Looking for early 1900s day dresses but not the lingerie dress style? Well, here’s an interesting alternative from circa 1903:
Day Dress, c. 1903; FIDM Museum (79.25.12A-C)
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of detail on specific dress materials, except to say that silk is one of the materials, so short of a physical inspection, it’s somewhat speculation on our part but it’s probable that the fashion fabric is either a silk print or has woven stripes. Velvet is also indicated as another material and more likely present in the trim running along the bottom and middle hems, bodice front, and collar. Finally, lace is also indicated and that’s pretty obvious looking at the middle hem, shoulders, and collar. Stripes have often been used as a dramatic style element and when used judiciously, they can take an otherwise average dress and make it into something fantastic as with the day dress.
The side profile really shows up the “pouter pigeon” look created by the S-Bend corset.
The train nicely shows off the vertical stiped effect. Daywear styles in the 1900-1905 time frame were dominated by lingerie/lingerie style dresses and this is what tends to stick in people’s minds when considering this period. The above dress stands out as a major exception and certainly provides some food for thought. Stay tuned for more! 🙂
And to continue the natural world theme in yesterday’s post, today we feature a lingerie dress that was created by Jacques Doucet around 1900-1905, only this time utilizing bees:
Doucet, Day Dress, c. 1900-1905; Les Arts Décoratifs
In many respects, this dress style follows the lingerie dress style that was prevalent for warm weather daywear during the early 1900s, an area that Doucet excelled. This dress is constructed of layers of semi-sheer fabrics (probably batiste and/or organza) combined with lace and features a multi-layer train that alternates the fashion fabric with the lace. However, the centerpiece of this dress is the use of a decorative floral motif featuring bees. The bees themselves appear to be embroidered appliques and are artfully arranged running up the dress front to suggest bees buzzing about flying out of the vegetation. One can definitely see that vertical lines are emphasized, especially with the dress front designed as a front-opening robe; the swarm of bees run all the way up the dress front and around the neckline to the back. Compared to many lingerie dresses of the period, the use of lace is fairly restrained and is not allowed to detract from the bee decoration. Below is a rear view:
The rear is also interesting in that the bees are set along the hem of the our dress layer to suggest low-lying vegetation and when viewed together with the front, the effect is very three-dimensional. This is more than a simple static decorative motif being applied to a dress, this has been well thought out. The dress itself is fairly simple design, acting as a canvas for the decorative design. This dress is definitely an inspiration for future recreated designs. 🙂
When they come in to fetch me, it’s supper time. Loosely translated: “Drop everything and fix us food.” 🙄
Don’t blame me if your dinner has loose threads in it, guys! It’s been a long day of stitching.
I‘ve been slowly building a dress sample based on the styles of tea gowns and lingerie dresses from the 1899-1905 era for our Bridal line. This one is all fine sheer cottons, mostly pearl white worn over buttercream yellow, antique lace front panels and insertion, and dyed to match silk ribbon. Our original idea was to make this from white over blue…and then a friend gifted me with a bolt of vintage white and yellow dotted Swiss, and everything changed! 🙂
Just a hint of pink, with that blush petticoat and corset cover underneath…just imagine, a dress with no train! Perfect for walking Angus and Fiona to town, don’t think I won’t! 🙂