very brilliant. He wears on his head a round Hat à l'Anglaise (b), trimmed, all around the crown, with a very-wide black ribbon and a bow on the left side, made with this ribbon, and attached with a very-long steel buckle, fashionable, worked. His hands are covered with gloves of violet leather, and he holds a long switch (c).

In the gussets of his Breeches are two watches. From one hangs a cord with tassels and trinkets, and the other a cord of braided hair or ribbon, at the end of which is uniquely attached a very-long and very-large key.

We show him with one hand in a pocket of his Coat, and in an attentive attitude, because he is watching to prepare for his horse (d).
(a) We remember that we have forgotten to say that men's Shoes are still a very-glossy black, whether in full dress, or whether in undress. Several Merchants in Paris sell Oils, Waxes, and Varnishes which give this gloss.

M. Basseras, Master Cobbler, rue du Four, near the Red Cross, sells an elastic Varnish or lettuce Wax, approved by the Academy of Sciences.

M. Hardi, Master Cobbler, rue Grenetat, in Saint Denis, sells chemical Oil.

A Spicer, rue de Baune, in Saint Germain, sells whale White.

(b) This round Hat à l'Anglaise is a folded Hat, which has neither silk edges nor velvet around it, as at other times, and which no longer takes the shape of a boat, but which descends all smoothly, and only has the shape that the head gives it.

(c) There is a practice of carrying very-thin and very-pliant canes, when one does not carry a switch. These canes thus serve two purposes, when getting off a horse. That does not mean that switches are forbidden.

(d) The horse that must be ridden is also subject to Fashion in its harness. Formerly horses' hair was braided on their necks with a red or blue ribbon, matching that used for bows near their ears: their tails were cut, and even the tips of their ears. This hideous shape was close to reappearing some time ago. Today no more ribbon on their necks; their long vagabond hair hangs with liberty. They may rise, they may lower, they may shake their heads with pride, they have all their parure, and their pride no longer seems ridiculous. Their ears can be trained, and mark their sentiments; their long and bushy tail clouds the brilliance that their mane gives them: all foreign ornament that they borrow now, is a rather large bow of red, or yellow, or blue, or violet ribbon, that is applied to the bottom of the croup, at the root of the tail, and two bows similarly placed near the ears.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 15e Cahier, 3e Figure

June 15, 1786


THIS Plate represents a wood Boudoir, painted in grey-white, and decorated with mirrors.

In the most convenient place a rather deep niche is made, at the top of which is attached a drapery of blue Pekin, trimmed with fringe and tassels, and which falls rather low; the outer sides are decorated with draperies, tied at intervals with tassels. Under these draperies are curtains, which are pulled up with tassels.

The bottom of the niche is decorated with a mirror which rises to the ceiling, and which reflects the draperies.

Under the mirror, which descends very low, is a seat with three backrests, that is called a Turquoise. This seat is decorated with a square [cushion?] and two cushions covered with the same fabric as the draperies.

On two sides of the niche is a lyre Chair in rosewood, and whose seat is also covered with the same fabric.

The Bed à la Turque and the Boudoir Decoration are drawn from the Shop of M. Bouché, Merchant Upholsterer, at the gold Eagle, rue de la Verrerie. His Furniture Shop is well-known in Paris; but he has some fabrics of the most beautiful Manufactures, which do not merit less than being known as that. One finds there the richest and best made objects. There are some which compose almost a dozen pieces.
Two bizarre tastes have been struggling with the reigning Fashion for centuries: one is the taste for squared buttons for Men's Coats and Hats; and the other is the taste for Tufts of Ribbons in place of garter Buckles. But these always reappearing tastes are always repelled, and we do not believe that we should ever announce them as reigning Fashions. That for Ribbons is already relegated to men who wear boots. This taste for Boots is a third one which is beginning to be reborn since the more than fifteen years that it passed, and we do not believe that it will have more luck than the first two.

There is a Fashion which is strongly taking today: it is that of wearing on Hats, on the left side, a steel Buckle as long as the crown of the Hat, and which holds a large bow of black ribbon of the same length.
Today Ribbons are subject to such variation, that it is good for Women to have a Furnisher who procures the newest ones for them.  M. Morlière, Merchant of Ribbons, residing in the rue St. Honoré, near that of l'Echelle, has in his Shop all the most modern and the most brilliant. One will find in his shop Ribbons à la Cagliostro (pink ground and green edge, with pyramids on the ground, which go from the bottom to the top); au Diadême Arc-en-Ciel (pink, green, white, and purple: the purple stripe in the middle is wide, and cut with three white zig-zags); au Laurier with a pink ground, and Au Laurier Arc-en-Ciel (white ground, blue stripe, clouded, and purple stripes, with laurel leaves), all Made in Paris. He holds a Store of them for wholesale and retail. He offers to send samples to those who will make him the honor of asking him for them. He also has a Store of Ribbons, Made in Lyons, plain and striped; Kerchiefs and Gauzes of Lyons, Crêpes in all colors, and other Silks.
Our Women now care no longer for competing with Men for size, as we believe that they tended to at other times. They concede them this advantage today, so that that one could say they are very indifferent, up to a certain point. They have abandoned these Shoes with raised heels, which raised them nearly two inches. Who wouldn't think that they acquired a solidity that was lost at other times? We don't want to make an epigram here: we only want to say that they are no longer exposed to spinning as they had been, carried on weak heels, so narrowed at the bottom, that they seemed to be balancing. The heels of their Shoes are hardly higher, nor narrower than those of Men, proportionally. They can henceforth walk quickly, walk firmly, walk boldly; they no longer fear catching their heels in the smallest hole or in the smallest cracks between paving stones, making a false step, giving themselves sprains, and even twisting a foot. Why must it be that they had to wait so long to feel this advantage, which they are actually in possession of? If ever a Fashion had a useful goal, it must be this one. One could call that the only reason it was born, without joining with caprice. God forbid that this Fashion had the lightness and inconstancy of all the others! and that all the centuries could come to feel a good of which it seems that nobody, before us, had had the least idea!

