12 FEBRUARY 1859, Page 11


(From our own Correspondent.)

If ball dresses are costly and intricate, every-day and visiting dresses arc more simply made than ever. Velvets, plaid-velvets, and watered silks, are in great request ; but moire antique is not so great a favourite as it has been. The materials are seldom figured, and the skirts are im- mensely wide, sometimes measuring ten yards round; and when not in- tended for the street they are very long at the back. They are much fuller at the bottom than at the top, as without disfigurement it would be impossible to gather so much stuff round a woman's dainty waist. The bodies are trimmed with silk gimps, or with cords left loose, as in uniforms. Often the buttons which fasten the corsage are the only or- nament, and these are made to match the dress. The newest sleeves have an epaulet or shoulder piece, which is divided, and made to look az if it were fastened with three good sized buttons. Underneath comes the sleeve, bouffant, and rather large, and below is a facing to correspond with the epaulet. For dinner and evening dresses the skirt is trimmed with puffings of crape to match the colour of the dress. This is some- times replaced by the material itself, which is also puffed and carried in graceful curves down the sides and round the bottom. Instead of puffs, a band of velvet as wide as the hand may be substituted, or a row of lace, and bows of ribbon and lace can be added I discretion. If velvet is preferred, then five or six bows of velvet, in the form of cravat bows, should ornament the middle of the skirt in front ; and in each of these bows there should be a small steel buckle. Of course the boddice should be trimmed to match.

Bonnets are of various shapes. Some have soft crowns, whilst many are piques with falling crowns. Others are made entirely of one piece, with a double curtain, over which are ornaments in stamped velvet of some positive colour. A pretty effect may be produced with grey and green or groseille velvet, with white and blue velvet, drab and violet. A very successful bonnet is that invented by Madame Gervaise. It is known as the Calotte Polonaise, and is made of light green velvet covered with a large black lace fanchon. Round the front is a white blond, and inside, a full wreath of violets in various shades. It is impossible to re- commend anything more distinguished.

La Maison du Lyedaus la Vallee has invented a small twisted lace of gold and silver, peculiarly adapted for girls and young women. The hair should be dressed a. la Grecque or en chignon, [on the naps of the neck] and then it should be enclosed in this gold stitch, and the effect produced is most charming. This headdress is kept in its place by a gold cord which forms a bow on one side of the head, and the ends should be finished off by acorns or tassels of gold hanging nearly down to the shoulder. Occasionally as a finish, a rose and buds are fastened on the other side of the head, and the leaves composing the foliage should droop on the cheek. This is by far the prettiest and newest of coiffures.