And Something New From Maison Worth…

The output of Maison Worth seems to be a never-ending cornucopia of fashion delights and today is no exception with this Afternoon dress that was created by the Maison in the early 1890s:

Above is a view of the dress on display as part of a show commemorating the donation of a number of garments to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Unfortunately, the dress is no longer display and is in storage.

Worth, Afternoon Dress, c. 1890; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2015.688.a-b) Purchased with funds donated by Mrs Krystyna Campbell-Pretty in memory of Mr Harold Campbell-Pretty, 2015
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of possibAGL Shaw AO Bequest

This dress is constructed from a combination of dark orange silk satin and dark orange patterned velvet ( possibly burnt out but it’s hard to tell). The inner skirt is constructed of the velvet fabric, trimmed with floral appliques while the outer skirt is the silk satin. The bodice is constructed to mimic an open vest and under-bodice, the under-bodice constructed of the same dark orange silk satin and the “vest” constructed of the dark orange patterned velvet. The sleeves are also made from the same velvet and the bodice front and cuffs is decorated in the same floral appliques as is the skirt. Overall, it’s a well thought out package and it hits all the right notes of elegance with a pleasing color scheme- this definitely reads “fall colors” although Victorians tended to not adhere to the seasons when it came to color.

For the silhouette, it’s hard to get a good read on it since we only have frontal photos to go on but it’s probably that this dates from the early 1890s, possibly 1889 or so and it appears that the dress has some fullness that’s been trained to the rear. We hope you’ve enjoyed this interesting example of Maison Worth’s craft- they didn’t just make elegant evening and ball gowns. 🙂

A Little Turn Of The Century Street Style For The Spring…

Here’s a little street style, 1890s or early 1900s style in New York. It’s not the best picture but it’s obvious that it must be in the warmer months judging from the chiffon day dresses that these two ladies are wearing. As for dating, most likely it’s either late 1890s or perhaps early 1900s- the sleeves are built up but it’s hard to discern the distinct pouter-pigeon look in the bodice so who knows? Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see an everyday picture of actual people.

Now For Some 1890s Casual, Parisian Style…

When is comes to the term “casual,” it’s always a matter of degree when applied to the late Nineteenth Century and especially for the 1890s. Recently, we came across this interesting circa 1897 day dress made by a one P. Barroin of Paris:

P. Barroin, Day Dress, Paris, France, c. 1897; FIDM Museum (2010.1098.3A-C)

This dress is constructed from a printed cotton fabric featuring a red and white pattern with silk taffeta trim on the skirt bottom and bodice/sleeves. The style is classic 1890s although the sleeves are bit more restrained than the usual large gigot/leg-of-mutton sleeves commonly found in the 1895-1897 time frame. Also present is the wasp-waist, measuring 28 inches in diameter, which in turn helps create the characteristic “X” line silhouette. Finally, inset in the middle of the bodice of silk chiffon shirring which creates the effect of a waist being worn underneath although the bodice would have been one unit. Overall, this is a sporty day dress with a minimum of trim and embellishment and was definitely meant for day wear in public; the straw boater hat further reinforces this sporty effect. This dress is representative of the more casual daytime styles of day wear that were coming into vogue during the 1890s and as such acted as a counter some of the more extreme looks one can see with evening wear of the period. This is definitely a worthy candidate for reproduction.  🙂