Emile Pingat, Part 2

Today we continue our examination of the work of Emile Pingat with a few more examples of his designs:


Emile Pingat, Dinner Dress, c. 1883 – 1885; Smith College Historic Clothing Collection (1989.1.3ab)


The above dinner dress is definitely out of the mid-1880s and here one can see that the bodice has retreated above the hips. However, there is not much of a train and the bustle is relative restrained. The blue silk fabrics are rich and deep-hued while at the same time, the white accents along the base of the bodice, rear tails, and skirt hem provide a stark contrast that serves to lighten the dress’ appearance.


Pingat, Promenade Dress, 1888; Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009.300.7758a, b)


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Left Side Profile- Unfortunately, the photography does not do justice to the dress.

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The above promenade dress is striking in that Pingat drew inspiration from the late 17th and early 18th Centuries by creating the bodice as a Justaucorps, with a faux waistcoat set underneath (at least it appears to be a faux waistcoat from the photos). For comparison, below is an example of a Justaucorps worn by Peter the Great, circa 1727 – 1730: 1727-1730 French Coat and waistcoat worn by Tsar Peter II at the Moscow Kremlin Museums -

Finally, we come to what must be thepièce de résistance or close to it:


Pingat, Evening Jacket, 1893; Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009.300.139)


Rear View

The details of this jacket are almost unsurpassed and combine embroidery and feathers to create its effect. Below are some pictures of the jacket being worn with a dress:

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In examining the above coat, one can see elements of the 18th Century waistcoat style mixed in with elements found in a 16th Century Schaube coat.

The examples shown above and in the previous post reveal the range of Pingat and clearly demonstrate that his designs were easily the equal to Worth’s. In some regards, it could be argued that Pingat’s were superior in that Pingat was far more disciplined in that every element, whether fabric, trim, or color, were used to created an integrated whole. All the elements of Pingat’s designs had a specific purpose rather than simply being added on willy-nilly. Pingat’s legacy has been greatly underappreciated but I hope that this situation will be reversed in the near future.

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