material: silk satin and silk faille, embroidered.
found: ebay.com 2004
This is such a statement in restraint! my favourite gowns from this era all have what is termed a plain tablier, or a skirt that is not festooned in other fabric elements. It may be a width of silk, it might be embroidered, it may be beaded.
I have a few that I am desperate to use for my own inspiration, including one I have only in memory.
It was a very small book with a card cover, square shaped rather than portrait. And one of the images was of a woman in a skirt with a tablier covered in small beads. However I simply can’t remmber many more details. I think I may have come across a scan of the same portrait. But I will try and do a separate post dedicated to the “plain” tablier!
Beige and tan and mid-light tones of this family are very common. I suspect due to advice that it was better lasting- the inference really being that fashion of these years in fashion plates as a riot of colour. And different colours may have been “in season”. If you made your gown in the colour of one season it would be starkly out of fashion the next. But beige/tan, ah that skirts the whole trend/fashion thing entirely.
This dress does however show many features that were fashionable: fine pleatings, fine rushing, tone on tone texture interest, and even asymmetry.
And the colour is heading towards gold so may have been a little daring after all.
Well this certainly ticks the most well know features of the era: ruffles? Tick, contrast of colour? Tick. The ruffles are wider than regularly seen but appear to be making best use of the brocade which seems to be woven as a border.
This was the reality of early like of the web- small files!
But what may be possible to tell here is how very light even the solid fabric is is. This is not unusual, the aim was to have all the tension in the corset, so outer garments could be shaped over an already fitted and shaped body.
The bodice is a classic jacket type from the very end of the 1870s. Cuirasse bodices were also popular at this time.
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.