It is not in the feet only that Women approach Men's dress. For some days, we have seen at the Palais Royal an elegant Petite-Maîtresse, superb, dressed in a Redingote and a different-colored Gilet, like Men's, with a Cravat at the neck in place of a Handkerchief, to replace the Corset and the Gown. We do not doubt that Fashion would take soon, if three or four Women adopted this dress. Whether for novelty, for elegance, for grace, or for taste, we freely confess that this new manner of dressing pleased us infinitely. Still some time, and surely we will announce it to our Subscribers as the current Fashion.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Cabinet es Modes, 15e Cahier, 2e Figure

June 15, 1786


A Daybed à la Turque, to put in a little Apartment.

This Bed is only three feet wide, and six feet long; it is very-slightly elevated, and it is scarcely above the ground. The seat is trimmed with a well furnished mattress and two cushions. Above is raised, more than eight feet high, a canopy cap, which can be adapted in two manners: 1st, in placing two iron beams, attached to the back of the backrest, and which holds the cap; 2nd, in attaching the cap to the wall. The cap is crowned with a basket of plumes or sculpture.

The edge of the cap is decorated with a double drapery, trimmed with fringe and tassels.

To the cap are attached the curtains, which come to half-hide under a sedentary drapery, attached to the wall, made of the same fabric, and lined with a light white taffeta. These curtains are pulled up, and tied to the iron beams. If the cap is attached to the wall, the curtains must be pulled up with the hands which hold it to the wall.

The curtains are decorated with adapted fringe. The flat band or the base on which the seat is held, is trimmed all around with a drapery, decorated with fringe, which nearly touches the ground.

The fabric of which the curtains and draperies are made is a Sky blue Pekin.

The wood of the Bed and the cap is decorated with a light carving.

These Beds are also made in Indienne, in Perse, or in any other fabric; they are made or decorated with fringe and tassels, or more simply, without tassels or fringe.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 15e Cahier, 1ere Figure

June 15, 1786

 A Woman, at her toilette, always has need of someone she can consult in order to know if this Coiffure, this Cap, this Hat, this Gown suits her well, and if she can wear it to advantage in the Promenades or other public places: why should we not be her Counsel, and why would she not read in our Books the advice that she asks for? Zulmé shines today in her muslin Caraco, quite simple, quite plain; and you, Zélis, would like to shine the same? No richness in her Dress, no loaded ornaments, taste alone made them fresh; and you would like to grasp this taste, this manner, which has seduced you? Listen, Zélis. Zulmé owes less of her éclat to her dress and coiffure, than to her air, where reigned an amiable liberty, a soft abandon, and an interesting facility. She is never seen sometimes bending, sometimes stiff, and sometimes inclining to the right or left, to give herself an air of the Petite-Maîtresse: no, her walk was frank, without affectation; she never contradicts nature, she never is studied. Born with these graces, infinitely set apart from nearly all your Sex, she never offended them, she never suffocated them under all the simpering which a Woman who has not a just and proportional mind overloads herself. Do not fool yourself; one must have some mind and a rather good one to have taste. An idiot will wear an elegant coat, he will wear a Fashionable coat, he will be well-covered; but it will be strongly perceived that he lacks taste in it. He will be affected, he will be stiff, he will be mannered. His coat or his hair will seem to determine all his steps. One will see in his walk that he fears being de-powdered, and, if he sits, that he fears crumpling his coat. He will not even laugh, in case he should lose the composure he has adopted.

Zélis, be close, be assured in your walk. Dare to raise your head, and one may discover in your face this beautiful confidence, this noble pride, which belongs to all to be made for feeling and thinking. Would you fear walking around and examined by all your fellows? May they impose on you, may they make you blush, or may they take off your free assurance? You are never impudent, you are never insolent; you only rely on yourself: I promise you their approbation forever. If, from this composure, your character can stand out, be convinced that you will compel the approbation of the same few who would have been able to marvel at it.

It is true that Zulmé was dressed in a Caraco and a Petticoat of striped muslin, very white, very fresh, elegantly flounced; that the Petticoat and pink Corset underneath, which nuance it and ground it, so to speak, with the white, spread into all her air a sweet freshness and an agreeable vivacity; but to be dressed thus is the least difficult thing. I ask you about poise. You can as easily as she put on your head a straw Hat, naturally colored, wrapped with a garland of artificial roses, surmounted by four plumes (three white and one pink), and to which is attached behind a large Veil of white gauze falling to the waist. You can wear a bouquet of roses on the front of your corset, coif yourself with a large tapet and three curls on each side, of which one lands on the chest; but, one more time, on poise: there is all the magic of Zulmé.

It is, however, necessary to agree that Zulmé had to avoid a defect to which nearly all women are culpable today, which is of loading the head with a pound of white powder, instead of only wearing a light tint on the coiffure, and still weakening this tint with another as light of blonde or red powder. Zulmé had felt that white powder caked and thickened her features. If the Woman is blonde, this powder horribly fades the face; if she is brunette, it darkens her. Never, no never, is it necessary to powder it to white, unless you want to seem misshapen. Zélis, follow these counsels well.

I must add, before finishing, that the Caraco can only make a morning toilette, when it is still too early to dress, and when one wants to go out, and walk around before noon; or for the evening toilette, when one has passed all day at home, and when at seven or eight o'clock one wants to take the air, or appear in public. (See 1ST PLATE.)