LONDON FASHION NOTES 'A QUESTION OF MOMENT. REMEDY FORECASTED. (fROII OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) LONDON, 20th March. Not before it was necessary fashioncreators are promising reform in the matter of the slit-up skirt. The topic is the burning one of the hour, and the story is going the round that ab a recent Court ball in Brussels the King of the Belgians gave the wearer of a slit skirt the broacfesfc hint that its presence was unwelcome ; the Court Marshal conducted the lady to her carriage and expressed tho King's deep concern at the accident which evidently had happened io her ball dress. The grandes domes in France, too. have laid a ban on the slit skirt, and, what is likely to be still more effectual, one of the most famous of tho French houses is sewing up the offending aperture, and producing new gowns intended to allow greater freedom of movement on the part of the wearer. ' We Jive in hopes, but at the moment tho skirts are just as tight round the ankle as ever, A PROMISE. Madame Paguin declares the slit skirt to be doomed. "Skirts will no longer be cufc up, but they will be 'wider and give freedom to the limbs. Slit skirts answer to, the needs of modern life, or 'at least toy the needs of the modern dance, bub they have their faults. The wearer needs to have a very beautiful, figure, and ungraceful walkers spoil tho charm of the dress. There are only two sins in the making -of a dress— ugliness, that exposes itself; and deshabille, that provokes attention. We. have seen 'the danger, and the new fashions will remedy it." . ON THE DEFENSIVE. M. Worth ■thinks- the fashion of to-day "very pretty indeed. It dresses women closely, though not too .tightly, and it suits the women with graceful figures. Of course J deplore the extravagances that have followed this fashion of close-fitting, and on that account I approve the manifesto. But these are only exceptional, and I can assure you that the majority of my clients have^o such taste for eccentricity. 1 never advise it, .but if I am ordered to lower a bodice or slit a skirt I must executo my orders. Quite recently one of my customers who was trying on a dress for Monte Carlo complained of the thickness of the taffetas lining, which, by the way. was thinner than a cigarette^ paper, aud asked for a kind of aerial pongee. Tho result would be like an X-ray dress. We have had many crusades against fashions, but they never amount to much, because errors in taste are happily tho exception and not tho rule." ; RUMOURS OF HOOPS AND XZRINO. . , LINES. - Considerable curiosity is displayed as to what is to replace the slit skirt. Arid few anticipate that radical change will come all in a moment. Pretty confidently it is hinted that the hoop, if not the crinoline, undismayed by recent' failures, is going to bid again for popularity— the hoop, in particular. And 'this already is appearing occasionally, though not in its old form. If is 'Used at intcrvalsmp the entire length of some skirts, with the material puffed in between, the puffs inclining slightly to droop over tho hoops. Another idea is to pile, a number of scalloped 'flounces on to a skirt— petalled frills they are called now— and they are made to" stand slightly away from the figure all round, i Tho tunioin its two-tier form as now worn has each tier wired or corded at the edge so that it stands away from the hips and away, too,. from the skirt behind, where it is considerably longer than in ' front. Flounces are to assume' considerable importance and to take up.more room in the case of important evening and reception toilettes. Then there are the bustle toilettes awaiting judgment, and the 'feeling is that they will survive- for house dresses that are smart,' but that tho tunic hasquo will have the preference for more general wear. ' Consideration, 100, will bo shown the" athletic giVl, and drosses for the coming summer are promised to bo specially designed for '' her • rather thaa tor UotBoticellUike sister. ON THE WAY TO MASCULINITY. - In more than one instance are details belonging to man 1 * attiro being experimented with this spring for women. .Fans has been rather excited about the trouser dress, while in London a model exhibited in the West End created quite a sensation. There is no compromise about it, for beneath the , so-called overskirt, which opens all the way up the front, may be seen a pair of trousers — trousers in the strictest cense, perfectly cut as if for a man, and with well marked crease in front, and the correct turn-up hem. Carried out in navy serge with a vague little coat, no model could well have' looked more masculine. Paris wonders whether this "gown" will be worn only in a drawing room decorated in accordance With tho architecture of a harem, or whether the fact that the "divide" Jb discreetly hidden will make it proper for street wear as well. Then there is the hip pocket. Entry » gained on either hip through a long slit, just as into a* man's trouser pocket. And this hip-pocket is a feature of numerous tailormade skirts, especially when tho skirt is gathered into a little band at the back of the waist, suggestive again of a trouser back. The tailor who supplies these hippockets is making the slits just below the coat basque, which is only of very moderate length at front and sides, however it may extend down the back. Then, too, there are large, patch pockete, though they are not admitted to the attractive dress or to tho smart tailored suit. The patchpocket belongs to the sport coat chiefly. Next there are waistcoats inset into coat fronts ; some are' narrow, others expand well across .the front, and occupy most of the figure. Bright coloured brocades are used for these, also dainty nets and lace. Previously I have made mention, of the blouse which is a duplicate of a> man's evening dress waistcoat, with its deeply hollowed out front and its few buttons to fasten it near the waist ; 3mphasis, too, is imparted by its sleeveless condition, and the sleeves which are worn with it are of different fabric, belonging to tho chemisette which fills up the huge gap in front. It is an interesting feature, by the way, to notice that this chemisotto that has to be worn inside the waistcoat, blouse, is cut in a round shape and gathered at the top, the gathering being drawn up by a, bebo ribbon of colour; the effect is rather pretty, and, of course, above this fullness there is still extensivo expanse of throat and it« continuation, for the loW-cut neck hae nob completed ita term yet. There is, however, always a frill or a Medici collar as a finish to> tho back of the neck, and. in the caea of tho waistcoat blouso the frill \t chosen to do thie duty, being carried all the way down tho front to outline tho low-cut waistcoat. Tho back is plain, and what littlo fullness there is is gathered into a small buckled belt, so, that a few pleats accumulate at tho back of tho waist, just W in tho case of tho male waistcoat. If preferred, this can bo covered up by a wide sash wound round the waist, and this looks just like tho male summer cummerbund. There are hats, too, hard of line, that are very much like man's millinery. One is a complete copy of the high silk hat, save that it is robbed of all its brim; its material, instead of being 'silk beaver, is a, very fine straw. This high chimney-pot is trimmed across the back with an aeroplane bow of ribbon. Next comes the "whisker," the curl that is being encouraged to como on to each side of tho face— a demure littlo ringlet laid quite flat on each cheek, curling round under #10 lobe of, tho ear. Doubtless, too, other inspirations have come from » simi« lar source. ACCESSORY TO THE TAILOR-MADE. White waistcoats aro all the rage, made of pique, fine muslin, or fino linen. They are completed by turned back revers in front, and by some species of high standing up collar at the back — the 1 Medici and its satellites exercise an influence over anything and everything that comes in tho vicinity of the neck. The collar comes dutßide 1 the coat, joining the waistcoat, a>nd the whole expanse of this latter is on view, foi the coat front is usually an open one, there are several little buttons near the waist, sometimes of practical mother-of-pearl, sometimes of a- colour that looks frivolous aud wore, fomuiiue. The set of
white pique is first choice with the tailor- i &1 suit of navy serge or fine cloth; for less severe materials, accompaniments of white ,eatin are very fetching. All these waistcoat fronts are cut with tho open vline at the throat. Vests, dainty things of net and Valenciennes and embroidered muslin, are available for wearing with tho afternoon dress of taffetas. These waistcoats are a revival, and without exception they look well when worn by a slim and erect figure. _ ANOTHER TUNIC. It is called the Tunicienne, and is well suited for semi-evening occasions. Practical, picturesque, charming — all these adjectives are applied to it. The tunic it ohe that faUs in straight, graceful folds over a satin or taffetas fourreau of any colour. A Paris correspondent describes its shape a& resembling* a child's pinafore, for it falls straight from the neck piecß and is fastened over tho shoulders with loops and buttons, _ Printed gauze, beaded net, hand embroidered silk veiling aro all suitable fabrics. There is always an edging of ball fringe, in dull gold or jet beads or in coloured beads. Garlands of roses can be looped casually about the waist and hips — these flower garlands, by the way, are very French and very late ; they aro made of chiffon and taffetas, usually without foliage, and arranged in festoons at will anywhere about the dress with no more apparent/ discrimination than when a small child decorates herself with festoons of field daisies. JUST AS YOU PLEASE. Proof of this licence is supplied by a Paris correspondent, 'who 6ays: "The latest things in the beat Rue de la Paix showrooms are the loose garlands of small flowers meandering/ over the skirts of elaborato evening gowns. They can be flung on almost any' way — slung across the bodice and allowed to fall loose at one side, or across the hips and bordering the hem. The other day, in the Place Vendome, I saw a long supple garland made of forget-me-nots and tiny water lilies with silver leaves, It was wound loosely i round a frock of shell pink taffeta*, and it was tremendously attractive. Another wreath of the same order was made of realistic Blackberry branches and deep red rambler roses." SOME FEATURES OF THE SLEEVE. To say that there are no sleeves seamed in at the shoulder in the ordinary and once the only way would be an exaggeration, because there are. Yet it is no exaggeration to say that the majority uf sleeves have no seam round the arm-hole and none at all on the shoulder. The kimono line is the one most frequently seen, and yet that has_ attained an elaborateness which formerly did not belong to' it. Many of tho sleeves are joined on well below the turn of tho shoulder, and some are so baggy that the armhole appears to extend to the waist. Should there chance to be > a seam round the top of the shoulder this 'is hidden by a kimono-cut bolero or waistcoat front, or by a variety of bretelles formed of throe broad pleats. Tailors are introducing the kimono pattern for their fanciful coats, whether of serge or cloth, or silk, but there is no getting away from the fact that the serviceable and trimmest tailormades are made with, sleeves that are the same as they always have been, so far aiv .the armhole is concerned. Dresses 'oi thickish material, too,' are . similarly treated, but in these days when our bodices and blouses consist of transparencies, and not too much tof these, the sleeves aro all in • one with the bodice. There is one type of armhole Iso large that it simulates a_ bolero, and t another one that takes tho line .of a slanting yoke beginning ateaoh side of the throat and carried overthe top of the arm for a considerable distance, the same 'lin» characterising the back view. Another sleeve that tollows the outline of the , arm very closely— as closely, that is, as a kimono sleeve can do— is a snug fit from elbow to wrist, and then Over the hand it widens out into a sort of belj-shape. Generally speaking, one-may say that for blouses and tub-frocks and for % dresses and blouees of flimsy fabrics, the full sleeve is first choice, banded 'somewhere into a cuff or set into tucks; but for! the more elaborate variety sleeves are niade to cling fairly closely to the arm. Drooping fulness of the > upper part and tightness below is a little reminiscent of the leg of mutton pattern, especially when of taffetas. The Raglan sleeve is- used over and over again.
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LADIES' COLUMN, Evening Post, Volume LXXXVII, Issue 103, 2 May 1914
LADIES' COLUMN Evening Post, Volume LXXXVII, Issue 103, 2 May 1914
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