Evening Gown c. 1894

Magenta floral brocade with plum velvet, yellow silk satin; Delicate branches of a blossoming plum tree are set against a magenta satin ground on this dress, showing the appropriation of Japanese design into the highly stylized, Art Novueau aesthetic. On the back of the gown, the sinuous branches are interrupted by multiple seams that shape the bodice; however, they are skillfully matched on either side of the garment in order to create symmetry. Symmetry creates the appearance of a bouquet of flowers that follows the hourglass shape of the corseted body beneath, emphasizing the period’s elongated silhouette.

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