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Dress

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1861-1863 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moiré silk trimmed with lace and velvet ribbon, boned, lined with silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Lady Elizabeth McIntosh

  • Museum number:

    T.115 to B-1979

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Skirts reached some of their most exaggerated proportions during the 1860s. They tended to be flatter in the front than the rounded shapes of the 1850s, and fanned out behind creating a enormous expanse of fabric and a wide circumference at the hem. Skirts of this dimension were often worn over cage petticoats made of steel hoops to give them their distinctive shape. The increasing width made the waist look smaller and this effect was accentuated by Swiss belts, a type of waistband pointed above and below. This belt has long pointed 'lappets' stiffened with whalebone to create a smooth line over the hips.

A variety of patterned fabrics and trimmings added to the dramatic effect of these styles. This fashionable evening dress is ornamented with applied velvet bands and loops creating a castellated effect on the bodice and base of the skirt. A delicate lace edging emphasises the low neckline, while the fabric stripes slant inwards towards the waist and outwards over the petticoat, following the contours of the silhouette. The 'lappets' adorning the shoulders and the Swiss belt are trimmed with tassels composed of silk fringe and wooden balls covered in interlocking gimp (silk wrapped around a cotton core).

Physical description

Evening dress of moiré silk woven in vertical stripes in yellow, lilac, green, purple and black. The dress has a low, round neck, trimmed with lace, short puffed sleeves and a short-waisted bodice. The skirt, which is gored and slightly trained, is arranged in box-pleats flanked by double pleats.

The bodice is trimmed with green velvet ribbon which edges the Vandyked 'Bertha', the borders of which are additionally embellished with cream silk fringed tassels. The hem is also trimmed with applied bands of green velvet ribbon.

The bodice is boned with whalebone and lined with white silk. The skirt is unlined but faced at the hem with buckram. It fastens at the centre back with a white silk lace. It is hand-stitched except for the bodice.

Swiss belt of striped cream moiré silk, trimmed with green velvet ribbon with borders arranged in peaks and scallops and trimmed with pendant tassels.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1861-1863 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Moiré silk trimmed with lace and velvet ribbon, boned, lined with silk

Descriptive line

Evening dress of striped moiré silk, England, 1861-1863.

Categories

Fashion; Evening wear; Women's clothes; Lace; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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