Favorite decades: 1910's, 1800's, 1870's
Favorite artists: Anthony van Dyck, Giovanni Boldini, Henry Fuseli, Thomas Lawrence
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Pink silk robe de style dress, 1920s. This lovely dress is ornamented with pink and green silk rosettes. The full, gathered skirt has sewn in hip panniers, an innovation introduced by designer Jeanne Lanvin in 1915 to feminize the straight silhouette popular at this time and the later boyish, flapper style of the 1920s.
While this dress does not bear a label, it was most certainly influenced by Lanvin’s ideas. It was worn by Mary Sinkler deSaussure McQueen (1899-1977) in Charleston.
These thigh hoops or panniers hearken back to the extremely wide side bustles or panniers of the 18th century. In those, hips were sometimes so wide it was difficult to walk through a door. The 1920s panniers are much subtler, offering a gentle fullness to the bouffant skirt. Lanvin’s favorites included solid colors of silk taffeta ornamented with silk flowers and ribbon bows, similar to the ones on this dress.
This dress is currently on exhibit in Charleston Couture. Come visit it for yourself!
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
“Robe de style”-inspired evening dress, ca 1958, Tirelli Costumi
Robe de style, 1920’s France
The robe de style was a softer alternative to the straight up and down dresses that were typical of the 20’s. They maintained the fashionable dropped waists, but the skirt was full or wide (with panniers).
My own observations: Robes des style had an interesting place in silent film. They were often worn by characters who were supposed to be innocent or childlike. They would be paired with Mary Pickford curls. Also, there was pretty much one basic costume that was worn to indicate the 19th century, and this costume usually resembled a robe de style. It was also paired with Mary Pickford ringlets, and often with mary janes.