And For A Little 1890s Bodice Style

Today we show a little 1890s bodice style with some interesting designs that we recently came across. First up is this somewhat de-constructed 1890s bodice from the John Bright Collection:

Bodice, 1890s; John Bright Collection.

Unfortunately, beyond a vague “1890s” date, there’s nothing specific so it’s hard to pin down the specific year. However, the basic shape does read 1890s, possibly mid-1890s. Below is a close-up view of the bodice front. Note the tight armscyes of the armholes. It would be interesting to know what sort of sleeves were attached. 🙂

It’s hard to make out the fashion fabric but it’s most likely on the order of a black silk taffeta with white/ivory-colored passmentarie combined with lace along the center front (presumably to cover the front opening). On the waist is a band of black silk satin with a large bow on the left side. Below is a close-up of the collar which combines a black silk satin straight collar with petals in the back. The petals are each decorated with an embroidered floral pattern reminiscent of 18th Century motifs.

Close-Up Of Collar

For comparison, below is a similar bodice style constructed with a faux vest in the front:

Bodice, c. 1895-1897; Minnesota Historical Society (9520.11)

In many respects, the above mid-1890s bodice is fairly similar and we could easily see it with a gigot sleeves. Of course, it could have just as easily reflected the more restrained sleeve styles of the early and late 1890s:

Bodice- 1893

Bodice- Late 1890s

Either way, this bodice style provides a nice “blank canvas” for a variety of fabric, color, and trim styles.

Looking Back…

Looking back, it was exactly one year ago that a sweet Corgi named Fiona came to live with us. She’s grown quite a bit in a year but she’s as rambunctious as ever and full of energy. She’s been a good companion to Angus and they’re inseparable.  Here they are modeling their Christmas sweaters although Fiona doesn’t seem too thrilled… 🙂

Our fashion consultants…

And now…

A Little Fashion In Detail

Spending an afternoon with some fuchsia silk faille, antique sequins, jet, and “Fashion in Detail.” I’ve seen this piece at the V&A in London up close…time to take that inspiration and put it to use.  🙂

And a view of the inspiration:

Guiquin, L, Bodice, 1895; V&A Museum (T.271&A-1972)


And We’re Moving Towards Winter (Slowly)

It’s actually a little cold here in Southern California so we immediately thought of coats so here’s an evening coat from Maison Worth, circa 1902:

Maison Worth, Evening Coat; Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009.300.308)

This coat is constructed from a silk brocade with a large floral design and trimmed along the front opening edges and cuffs with an ivory lace. The collar is in the Medici style and also trimmed in ivory lace with two large ivory-colored tulle bows. Finally, the sleeves are wide Mandarin sleeves. It’s interesting to note that the floral pattern has been matched so it’s symmetrical on the front and matches perfectly in the back, as can been seen in the picture below:

And for a view of a live model wearing the coat:

One thing that we found striking is that on initial viewing, it appears to be more of a tea gown with it’s lace and tulle trimming than a coat. It’s an interesting style effect giving both the appearance of something worn only at home while at the same time something that could be worn to a formal public event. This is a garment that we would love to be able examine in person. 🙂 This is definitely something we would love to recreate and it could even be worn today.

And For A Little More Finnish Style

We found another interesting fashion from the Museovirasto in Finland, this time a circa 1880s evening dress that once belonged to a Ellen Mathilda Wilhelmina Tudeer (nee Wijkander) who was born in 1858):

Evening Dress, c. 1880s; Finnish Board of National Antiquities (KM 32035)

Based on the silhouette, this dress perhaps dates from about 1880-1882. The train is low and the bodice is long, extending over the hips. The dress appears to be constructed from a pink blush silk taffeta with two rows of knife pleating running along the skirt hem as well as more knife pleating running below the neck line and upper shoulders. The one interesting feature about this dress is the bertha running along the neckline that’s reminiscent of earlier 1860s styles; it’s not something you usually see on 1880s dresses.1During the 19th Century, a bertha was defined as being a collar made of lace or another thin fabric. It is generally flat and round, covering the low neckline of a dress, and accentuating a woman’s shoulders. Unfortunately, there’s not much more information on the dress itself but nevertheless, it’s a n interesting garment because of its blend of 1880s and 1860s fashion elements. Hopefully one day we’ll find out more about this dress.