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About The illustrated west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1891-1891 | View Entire Issue (April 4, 1891)
THE WEST SHORE.
A WOMAN'S HEAD.
New York, March :8, 1891.
The country is full of blossoms and the town overflows with milliner)-,
and for beauty, variety and general gorgeousness the latter is way ahead. A
perfect riot of color began a few weeks ago in the bonnet shops, and now it
has spread to the streets, the park, the churches and the theatres. Women
who used to go about in sober-hued raiment and low-toned head gear now
look as though a rainbow had dripped on them, and they must have titled a
horticultural exhibition to get the flowery crowns with which they are decked.
This sounds gaudy and conglomerate, but it isn't it is only lavish, sweet,
sumptuous. There is an element of novelty and a leaven of quaintness in
this spring's fashions, and as everything we designate as " new " is veritably
old so old that in most cases it has been forgotten, so that the " novelest " de
vices seen have been borrowed from, or suggested by, the tricks and manners
of ancient Egyptian life. Of course, Madama Sara is responsible for a good
deal in this direction. Cleopatra held the town in thrall, and, departing, left
the trail of the serpent over feminine fashions.
The very inoffensive little garter snake, which was cast for " the asp,"
seems to have brought on a perfect plague of crawling worms and insects,
They swarm over the big hats and the little bonnets coil on crowns, squirm
over brims, and look wicked lying at the heart of red roses and while lilies.
They are variously the product of
nature and art the latter fashions
in gold, silver, steel and jet, and
many are jeweled. A favorite pose
for one of these wriggly reptiles (that
alive would send every woman in
sight into violent hysterics) is to have
it apparently clinging to the middle
of the brim in front, as if watching
a favorable moment to drop into the
wearer's mouth. Probably the fun
niest manifestation of the entomo
logical craze, as applied to hats, was
made by three small turtles mud
turtles the size of a silver quarter.
This chaste ornamentation appeared
on the wide brim of a Cafe an tail
lace straw garden hat. The animals
were holding in place the puckers of
a cream chiffon scarf folded about the
crown, and from a cluster of bluet
and yellow wheat several little light
green worms were spinning down on
invisible fibres. Ugh ! After this
a cluster of single briar roses, pre
sided over by several little yellow
butterfles, becomes a treat, and drag
on flics and spiders, even, are ac
ceptable. The "feather societies" can now take a rest, for the lips, plumes
and quills, which are nearly all of a bird that is seen on the hats of the pe
riod, are reft from him when he is alive, and "that is another story" which
appeals to the P. C. A.
Thistles and cacli are among the " quantities " on hats. The former of
lovely purplish pink, with silvery-green foliage, set on a light-gray, open-patterned
straw, with a scarf of chiffon like a smoke wreath. The brim is pin
ned up behind with a silver cobweb, bearing an ugly black-and-yellow enam
eled spider upon its meshes. The scarlet and pink cacti look splendid and
dangerous on a hat of shirred lace with jet and lace butterfly indeed jet
fairly darkens the millinery horizon, or would but for its shiny quality. It
glitters everywhere that the least pretense exists for employing it. Il is seen
in all the old forms and countless new ones, and can not be taken amiss in
any shape. An odd fancy is strings of graduated balls looped over hats as
fragile as flower petals, that fairly stagger under the weight of the black,
gleaming globes which tinkle and clash with every movement of the head.
Heads are in great favor. Ropes of them edge hats, coils of them con
stitute bonnets. This may not sound true, but it is. Two coils of cut jet
beads, arranged on narrow, wired, velvet bands, were bent to the head j one
smaller than the others was set inside 1 they met at the back 1 a jet aigrette
rose up from a thou of jetted black lace, which was carried out in long, wide
" strings" of the same, to be brought forward and fastened to the left of the
throat by a spray ol jet maidenhair.
The pretty fashion of putting a wreath of flowers under the edge of hat
brims to frame the face has been modified to suit occasions where flowers are
too dressy, and for such wear a roll of velvet is substituted with very pleas
ing efl'ect, while for some faces, to which it seems specially becoming, a quill
ing of lace is used.
The angle at which the headgear is now poised admits of wearing the
hair arranged high up on the head a great gain in the way of coolness and
clean collars. Veils are more than ever in vogue. They are everything bad
for the eyesight, but are extremely coquettish, and that accounts for their
prevalence. When one of becoming black mesh is draped from the wide
brim of a big hat, it becomes the most flattering of screens. This filmy
drapery isn't strained tight across like a drum head, but gets itself into dtlici--ous
folds and graceful curves before it is tucked away under a dimpled chin,
or gathered up and pinned over upon the left shoulder, or drawn quite to the
waist and secured there,
A problem which presents itself alresh to ever)' woman each year is how
on earth she can best pack her summer finery so it may be well preserved on
her various " Killings." And the hat is ever the biggest part of the puzzle.
It has now been satisfactorily solved by a New York woman who has, she
claims, invented the ideal trunk. It isn't on the market, and it isn't going to
be patented. I saw one in her dressing room this week. Il is exactly c:gh
teen inches wide, forty inches long, and fully three feet in height. Several
lll'KNT RANCH, JOHN DAY VALLEY. ORKCON.-Hiolo. hy M. M. Iliiidtlne, lUrr C ity. Orison.
very light trays scarate the contents, so that one can easily " go to the bot
tom" without displacing everything on the way down. The length does away
with cross folds in the skirts of frocks, and the narrowness keeps them from
being too much (burned or from sliding. The top tray is boxed, and holds
hats and bonnets. The advantage ol this upright trunk will commend it to
women who know the bitterness of standing on the bed to dress in a Unify
hotel room because the floor sace is taken up by the young cottages yclept
" Saratoga trunks." Jl'I.IA Hayks I'kkcy.
To every erson who has " staged it " anywhere in tlie west the accom
panying engraving of a stage station, known as llumt Ranch, in John Day
valley, Oregon, will present many familiar and characteristic features, The
low-roofed house, with its covered porch, the large barn with Murk corral and
ample stacks of hay, the stage barn and shed, the long, dusty road, with ill
parallel but winding lines where the wheels have worn deep into the toil, the
fringe of willows and cotlonwiHxIs that speaks of the presence of a stream
whose waters are the wine of life to the thirsty soil, and the tent of the cainier,
all call to mind the sights so familiar along the stage roads that lead mile upon
dusty mile away from the steel-bound paths of commerce. Within the hos
pitable doors of the stage nation a cheery fire will be found blazing and crack-