Favorite decades: 1910's, 1800's, 1870's
Favorite artists: Anthony van Dyck, Giovanni Boldini, Henry Fuseli, Thomas Lawrence
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Witch fancy dress, 1887 England, Fancy Dresses Described by Ardern Holt
(See Hubbard, Mother; Macbeth, and Coloured Illustration, Plate XV.) Short quilted skirt of red satin, with cats and lizards in black velvet; gold satin panier tunic; black velvet bodice laced over an old-gold crêpe bodice; small cat on right shoulder, a broom in the hand, with owl; tall pointed velvet cap; shoes with buckles.
Monte Carlo fancy dress, 1887 England, Fancy Dresses Described by Ardern Holt
Dress, half red satin, half black velvet and lace; one shoe red, one black; short skirt fringed with coins, and trimmed with cards; pointed coronet of red satin, with aigrette of cards on shoulder; croupier’s rake carried in hand; and Rouge et Noir. (See Coloured Illustration, Plate XI.)
Hornet fancy dress, 1887 England, Fancy Dresses Described by Ardern Holt
Short black or brown dress of velvet or satin; boots to match; tunic pointed back and front, with gold stripes; satin bodice of black or brown with gold gauze wings; cap of velvet with eyes and antennæ of insect. (See Coloured Illustration, No. VII.)
Incroyable fancy dress, 1887 England, Fancy Dresses Described by Ardern Holt
Incroyable (1789). Short red, white, and blue skirt; blue satin coat with tails lined with red, and revers; lace ruffles; gold buttons; cravat of old lace; gendarme hat, with tricolour rosette; black shoes and buckles, blue stockings. Old-fashioned gold-headed cane; fob, eyeglass. (Coloured Illustration, Plate VIII.) Or, striped satin skirt, red, white, and blue; gold satin tunic, looped up with red roses; handsome long-tailed coat of blue satin, lined gold, and large gold buttons, and bouquet of roses in buttonhole; high frill and jabot at throat; chapeau a la claque, trimmed gold and brocade, tricolour at side; blue silk stockings, worked in gold, and patent shoes; eyeglass, and elaborate jewellery. Or, long-tailed coat of sky blue velvet, with large pearl buttons, and a white waistcoat of satin, embroidered with coloured flowers; a skirt of grey tulle with long tunic of soft grey silk looped up gracefully with pale blue satin ribbon; grey silk hose embroidered with coloured silk flowers; dark blue slippers, very large satin bows; powdered head tied with a queue; cocked hat, wide lace cravat; cane with gold head, quaint scissor-shaped eye-glass of the period. This is a very favourite costume. Sometimes the skirts are hand-painted; sometimes there are triple revers to the coat, for which plush is a good material; blue with white satin skirt, trimmed with gold, is a good mixture.
Esmeralda fancy dress, 1887 England, Fancy Dresses Described by Ardern Holt
A rich gipsy dress in yellow, black, and scarlet satin, made short, trimmed with coins and gold braid; a sash of gold tissue tied about the hips, a tambourine carried in hand; bracelets above and below elbow, united by coins; stay-bodice with coins and gold braid; gold net with sequins; ornaments, sequins. Sometimes (as in Coloured Illustration No. V.) the skirt is red, trimmed with gold, and the bodice takes the form of a loose black jacket, with full yellow vest of soft silk.
Japanese woodblock fashion prints from 1887, because I know how much you guys love this stuff.
Beauty in riding habits. Late 1880s
She is exquisite!
Riding habits were constructed with a feminine silhouette, but were given such masculine details as buttons, cuffs and jacket lapels. A formal men’s hat, such as the top hat shown here, was worn in Victorian times (and later) - sometimes with a veil on the back.
The tradition of menswear in riding habits is an old one. In 1666, a young Samuel Pepys wrote:
Walking in the galleries at White Hall, I find the Ladies of Honour dressed in their riding garbs, with coats and doublets with deep skirts, just, for all the world, like mine; and buttoned their doublets up to the breast, with periwigs under their hats; so that, only for a long petticoat dragging under their men’s coats, nobody could take them for women in any point whatever; which was an odde sight, and a sight did not please me.
They were often trained or longer on one side of the skirt so as to protect modesty while riding sidesaddle.
Silk faille and velvet brocade dress, late 1880s. This fashionable dress, marked Worth / Rue de la Paix / Paris demonstrates the luxurious fabrics and styling used by the couture house of Worth. It was worn by the donor’s mother, Ethel Sanford (1873-1924), the wife of New York carpet magnate, Henry Sanford. Gift of Gertrude Sanford Legendre in 1979
Charles Frederick Worth was an English-born designer who opened his own couture firm in Paris in 1858 and soon rose to haute stature, creating fashionable garments for Empress Eugénie and other titled and wealthy women. Worth established the custom of sewing branded labels into his creations, was the first designer to show his garments on live models, and sold his designs to his customers rather than letting them dictate the design. All of this earned him the moniker, Father of Haute Couture. He was immensely popular with wealthy Americans as well as European royalty and aristocrats. Many clients travelled to Paris to purchase an entire wardrobe from the House of Worth.
This gown is currently on exhibit in Charleston Couture.
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection. Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday