French Fashions in London

While most of the Archive documents musical activity at the court of George III, a few items concern related literary and artistic pursuits of the princesses.  Journal des dames, a serial published in London, brought current fashions in French literature, music, and dress to English subscribers.  Five volumes of bound issues for 1817-1819 are found in the Archive, containing articles for language study, printed in French and Italian on facing pages; music and dance instructions for French social dance; and, as shown in the example above, fashion plates and embroidery patterns.

Several sample images from a volume with binder’s title “1er Année: Modes et dessins de broderie” are shown below.  Complete images for the following volumes are available in Beinecke’s Digital Library:
1er Année: Modes et dessins de broderie
2de Année: Modes et dessins de broderie
1er Année: Litterature
2de Année: Litterature
2de Année: Musique instrumentale

Journal des dames. (London: C. Arnoux, 1817-1819). Bound issues, cover

This volume is one of two collections of fashion plates from Journal des dames.  Each volume contains approximately 50 engraved plates showing women’s dresses worn at court, balls, masked balls, and weddings, as well as women’s hats and coats, and a few examples of children’s clothing.  The volume contains the following title page:

Journal des dames. (London: C. Arnoux, 1817-1819). Bound issues, title page

Most plates have been hand colored with watercolors, possibly by the princesses.  Surrounding each  illustration are two or more embroidery patterns, some with instructions in English.  Below are several examples from this volume, which contains plates identified as “Costume Parisien du mois de juin, 1817.”

One of two wedding dresses in the volume:

Other dresses are for balls:

This volume contains one costume for a masked ball, inspired by clothing of Peru:

Though most plates show women’s dresses, there are a few examples of children’s clothing:

Some embroidery patterns are for hats or accessories, such as these “chiffres pour mouchior de poche” (monograms for handkerchiefs):

Several plates show additional hats in detail:

2 responses to “French Fashions in London

  1. I love the french “Tablier Robe” from the 19th century. it gives ideas for fashion now.

  2. WOW! These are looking superb.

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