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Day dress

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1858 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moiré silk, lined with silk, organdie and cotton, trimmed with chenille, whalebone and cast metal, brass, silk ribbon

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Janet Manley

  • Museum number:

    T.90&A-1964

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This eye-catching day dress formed part of the trousseau belonging to Miss Janet Gilbert. It is beautifully constructed in the latest style as would befit a young fashionable woman, although its pristine condition suggests it might not have been worn. Made of moiré silk, it has a lustrous rippled sheen accentuated by the rich Prussian blue dye, applied chenille flowers and sparkling metal buttons. Box pleated trimmings stand out in relief along the bottom edge and seams of the wide pagoda sleeves, emphasising their width. Had Miss Gilbert worn this dress, white 'engageantes', or undersleeves tacked to the armholes would have covered her lower arms and a lace collar might have decorated the neckline.

Graceful movements and a perfect silhouette were promoted by the introduction of spring-steeled hooped petticoats in 1856, often referred to as crinolines. Although frequently ridiculed in the press for their cage-like structure and size, they were also hailed as a blessing. Effective, lightweight, economical and comfortable, they ensured women could wear dresses like this one without having to contend with layers of hot and heavy petticoats.

Physical description

Day dress consisting of a jacket bodice and skirt made of moiré silk.

The bodice is trimmed with chenille, fastens with metal buttons and is lined with silk, cotton and whalebone strips. High round neck, wide pagoda sleeves, and fastens down the centre front. It is waist length and has a peak front and back. The sleeves are trimmed with an applied band of gathered silk ribbon, and matching chenille rosettes with silk tassels stitched on either side of the centre front from shoulders to waist. The cast metal stud buttons are on either side of a silvered centre. A narrow double rouleau trims the neck and waist. Silk pads are stitched at the bosom. The sleeves are lined with white silk.

The skirt fastens at the centre back and is double flat pleated. It is lined with organdie and has a matching brush braid. The waist band is tucked to shape and fastens with two brass hooks and eyes. A small watch pocket is stitched into it.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

ca. 1858 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Moiré silk, lined with silk, organdie and cotton, trimmed with chenille, whalebone and cast metal, brass, silk ribbon

Descriptive line

Day dress consisting of a jacket bodice and skirt made of moiré silk, Great Britain, ca. 1858

Categories

Fashion; Day wear; Women's clothes; Textiles; Marriage; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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