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Ball Gown | c. 1900


Figured satin mourning dress || MFA Boston || c. 1890

Dress in two parts; black figured satin with all-over design of highly conventionalized scrolling leaves with pendent blossoms; fitted bodice (a) with folds of self material in front; hooked down center front; high, standing collar; long modified leg of mutton sleeves; jet-beaded trimming bands on collar, lower edge of sleeves, bands down center front and around bottom edge of bodice; (b) skirt with slight flar in front with most of fullness gathered to center back; matching self material bow below the collar.

Though the website doesn’t say so, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this is a mourning gown, not only because of the colour but because of the jet trimming. It wouldn’t be full mourning, since it has fancier fabric, but all the other things point to a late mourning costume.

Evening Gown | c. 1890 

Jacques Doucet | c. 1900-05

Worn by a lady of society during her afternoon calls, this dress is an excellent representation of the complexity of surface decoration and lace treatment which are quintessential Belle Époque devices denoting opulence and luxury. The treatment of the velvet is exemplary, for such an advanced technique as impressed velvet would only be available to French couture houses. The jacket and bodice are quite becoming, as the blousing of the underbodice creates a bolero effect which was a prevalent style during this period. (The Metropolitan Museum) 

Ball Gown | c. 1854

via the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dress | c. 1868

via the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Worth | c. 1872

via the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dress | c. 1880

via the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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