Lily Absinthe & The Dolly Varden Bend

We get our inspirations for our designs from a variety of sources to include period photographic images, fashion plates, and original garments. In this case, we working on a series of designs based on original photographic evidence. Below is just one example of this. Enjoy! 🙂

This is a lovely studio image from the 1870s showing the then-popular: “Dolly Varden Bend” that was so fun with those wild bustles of the era. I was handed this image…and told to make several of these gowns. 🙂


Now, just to be clear, we bring original images to life without resorting to commercial patterns or imitating other artists…we prefer to set the standard with quality. Silk velvet with silk taffeta piping, hand-picked fringe (yes…ALL of it) and it’s due to be finished in February. All patterning and construction in our atelier spaces in Los Angeles and Old West Tombstone. I can’t wait to see this when it’s finished, the buttons even have the same embroidery!

Furthermore, we chose to interpret the cabinet card image in gold and green, a combination that was fashionable for that decade. Three different kinds of silk, piping and pleating is all done in house, of course…that gorgeous fringe had to be traditional to match the gown. It’s completely hand-fringed warp threads. It look me a long time to do that! 🙂

So stay tuned for further updates as this design takes shape!

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