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GOSSIP ON DRESS. -

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GOSSIP ON DRESS. THE lamented death of H.R.H. Prince Leopold. Duke of Albany was, of course, follow ed by the noti- fication by the Lord Chamberlain of Court mourning, and by the Earl Marshal (the Duke of Norfolk) of general mourning. The order prescribes Court mourning for six and general mourning for three Weeks commencing from Sunday, March 30. Court mourning will therefore cease on the 11th of May, and general mourning on the 20th of April.The Queen, in a short article, says: There seems to be a considerable amount of confusion in the public mind as to the classes of persons to whom these several orders are addressed. Those who are required to wear Court mourning are all the members of the Royal Households and their wives, the members of the Em- bassies and Legations, and the families of those hold- ing public appointments, such as the Ministers of State and Members of the Government. For all these the order is that for the first three weeks the ladies must wear black dresses, black or white gloves, black or white shoes, feathers and fans pearls, diamonds, or plain gold and silverr ornaments. After the 20th of April they are to wear black dresses, with coloured ribbons, feathers, flowers, and ornaments, or grey or white dresses, with black ribbons, feathers, flowers, and ornaments." Of course, those in actual atten- dance on any members of the Royal family must, during their period of waiting, wear deep mourning. For the general public, the period of mourning or- dained is so short that it would be the worst possible taste to evade it, as some ladies seem disposed to do, by wearing coloured feathers in black bonnets. Any black materials may be worn, for it is not necessary under these circumstances to resort to purely mourn- ing materials. In fact, for the three weeks, the dress worn should be precisely the same as that worn by the members of the Couit circle during the first half of their mourning. It is well to point out that any deviation from this rule would be in the worst possible taste, for really some ladies appear to have such an aversion to appearing in proper mourning as almost amounts to insanity, more especially as they constantly wear black when not obliged to do so. It can be no great hardship to anyone to substitute black or white feathers or flowers for coloured ones for the space of three weeks; and it makes all the difference between looking comme il fcrnt or not, without putting it on the higher ground of proper respect. Those who know best how things should be done will wear plain black for the three weeks, with perhaps some slight relief of white flowers in the bonnet or on the bodice of an evening dress; and we imagine that among the upper classes many, if not all, will elect to wear mourning, if not quite so long as the Court, at any rate some- what longer than the general public. THE same journal observes that the public have shown their true and entire sympathy with the Royal family in their bereavement by the manner in which they have responded to the order for general mourn- ing. They have not been content to wear any black garment they might have by them, but, as a rule, are buying plain woollen dresses without jet or lace, made in serge, cashmere, or nun's cloth, sometimes trimmed with ottoman silk. Neither brocade nor plain velvet are considered sufficiently distinctive. Some simple gowns are made with broad box-plaited flounces, on which are bands of ottoman silk; a draped tunic and bodice of cashmere, with silk waistcoat. The better class of dresses are made in ottoman, muscovite, or bengoline, sometimes trimmed with satin Duchesse or Merveilleux. Flounces fringed at the edges by un- ravelling the silk is a new and effective finish. Black cloth jackets or capes of the material are worn with these. The accordion plaits are adapted both to the silks and woollen stuffs. Where crape is worn it is trimmed with jet passementerie and appliques of jet on silk embroidery intermixed with bright and dull jet. Jet collars and full crepe fronts and waistcoats, bordered with crape, are also made and much worn and black feather trimming is a fashionable garniture on dresses, waistcoats, and jackets. For dinner wear silks are trimmed with jet; Merveilleux and poult de soie are worn, but not brocaded silk. The bonnets worn are either all jet, or jetted straw or plain chip straw, with black flowers or ribbons. THE sad event already alluded to has, of course, put a stop for the present to all fashionable movements of an official or public character. Many private parties and receptions have also been postponed. After the period fixed for general mourning has elapsed, the usual routine of society will be resumed. In the meantime the ingenuity of modistes will develop some novelties in costumes appropriate to a season of general mourning. TiiE new spring hats for children are mostly of fancy straw. The crown, of sugar-loaf form, and the wide brim lined with velvet, matching in colour the mixture of the straw, which is usually parti-coloured, though sometimes of three varieties Tuscan, with red and black, vellow with red and green, white with red and blue, and other combinations. A hat of drab and red straw was lined with red velvet; the brim was turned up over the right temple, and fastened to the crown by a cluster of red satin ribbon, brocaded with dark velvet spots. A band of ribbon surrounded the crown, and was tied in a bow behind. A small boat-shaped hat for a girl of twelve years had a gathered brim of vivid poppy-red satin, and a puffed crown of the same veiled with bege net, embroidered with crimson spots. On the left side was a spray of ears of corn, tied with bows of blue and maize velvet, upon which was a butterfly of scarlet, yellow, and black. The crowns of all fashionable bonnets are composed of embroidered canvas, the designs worked in coloured silks or metallic threads of gold, bronze, or silver, or of net besprinkled with beads. Hats are still of the large high-crovrned shape, thoroughly French in style, and elaborately trimmed.

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