Thursday, December 27, 2012

Modern Recreation of an 1890's Gown

From the seller:

Beautiful victorian high society embellished gown. Heavy thick soft cotton velvet. Puffy sleeves. V-neck ruffle layered lace in front & back, embellished collar with gold paisley tapestry and hanging black beads. Same gold paisley tapestry on sleeve cuffs. Braided areas with beads and sequins on shoulders and extend a few inches down back , front and bust area. The front wraps and fastens with two large eye & hooks on right side. The inside has 6 eye & hooks. The sleeves are fastened with 2 eye & hooks and a snap in the center. The collar also has 2 eye & hooks and a snap in center for closure in two areas. The underarm areas have sewn-in cotton shields. Dress weighs 5 lbs.

I acquired this beauty from England over five years ago. This dress looks like it attended the Royal Palace!

32" Bust
24" Waist
36" Hip
59" Length front
66" Length back
16" Sleeve inseam
Condition: Minor flaws with this dress. The velvet is in excellent condition. One small seam tear in each underarm area, easy fix. There's some hand-stitching at hem and on arm seams. The back neck lace, 2nd layer, has a small hole but the pleat fold covers it (how perfect). Of the 6 sequin wheels, one is perfect and another wheel is in good condition only missing a few sequins, the other 4 are obviously missing sequins. The bust area is missing beads & a few loose threads. There are spots on the hem area where the thread came undone, but fabric not hanging, easy fix. Otherwise, it's in fabulous vintage condition, considering it's age. STUNNING PIECE!

From Me:

There were a lot of things that I found suspicious for this dress. First, the closure is more common in the late 1900s (1906 -1909) than it is in the 1890's but that didn't really discount it from being a true period piece. Second, the beading looked appliqued on and not original to the gown - again, wouldn't discount it but most pieces were carefully stitched on and backing removed to make it look like it was all sewn on to the dress. The way the hem looks - it could just be the mannequin but the hem seems to come up in the front and then flow out like a lily to the sides before going into the train. And what finally set this as being a costume - look at the lining. This is why I strive to find interior shots. It's serged. Yes, sergers were available in the 1890's - but only as industrial sergers. They weren't for home use. Yes, it's *possible* that this is a catalog dress but I doubt it on several accounts. The hooks and eyes (the big ones on the waist band) look modern as well and the lining is a pristine white - all these items together add up to this belonging more to a BBC special than to an actual Victorian item.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. I work in theatre and there are a lot of elements that look like modern theatrical sewing rather than actual extant garment sewing. It's still beautiful, but not over 100 years old. :)

    Best, Quinn