Moving Forward Into Spring

Marie Bracquemond, “Woman with Parasol,” 1880

The Natural Form or Mid-Bustle Era often features in Impressionist art, often evoking images of springtime. Today we feature an interesting late 1870s/early 1880s day dress from the Fashion Museum Bath:

Day Dress, c. 1878-1881; Fashion Museum Bath

This dress is constructed of a light blue and ivory striped silk brocade with a floral motif. The fashion fabric has been artfully cut so as the bodice features an ivory inset framed by the outer layer in blue. At the same time, the skirt features horizontal stripes of the ivory and blue fashion fabric, all artfully arranged so that the stripes are in the form of swags accented with bows in the front. The bodice sleeves and hem are a solid-colored silk moire that matches the blue of the fashion fabric. The train, from what we can discern, appears to be a darker shade of blue that harmonizes with the lighter blue and ivory. It also appears to be a silk moire. Finally, the neckline and cuffs are trimmed in an ivory lace. Below is a close-up of the bodice front:

As common with many bodices of the era, it was designed so as to give the look of a semi-open robe. From this view, it would appear that the dress is perhaps of one-piece construction with the bodice section being front-opening, which was often found with dresses of this era. However, without a more thorough examination, it’s hard to tell for sure.  Perhaps one day we’ll have an opportunity to view this dress in person, there’s so many questions… 🙂



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