An 1890s Wedding Dress

Today we take a look at an 1890 wedding dress from the V&A Museum that not only has extensive provenance, but it even has a picture of the original owner, a one Cara Leland Huttleston Rogers, wearing the dress on her wedding day on November 17, 1890. This is a rare treat indeed. To begin, here’s some pictures:

Francis O’Neill/Stern Brothers. Wedding Dress, c. 1890; Victoria & Albert Museum (T.276,A-F-1972)

This dress has the simple, clean lines characteristic of 1890s styles with the addition of a train. The dress is constructed of a cream-colored corded silk for both skirt and bodice. The skirt is relatively simple and unadorned except for some artfully arranged swagging along the hem, punctuated by rosettes. However, the bodice is a completely different matter- built on the same cream-colored corded silk, the bodice is framed in the front by a embroidered gold/mustard brown-colored floral appliques jeweled with pearls running along the middle of the bodice and continuing up to follow an open neckline. Below is a picture of the bride:

Cara Leland Huttleston Rogers, wearing the dress on her wedding day on November 17, 1890.

The neckline is further accented by a row of ruffled silk chiffon leading up to the shoulders. The shoulders are decorated with upright panels that further continue the decorative trim design and are heavily jeweled with pearls. The upper sleeves are ruched and while there’s fullness towards the top, it lacks of the extensive gigot sleeves so characteristic of the mid-1890s. Naturally, the cuffs are also finished with more silk chiffon. Finally, the peplums on the bodice are also accented by the jeweled embroidered applique strips that harmonize with the rest of the bodice’s decorative trim. Below are some close-ups of the bodice:

The decorative appliques are even more extensive on the bodice back:

The decorative design on the bodice is very unique and it definitely attracts the eye to the upper dress and puts focus on the bride. The relatively neutral cream skirt and bodice provide a blank canvas for the decorative design. This dress design is definitely unique and is an interesting take on bridal dress designs of the period.



3 thoughts on “An 1890s Wedding Dress

  1. Can you advise whether a wedding gown that was described in a Victorian newspaper (Birregurra) of the wedding dress worn by the bride- Thursday 8th June, 1882, being White Chashonier trimmed with white maltese lace and orange blossom. Is ‘Chashonier’ a white satin?
    Would it be a satin material? Your advise would be most appreciated.

    Kind Regards,
    Bev.

    • Hi-

      A search through our reference collection has so far yielded nothing. Perhaps a misprint?

      But to expand, as a rule, any formal dress such as those meant for weddings were usually constructed from silk satin to one degree or another, funds and sewing ability permitting. We’ll dig around some more. Is there a picture of the dress? 🙂

Leave a Reply to Adam Lid Cancel reply