Ghost
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.

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.

Vogue, October 7th 1897

Fig. 4665.—Charming tea-gown of corncolor Liberty satin over an under slip of palest shell-pink crêpe de chine plissé; set upon a guipure lace yoke in front. Princess back, very open fronts, the skirt having three rings of wide guipure barbs separately inserted. Effect of jacket in front, by falling plaits of satin having a lace barb on the edge. Pink velvet neck band and knotted sash. Shirt sleeves, barb at wrists.


Fig. 4661—Smart walking gown of medium tone beige zibeline cloth. Separate bell skirt, trimmed in three rings, with black glacé silk plaitings, laid in short points, headed by narrow bands of beige astrakhan, upper row simulating an over-skirt. Beige velvet sleeves, having cloth epaulettes trimmed in plaitings and fur, and wrists to match. Beige velvet belt, laid in folds.

Fig. 4660.—House toilette. Gown of fawn color poplin having on the bottom of separate skirt three ruffles of soft Liberty silk to match, each edged with a yellow and a white satin flat piping. Blouse bodice trimmed to match in fine ruffling forming sleeve top drapery. Chemisette, sleeves, bow and belt of fawn and white checker-board velvet.



Fig. 4664—A home-dinner gown for young woman. Skirt and bodice of silvery-gray crêpe de chine plissé. Belt of almond green velvet, rosette in front, diamond buckle in centre. Figaro jacket and draped sleeves of velvet to match. Collar effect, strapped across with gold and silver trimming. Silvergray mousseline de soie, plissé ruffle for entire bordering, with a gold tag fringe laid over. White tulle neck band and bow.

Fig. 4402—Youthful gown for homedinner, built of pink albatross cloth. Skirt separately hung, is trimmed with three rows of white passementerie. Round blouse bodice, with three rows of passementerie laid on crossways. A pink silk yoke, finely tucked, inset. Rows of passementerie, half crossing the arm, are laced with white silk cords. Sleeve tops draped. White silk belt and collar band.

Fig. 4662.—Visiting toilette in a long jacket effect, of palest beige cloth braided over entirely with an otter brown silk cord; attached to bottom of cloth bodice is a silk skirt having three flounces of dark brown plissé velvet. Border of revers, as well as wrist finish in, velvet matching flounces and edged by a beige silk cord. Vest chemisette of flowered uncut velvet in white and beige out lined in silver thread.

Fig. 4663.—Smart gown of brocade and velvet in peacock blue, flowered in many of the same shades, with centres in orange and white. Long skirt untrimmed, having loose plaits descending in front from upper bodice of lighter peacock blue velvet. This bodice is crossed by rows of jet, and has two falls of black chantilly, in part wrought with gold threads. Tucked velvet sleeves draped at the top. Gold ribbon sash and neck band with orange velvet rosette at the left side.



Fig. 4658—A young woman’s walking gown in bottle - green cheviot, its skirt trimmed with cheviot plaitings in three rings, headed by a narrow black gimp in festoons. Round draped bodice, having a pointed Spencer cape of small-checked velvet, in lighter shades of green, trimmed on the edge with the same gimp. Gigot sleeves, velvet wrist finish and sash of the same velvet.

FIg. 4399—Tailor-made street gown in marine-blue ladies’ cloth. Bell skirt, braided around the bottom with black silk braid and separately hung. Round blouse bodice has revers and collar braided to match. Cloth front has red silk touches laid under the braiding and wrists of gigot sleeves the same. Cloth frill at neck, braided and lined with red silk.

Vogue, October 7th 1897

Fig. 4665.—Charming tea-gown of corncolor Liberty satin over an under slip of palest shell-pink crêpe de chine plissé; set upon a guipure lace yoke in front. Princess back, very open fronts, the skirt having three rings of wide guipure barbs separately inserted. Effect of jacket in front, by falling plaits of satin having a lace barb on the edge. Pink velvet neck band and knotted sash. Shirt sleeves, barb at wrists.
Fig. 4661—Smart walking gown of medium tone beige zibeline cloth. Separate bell skirt, trimmed in three rings, with black glacé silk plaitings, laid in short points, headed by narrow bands of beige astrakhan, upper row simulating an over-skirt. Beige velvet sleeves, having cloth epaulettes trimmed in plaitings and fur, and wrists to match. Beige velvet belt, laid in folds.

