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Ladies' Smart Taffetas and Dinner Gowns - 1912

A Smart Taffetas Gown

A Smart Taffetas Gown.  This is made with panier skirt and long lace sleeves. The Illustrated London News (27 April 1912) p. 624. GGA Image ID # 102e8a6d77

The Parisian dressmakers have, at last, opened their salons and exhibited their novelties and surprises for the early spring, the most striking being the Tallien costume, which has caught on and made its début at Auteuil.

This daring costume takes its name from the famous Directoire beauty, Mme. Tallien and its prominent feature is the slit right up to the side of the skirt high above the knee, showing the knee of the wearer when she walks.

With this, will be worn the wide-meshed silken net Directoire stockings. The " Curate ” costume, with its two-piece skirt, fastened down the left side of the front and two or three buttons left undone at the foot, its straight-cut coat buttoned closely to the chin, where it is cut incorrect clerical style, has caught on.

A new feature in the tailor-made costumes this season is the V-shaped décolleté corsage which will be worn with them, but still, this can be modified to suit the convenience of the wearer, and the effect made quite modest and elegant by means of the ever-useful chiffon chemisette.

Amongst the multitude of novelties which are altogether too obtrusive for those women to whom the grotesque does not appeal, and who like to be neat and trim, the accordion-pleated effect will find favor, and the panier dresses are decidedly becoming, although they are showing many new developments; some being very voluminous, with much fullness over the knees instead of around the hips, as worn some years ago, and in some cases the panier effect is suggested instead of being added.

The general opinion expressed at both Paris and London exhibitions of spring toilettes was that the panier and looped skirts are perfectly charming when cut with a certain amount of fulness at the feet.

The attempt to ally the panier with the hobble skirt has not been favorably received as yet, though ladies may approve of it later in the season. The hoop, again, threatens to have some say in the summer styles, but not in the crude all-around fashion of years gone by, when it was worn by all and sundry and made the subject of so much jest by Punch, and the opposite sex generally.

No - we are certain the hoop will not appear in its old form, but in something much more graceful and becoming. At present, we hear of it as a drapery with its fullness at the back instead of the sides, and showing a straight skirt underneath, but it will never become a favorite for evening wear.

It is a pity the names of panier and hoop have cropped up again. Could our clever leaders of fashion not have invented happier terms for the artistic draperies they are displaying so temptingly?

Indeed, we are inclined to wonder whether the dress-improver is not waiting to make its appearance in the near future; we hear tales of experiments being made with wires, puffed panels tied back, and other devices, which makes us very suspicious.

A Tea or Home Dinner Gown

A Tea or Home Dinner Gown, with long sleeves fastened with silk loops and buttons.  A smart hat is trimmed with a feather mount and the brim turned up with dark silk. The Illustrated London News (4 May 1912) p. 668. GGA Image ID # 102ee38cc9

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