House of Worth | c. 1882
This dress is in the Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity exhibition currently at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is stunning in person. The train has wide pleats of satin and tulle that fan out perfectly. I could not look away. I just wanted to keep staring but some 55 year old mother and her precocious, test tube, 5 year old daughter cock blocked me and pressed their faces against the glass.
Mourning Gown | c. 1825
The death of Princess Charlotte, the only child of George IV, in childbirth in 1817 plunged the whole country into mourning and set the high standards for mourning dress of this period. Fabrics such as silk and velvet were too shiny to be worn for the first stages of mourning, however, official mourning guidelines issued by the Lord Chamberlain decreed that black velvets and silks were permissible in the third and final stage. This dress would have been worn with an evening turban, long gloves and a pelisse cloak, often lined with chinchilla fur. It is likely that it was a gift from William Jardine and was worn when mourning the death of Jane Johnstone’s grandmother, Elizabeth Johnstone who died in 1825.
Elizabeth Hawes | “It’s My Own Invention” | c. 1937
Jacques Fath | c. 1957
Jacques Fath opened his Parisian couture house in 1937. He quickly became known both for his softly sculpted garments and a talent for self promotion. This dress is likely to have been designed by Fath’s wife and muse Geneviève, who upon Fath’s death in 1954, oversaw the house until it closed in 1957.
While the dress’s surface is a soft, delicate lace, in contrast the underpinnings are highly structured: its petticoat features a boned bodice and a crinoline skirt. The pale violet colour and two-tiered skirt suggest a romantic view of women’s fashion.
Owen Hyde Clarke | c. 1960
Evening dress ca. 1907
From the Nordiska Museet
shut it. this is perfection.
House of Worth | Wedding Gown | c. 1896
Evening Dress | c. 1821-23
Court Gown | c. 1775 | Britain
By the late 1770s, the sack-back gown, of which this is an example, was reserved for formal evening or Court dress. The shape of the petticoat, requiring a wide square hoop, also indicates the formality of the ensemble. An arc of precise, wedge-shaped pleats illustrates how the gown was shaped to fit over such a hoop.