Fig. 4660.—House toilette. Gown of fawn color poplin having on the bottom of separate skirt three ruffles of soft Liberty silk to match, each edged with a yellow and a white satin flat piping. Blouse bodice trimmed to match in fine ruffling forming sleeve top drapery. Chemisette, sleeves, bow and belt of fawn and white checker-board velvet.
Fig. 4664—A home-dinner gown for young woman. Skirt and bodice of silvery-gray crêpe de chine plissé. Belt of almond green velvet, rosette in front, diamond buckle in centre. Figaro jacket and draped sleeves of velvet to match. Collar effect, strapped across with gold and silver trimming. Silvergray mousseline de soie, plissé ruffle for entire bordering, with a gold tag fringe laid over. White tulle neck band and bow.

Fig. 4402—Youthful gown for homedinner, built of pink albatross cloth. Skirt separately hung, is trimmed with three rows of white passementerie. Round blouse bodice, with three rows of passementerie laid on crossways. A pink silk yoke, finely tucked, inset. Rows of passementerie, half crossing the arm, are laced with white silk cords. Sleeve tops draped. White silk belt and collar band.
Fig. 4662.—Visiting toilette in a long jacket effect, of palest beige cloth braided over entirely with an otter brown silk cord; attached to bottom of cloth bodice is a silk skirt having three flounces of dark brown plissé velvet. Border of revers, as well as wrist finish in, velvet matching flounces and edged by a beige silk cord. Vest chemisette of flowered uncut velvet in white and beige out lined in silver thread.

Fig. 4663.—Smart gown of brocade and velvet in peacock blue, flowered in many of the same shades, with centres in orange and white. Long skirt untrimmed, having loose plaits descending in front from upper bodice of lighter peacock blue velvet. This bodice is crossed by rows of jet, and has two falls of black chantilly, in part wrought with gold threads. Tucked velvet sleeves draped at the top. Gold ribbon sash and neck band with orange velvet rosette at the left side.
Fig. 4658—A young woman’s walking gown in bottle - green cheviot, its skirt trimmed with cheviot plaitings in three rings, headed by a narrow black gimp in festoons. Round draped bodice, having a pointed Spencer cape of small-checked velvet, in lighter shades of green, trimmed on the edge with the same gimp. Gigot sleeves, velvet wrist finish and sash of the same velvet.
FIg. 4399—Tailor-made street gown in marine-blue ladies’ cloth. Bell skirt, braided around the bottom with black silk braid and separately hung. Round blouse bodice has revers and collar braided to match. Cloth front has red silk touches laid under the braiding and wrists of gigot sleeves the same. Cloth frill at neck, braided and lined with red silk.

charlestonmuseum:

Just like the ladies of Downton Abbey, Charleston women chose dresses that were stylish and smart. The ones shown here depict that fashionable era.

White cotton marquisette (mesh) dress, c. 1910-15, with fabulous embroidery, lace insertion and covered buttons made and labeled by dressmaker “Mrs. DeWitt / 5 West 31st Street, New York.” It was worn by Mrs. Washington Augustus Roebling who was Cornelia Witsell Farrow (1866-1942) of Walterboro and Charleston. She married the Brooklyn Bridge engineer after his first wife died in 1903. Her first husband, Ashby Starke Farrow died in 1896.

In 1928, Cornelia returned to Charleston and bought 64 South Battery. Though she probably wore this dress before moving back here, it would have been perfect for a warm spring evening overlooking New York or Charleston harbor.

The blue dress, c.1910s, has a blue chiffon overlay, covering an amazing underdress of pink velvet with corded cutwork, beading and lace insertion. The chiffon shimmered over the dress and this technique appears to have been very popular. It added mystery and delicacy to the garment. Though we do not know who wore this beautiful dress, it came to the Museum in 1940 from Mrs. D. R. Kirk of New York City.

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

Tea dress, ca 1908-10 Paris
A Day in the Park by Carlos Vasquez Obeda, 1900’s Spain

A Day in the Park by Carlos Vasquez Obeda, 1900’s Spain

Tea dress by House of Worth, ca 1910 Paris, the Met Museum
Tea dress, 1890 (probably ca 1880) France, the Met Museum
My favorite color!

Tea dress, 1890 (probably ca 1880) France, the Met Museum

My favorite color!

Tea dress by Emile Pingat, ca 1892 Paris, National Gallery of Australia

Tea dress by Emile Pingat, ca 1892 Paris, National Gallery of Australia

Tea dress, late 1870’s, LACMA
Dress, ca 1909-12, Rijksmuseum
Dress, ca 1914, Mode Museum

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