19 May 2015

Jewel History: Bridal Trousseau for New Queen of Spain (1906)

Ena of Spain [source]

"Bridal Trousseau for New Queen of Spain"
(originally appeared in the Washington Post, 20 May 1906)

Paris, May 19 -- Next to a lover, the world loves a bride-elect, and when she happens to be of royal descent, popular interests soar to the highest pitch. Society is in a flutter over the frequent visits of Princess Victoria Eugenie, as she is called since the formal announcement of the Battenberg princess's engagement to King Alfonso, but the future Queen of Spain is too busy ordering and trying on pretty frocks to bother her head with social obligations. She makes little excursions over here, coming from the Isle of Wight with her mother, Princess Henry, and a maid, and the royal mother and daughter do the Rue de la Paix and other fashionable centers in most democratic fashion.

Ena of Spain [source]

Although the secret of their identity is often concealed beneath an incognito, the mystery of Ena's wardrobe is less impenetrable. People will talk, you know, and where is the shop girl who would not boast of her privilege of waiting on a real Queen-to-be, especially when her patron is so simple and charming in her tastes and manner? Why, almost every salesgirl in Paris has waited upon Princess Victoria Eugenie, and to each she has confided some secret of her trousseau. Or, so you are told anyway.

There are wonderful things said about the dancing frocks, with their accessories ordered by Alfonso's bride-elect. She has a decided preference for pink and mauve, and next to these her favorite color is blue. Victoria Eugenie likes white because it is fashionable, but she is going to set the fashions for the grand beauties of the Spanish court, and therefore assert her choice in the matter of smart colorings.

Ena of Spain [source]

You would scarcely believe how simple some of her toilettes are. There is, for instance, an evening design of arbutus pink-silk mousseline de soie built over white satin and pink chiffon. The skirt is laid in three tiers, each shirred to the other with a band of handsome lace with tiny ruchings of embroidered lace. There is a deep girdle of pink satin, pointed at the front and piped with white satin. The bodice has embroidery which crosses at the front in fichu effect and is held in place by large decorative buttons.

Ena and Alfonso [source]

This gracious young woman has already a predilection for fine laces, the Irish crochets being especially favored by her. Nor is she averse to the handsome Battenberg effects, although the jokesmiths have had their fun at her expense in this connection. A superb clinging robe of Valenciennes lace is combined with Irish crochet, the stole ends of which fall to the hem of the gown. Motifs of the same lace, edged with tiny frills of Valenciennes, further adorn the lower part of the robe. The most fascinating touch of all, however, is supplied by an exquisite chemisette of finest embroidered gauze with a border of roses in delicate pink. Little rose straps outline the top of the sleeves, which are composed of three frills finished above the elbow with bands and bows of palest pink ribbon.

Ena of Spain [source]

Still another frock is of pink, but in a shade so delicate that it suggests a faded blush rose. The gown is developed in chiffon taffeta over silk, the skirt being stitched very unpretentiously with three bands of the same material at the bottom, with two more bands separated by wide spaces between the knees and hips. The upper stitchings are joined by vertical straps of ribbon falling loosely about the hem in huge bows. Around the waist, the skirt is shirred several rows deep. The corsage is tucked and the satin ribbon draped down the front to carry out the idea introduced upon the skirt. In addition there are three narrow frills of elegant cream lace bordering the round decollete and finishing the elbow sleeves. Above the lace the sleeves are fitted by means of costly stitched tucks. Chiffon taffetas and lace are charming together and the smart couturiers are combining the materials in a number of their choicest designs for day and evening.