Something Different For 1890s Style

Fashion design often involves the use of various optical effects to achieve a certain look and this was as much true in the 19th Century as it is today. Today we feature an interesting dress that was made by Huet & Cheruit, a fashion house that was started by Madame Louise Chéruit1Louise Chéruit (nee Huet) later married married Prosper Chéruit on August 28, 1895. and her sister Marie Huet in the Mid-1890s:

Raudnitz & Co., Evening Dress, c. 1895-1900; Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009.300.2541a–c)

The fashion fabric is interesting in that it’s actually a silk print that’s meant to mimic fur- sealskin readily comes to mind here for us. Jeweled lace trim frames the neckline and the shoulders over a black silk velvet neckline. The arms and dress are also trimmed in chinchilla fur as well as the hemline. The outline of the train is further enhanced by chinchilla fur, acting as a framing device.

The above side profile provides a nice view of the train and the chinchilla fur trim. Here’s a close-up of the lower skirt:

The lace further enhances the overall effect at the hem. Now for a close-up of the fashion fabric:

Finally, here’s a portrait of Louise Chéruit:

Paul Helleu, “Madame Louise Chéruit,”1898

Although Louise Chéruit was to become more prominent as a couturière in the Teens and 1920s, it’s interesting to get a taste of the talent that was to come into full flower later on.2It’s interesting that she is one of the first to give Paul Poiret his start in fashion.





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