Towelling - New Parasols s there any more delightful subject than I that of summer frocks? Perhaps the trousseau of the June bride approaches it closely in charm, but then the two may be considered as one. The girl who is going to be married while the roses and lilies are in bloom will, I hope, glean a few hints from the forthcoming remarks in my discourse, which, however, appeals to women of all ages who are now thinking of their hot weather wardrobe.
I am sure the summer of 1912 will be recollected as one of exquisite colour and a preponderance of white, biscuit, and the ecru shades. A tailor-made dress seen the other day proved fashion's trend towards the most lovely of the so-called old-world dyes.
Turquoise blue is once more the fashionable choice for the girl with bright brown or golden tresses, or for the dark-haired damsel, provided her eyes are the colour of the sky. Lavender is another shade not exclusively relegated to the use of girlhood, though it has a specially fascinating and novel charm when worn by the debutante. It is exquisitely successful in a thin material such as tulle, chiffon, or marquisette over taffetas, and in taffetas alone makes a lovely choice.
It is undoubtedly one of the colours that deserve the epithet gentle, and in the midst of assertive hues such as the glorious Bordeaux red, the opulent gold, and the delicate but vivid apple green, exercises a refining influence.
The material that is carrying all before it is eponge, or Turkish towelling, as it is more familiarly called. When it was produced in wool as a successor of the fashionable ratine it made so great a furore that the dressmakers secured it instantly in cotton. Here we have a material that will be the choice of the summer girls of 1912 in white and sand brown, with the relief of such appropriate colours as blue and scarlet.
The more mature women of the community will choose etamine, if they are wise; it is a material remotely like bunting, and an excellent and very smart substitute for serge, which makes it a desirable yachting fabric of the utmost importance.
How beautiful the lingerie frocks are, decorated with the finest of fine needlework, ruffled with delicate Valenciennes lace and in every way rendered with supreme refinement as their chiefest charm. There is a quaint, old-world beauty in a dress of nainsook embellished after this manner worn with a taffetas coat and given panniers of the same silk.
The new patterned taffetas are ideal for the purpose, and are recognised as replicas of very ancient designs. Charming indeed is a sprigged taffetas showing tiny rosebuds and little forget-me-nots strewn vaguely over a pale buff background.
Let me not forget, whilst extolling fragile colours such as these, that patterned black taffetas is just as smart and much more
Dress serviceable. It appeals particularly to the girl out of her teens, but even the brides of to-day are ordering it for their trousseau frocks, because they can brighten it by a hat gay with coloured feathers or flowers and one of the lovely feather boas now fashionable again or a tulle ruffle.
A word or two about the new embroideries must be written. They are entirely different from last season's examples,and very fascinating on that account as well as on others. Upon not a few of the new white batiste and linen frocks figure red and blue Berlin wool embroideries, sparingly disposed upon the corsage as the outline of the decolletage, the finish of the cuffs, and to edge the little breast pocket that .is a fashionable fancy at present.
A flower cap made of silk in shades of pink and mauve. The big bunch of quills springing from the centre of the crown is in shades of purple and cinnamon
Every dressmaker of renown prides herself upon her originality in the invention of embroideries. One great couturier is using bands of cretonne punctuated with tiny gold braid buttons, each one centred by a sparkling bead. Another is making a prominent use of bands of crochet rendered in wool with crochet flowers of a very vivid hue. Upon an evening dress the effect is extraordinary; it makes one gasp with astonish-ment,but it is, at any rate, exceedingly new.
It will be noticed that the coloured crochet wool collars, the punched taffetas embroideries, each hole outlined with soutache and the use of Berlin wool, are reminiscent of the mid-victorian modes popular this summer.
Two-coloured frocks will be a feature of the hot weather fashions of this year. One of the illustrations shown in connection with these remarks depicts a useful and cool toilette made of taffetas of two shades, purple and blue. Quiet tones of the dyes are chosen and the effect is excellent.
There is a little bolero cut with a battlement edge and pleated sleeves rendered in purple taffetas, and at the hem of the skirt a band of the same material appears. Upon the basque of the smart fold-over bodice soutache and cross-stitch embroideries, in silk of the same blue tone as the taffetas, lend a pleasant touch of diversity.
The swathed sash is looped at one side and is of a military persuasion. Notice should be taken of the Byron collar, rendered in white silk with a stitched edge and finished in front with a loosely-tied purple taffetas bow. In the big hat with its beautiful lines are huge pansies, and as the hat is a blue one the pansies are chosen of such tints of purple as agree well with blue, shading to bright gold and a tawny brown.
There was a moment when it appeared that the pannier toilette would bring dissension in our midst. One section of the fashionable world argued that it should be rendered in the antique Marie Antoinette manner, with very bouffant draperies, and another sought means of allying it to the tube skirt.
A better and more temperate course of treatment has now supervened, and we shall see it as a most desirable modern adaptation of the old-world style, not too voluminous to be impossible for twentieth century wear and yet not of the hop-pole persuasion.
A deep embroidered lawn collar and elbow ruffles should be added to the pannier style, with the soft and yellow tint of the time-aged embroideries, and a hat made of pleated taffetas would have a cordon of roses above the brim of a colour that would coincide with the choice made for the main details of the frock.
The useful edict that millinery is to be of every size has not been rescinded, so that every woman and girl can find her choice in the designs now set before her. The beauty of the flowers used is amazing. Upon one hat sweet-peas are seen of every shade.
Dress of pink a n d violet, almost hiding the pale amber tint of the straw. Another hat is absolutely untrimmed; it is a freak in the millinery parterre, but not without charm, for the line of its upturned brim is the design of an artist, and is absolutely and completely becoming to the face and coiffure.
Even the babies are joining in the flower craze of the summer, for there are fragile little lace caps with liliputian bunches of roses and forget me-nots at the sides dedicated to the service of darlings of six months old and upwards.
If the promise of hot weather is fulfilled, the parasol will be a very important adjunct of the summer toilette. It has made an early appearance in our midst, for the designers have been anxious to show that novelty is to enter into its composition.
A very curious design resembles an inverted cup and saucer joined together, the cupola part at the top accommodating the high flower aigrette and plumage with which the fashionable millinery of the moment is trimmed. Another is the Mother Gamp model, bunched round with a ribbon tie and rather bulky looking.
One great purveyor is decorating parasols such as these with lace covers, posing white upon black in some instances, and in others adhering altogether to the purely blanche scheme.
The new handles are all decorative, and many quite amusing. One of the smartest resembles a cuckoo clock, and made of wood and carved very prettily is a pleasing as well as a diverting design. Touch a spring and out of the box leaps a cuckoo. Let me add that it does not sing. Such an innovation may follow, but so far I have not to record it.
Every scrap of lace is being utilised, and great pains are taken to display it as it deserves. Instead of bunching it up in masses it is used so that the pattern can be seen clearly. A moderately short length drapes a hat brim successfully, while a longer piece is disposed of upon the train of an evening toilette.
An adaptation of the pannier dress that is mos elegant and suitable for summer wear
It is encouraging to beauty lovers to find that dyed lace is not being employed, and those who possess black pieces will be glad to learn that now is the opportunity tor wearing them. Black lace is quite as smart as biscuit, ecru, or the deep butter tint.