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Walking costume
  • Walking costume
    Jacques Doucet, born 1853 - died 1929
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Walking costume

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1895 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jacques Doucet, born 1853 - died 1929 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen, with collar and cuffs embroidered with silk cord, elastic stays attached to the inside of the skirt to control the fullness

  • Museum number:

    T.15&A-1979

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This suit might well have been worn for a tour abroad. When it was conserved, reddish-brown dust was found on the surface. Linen was particularly popular for hot-weather travel because it was washable and comparatively lightweight.

At this period, women's tailored suits had become very popular. They borrowed details from men's dress, such as wide lapels and exterior pockets. This practical style suited the more emancipated lifestyles women were then leading.

Jacques Doucet (1853-1929) was one of the best known and most highly respected couturiers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was famed for his extravagant gowns, tailored suits and luxurious coats. Inheriting a lace and lingerie establishment in Paris, Doucet expanded the family business by opening a couture department in the 1870s. The Parisian elite soon patronised his salon, admiring his taste in fabrics and the meticulous quality and workmanship of his creations.

Physical description

Day outfit coat and skirt embroidered silk and cotton canvas.
The jacket is single-breasted, hip-length, seamed and fitted, but with flared and pleated tails. It has curved pockets at the hips. The fancy, stepped collar and the cuffs of the leg-of- mutton sleeves are embroidered in beige silk cord in a formal floral pattern.
The skirt has the front panel cut straight and channel-seamed. The back is widely flared with central box- pleats. The fullness is controlled by elastic stays on the inside. The suit is unlined but the seams are bound, and there is stiffening inside the sleeve heads. A label stitched inside the neck has Doucet Paris machine woven in yellow on a beige ribbon. G0841 is written on a tape inside the skirt waist. Beige was a popular colour for travelling clothes because it did not show the dust. When this outfit was washed by the Museum's Conservation Department, it shed quantities of red-brown dust, suggesting it was possibly a souvenir of an Egyptian tour.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

1895 (made)

Artist/maker

Jacques Doucet, born 1853 - died 1929 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Linen, with collar and cuffs embroidered with silk cord, elastic stays attached to the inside of the skirt to control the fullness

Object history note

A label inside the reverse of the jacket facings reads: "Doucet, 21 rue de la Paix, Paris", with the handwritten annotation "Mme Ogden Goelet, 50841" This indicates that the suit was made for the wife of the American millionaire Ogden Goelet (1851-1897). Ogden Goelet was an enthusiastic yachtsman so this suit may have been made for his wife, Mary Wilson Goelet to wear whilst accompanying him on his travels.

The Museum purchased this suit from Christies where it was lot 61 in a January 1979 sale.

Descriptive line

Day outfit coat and skirt embroidered silk and cotton canvas, designed by Doucet, Jacques , Paris, 1895

Categories

Fashion; Women's clothes; Embroidery; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Haute couture

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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