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Woman's Dress: Bodice and Skirt
Reception Dress

Designed by Emile Pingat, French, 1820 - 1901. Worn by Mrs. William Carver, American, 1836 - 1912.

Geography:
Made in France, Europe

Date:
c. 1874

Medium:
Silk with stripes of dark blue satin and tan plain weave; dark blue silk faille; ivory silk embroidery on silk net; ivory and dark blue silk fringe

Dimensions:
Center Front Length (Bodice): 22 13/16 inches (57.9 cm) Waist (Bodice): 29 15/16 inches (76 cm) Center Front Length (Skirt): 43 11/16 inches (111 cm) Skirt bottom edge: 157 1/2 inches (400.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1938-18-12a,b

Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ogden Wilkinson Headington in memory of Ogden D. Wilkinson, 1938

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Label:
When visiting Paris, many wealthy women made it their mission to fill their trunks with a Parisian wardrobe that would have that "je ne sais quoi" that was both untranslatable and inimitable. One of the "maisons de couture" especially favored by Americans was that of Emile Pingat, known for his craftsmanship and creativity. In this day dress, designed about 1876, Pingat makes effective use of a bold striped fabric; caught up in front drapery and then cascading down the bustled back, it also sparingly accents the bodice at the collar and cuffs and at the sides of the back. The stripes are skillfully utilized again, on the diagonal, in loops finishing the train, and the motif is echoed by variegated fringe edging the embroidered net trim. Pingat's eye for detail and his flawless workmanship are evident even in the understated areas of his design, as in the vertical tucks that subtly accentuate the fit of the solid blue back of the bodice. Hat and bag in the style of the period.

Additional information:
  • PublicationBest Dressed: Fashion from the Birth of Couture to Today

    When visiting Paris, many wealthy women made it their mission to fill their trunks with the latest styles. Their time was happily spent going to the numerous required fittings, confident that a Parisian wardrobe would have that je ne sais quoi that was both untranslatable and inimitable. While many followed the well-traveled path to Worth's door, others of a more adventurous spirit sought out the craftsmanship and creativity of the city's other distinguished maisons de couture. One of the couturiers especially favored by Americans was Emile Pingat, another male designer in competition with Worth. In this day dress, designed about 1876, Pingat makes effective use of a bold striped fabric; caught up in front drapery and then cascading down the bustled back, it also sparingly accents the bodice at the collar and cuffs and at the sides of the back. The stripes are skillfully utilized again, on the diagonal, in loops finishing the train, and the motif is echoed by variegated fringe edging the embroidered net trim. Pingat's eye for detail and his flawless workmanship are evident even in the understated areas of his design, as in the vertical tucks that subtly accentuate the fit of the solid blue back of the bodice. Dilys E. Blum and H. Kristina Haugland, from Best Dressed: Fashion from the Birth of Couture to Today (1997) pp. 10-11.

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