Galerie des Modes, 56e Cahier, 3e Figure

Morning redingote surmounted by a wide collar. (1787)

Accessories made by Rose Bertin, modiste to the Queen, for Mme the Countess Plater:

"1786, August 20. - A hat of white straw lined with striped English gauze, 2 bias strips of the same gauze, on the crown bows of white ribbon, cy ... 48 Livres.

"A bouquet of beautiful mixed flowers ... 54 livres.

"A superb rose branch with buttons ... 27 livres.

"A box ... 2 livres.

"August 27. - A pot of rouge from Mlle Martin ... 24 livres.

"Total ... 155 livres"

Dossiers Bertin, Doucet Library

Comments

  1. Dear Cassidy,
    I have to go and look it up for you, but seem to recall that Fanny Burney and Queen Charlotte wore what we term redingotes for dress in private...but Fanny used another name for them. She loved them for their ease of wearing.

    Thanks,

    Natalie

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    Replies
    1. Very interesting! I hope you can find it.

      Delete
  2. Dear Cassidy,

    Found the sources! Fanny is, I think, speaking of wearing a redingote, don't you think? The timing is right -- the late 1780s. Elsewhere Fanny speaks of wearing a white dimity greatcoat. (http://books.google.com/books?id=NRgd-xCIzuUC&pg=PA82&lpg=PA82&dq=fanny+burney+diary+greatcoat&source=bl&ots=du6ilT176M&sig=MepUQRlJO5dyeXh7Ec_97y4SqK4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=_rJlUoy2OMfG4AOnkIGoDw&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=fanny%20burney%20diary%20greatcoat&f=false).

    I found these online. The words are in my volumes, but I have the 1840s version, in print. There are so many versions of the diaries :}

    Here Fanny discusses the queen and her clothing preferences:
    "There are few points I have observed with more pleasure in her than all that concerns the office which brings me to her in this private and confidential manner. All that breaks from her, in our teie-cttites^ upon the subject of dress, is both edifying and amiable. She equips herself for the drawing-room with all the attention in her power; she neglects nothing that she thinks becoming to her appearance upon those occasions, and is sensibly conscious that her high station makes her attire in public a matter of business. As such, she submits to it without murmuring; but a yet stronger consciousness of the real futility of such mere outward grandeur bursts from her, involuntarily, the moment the sacrifice is paid, and she can never refuse herself the satisfaction of expressing her contentment to put on a quiet undress. The great coats are so highly in her favour, from the quickness with which they enable her to finish her toilette, that she sings their praise with fresh warmth every time she is allowed to wear them, archly saying to me, with most expressive eyes, " If I could write " if I could but write 1 " how I would compose upon a great coat! I wish I were a poetess, that I might make a song upon it " I do think something very pretty might be said about it.'*

    These hints she has given me continually; but the Muse was not so kind as ever to make me think of the matter again when out of her sight " till, at last, she one day, in putting on this favourite dress, half gravely, said, " I really take it a little ill you won't write something upon these great coats! '* I only laughed, yet, when I left her, I scribbled a few stanzas, copied them very fairly, and took them, as soon as they were finished, into her room; and there kept them safely in my pocket-book, for I knew not how to produce them, and she, by odd accident, forbore from that time to ask for them, though her repeated suggestion had, at last, conquered my literary indolence.!"

    Citation: Burney, Fanny. (2013). pp. 424-5. The Diary and Letters of Madame d'Arblay (Frances Burney), 1890 (Vol. 1). Hong Kong: Forgotten Books. (Original work published 1890)


    Very best,

    Natalie

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    Replies
    1. Very interesting! Yes, I think "greatcoat" is another word for "redingote". Thank you so much for posting this.

      It makes sense that they'd be seen as such comfortable alternatives - you just have to stick your arms in and button up the front, no hooks or pins.

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  3. Dear Cassidy,

    Okay, and here is the poem "The Great Coat" itself:

    The poem:

    "THE GREAT COAT.

    "Thrice honour'd Robe! couldst thou espy The form that deigns to show thy worth; Hear the mild voice, view the arch eye, That call thy panegyric forth;

    "Wouldst thou not swell with vain delight? With proud expansion sail along? And deem thyself more grand and bright Than aught that lives in ancient song,

    "Than Venus' cestus, Dian's crest, Minerva's helmet, fierce and bold, Or all of emblem gay that dress'd

    Capricious goddesses of old? "Thee higher honours yet await:- Haste, then, thy triumphs quick prepare, Thy trophies spread in haughty state, Sweep o'ei the earth, and scoff the air.

    "The cares, or joys, she soars above That to the toilette's duties cleave; Far other cares her bosom move, Far other joys those cares relieve.

    "The garb of state she inly scorn'd, Glad from its trappings to be freed, She saw thee humble, unadorn'd, Quick of attire,--a child of speed.

    "Still, then, thrice honour'd Robe! retain Thy modest guise, thy decent ease; Nor let thy favour prove thy bane By turning from its fostering breeze.

    "She views thee with a mental eye, And from thee draws this moral end:-- Since hours are register'd on high, The friend of Time is Virtue's friend."

    For this precious production Fanny received quite as much as it was worth,--the thanks of the queen, who added, "Indeed it is very pretty--only! I don't deserve it." -ED.

    Source: THE CREAM OF THE DIARISTS AND MEMOIR WRITERS. THE DIARY AND LETTERS OF MADAME D'ARBLAY (FRANCES BURNEY.) WITH NOTES BY W. C. WARD, AND PREFACED BY LORD MACAULAY'S ESSAY. IN THREE VOLUMES. VOL. 1. (1778-1787.) http://the-diary-and-letters-of-madame-d-arblay.t.ebooks2ebooks.com/1.html

    Very best,

    Natalie

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