And to continue the natural world theme in yesterday’s post, today we feature a lingerie dress that was created by Jacques Doucet around 1900-1905, only this time utilizing bees:
Doucet, Day Dress, c. 1900-1905; Les Arts Décoratifs
In many respects, this dress style follows the lingerie dress style that was prevalent for warm weather daywear during the early 1900s, an area that Doucet excelled. This dress is constructed of layers of semi-sheer fabrics (probably batiste and/or organza) combined with lace and features a multi-layer train that alternates the fashion fabric with the lace. However, the centerpiece of this dress is the use of a decorative floral motif featuring bees. The bees themselves appear to be embroidered appliques and are artfully arranged running up the dress front to suggest bees buzzing about flying out of the vegetation. One can definitely see that vertical lines are emphasized, especially with the dress front designed as a front-opening robe; the swarm of bees run all the way up the dress front and around the neckline to the back. Compared to many lingerie dresses of the period, the use of lace is fairly restrained and is not allowed to detract from the bee decoration. Below is a rear view:
The rear is also interesting in that the bees are set along the hem of the our dress layer to suggest low-lying vegetation and when viewed together with the front, the effect is very three-dimensional. This is more than a simple static decorative motif being applied to a dress, this has been well thought out. The dress itself is fairly simple design, acting as a canvas for the decorative design. This dress is definitely an inspiration for future recreated designs. 🙂
Become a Patron!
Spring is here and that means long sun-filled days, time spend outside, and of course, picnics. ♡ Below is a circa 1900-1903 afternoon dress from Jacques Doucet:
Doucet, Afternoon Dress, c. 1900-1903; Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009.300.579a, b)
This dress is constructed from a white silk chiffon with a printed lavender floral design and trimmed in horizontal bands of lace running up the skirt. Lace is also liberally used on the bodice in vertical stripes and a large centerpiece at the neck. Bands of turquoise silk velvet on the sleeves and a large turquoise silk velvet sash at the waist completes the look. The term “afternoon dress” seems to have been used somewhat interchangeably with “lingerie dress” which describes dresses made from lightweight diaphanous materials such as lightweight linen, cotton, organdy, chiffon, and voile. This is just one example of a characteristic style of the first decade of the 20th Century. Stay tuned for more! 🙂
Become a Patron!
Settling into a new pattern shape here in the work studio…the fashion geometry changes so much every few years! This feels different from my “usual” 1880s style, but somehow I have better posture. Late Victorian, not quite Edwardian…definitely: “transitional”.
Become a Patron!
Just in time for Christmas! We were fortunate to be able to obtain a copy of this fabulous book Textiles for Victorian and Edwardian Clothing: 1880-1920 by Diana L. Fagan Affleck and Karen J. Herbaugh. Originally published in 2004 and long out of print, this book is an excellent introduction to the somewhat bewildering world of late 19th and early 20th Century fabrics. The book itself combines documentation with representative swatches of fabric. Having actual fabric swatches is a major plus in that the reader can now see and feel representative fabric samples and thus be able to gain a better understanding of the actual fabrics that were used. This book is definitely a labor of love and it’s too bad that it’s been out of print for so long- naturally, including the fabric swatches was no doubt a major logistical undertaking. About the closest thing out there today are fabric swatch kits that accompany most textile textbooks. Check it out in our Etsy store: 😁
Textiles for Victorian and Edwardian Clothing 1880-1920 Diane | Etsy
Interested in Victorian and Edwardian clothing but confused as to how exactly the fabrics of the period looked and felt like? Heres an reference source that provides an excellent introduction and can definitely help! This is a used copy of the 2004 book Textiles for Victorian and Edwardian Clothing