18 Aug 2015 2:15 PMVeronica Lampkin

Madame Weigel in August

Autumn in Weigel’s Journal of Fashion was the month when Spring fashions were in sight, with better weather, lighter fabrics, and brighter colours. The editorial in Weigel’s Journal of Fashion of August 1900 said it all:

‘Fashion will be introduced in its new spring guise this month, when, though the wintry weather still prevails, the anticipation of the feminine world is set delightedly on the lighter fabrics and brighter colours which add so effectively to the charms of woman, that will be presently called forth by the warming rays of the sun. Light cloths have had the high place in the costumieres’ affections now for a number of successive seasons.’

August editorials always flagged the coming Spring. In 1888 the journal noted that ladies were beginning to wonder what the coming Season would bring forth, and the good displays of the new ‘toilets’ already showing in the most fashionable establishments.

Around the house, preparations were being made to close up fireplaces and adorn these with fabrics and baubles. Shown below is Pattern 692: Mantlepiece Lambrequin, issued in August 1884.


With winter the season for evening entertainments, fancy dress featured heavily in Weigel’s Journal of Fashion. The ideas that were featured in the journal’s early decades were, most likely, borrowed from overseas journals, such as those shown below from August 1886.


Around the colonies, winter materials were widely advertised for those who sewed at home. Flannel and flannelette were popular, as was winceyette, cashmere,  tweeds, and for evening wear, velvet.


Readers of Weigel’s Journal of Fashion were recommended to use the long winter evenings to replenish and renovate the family’s supplies of underwear. A typical pattern issued in August 1925 was Pattern 5076: Boy’s Underpants, shown below.


And to keep the feet warm in winter came Weigel’s knitting and crochet patterns for bedsocks in August 1944: two pattern illustrations are shown below.


Perhaps the most seasonal comment on antipodean weather in August came in Madame Weigel’s Journal of Fashion in August 1936:

‘Now that August is here and the first pale yellow sprays of wattle have arrived to brighten up the dark weeks of winter, we can safely turn our thoughts to all the delicious surprises that Spring brings in her train. Of course, we can not expect to discard warm furs and woollens just yet, at least, not we who dwell in the southern states, but we can find enjoyment in discovering all Dame Fashion’s secrets for the coming season.’

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