Magasin des Modes, 3e Cahier, Plate I

(Lately, I haven't had much appetite for sewing, or for writing substantive blog posts, so I'm going to bring back my translations in order to provide content and give me an outlet!)

December 10, 1786

For showing winter dress, it would not suffice to give a Lady fully dressed in a satin gown (1); it would be even worse to show her covered with a pelisse and carrying a muff, to have the full dress. The former would show the effect of the gown, uncovered by the pelisse, and in the way that she would appear at an Assembly; but the latter would show the full outfit, and in the way she would appear in a Promenade or at the Spectacle. The former was necessary for the purpose; the latter is no less so. The practice of wearing pelisses does not survive with as much strength as in previous years (the fashion of mantelets, and, even more, wool redingotes, have given it a rude push!), but it is not past: one could say that at present one is still not fully dressed without a pelisse. Thus it is necessary to show a Lady covered with a pelisse and holding a muff.

(1) See the twenty-fourth Book of the first Year.

The Lady drawn in PLATE I wears a robe à l'Anglaise, of plain violet satin, and, under this gown, a petticoat of white satin. On the neck, a plain gauze kerchief, fastened in front with a bow of white ribbon.

She wears a pelisse of blue satin, lined with blackish fox fur, trimmed on the edges with wide bands of matching fur, held at front with a bow of white ribbon.

Her hands, covered with white gloves and belted with bracelets (2), trimmed with medallions, decorated with monograms or portraits, and surrounded with diamonds, are enclosed in a muff of blackish fox, decorated in the middle with a white fox tail and with four very large white spots, and surmounted by a bow of violet ribbon.

(2) "Bracelets were ornaments used by men and women, who gave them several names. The spinter, according to Fessus and Capitolin, was a bracelet worn by women; they wore it on the left arm. Capitolin gives the name cossula to a large bracelet. Those called halteres, échini, énici, were distinguished from the others by the place they occupied, for they were worn from the top of the arm down to the fingers.

"Ordinarily gold bracelets were made, and in the same form as rings. The only difference was in the size. There were even people whose job was to put on rings, such as for Emperor Maximin, who wore on his thumb a woman's bracelet.

"The bracelets of the Ancients were in different shapes. There is one that wraps three times around the arm on a statue of Lucile, wife of Vérus. They were gold or iron, or covered with silver leaf. Sometimes a ring or medal was placed on one. There were also ivory ones; they were used by people of every rank. Those of copper or iron were used by ordinary people and slaves.

"In this jewelry, stones and grains of succin or yellow amber were inlaid, and bound with little chains, when they were intended for women.

"Girls never wore bracelets, unless they were given to them; but virgins consecrated to the altar wore very beautiful ones, enriched with all sorts of precious stones."
(Research by M. Bourignon, of Saintes.)

She is coiffed with a mounted Court cap à la Paysanne, made of pinked gauze with little designs, and trimmed with a kerchief of the same gauze, whose ends fall in lappets behind. This cap is wrapped with a violet satin ribbon, edged with fox tail colored chenille, which forms two bows, one in the back and one in front.

Her hair is frizzed on the tapet, and four large curls are allowed to escape on each side, falling in two diagonal rows. In back, it is pulled up in a chignon hanging very low.

Her shoes are violet satin, flounced with a white ribbon.