Out Of The Gilded Age…

Today the theme is burgundy velvet and what better way to show it off than in an evening dress by Worth. 🙂 Better yet, we have both the dress AND a portrait of the individual that it was made for! The itself was made by Maison Worth around 1898 and belonged to Edith Kingdon Gould, the wife of railroad tycoon George Jay Gould and is on display at Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown, New York; Lyndhurst had belonged to the Goulds at one time and is now a museum belonging to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Worth, Evening Dress, c. 1898; Lyndhurst Mansion, Tarrytown NY

The evening dress is interesting in that it’s a relatively simple style, unadorned by any trim or decoration (if you don’t count the fur stole she wears with the dress in her portrait). Overall, the effect is very restrained, reflecting Ms. Kingdon-Gould’s status married to a wealth railroad tycoon (she had been an actress prior to marrying Gould). And now for the portrait itself:

Théobald Chartran, Portrait of Edith Kingdon Gould, c. 1898

Unfortunately there’s not a lot of information available in regard to the dress or the portrait- they were part of an exhibition at Lyndhurst that’s ended. This dress provides a fascinating snapshot into a bygone era made more interesting in that the dress style is very restrained when compared with some  of the more over-the-top designs of the era.

The Armistice Tea Dance

At the risk of sounding repetitious, we’re re-posting this to boost the signal. This event offers a unique opportunity to see an era rarely brought to life outside of battle reenactments. If you’re in the Southern California area on February 1, why not give this a try. 🙂


Looking for an historical event to start off the New Year? Well, if you’re going to be in Southern California, we have just the thing- A tea dance to commemorate the end of the First World War! The dance will be held on February 1, 2020 from 1:30 to 5:30 at the War Memorial Building in South Pasadena. The War Memorial Building was built in 1923 and dedicated by Marshal Foch of France and it’s the perfect venue for this sort of event. There will be live music with a caller to help everyone through the dances. This definitely promises to be a lot of fun and it’s an era that we haven’t done much with so far…but that will change. 🙂  For more details, please click HERE.

Vienna Waits For Us…(With Apologies To Billy Joel)

It’s now official, we’re off to Vienna in October! Yes, it’s a long time off but for us, it’s a journey off to a destination that we’ve only ready about and we’re very excited, especially since it was home to some of most amazing artists during the late Nineteenth Century and early Twentieth Centuries such as Gustave Klimt and Egon Schiele. Also, there was Vienna Succession and Wiener Werkstätte movements. All in all, this promises to be a fascinating trip and will no doubt provide further inspiration in our design work. 🙂

Testing…Testing…Testing

The majority of fabrics that we use are of natural fibers: cotton, silk, linen, and wool and sometimes we do burn testing to check particular fabrics, especially ones that we’ve obtained from new sources. Here’s the aftermath of one such successful test on an exceptionally interesting silk that we found in Paris:

And here’s a close-up of the fabric…

We’ll be making something interesting from this fabric so stay tuned… 🙂