from Vogue

(December 6, 1894)



I Am very glad to see that mourning attire
in general is now made to conform with
present fashions, and that the manufacturers
and purveyors of this class of goods
have at last waked up to the fact that men
and women do not always put on mourning
because their hearts are broken.  Women, on 
the contrary, are not infrequently in a state of 
rebellion against the necessity of spoiling
their good looks by so plain and doleful an
outer garb.
    We all know that where grief is deep and 
sincere no fashion ever invented has been
such a blessing, protecting us from contact
with jarring occasions, which we were unable
and unfit to meet.
    But as I said before, perfunctory mourning
has been very properly considered, and an
effort made to have it as becoming as possible.
    For street wear a cloth with crêpe surface
makes up admirably, and one that I saw
recently had several rows of pipings on the 
bottom of the skirt.  A seamless bodice with
the plastron of mousseline de soie.  The
sleeves were looped up in front by rosettes of
English crêpe, and had flaring epaulettes of
crêpe as well.  Double ruchings of mousseline
formed the collar, and scarfs of it draped the
wrists.  It was a gown unmistakably denil
still not lugubrious.  The street garment
was a tight-fitting Melton coat, with broad
crêpe collar well spread over the shoulders
and bordered with narrow Persian lamb.  The
upper waist fronts had the same fur laid over,
and sharply curved from bust to hips, and
then covering the entire back.  In the space
between the slope of fur in front was inserted
a deep fall of flat plaited crêpe, reaching the
bottom of coat skirt.  The fullness of the 
cloth sleeves was plaited to fit the lower arm,
with flaring cuff of Persian lamb.  A plateau
felt hat, with half wreath of black ostrich tips
nodding over front brim, and two large
rosettes of broad ribbon in the back completed 
a very séante costume.
    Still another smart walking frock made in 
London took my fancy.  The bodice fitted
like a glove, and had a perfectly plain full
skirt, wired and built up to perfection, flowing
beneath.  Two shoulder capes a few
inches apart, fronts rounded, and then falling
in points on the sleeves, curving gracefully in
the back, and edged with uncut velvet pipings.
The material of which the gown was made
was something new, resembling a dull black
poplin granité.  The girdle, collar and sleeves
were of uncut velvet.  A large jet crescent on the 
left side of girdle flanked a rosette of the velvet, 
and another one ornamented the centre of 


gorgette.  Two streamers of uncut velvet ribbon
started from right side of girdle, and fell
the length of skirt, being caught a little below 
the waist by a larger crescent ornament. 
    A Watteau coat of uncut velvet, lined with
mauve silk and trimmed with black fox, with
muff to match, accompanied this gown,
together with a toque of the same velvet,
with front of jet, and black fox trimmings
touched off with black osprey, on the side.
In the same wardrobe there was a very pretty
house bodice of black chiffon, draped over
pearl silk bengaline.  The collar, shoulder
bows and elbow bands and knots, as well as
girdle, were of the bengaline, sprinkled with
black spangles and fringed with black sequins.
Skirt long, plain and of black faille.
    What a stride into favor the blouse has
made, in a somewhat modified way !  Many
of the smartest gowns now have this effect.
The advantage is this : a slim figure obtains
better proportions, whereas the more generous
kind have their too obvious lines hidden.  Of
course, this blouse idea is simply confined to
the front corsage by adjusting the drapery
loosely.  For instance, a fleecy copper-colored
zibeline cloth gown has the fronts draped in
this way with a plastron inserted of striped
green and beurre moiré, the zibeline and
moiré all draped low to match, while the 
back is glove-fitting.  Green zigzag velvet
sleeves, with girdle and collar of the same,
finished off by the velvet loops and fans, now
de rigueur. 
    Apropos of zibeline, it makes an exceedingly
pretty, warm theatre cloak, not too fine
to be crushed into the small one-chair space.
One has been sent me in dove-gray, lined with
carnation red, made with square yoke and
long, full skirts.  The cachet lies in the cardinal 
cape of willow-green velvet, wrought
with green and gold cords, in Henri Deux
period motif.  Two straps of this velvet embroidery
fall down the skirt in the back to


hem, and two bands in like manner
fall the length of the fronts.
    A still more beautiful and costly
wrap that I greatly admire is of pink
velours du nord of the new shade, coat
shape, outlining the figure and drawn
to the waist by satin ribbon sash, tied
at the side in the most chic way.  The
collar rolls over to waist line and is
composed of iridescent green feathers,
in charming contrast with the velvet.
    The novelty silks and cloths with
percé spaces embroidered in button-hole
stitch, or stamped out in the
cloth, are most effective in combination
with the plain material of which 
the gown is made.  With silk or satin
linings in harmonious contrast, the
gown may acquire a great deal of style
when it is used for sleeves or corsage,
collars and gilet.  Brown percé with 
yellow or hyacinth blue lining, green
percé with mauve, orange or pervanche
blue percé with cerise, japonica-red
or blue, are all successful contrasts.
The black percé silk or cloth
gives the greatest scope for color, and
the white ones almost as much.
    The percé chiffons are charming
and the newest of the new.  Driving 
through the Park the other afternoon,
and meeting a few really good horse
women—I wondered if many of them
wore the new safety riding skirt so
generally adopted in England ?  A
space is cut out of the skirt in which
the pommel of the saddle fits.  The
edges of the skirt are united only by
an elastic cord, which in case of accident
gives way at once, and the rider
is entirely free.  The skirts in this 
way are more easily cut into that
desirable straight line at the bottom.