A Year in Millinery Fashion 1864

It is said that, as regards to invention, one milliner does more in a month than the world architects in a score of years. We are forcibly reminded of this while walking, lately, through the show rooms of Mme. N. Tilman, of 143 East Ninth Street, New York. At this establishment we are constantly surprised with novelties; nothing pretty or new appears in Europe in the millinery line, but is to beyond at the Maison Tilman.

An entire novelty consists of straw guipure, equal in appearance to the finest lace. Straw ribbons are also something quite new, and just introduced on the new spring bonnets. Mother of pearl, of which we have already spoken as being worn on coiffures and ball dresses, is now adopted for bonnets, and, in contrast with trimmings of rich velvet, produces an admirable effect. We are able now to speak with certainty of the spring style bonnets, as announced by the most distinguished artistes.

Scotch plaid, in silk and velvet, is very much in vogue; but we notice that Mme. Tilman uses is sparingly, and only in the finest and choicest patterns and combinations. The following will serve as examples. –

A rich wrought Neapolitan, the braids an inch apart, and each displaying a fine cord-like edge of blue, green, and crimson plaid. The curtain was composed of a shell of plaid silk upon blonde, also in a shell pattern. A puff of ribbon and meadow grass, tipped with dew, constituted the decoration, which was placed high on one side of the brim.

Trimming of all kinds is used very moderately, but it must be of the very best, whether in flowers, lace, or ribbon. It is no longer masses on the top of the brim, but is arranged on the top or side of the crown, or across the side of the brim from its tip to the crown. The shape is perfect, neither too large nor too small, but serving as a modest frame for a fair face. It is still rather high in the front, very much compressed at the sides, and slopes low behind to the base of the crown, which is wider than formerly, in order to allow for the present style of coiffure.

A charming novelty imported by Mme. Tilman consists of fine white and black Neapolitans embroidered in flowers and trailing branches in a fine jet. The design is so delicate and graceful, the workmanship so exquisite, that there is nothing of the ordinary appearance which is frequently objected to in embroidered bonnets. On the contrary, in black upon white, and black upon black, we have rarely seen anything so elegantly effective. Very little trimming, in addition to the cape of velvet or lace, and the decorations of the interior, is required for these bonnets.

Fringes of crystal and jet now replace the feather fringes, and are arranged to fall over the front of the bonnet and shade the interior. (Godey’s, May 1864)

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