|Court & Dinner Dress April 1831|
By the 1830s, the vertical look is completely gone, the big sleeves are taking over, and hair is starting to get wild. Though fashion illustrations look completely bizarre, I have seen some of these looks reproduced in period films, and they are more beautiful and graceful than you might suppose.
One of the looks I find particularly interesting is court dress, of which this is a great example. Plumes were required, as were the lace lappets (those lacy things hanging by the lady's ears) and a train. This plate does a good job of showing the difference between what one wore, say, to a Royal Drawing Room and what one wore for an evening event. As opulent as evening dress could be, court dress had to be very much more so. The monarchs seem to have been very particular about court dress. Interestingly, Queen Victoria insisted on large plumes. She wanted to be able to see them easily.
As extravagant as this dress might appear, it's relatively normal-looking compared to what ladies were obliged to wear during the reign of George III and the time of the Prince Regent. Author Candice Hern offers an overview and examples of Regency-era court dress here at her website.
|April 1831 fashion description|
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