Favorite decades: 1910's, 1800's, 1870's
Favorite artists: Anthony van Dyck, Giovanni Boldini, Henry Fuseli, Thomas Lawrence
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Afternoon dress, ca 1785 England, the Victoria & Albert Museum
In the 1770s and 1780s printed cotton fabrics began to replace silk in popularity for women’s gowns. The material of this gown has a dotted ground and is printed in a repeating pattern of floral sprays. The gown has a fitted back and open front below the waist, revealing a petticoat of the same fabric. The lack of decoration and use of cotton instead of silk indicates that this gown was probably worn during summer afternoons for card games and tea parties, rather than for evening dress.
Walking suit, ca 1914
(Left) Afternoon dress, ca 1917
(Right) Dress, ca 1918
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Home toilette, Sep 1880 US, The Delineator
The engraving illustrates a toilette made of cashmere and striped satin and trimmed with the same and Languedoc lace. It is arranged to present the effect of an over-garment with a long train worn over a short costume, and the result is very charming. The front, at its closing edges, extends only a short distance below the waist. It is cut back to the first dart, and then rounds downward and backward in a regular court-train outline, to meet the back-skirt, which extends in an oval train. Besides the two bust darts at each side, there is also another dart under the arm, the three shaping the front snugly to the figure. The back is adjusted by side-backs and central-portions, the seam of the latter terminating quite low down in the skirt in an under box-plait. The cutaway portions of the front expose a front-gore and two side-gores, overlaid for two-thirds of their depth with striped satin. The bottom of the latter is cut in deep points, which are lined and fall over a pretty decoration composed of a kilt-flounce, one wide and two narrow knife-plaitings, all of cashmere. From the top of this decoration the edges of the front are decorated with a double frill or scanty ruching of lace, which is also carried about the neck below a ruching of lisse. A narrow plaiting of the cashmere commences at the lower terminations of the lace and then extends about the train, forming its own decoration. The sleeve is in coat shape, and is finished at the wrist with a cuff of the striped goods and a frill of lace.
Afternoon dress, ca 1890, Augusta Auctions
Afternoon dress, 1890’s, Augusta Auctions
Afternoon dress, late 1860’s, Augusta Auctions
Afternoon dress by Anna Dunlevy, 1905-06, Cincinnati Art Museum