A Year in Millinery Fashion – 1864

Buff and salmon are very much used for the trimming of both bonnets and hats. On many of the bonnets a single flower is arranged on the outside. For instance, a water-lily, the leaves glistening with dew-drops. Or the bright tinted tulip. Of the latter flower we have seen many elegant specimens. Feathery, silvery, pearl, and silk grasses enter largely into the composition of moutures for bonents and headdresses. Upon examining the elegant, wavering grasses, we found the hundreds of little spikelets to be formed of mother-of-pearl and steel; but so tiny and delicate, that the least breath would set them in motion; and the various lights thrown on them caused them to glitter almost like jewels.

Large, fancy wheat ears in salmon or buff crepe, with long silky beards, form a very stylish trimming for a black horse-hair bonnet.

Much artistic skill is displayed in the arrangement of headdresses, though there is but little change in the style; nor will there be, until there is a decided change in the arrangement of the hair.

Sprays of pink coral, scarcely to be detected from the real article, arranged with grasses and shells, form a charming coiffure. Marie Antoinette tufts of the rarest flowers, and of the most graceful coloring, are to be found at Mme. Tilman’s. Of the tufts and half wreaths of which we have spoken in a previous article, we shall shortly give illustrations. Many other beautiful fantasies we could mention; but we must also speak of children’s hats.

For information we visited Mr. Genin’s establishment, 513 Broadway, New York. Among the newest and most becoming styles, are Arion, Casquet, and Armenia. The former has the crown tapering in front, and rounding at the back. The brim is narrow in front, runs to a point behind, and the edges are curled. The Casquet resembles the Arion, only that the brim is narrower and not curled. The Armenia has a high straight crown, narrow brim, which forms a curve both front and back, the sides being perfectly straight. In some of the models, the brim at the side consists merely of a tiny of velvet.

Besides the above mentioned styles there are many others; but the three we have named seem to be the favorites, and are to be had in all sizes from ladies to infants.

Some of the dress hats have a brim entirely covered with velvet. The principal timmings for ladies and misses are feathers and velvet. All kinds of feathers are brought to requisition – peacock’s, heron, king fisher’s, cock’s, and even eagle plumes.

For children, silk flowers, shells, wheat ears, and ribbons, are the accepted trimmings. Straw ribbons and tassels arranged with high colored velvets, are very dressy.

For school hats, the different shades of gray or cuir, and the mixed straws, are the most suitable both for misses and boys. The turban and Scotch styles, though old, are very much adopted, and with the mask veil and the hair arranged en Grecque, present quite a jaunty and pretty appearance. They are suitable, however, only for misses.

Where ribbon is used, it generally terminates in long streamers at the back. Frequently, however, narrow ribbon velvet is laid in deep points round the crown fastening underneath, a tuft of feathers or flowers in front.

A drawn rosette of salmon-colored crepe lisse, with a scarf of the same, edged with a delicate straw fringe, forms a very light and pretty trimming for a hat.

For little boys, there are numerous; some have a round crown, with rolled brim. These are generally of a plain colored straw, trimmed with a band of blue or brown ribbon, fastened at the side with a pearl clasp. More fanciful shapes are trimmed with an aigrette, consisting of a small rosette of peacock’s feathers, from which spring three straight feathers or a wing. The sailor-shaped hat is also fashionable.

Infants’ hats are generally of white straw, bound with velvet, either a bright blue, lilac, or cherry. Narrow bands of the same encircle the crown, and, in front, a short white plume is caught with a bow of white ribbon. For a boy the plume passes over the crown, for a girl it falls at the side. (Godey’s, July, 1864)

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