Woman's Dress with Day/Dinner Bodice, Evening Bodice and Skirt

This complex bustle skirt of olive green silk faille draped asymmetrically over a shimmering trained underskirt of chartreuse satin also features maroon velvet supporting faille bows up one side and accents of brilliant foliage appliqué. The ensemble has two bodices: this sleeved one with a low, square neckline, suitable for afternoon or dinner wear, and a sleeveless, décolleté bodice for formal evenings.

Designed by Charles Frederick Worth, English (active Paris), 1825 - 1895

Geography:
Made in France, Europe

Date:
c. 1875

Medium:
Silk faille with silk satin, silk velvet, embroidered appliqué, sheer pleated silk, silk fringe, and artificial flowers

Dimensions:
Day/Dinner Bodice Center Back Length: 24 inches (61 cm) Evening Bodice Center Back Length: 15 inches (38.1 cm) Skirt Center Front Length: 50 inches (127 cm) Skirt Waist: 25 inches (63.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1996-19-6a--c

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Gift of the heirs of Charlotte Hope Binney Tyler Montgomery, 1996

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

    Worth created for himself the role of arbiter of style: he no longer merely furnished fashions, he dictated them. Rather than design each dress in collaboration with a client, he introduced twice-yearly collections with live mannequins wearing model dresses. These designs were then adapted to suit each individual customer so that Worth's clothing always gave the impression of being the unique creation of his artistic genius. His business, however, was run almost as an assembly line; by 1870, the year his partnership ended, his Paris fashion house at 7, rue de la Paix, employed twelve hundred seamstresses to produce hundreds of new garments every week. Prevailing taste at this time preferred rich contrasting harmonies of color and combinations of diverse textures. This complex bustle skirt of olive green silk faille draped asymmetrically over a shimmering trained underskirt of chartreuse satin also features maroon velvet supporting faille bows up one side and accents of brilliant foliage appliqué. The ensemble has two bodices: this sleeved one with a low, square neckline, suitable for afternoon or dinner wear, and a sleeveless, décolleté bodice for formal evenings. Dilys E. Blum and H. Kristina Haugland, from Best Dressed: Fashion from the Birth of Couture to Today (1997) pp. 8-9.