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'The Fashions'. Toilette habillée and travelling dress, August 1861

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'The Fashions'. Toilette habillée and travelling dress, August 1861

by Amédée Bodin, published by Samuel Orchart Beeton, published in The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, first published in Le Moniteur de la Mode
hand-coloured etching and line engraving, published August 1861
8 3/8 in. x 5 3/8 in. (212 mm x 136 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47991

Artistsback to top

This portraitback to top

Described in the magazine:
1. Toilette Habillée. - The bonnet is made of white embroidered tulle, drawn in the front, and with a plain crown; the curtain is made of tulle, over stiff net, and is covered at the bottom with a row of black lace. The bonnet is trimmed at the top with a bow of cerise ribbon, in which two ostrich feathers are fastened - one falling on the right side, and the other on the left. The bandeau is composed of cerise flowers, to match the ribbon on the outside, and the strings are of broad white ribbon. In this toilet both the dress and shawl are made of the same material, grey and white chiné grenadine. The body of the dress is made open in the front, trimmed with a black silk ruche and a white silk ruche, finished off with a piece of broad lace. With this body a net or embroidered muslin chemisette, made with a narrow collar, should be worn. The waistband is of black silk, with a black and white bow in the centre. The sleeve consists of one large puff, and is finished off at the bottom with two ruches, one black and one white, which are made just large enough for the hand to slip through. The skirt is very pretty, and is trimmed with two ruches (black and white), forming a heading to the black lace flounce; whilst below the lace four black and white ruches, placed alternately, make a pretty finish to the bottom of the skirt. We need scarcely say that this skirt should be gored, to throw it out at the bottom, and make it hang gracefully.
2. Travelling Dress. - The hat is of fine white straw, and is trimmed with a large black velvet bow in front, and with a black and white feather on each side. The dress and cloak are made of the same material - light brown or drab alpaca - and trimmed with dark brown ribbon, or bands of brown silk. A small green cravat should be worn with this dress, and a plain stitched stand-up collar. A broad band of brown silk might be put on the bottom of the skirt, which would make a pretty finish to it. The material of which the dress is composed is a kind of superior silky alpaca. It shines in the sun with a lustre like that of shot-silk.

Events of 1861back to top

Current affairs

Death of Prince Albert, from typhoid fever. Queen Victoria goes into a long period of mourning, withdrawing from public duties, and becomes known by the satirical title 'Widow of Windsor'.

Art and science

Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management is published by her husband Sidney, who successfully maintained the Beeton brand after his wife's early death seven years later. The highly popular book, containing recipes and advice for housekeeping, appealed to the Victorian belief that a woman's role was managing the home.
Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Company is founded, marking the start of the arts and crafts movement.


The American civil war begins after the Confederate army attacks Union forces at Fort Sumter in April. The Confederates, comprised of eleven southern states who seceded from the Union over the right to independence on issues such as abolition, are presided over by Jefferson Davis, formerly senator of Mississippi. Although the Union had early successes, the Confederates' victory at Bull Run sets the Union up for a long, four-year war.

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