Day Dress thumbnail 1
Day Dress thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Day Dress

1855-1857 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Luxurious velvet dresses embellished with fringe trimmings were highly fashionable during the 1850s. In 1857 the 'Illustrated London News' announced:

"Fringe was never so greatly in demand as at the present time…Fringe may be said to be the most becoming of all trimmings on a lady's dress; it seems to possess the power of imparting lightness and suppleness to the movements of the wearer."

When applied in rows, fringes also simulated flounces and made skirts look even wider. In this example the bodice is made with a basque, which was a separate extension below the waist, flaring out over the hips. The skirt is composed of two layers, with the top tier extending from the waistband as far as the fifth row of fringe. The bottom tier is attached to a taffeta underskirt. This accentuates the flounced effect of the fringe and helps to distribute the weight of the heavy skirt over the dome-shaped crinoline cage which would have been worn underneath.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Bodice
  • Skirt
  • Mantle
Materials and techniques
Silk plush trimmed with silk fringe and braid, bodice lined with silk and whalebone strips
Brief description
Day dress with bodice, skirt and mantle of silk plush, Great Britain, 1855-1857.
Physical description
Promenade dress (bodice and skirt) made of silk plush and trimmed with silk fringe headed with braid. Bodice lined with silk and whalebone strips. Matching mantle.
Credit line
Given by Mme Tussauds
Summary
Luxurious velvet dresses embellished with fringe trimmings were highly fashionable during the 1850s. In 1857 the 'Illustrated London News' announced:



"Fringe was never so greatly in demand as at the present time…Fringe may be said to be the most becoming of all trimmings on a lady's dress; it seems to possess the power of imparting lightness and suppleness to the movements of the wearer."



When applied in rows, fringes also simulated flounces and made skirts look even wider. In this example the bodice is made with a basque, which was a separate extension below the waist, flaring out over the hips. The skirt is composed of two layers, with the top tier extending from the waistband as far as the fifth row of fringe. The bottom tier is attached to a taffeta underskirt. This accentuates the flounced effect of the fringe and helps to distribute the weight of the heavy skirt over the dome-shaped crinoline cage which would have been worn underneath.
Collection
Accession number
T.324 to B-1977

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Record createdMarch 28, 2006
Record URL
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