Marie Antoinette had been the last to set the styles; the Empress Josephine had only followed or adopted styles set by the dressmakers of her day. Actresses and celebrated dressmakers were beginning to have an influence on costume; Herbaut, Victorine, Palmyre, and Mme. Minette were among the names of the latter that have been preserved in the annals offashion. Magazines of fashion were published in France and England which give an exact record of the materials used and the changes in the styles.
The ten years from 1830-1840 are spoken of as the Romantic Period by most of the writers on costume., Society became tired of the whirl of modern machinery and machine-made products, and went back to the Middle Ages for its inspiration in modes and manners.The literature of that time gives us the key to the situation. Sir Walter Scott was publishing his novels, which dealt exclusively with "the life of the knight-errant, troubadours, and chatelaines—given in a setting of secret cloisters and turreted castles." ' These were translated into all languages and had a wide circulation.
The stage also added its influence, as these stories became thelibrettos of operas composed by Auber, Rossini, and many others. It was a time of affectation among women, as society liked them to be "charming, graceful, and delicate." It was the fashion to sigh, weep, and faint continually; a society woman ate sparingly, only a few "sweet-meats." Young girls were distressed if they looked healthy, and revery, suffering, sacrifice, and self-devotion were the themesof the day.
Materials.—While the voluminous skirt and large sleeves were in vogue, materials were light in weight and color; organdy, unbleached batiste, barege, and embroidered muslin were the favorites, but with the influence of the romantic and the return to mediaeval fashions, materials became heavier, such as velvet, moire, damask, and brocades and variegated silks. Colors also changed andwere dark and sombre, in keeping with the affected melancholy.
Women's Dress.—The hour-glass silhouette became more and more exaggerated during the '30s. The bodice was cut extremely low and off of the shoulders; it was fitted with many seams and closed with an invisible arrangement of hooks and eyes, in the centre front or back; it terminated in a point in front and at the waistline in the back.The sleeves continued to increase in size at the top ; some finished at the elbow and some still had the leg-o'-mutton shape. They were held out at the shoulder with bags of down or by ingenious arrangements of wires. The bertha cape was still used to increase the breadth of the shoulders ; it seems to have been made of the same material as the gown, ornamented on the edge with lace or embroidery,or else all of lace.
The shoes of black prunella and Turkish slippers of satin, with narrow toes and no heels, did not shoe much change in style. The dress was even with the floor once more, and only the toe of the shoe peeped out beneath its folds.
Gloves with short wrists were worn with the long sleeves on the street, but long gloves were still seen with evening toilets. Jewels were very muchin evidence, and while the cost of the costumes was much lower than formerly, the value of the jewels worn had increased, and many women appeared wearing jewels worth a fortune. Necklaces, thin gold chains, bracelets, rings, long earrings, brooches, and waist buckles set with diamonds and other precious stones were the favorites. A fad was the carrying of a silver or gold bouquet-holder, and fanswere also in vogue.
Dark-colored parasols were carried when walking or riding; these had been made necessary by the widening of the Paris streets by Napoleon I. The trees that had been planted only a few years were not yet large enough to shade the passer-by. In summer the whole of Paris lived out-of-doors, and the Tuileries Gardens and the Champs Elysees were crowded, especially in the...