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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 2 (May 1, 1939)

Our Women's Section — Evening Elegance — In Two Modes

page 58

Our Women's Section
Evening Elegance
In Two Modes


Equally feminine, equally alluring, are the two basic styles for evening wardrobes. Drape yourself softly in chiffon or silk crepe; accent a waistline; know the fluid grace of a full hemline, sitting, standing, walking. Or, a Victorian picture, rustle in moiré, stiffened lace or tulle, velvet or slipper satin; be opulent with bows, with flowers, with feathers, on the yards of richness; sway the billowing fulness of your skirts; be very “grand ‘dame” or enticingly young in a crinoline with strapless bodice.

Accessories.— Whatever the style you choose, sweep up your hair, and be daring with the decoration of your coiffure. Perch on it three little feather birds poised on a comb, or a little bunch of waving feathers tied with a velvet bow, or some ostrich feather tips on a clip. (We would be sadly dull this winter without the aid of the bird with the ostrich feather tail).

If you love flowers, wear them, tucked into your curls, pinned across your corsage or on to a hand-bag. If you are dark, place a white flower against the blackness of your hair. “Brownettes” and blondes will prefer violets, tawny pink lilies, and all the new misty flower shades.

A neck-bow of velvet is ravishingly new to this generation. And muffs — flower muffs, feather muffs, fur muffs—have the same “dressing-up” appeal.

“Picture” Dresses.— My mind is a kaleidoscope of colour, a froth of silks and laces. To disentangle them, I shall describe gowns that appealed to me. Then you may make your choice.

The seated figure in the sketch wears a very heavy taffeta with draped bodice and halter neckline. The unusually full skirt has a bouffant frill below the waistline.

A period frock in four tones of moiré ribbon has a pink bodice and a skirt of bands of grey, green and purple.

A silver lamé has a green velvet sash circling the top front of the bodice. The wide end of the sash falls in graceful folds from the waist at one side almost to the hemline. The bodice is embroidered with flowers.

An unusual gown of pink satin is trimmed with tufts of pink and blue ostrich feathers. Violet blue and petunia taffetas are allied in another model.

Imagine a picture dress in cream faille with a black Malines lace fichu caught with a single rose. Or a white tulle dance frock with its frothy folds held by an “ostrich feather” of magenta velvet.

A dignified gown in wine and silver, with a full stiffened skirt, has its silver hem threaded, surprisingly, with blue ribbon. There is a touch of the same blue at the waist.

For the matron, young or older, is black velvet, with its sleeves entirely covered with black and white ostrich feathers. There is a matching muff.

In white, a most popular shade this winter, is chiffon on semi-crinoline lines. Tiny sleeves of white fur match the little white fur muff with its posy of pink flowers.

Soft and Sheer.—Draped and pleated gowns favour the Grecian or Empire line. A typical example is the black chiffon sketched. The soft pleats are held in to an Empire waistline by heavy gold ornamentation.

The background to the sketch is a black net sprigged with multi-coloured posies. A similar net fabric has a gold appliqué in a twirling design.

A clinging grey gown is embroidered all over with a wriggly pattern of gold and silver sequins.

Grey-pleated chiffon has a violet flower on the corsage.

A white lace princess dress depends for richness on its design—roses outlined in gold.

White satin has the front encrusted with gold and crystal beads; shoulder drapery falls to the ground at the back.

Sophistication is not so much sought after as richness and elegance. For those who seek all three, there are slim models embroidered in crystal and sequins. Frocks which cling to well below the hip have the front slit filled in with a panel of lamé.

Dinner Wear.— There are different types of dinner occasions. For a restaurant, a suitable outfit comprises a long black wool skirt and a black satin jacket, padded and quilted in horizontal lines. The wearer carries a muff to match.

A useful “in-between” dinner outfit consists of a black silk skirt topped with an evening blouse of lamé with voluminous sleeves.

A more formal gown is of silvery-blue lamé, cut slim and straight, with an embroidered collar band, epaulette embroidery round the armholes and a wide embroidered waist-band.

page 59