Some Late 1880s Style

Just to change things up, today we take a brief look at the other end of the spectrum with the late 1880s with specifically, this circa 1889 evening/reception dress from Kent State University Museum:

Mme. Ludinart, 129 Boul. St.-Honoré, Paris, Evening/Reception Dress, c. 1889; Kent State University Museum (1983.001.0202 ab)

Here’s a better view (unfortunately most of the photos are lower resolution):

The dress is constructed of a mauve/cream-colored silk brocade covered with a cream-colored chiffon with white dots. The hem is relatively simple, consisting of a taupe-colored ruched silk band (it was probably more of an ivory color when initially constructed but has yellowed a bit with age). The bodice is also fairly plain with no sleeves and trimmed with lace around the neckline that matches the hem color. One interesting style detail is the use of taupe-colored silk ribbons on the shoulders that are shaped in a sort of rosette pattern with long tails. While it definitely provides a point of focus that attracts the viewer, it’s a bit distracting.

In terms of silhouette, the train is fairly restrained and we don’t see the more extreme style common to the 1885-1888 time frame. However, looking at the hem and how it curves downward towards the rear, there probably was a more pronounced bustle/padding effect going on so who knows? 🙂 Finally there’s the train which is made of a champagne/gold-colored silk satin with darker gold-colored vertical strips of silk faille with a jacquard floral pattern. Below are two views of the train (fortunately one is higher resolution):

One interesting detail is that the bodice back appears to match the train, creating the visual effect of a continuous flowing train running up the bodice, although the train and bodice are separate pieces.

And here’s a close-up of the silk jacquard faille ribbon strips. Note the horizontal ribs:

Overall, this is an interesting that places most of its style emphasis on the train and when looking at the back and front, it’s almost like we’re looking at two different dresses. The large ribbons at the shoulders are a bit of a distraction but ultimately that’s a matter of personal taste. This is an interesting late 1880s dress and in looking at it, there’s little hint of the style changes that were to occur in the 1890s.


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