I am also finding it hard to trust all staged images, as there is a tendency to pouff out draped fabrics when they should fold inwards. I wonder how many people remember the infamous natural form pattern?


The Simplicity 4244 pattern with the paniers turned out and padded?



The original has the area padded out in display, though not turned inside out:



http://www.victorianbridalmuseum.com/about/index5.phtml


I would love to see this updated, polonaise style princesse dresses are a staple in the pattern books of the era that it’s nice to see real examples whenever possible. Seriously, every book has at least one princess and at least one is really a polonaise.


 



And if the Met can have a garment padded in inverse to what would be expected, then yes it’s very easy to to!




Centraal Museum too! (but this is another good example of the mid-late 1880s shape to the skirt, the pouffing over the hips and of the little puff over the bustle.. not really feeling it. But yeah, that’s another Sunburst reference!)



This is simply more a case of feeling too full at the front hip. But I have seen more extreme forms of firm support in contemporary photos.


But I was looking at a gown I adore but feels later than the date as well, and I am trying to tease out whether it is staged or original to the gown.


 


So what is it that makes this feel later than 1875?


Simply put the shoulders. They are very square. Very square indeed and that is not because the mannequin has square shoulders. The sleeve shape also is very angular, another feature of mid to late 1880s patterning.


Compare the shoulders to this very definitely mid 1870s garment:



See the slope of the shoulder, more obvious from the back. The front arm seams are further under the arm than above too. But this is a very well made example of the time so the structure is a bit firmer and so holds a firm line compared to other examples of this decade.


The split and pointed tails of the scaled gown can also be seen right through to early 1890s in Worth garments (see the silvery blue gown also from the met on this page.)


But this is why I am devouring everything I can find about what is absolutely known as far as dates of garments. There are a few garments dated to mid 1880s that have a very gored skirt shape that is, as above, original shaping. Even the above has a mix of gored and flat panels. So it may be that the house was experimenting in shifting fullness around very early. That though is proving difficult.


 


Anyway if anyone would like to sponso a trip to see the Worth Archives- maybe a month stay to be able to actually go through all documents then maybe my mind would be rested!


 


I already know the pattern books and periodicals do not show the flared gored skirt shape earlier than the early 1890s. I have gone through every single issue of Der Bazar that has plates and patterns, I have random patterns from other periodical, and of course the cutting books. In fact skirts go extremely boxy before they get pulled to the back and then the hem flares out again. But again Maison Worth was known to anticipate fashion as well as push it in a direction most especially in cut.


So yes. Grubby mitts on the archive. Well very well cleaned and gloved mitts.



Tags: sunburst, worth


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Philadelphia Museum of Art


Left & right: Woman’s Evening Dress: Bodice and Skirt (1978-2-1a,b and 1978-2-2a,b)


Left vs right: Worth vs Artist/maker unknown, American.


Left & vs right: Worn by Mrs. Ernest Fenollosa


These are much too closely matched to be coincidence and were worn by the same woman.


Nearly identical in cut, the brocade gown doesn’t appear to have the same fit in the bodice. And that is what really marks a Worth garment. The curve at the side of the waist and generaly sweep feels very Worth. As well as the colours and fabrics.


This is part of my research as I try and identify when Worth started using very flared panels in skirts. These do feel mid to late 1880s. The gores are not heavily angled and there is a bit of bulk of fabric right around the front of the hips as well as sides, and obviously the bustle. But it is the slightly boxy shape of the front that makes these match perfectly to fashion plates.


I do know this flat boxy front was still in use in paterns by 1894! And that is the year we see three distinct skirt patterns.


 



Tags: sunburst, worth


Tags:

I keep coming back to a very small handful I really want to work on, and realised I have a major love for very stark gowns.


I mean Sunburst or not on that skirt that gown would be on my Must Make list anyway.


 


Virginie Gautreux by JS Sargent and Rose Caron by Toulmouche.


I have actually made part of each, but I really want a nice silk satin for Mme X. I need about 8m and in a nice heavy weight that’s just not really been on the cards. But, sales are sales so fingers crossed one coincides with a bit of luck 🙂


My day ensembles have tended to also be a bit stark like my grey dress and this is in keeping with that with a touch of Worth:



Worth’s Cleopatra yellow wool dress.


I also have to admit the fabric I just cut for my new duvet cover (one of a set of curtains) has such a huge pattern it’s super tempting to make a Worth-a-like based on those oversized patterned velvets. The front is a crinkle silver with chenille waves, but the reverse.. now the reverse looks like black velvet with flat silver waves and that is just too much to resist. Well I hope I can because I *might” just be able to get a frock out of it. But I want a high necked version. That might be a bit much. The curtains had huge eyelets at the top which est into the amount that is free. That said I do have a strip.. but also my new duvet cover is so pretty that it really needs a bit of matchy matchy in terms of pillow covers.



It might be possible for a more 1890 vs 1895 look.

Help. Obsessed. There may have been a Pinterest board created and it may be strictly properly sourced and maybe just updated with a gown that is included in one of the few Lafayette photos to have lots of close views. Such bliss.


 


LANGTRY, MRS

Neg. No: 2194

Neg. Size: 15″X12″

Neg. Date: 10-11-1899


Sitter: Lillie Langtry (stage name) Lady De Bathe, née Emilie Charlotte Le Breton (1853-1929).



I think this may be my favourite of all the gowns Worth produced like this. Though that may be because it’s Lily Langtry!


Yes, I often combine my interest in theatre, costume, and stage so of course I have a lovely file archive of Mrs Langrty.


 


I know a lot of people have been inspired by RedThreaded’s Worth gown, but there may be some weird web archiving glitch so here it is for anyone not yet seen!



 


I apologise! This image has been very hard to source. This is the other woven velvet/satin gown that is also absolutely taken up brain space!



Worth, Tea gown, 1895 © Photograph rights reserved / Mairie de Paris


This has horizontal bust darts! As well as curved bust seams and a waist seam to get that beautiful shaping of the velvet.


 


But all this has been part of my life tidying that has been happening- organising books, papers, digital files. SO this has meant reorganising my patterns and WIP and thus my recent flurry of posts.


 


I’ll be trying to get all my Mina posts from before the website changeover, but that may be a bit difficult!

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