And now on to the high point of our visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum (besides the bookstore 🙂 ). While there were a number of interesting garments, here are a few that caught our eye. First up is this excellent example of a Mid-Bustle Era princess line dress:
This one is often cited as a good example of Mid-Bustle Era style. Here are some better pictures from the V&A website:
Here are some closer views:
One of the most striking features of this dress is the ruched ivory silk front along with the ruching and knife pleating along the rear hem. The net-covered blue Jacquard silk fabric provides an interesting color counterpoint that makes for a nicely unified design.
Next is this 1885 cotton print day dress:
And here are a few more views:
This dress is a good example of the Mid-1880s day dress and it captures the styles of the era quite nicely with a minimum of trim and detail.
Here’s some of the other interesting garments that were on display:
This bustle pad is often seen in Pinterest and in various costume books. It’s functional simplicity at its best.
This bodice interior gives a nice view “under the hood” of a late Victorian bodice. All the seams are finished either by pinking or whip stitched along the edges. Boning has been carefully installed as well as a petersham belt for added stability and shape.
And outside of the late 19th Century were these items of interest:
Above is an Mid 19th Century French pannier dress. Although it’s not obvious from the picture, this dress was roughly 8 feet wide or so and built for a very small person, say in the 5’3″ to 5’5″ range.
Next is this ribbon corset from circa 1895:
Finally, there’s the iconic “wine glass dress” designed by Elsa Schiaparelli:
Is it a wine glass or two people? You be the judge. 🙂
Overall, it was a very illuminating visit and it was nice to see some of the garments that I have only seen in books up to this point. In the next post, we’ll tie everything together with some commentary so stay tuned…. 🙂
To be continued…