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French Fashions, March 1832. 'Evening Dress. Ball Dress. Dinner Dress'

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French Fashions, March 1832. 'Evening Dress. Ball Dress. Dinner Dress'

published by Whittaker & Co, published in La Belle Assemblée or Bell’s Court and Fashionable Magazine
hand-coloured etching, line and stipple engraving, published March 1832
9 1/4 in. x 5 7/8 in. (234 mm x 150 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47663

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This portraitback to top

Described in the magazine:
Evening Dress. A Swedish-blue satin dress; the corsage, plain behind, and in crossed drapery in front, is cut very low, and disposed on each side of the bosom, so as to form a demi-coeur, displaying a white satin under-corsage. Béret sleeves, surmounted by two rows of blond lace, which form winged mancherons. The drapery of the corsage, the ceinture, and the bands of the sleeves, are edged with beads to correspond. The head-dress is a velvet toque of the colour of the dress, intermixed with bands of gold net; it is of moderate height, and less voluminous than those lately worn. A single white esprit is inserted in the centre of the toque, among the folds near the top. Pearl necklace and ear-rings; gold bracelets.
Ball Dress. A blond lace dress over white satin; a Grecian corsage, ornamented with a round knot of white gauze ribbon in the centre of the bosom. Soufflet sleeves; they are of the bouffant form, but divided into compartments, from each of which a knot of ribbon protrudes. The hair is dressed in full curls at the sides of the face, and arranged on the summit of the head in two bows, which form a papillon noeud. A bouquet of Bengal roses, tied with rich figured white gauze ribbon, in full bows, and ends that float nearly to the waist, is placed behind the bows of hair, and surmounts them; and a wreath of roses brought low upon the forehead, encircles the head. The jewellery should be gold and pearls.
Dinner Dress. It is composed of ruby velvet, plain corsage, nearly, but not quite, square; very low upon the shoulders, but rather high in the centre of the bosom, and displaying merely the blond lace trimming of the chemisette, which stands up round the bust. Velvet mancherons, and Imbecille sleeves of white gaze zephyr, over white satin béret sleeves. The top of the corsage and the mancherons are trimmed with richly figured gold bands. A trimming of the same description, but broader, adorns the skirt, about as high as the calf of the leg. The head-dress is a Moabite turban, formed of a scarf of French cachemire; the ends, and the border of the scarf, are so arranged as to form the trimming of the turban; the colours are bright green, deep citron, and ruby. The jewellery worn with this dress should be of emeralds and gold. Sable boa tippet.

Events of 1832back to top

Current affairs

William IV agrees to the creation of new peers in order to obtain the passage of the Reform Act, although this proved unnecessary when the Tories withdrew opposition. Male franchise is extended by fifty percent; fifty-six 'rotten boroughs' lose representation and forty-one new constituencies are created. Irish and Scottish Reform Acts are also passed.

Art and science

Mathematician Charles Babbage publishes his best selling Economy of Machinery and Manufactures. In response to recent outbreaks of machine-breaking and riots, he aimed to reveal the sources of Britain's industrial strength to the urban elite and promote institutional change.
Parliament votes funds for National Gallery buildings in Trafalgar Square.


Free land grants end for English settlers in Australia on recommendation of the leading colonisation theorist Edward Wakefield in his Letter from Sydney.
Greek independence recognised by the Treaty of London.

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