Home and Society. Paris Fashions.•

Scribners monthly 3, 1876

* The contributions under this head will he from our special correspondent, whose signature is attached. - Ed. S. M.

A Parisian lady is not said to be dressed nowadays, nor does she even order a dress to be made for her. She asks her dressmaker to mold a dress upon her, and, when this is done, she is calledmoulé.

To be molded, you must begin by adapting every article of your underclothing to the shape and size prescribed by fashion. Therein lies the only secret of perfection in dress which the Parisienne possesses over other women. Next to the Parisienne it is the American woman who is considered to be "the best dressed." She has one fault, however — she is not always juponné according to the requirements of her toilet.

As a rule, each dress should have its separate set of skirts, to be worn exclusively with it, and this should be provided by the dressmaker herself, as it should always be almost of the same length and width as the skirt of the dress, and always of the same shape. Now Iwo underskirts, at the utmost, are worn. The one which accompanies the dress, and which is of white muslin, is trimmed with lace insertions and edgings. No flounces are worn on underskirts. They are too bulky for the present style of dress.

The skirt to be worn under this muslin skirt is of white foulard, which material clings better than any other to the figure. And this skirt (which is gored, so as not to form a single plait) is stitched to the edge of the corset, in order to leave the figure per-frvily witrammeled by bawl or belt, however thin. The skirt is also trimmed with lace insertion and edging. The corset is very long — à la Jeanne d' Arc. As a guide, it should he of the length of the dress cuirasse, which cuirasse, by the by, is now only simulated by trimming on the dress. This, again, is to avoid giving extra size to the figure.

Some dispense with the second skirt of white silk; they wear an under-garment of white silk under the corset, which garment they trim with lace, as if it were a skirt. It is made as long as an ordinary skirt, and it takes the place of one. In reality, therefore, no skirts are worn by the most strict.

To recapitulate, a fashionable lady's toilet now consists of a white silk bodice inlaid with Valen-ciennes, which white silk bodice is continued into a skirt, which is also richly trimmed with lace inser-tions and edging. This garment answers two pur-poses and is called by two names. Then comes the long cuirassc corset of white or pink satin, which improves the entire figure. An extra white foulard skirt may be stitched to the edge of the corset, but this is not necessary. It should, however, be worn under costumes not provided with a special under-skirt of their own. The dress itself, of whatever material it may be, is of the Princess shape — that is, in one piece, from neck to hem of skirt. The trim-ming on the dress simulates cuirasse and even tunic. But separate cuirasses or tunics are quite laid aside, as being too bulky, and hiding the outlines of the figure too much. It thus follows that nothing is worn under a dress body excepting the under-corset. Bad, indeed, must be the figure that does not look molded under this system of under-clothing. You may wear a cotton dress of five dollars, if you will; but under this must be worn the finest foulards and the richest lace.

Nor is it the dressmaker who can make the figure. This depends entirely on the corset-manufacturer. There is even a talk of having dress cuirasses made by corset-makers, and the skirts would then be fast-ened to the corset, which would at the same time form the body of the dress.

Colors are very little worn this season. We sec chiefly black and white. Black is worn for general occasions, white is reserved for full dress. White Princess tunics, made exactly like Princess robes, are much worn over black or colored skirts. They are quite as long as dresses, and have long trains at the back. These trains are looped up at the back, through thick rich cords of the same color as the tunic. White poplin tunics over black skirts are remarkably elegant.

All dresses, tunics, skirts, etc., are tied hack as tightly as possible round the figure. The knees should nearly meet. Only the smallest possible steps in walking can be taken. How ladies dance I cannot imagine. It is true that dancing is going out of fashion. Ladies even prefer to sit out a dance with an agreeable partner.

But, for evening wear, the baby dress is certainly the prettiest thing that has come out for a long time. In front, imagine a baby's christening dress, made low, square in the shoulders, and trimmed á la princess all down the front of the skirt, which is made of puffings of white silk, separated by insertions of lace. This baby-front skirt is continued at the back by an immense train of white silk, edged round with a thick white cord. The back of the bodice is also of silk and is laced at the back, so that in front the lady appears to be dressed á la Bébé, while at the back a huge train of white silk follows all her move-ments; and so perfectly is this skirt made, that the train is never perceptible when the dress is viewed only from the front. Nearly all evening dresses are made in this style. All the others form Louis XIV front skirt and train. They are called La Valliére dresses; some others call them "Manteau de Cour."

Hats and bonnets are literally covered with flowers or feathers. In shape they do not differ much from those of last year. They may be worn over the nose, at the back of the head, or on one side, accord-ing to the taste of the wearer. Very large, full caps of white lace are worn under some of the new bon-nets, and are tied like scarfs — under the chin, a little on one side, to the left.

Even lace and baby bonnets have been too much worn lately. Fashion owns them no longer.

Parasols should always be of the same color and material as the dress, and he trimmed to match the trimming on the dress.

Only silk stocking, are worn now, and shoes, with a strap over the instep, are of the same material as the dress.

Heels are two and a half inches high. For serious walking black kid boots, without heels, are best, but Fashion ignores them.

Gloves reach to the shoulders with short-sleeved dresses, and they are laced up the arm. They are kept laced. The arm can be inserted through the lacing. When the glove is drawn up, then the laces are tightened and tied together. Demi-toilet dresses, with sleeves to elbow, have the gloves to reach to the elbow. It is the rule that the gloves should always reach the sleeves.

Bracelets are rarely worn on the arm now; there is no place for them. They have descended to another use. Houi soit qui mal y pense.

- Champs Elysées

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