Millinery Opening Day

It seems I nearly missed “Opening Day”. (I confess, this post is back dated a bit.)

If not from time immemorial, for some years at least, the first Thursday in April has been associated in the minds of all bonnet-wearing humanity hearabouts, with the Spring opening of fashionable millinery. Of all days in the memory of that venerable personage, the oldest inhabitant, yesterday was they day for such an occasion. The weather was delightful, and he must have been a callous observer indeed, whose fancy was not pleased by the life and gaiety presented in our streets. At an early hour the tide of beauty and fashion commenced flowing in upon the various milliner establishments of our city. The displays made by the latter were, as a whole, highly credible. Those of the following houses we may designate as particularly attractive: Mrs. M. A. King’s, formerly at No. 27 South Second street, now at No. 1026 Chestnut street; that by the Misses O’Brien, No. 914 Chestnut street; Miss S. T. Morgan’s, No. 403 Arch street; Mrs. M. A. Kinnear’s, No. 1208 Chestnut street; and Mrs. H. Wright’s, at No. 137 Pine street.

Of course, the popular old house of Wood & Cary, (formerly Lincoln, Wood, & Nicholes,) at No. 725 Chestnut street, figured conspicuously in the general éclat. The preparations of this firm for the “event” had evidently been made on the grandest scale. Their capacious Retail room – the first floor of their handsome business edifice – was profusely, though tastefully, decorated with fashionable head, and as the morning progressed, by some low more readily appreciated than explained, it became a grand eddying centre for the ladies who had turned out for the day. For two hours the throng in their rooms increased, attaining its climax at high noon. Just about then we tried to gain a professional glimpse of what was going on inside; but for reasons which it might seem ungallant in us to give, the effort did not result in more than a tip-toe glance from the pavement. The fact is, it would just then have required something of a reportorial myth to have made a round of inspection among that throng of admiring, chattering, bustling crinoline. Between one and two, however, through the courteous assistance of a member of the house, we were enabled to assert our prerogative in a practical way, the crowd – if the ladies will excuse that epithet – having sufficiently subsided to afford us reasonable facilieties for seeing the “opening” It was a most beautiful display. To give a minute description would consume more time and space than we have at our disposal to devote to it, however agreeable such a take might be, in these times of wholesale rebellion and local disasters. (Philadelphia Press, April 4, 1862.

The author does continue for three paragraphs describing the trends and fashions of the day…

Published in: on April 5, 2013 at 12:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

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