Since its introduction, our Camille dress design has been a major hit with our clients and has become one of the mainstays of our day dress line-up. The Camille is based on the Mid-Bustle Era styles that the Impressionist models would wear, primarily characterized by a fitted, narrow tied-back skirt that is swagged, pleated, and ruffled with fullness from the knees down. This style was also made popular by the famous actresses of the time such as Lilly Langtry and Sarah Bernhardt. What also makes this skirt more distinct is the custom bayleuse which is installed in each of our dresses which serve to create the distinct silhouette that characterized the late 1870s/early 1880s.
The Camille is a solid design that is suitable for a variety of occasions, both indoor and outdoor, and is available in a nearly endless combination of colors and fabrics. Below is one example that we recently made for a client:
With this dress, we’ve employed a blue color palette with a solid light blue foundation for the basic skirt and bodice sleeves and combined it with dark blue cuffs and lapels on bodice. Then, just to make things interesting, we also employed a blue plaid fabric for the bodice body and swaged overskirt with pops of yellow. Finally, to complete the effect, we used a shirred white net to cover the upper underskirt.
Here is a three-quarter view of the rear of the dress. The underskirt is covered with shirred white net from the top to mid way down, and then with three rows of pleating from mid way down to the hem.
Below is a closer look at the hem- three rows of pleating…
Here are some more views of the dress details:
Now let’s take a look at some bodice details:
The bodice incorporates features reminiscent of 18th Century styles to include an inset of shirred white net framed by dark blue lapels or revers, creating a faux waistcoat appearance. The sleeves are three-quarter length ending in cuffs that match the lapels trimmed with three buttons. To finish it off, each sleeve has inset lace with silk ribbon trim.
Below is a close-up of the sleeve and cuff (before the lace was added). This is a good illustration of the color palette:
Overall, the effect is an interesting mix of plaid and solid-colored fabrics with a palette that harmonizes. The shirred front overskirt, knife pleats, and folds create an uneven texture that contrasts with the smoothness of the bodice and sleeves. The design was definitely a hit with our client and we look forward to creating more dresses in this style.