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Evening dress

Evening dress

  • Place of origin:

    Paris, France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1910 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Worth (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered silk net with metal thread, crystal and silver bugle beads over satin, velvet, boned, lined

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Lady Hoyer Millar

  • Museum number:

    T.57-1961

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Around 1910, leading fashion houses such as Worth created evening dresses with a straight silhouette. Their impact depended on the juxtaposition of colours and a variety of luxurious and richly decorated fabrics. On this garment, vivid velvet pile is set against light-reflecting beadwork, and the triple-tiered matt net overskirt covers the sheen of the trained satin skirt. The pillar-like look exemplified by this dress replaced the exaggerated curves of the early 1900s. It also shows how designers broke the strong vertical emphasis by creating overskirts with horizontal lines. The bodice, however, is still boned (nine bones).

Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895) was a celebrated couture dressmaker in Paris. Born in England at Bourne in Lincolnshire, he started working at the age of 12 in a draper's shop in London. After working for various haberdashers and silk mercers, he left for Paris in 1845. In 1858 he went into partnership with a Swedish businessman, Otto Bobergh, and opened his own house. He was soon patronised by the Empress Eugénie (1826-1920), wife of the French Emperor, Napoleon III, and her influence was instrumental to his success. Obtaining made-to-measure clothes from his house was a symbol of social and financial success. They were appreciated for their beauty, elegance and fine workmanship.

Physical description

Evening dress of pink silk net embroidered with silver metallic thread and crystal and silver bugle beads over satin, and with a ruched fuchsia silk velvet bodice. The velvet pile is set against light-reflecting beadwork and the triple-tiered matt net overskirt covers the sheen of the trained satin skirt until it reaches floor level. Nine bones shape the bodice. Short sleeves made of tulle. Lined with silk. Stitched inside the skirt is a white petticoat with a lilac tulle flounce. The dress fastens at the centre back with hooks and eyes.

Place of Origin

Paris, France (made)

Date

ca. 1910 (made)

Artist/maker

Worth (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered silk net with metal thread, crystal and silver bugle beads over satin, velvet, boned, lined

Marks and inscriptions

'WORTH PARIS 63196'

Descriptive line

Evening dress of embroidered silk net and velvet, made by Worth, Paris, ca. 1910

Categories

Fashion; Women's clothes; Textiles; Embroidery

Collection code

T&F

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