Previously, as part of our discussion on early 1880s fashion, we described the “Panier Polonaise” style a bit. Today, we present an example of this style from our collection that dates from the early 1880s. Unfortunately, there’s no label inside or other way to pinpoint the precise year of construction.
The bodice and skirt are constructed of a plum-colored silk taffeta (we actually conducted a burn test on some fibers taken from the interior). On the skirt sides, the fabric has been draped and held in place by strips of ruched self-fabric trim. The same self-fabric trim also runs along the hem.
Below are some views of the bodice. It’s cut in the style of a polonaise with long edges towards on the front that are sharply drawn up towards the rear. The same style of self-fabric trim are used on each side of the bodice front and the sleeve cuffs. Note the tiny ruched “parasol pocket”… 🙂 It was handy for holding a handkerchief (or not).
Below is a view of one of the polonaise bodice sides, again trimmed in the same self-fabric trim as the other parts of the skirt and bodice. The hem is gathered up towards the rear and one can see the detail:
And here’s a view of the bodice back. The sides drape over the hips while the rear is drawn up short.
Below are two views of the bodice interior. As was standard with most late 19th Century bodices, they were lightly boned to maintain the bodice’s shape (they were NOT meant to replace the corset). Although it’s not easy to make out from the picture, the lining fabric is a plain cotton muslin.
This is truly a remarkable example of early 1880s style and we’ll be posting some more pictures of it soon.
To be continued…