The styles of the 1890s never fail to fascinate us here at Lily Absinthe- at the same time they look represent one of the heights of Victorian fashion yet at the same time give a hint of fashion developments to come in later years. To start, here’s a more formal day or reception dress from the mid 1890s:
Day Dress, Mid 1890s; Augusta Auctions, Museum of the City of New York Deaccession.
Three-Quarter Front View
Style-wise, this dress has a silhouette characteristic of the 1890s, characterized by an upright cylindrical profile. The skirt and bodice are constructed of a bottle green silk velvet combined with what appear to be silk faille facings and collar created to look like a faux vest underneath (no doubt, it’s all one piece in actuality). The faux vest/waistcoat is especially striking in that it almost jumps out from the dress with its contrasting ivory silk faille set against the bottle green velvet, effect that’s enhanced by the velvet absorbing light because of its texture and depth. Here’s a closer view:
Close-up of front.
The jeweling and decoration on the silk faille further enhances the bodice’s effect:
Detail of front bodice.
Detail of front bottom corner of bodice.
Detail of facing.
Overall, this is a textbook case of how various different fabrics and colors and be combined to create an effect that’s greater than the sum of its parts. The eye is instantly drawn to the bodice, following the dresses’ vertical silhouette. Unfortunately, there’s no detail as to who designed and constructed this dress so that remains a mystery but never the less, this is a testament to 1890s style in that it’s both backward and forward-looking at the same time. The faux vest/waistcoat is reminiscent of later 18th Century styles while at the same time, the silhouette, fabrics and colors seem point towards later dress styles- the lines are clean and the bodice is restrained in its decoration and balances the skirt nicely. Definitely an aesthetic treat to behold and it will certainly serve as a source of inspiration for us.
We’re still sorting through all the pictures that we took in England and here are some more from our trip to The Vyne, an historic manor house located close to Basingstoke in Hampshire. First, here’s another picture of us…the red in the day dress really stands out in the grey background lighting:
And here are a couple with a good friend of ours: 🙂
Here are two of the chapel:
And one of the well-appointed sitting rooms:
And the tomb of Chaloner Chute, himself:
Here’s a better picture that I borrowed from online:
And finally, Henry VIII himself:
While we were away in England, we had the opportunity to visit The Vyne, an historic manor house located close to Basingstoke in Hampshire. Originally built between 1500 and 1520 for William Sandys, Henry VIII’s Lord Chamberlain, the house was later acquired in 1653 by Chaloner Chute, a successful barrister and remained in the Chute family until it was acquired by the National Trust. Over the years, the house has been progressively added onto and is a pastiche of various styles ranging from early Tudor through the 19th Century. One of the most interesting aspects is that the house contained a small chapel, complete with stained glass windows. The day we visited, it was cold, windy, and overcast but that didn’t deter us any, we managed to get a number of very nice pictures.
First is the exterior:
This is the back side of the main house. To the left is an outbuilding.
The front of the house.
Here’s a better view of the house, courtesy of the National Trust.
And now some of the interior:
And now for us… 🙂
A little humor for the camera…my reaction after receiving the latest bill from Charles Worth.
Yes, it’s all mine (or so I’d like to believe)…
Karin modeling her latest creation- a late 1880s day dress.
Visiting The Vyne was one of the major high points of our visit to England and it was definitely worth braving the cold and damp. The estate provided a wonderful backdrop for picture-taking and we only wish that the weather had permitted us to get some more pictures of us outside. We would definitely love to visit again in the Spring when the all the plants are in full bloom. All in all, a special day. 🙂
This year it’s Christmas in London and we’re off! Everything is in order and we’re looking forward to a fun end to a very eventful and busy year. Stay tuned for more! 🙂
Last day to finish, skirt and train piece are done except for tacking on that monster pleated ruche and one more bodice fitting. Onward!