era: mid-late 1870s
material: fine silk tulle, embroidered with straw, pressed straw motiffes
found: ebay.com May 2011
This overdress is stunning. It is truly iconic of the era but in a very unique way. High contrast of materials, sheer outerlayer that allows colour shifting of any garment below, and delicate but trailing and repeat decoration.
The straw decoration is very effective from a distance and fascinating to look at in detail.
Back in the early days of access to the net here in New Zealand I found myself mainly looking for images of patterns and extant garments. And pretty much just that! I already had a lot of information from books, but always wanted more.
More fashion plates too.
As time goes by I realise many of the auctions were not saved, were not shared, and many of them added vital understanding to the vibrancy, the texture, the construction, and even the overall aesthetic of the day.