Robes Noires Redux…

Today we continue the “Black- Not Just For Mourning” theme a bit more with this day dress/afternoon dress:

Afternoon Dress, c. 1898; Metropolitan Museum of Art (C.I.56.16.2a, b)

Here’s a close-up view of the bodice. The beading and soutache bring a three-dimensional “live” effect to the dress while at the same time they give a luster that offsets what would a somewhat dull dress.

The rear of the bodice especially shows off the decorative effects of the beading on the collar combines with beading and soutache work on the bodice back and shoulders.

William Boeklage is relatively unknown today but was one of the many ladies’ tailors in Paris from the 1890s through 1920. Not much is known about the firm but that may change in the future. This is a beautiful dress and certainly demonstrates how far design effects can be used to show off the dress’s color to its greatest advantage.

And For A Little Portraiture…

And just for something different today, here’s a portrait from 1891 of Madame Albert Cahen d’Anvers. Portraiture from a particular historical period can often give us an idea of what was worn then, or at least an idealized version of that clothing. In this case, we see an elegant evening dress combined with a long opera cloak. The gold color of the cloak lining nicely contrasts with the silk ivory evening dress. It would be nice to have been able to actually view the dress itself but unfortunately it’s no longer in existence (as far as we can determine) so we’ll have to content ourselves with the portrait.

LĂ©on Joseph Florentin Bonnat, Portrait de madame Albert Cahen d’Anvers, 1891; Bayonne, MusĂ©e Bonnat

Here’s a closer view:

LĂ©on Joseph Florentin Bonnat, Portrait de madame Albert Cahen d’Anvers, 1891; Bayonne, MusĂ©e Bonnat