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Not currently on display at the V&A

Dress

1890-1893 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Eighteenth century style radiates from this elegant creation by Maison Worth. From the 1870s Charles Frederick Worth's (1825-1895) fascination with historical dress became an important feature in his designs which he skilfully translated into contemporary couture. He used references from sketches, historical fashion plates and paintings by famous artists including Titian, Rembrandt, Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds. The eighteenth century held a particular charm and fabrics, embroidery and open-fronted gowns based on this era became a recurring theme over the ensuing decades.

Here Worth has reinterpreted the 1780s 'redingote' (riding coat) giving it contemporary appeal though clever use of cut, colour, texture and trimming. The 'redingote' was popular for riding and walking dress and was characterised by front-buttoning and a large falling collar with deep revers like a man's great coat. On Worth's garment a double falling collar is just visible through a diaphanous frill cascading over the neck and shoulders. This frill is reminiscent of buffons or other neckwear which would have been worn with the eighteenth century redingote. It also softens the vibrant effects of the pink, evoking Worth's famous 'tulle-clouded' gowns of the 1850s and 60s which diffused textile and cut.

Instead of fastening at the front, the large striped buttons are purely decorative echoing a man's double-breasted coat. The edges of the false jacket reveal a cream silk foundation bodice overlaid with fine pleated silk to complement the neck frill. The large wired bow takes the eye back into the world of the late nineteenth century as this type of sash was a typical feature of fashionable gowns. The construction is also very fin de siècle with its whaleboned lining, shaped panels and emphasis on the narrow waist.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 4 parts.

  • Jacket Bodice
  • Cape
  • Skirt
  • Belt
Materials and Techniques
Silk, trimmed with silk chiffon, lined with figured silk, boned, velvet, ostrich feathers
Brief Description
Day dress comprising a jacket bodice, cape, skirt and belt of silk, made by Worth, Paris, 1890-1893
Physical Description
Day dress comprising a jacket bodice, cape, skirt and belt of silk.



Silk bodice consists of a woven stripe of magenta and white on a pink ground. The bodice has long sleeves, a rounded point at the front waist and a deeper one at the back. It is styled to give the impression of a short double-breasted jacket worn over a blouse of pleated lisse with a wide frilled collar spreading over the square lapels of the jacket. The sleeves are long and pleated at the top where they are covered with a lisse frill. There is another smaller frill at the waist. Across the waist are hooks and a wide satin belt with streamers and a wired bow. The bodice fastens at the centre front where buttons and button-holes are concealed. It is boned with whalebone strips, lined with white silk and the waist band is marked.



Skirt with two pleats at the centre back, and the cut is to suggest a wrap over at the sides. Above the hem is a looped frill of self material. There is no lining, but there is a pleated brush frill.



Cape of magenta and pink shot silk with a small white velvet spot. Waist length cut to flare widely over the arms where it is gauged and frilled at the shoulder. The small round collar is trimmed with pink and white ostrich feathers. The lining is of figured silk and there is a waist band which is marked. Hand and machine-sewn.
Dimensions
  • Waist circumference: 24in
  • Bust circumference: 32in
Credit line
Given by the Comtesse de Tremereuc
Summary
Eighteenth century style radiates from this elegant creation by Maison Worth. From the 1870s Charles Frederick Worth's (1825-1895) fascination with historical dress became an important feature in his designs which he skilfully translated into contemporary couture. He used references from sketches, historical fashion plates and paintings by famous artists including Titian, Rembrandt, Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds. The eighteenth century held a particular charm and fabrics, embroidery and open-fronted gowns based on this era became a recurring theme over the ensuing decades.



Here Worth has reinterpreted the 1780s 'redingote' (riding coat) giving it contemporary appeal though clever use of cut, colour, texture and trimming. The 'redingote' was popular for riding and walking dress and was characterised by front-buttoning and a large falling collar with deep revers like a man's great coat. On Worth's garment a double falling collar is just visible through a diaphanous frill cascading over the neck and shoulders. This frill is reminiscent of buffons or other neckwear which would have been worn with the eighteenth century redingote. It also softens the vibrant effects of the pink, evoking Worth's famous 'tulle-clouded' gowns of the 1850s and 60s which diffused textile and cut.



Instead of fastening at the front, the large striped buttons are purely decorative echoing a man's double-breasted coat. The edges of the false jacket reveal a cream silk foundation bodice overlaid with fine pleated silk to complement the neck frill. The large wired bow takes the eye back into the world of the late nineteenth century as this type of sash was a typical feature of fashionable gowns. The construction is also very fin de siècle with its whaleboned lining, shaped panels and emphasis on the narrow waist.
Collection
Accession Number
T.366 to C-1960

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record createdDecember 29, 2005
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