I love puffed and gathered sleeves on regency gowns. The Probert Encyclopedia defines a mamaluke sleeve as “a long full sleeve partitioned into five sections, each section being drawn and seamed to fit around the arm.” Romantic Fashion Plates defines Marie Sleeves as full to the wrist but tied at intervals. Which source accurately names the sleeves on these gowns? The three dresses shown in this post show sleeves with more than the five sections. Could the number of sections determine what the sleeve is called?
The first dress (1816) was featured in the Jane Austen Fashion Exhibit last fall in Melbourne. Note that in the second dress (1819-1820) the waist is beginning to creep down. The skirt during this time is conical in shape and stiffened at the bottom, whereas the earlier dress has a columnar-shaped skirt that drapes in soft folds from the high waist.
The dress below is described as having Marie sleeves. Adding another wrinkle to identifying these sleeves is this description found in a glossary from Nineteenth Century Fashions: A Compendium: “sleeve with multitude of puffs top to bottom” (romance). I’m not sure how these differ from Marie sleeves.” In a description for Marie Sleeves, the site states:
“long gauzy sleeves gathered at intervals to make a series of puffs down the arm. I think I have also heard these referred to as “Juliet sleeves”; may also be synonymous with Gabrielle sleeves, the point being, I think, that they were perceived as vaguely Latinate and Renaissancy in origin.”
So, now we have these sleeves described as Mameluke, Marie, Juliet, or Gabrielle.
I’ve scoured images of Mamelukes, none of which feature these segmented sleeves. Mamelukes are members of a former military caste originally composed of slaves from Turkey, that held the Egyptian throne from the mid thirteenth century to the early 1500s. They remained strong until 1811. Regency fashion took inspiration from Mameluke clothing, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the sleeves were also inspired by this group of warriors – if only I could find a painting of a Mameluke wearing a shirt with partitioned puffy sleeves.