Clothes For The Evening
( Originally Published 1924 )
"Brilliancy characterizes evening clothes, giving opportunity for humanity to reflect the scintillating quality. Beads, metallic fabrics, ciré and dyed laces, silver and gold slips under black laces, lacquer, shades of green and vermilion, white and flesh-colored dresses, illuminated with crystal trimming," so dictates Dame Fashion.
Women are very fond of crêpe silk for their dinner and theater gowns—especially black enlivened by a rhinestone hip ornament. Tulle, chiffon, and the softest of other materials are used by women who care little for the more regal brocades and velvets.
The figure in evening clothes should look willowy even if the costume consists of a straight bodice and full skirt with a farthingale at the hips. Skirts in their progress downward must take on a fullness somewhere; perhaps it does not appear until the skirt reaches the knees. Sometimes the fullness may be like an apron in front, or as a drapery curving from a huge bow in the back, or a fur-trimmed double circular flounce of the same material as the costume; perhaps there are lace flounces that dip toward the foot on one side to hide it later as the lace floats on the floor. Point of embroidered chiffon may be clouded with a long circular skirt of tulle; or a little off-shoulder bodice may have its simplicity ruffled by a skirt of rainbow-colored tulle —the full ruffles catching the lights and rhythmically repeating them.
Worn over a foundation of flesh-colored satin and cobwebby silver lace is tulle in fine plaits. Graduated flounces beginning at the front panel form a train spreading out like a peacock's tail. In this delightful color scheme are hyacinth blue, jade green, yellow, and tan. Charming little touches are given by a jade necklace, a bouquet of Ophelia roses and yellow orchids, slippers of silver, and a hair band of hyacinth blue. One would surely inspire romance with such poetry in her costume.
Gowns are sleeveless. Neck-lines may be bateau, square as for afternoon costumes, or with the conventional low décolletage. A point may extend to the waist in back or front—filled up the desired distance with soft flesh tulle. The bodice with shoulder straps of jewels may be cut square, round, or pointed.
Draperies or trimmings follow the wandering waist-line which is at either the hip, the normal waist, or an indefinite somewhere. Lengths vary, but the formal gown is generally trailing—the train or the drapery which mimics it is always flattering to the woman who needs the suggestion of height.
Slippers or sandals may be of gold, the sandals having straps united at the instep with tiny rhinestone buckles; or they may be of silver and gold brocade, bronze satin, silver cloth, satin embroidered with gay little silk flowers, black satin with a jeweled serpent dropping to the toe from a black chou at the instep. Slippers may be of every variety, but hosiery is limited to certain colors, such as rose beige. The texture is always extremely sheer.
The evening coat is often of midnight black, embroidered in silver, and, like clouds, should have a silver lining. The colors should be rich and glowing, such as ruby red, emerald green, deep rose, American beauty, or raspberry red. Velvets and brocade are used, or any other rich fabric. The other accessories are fans and long white kid gloves, which should be loose and comfortable.