Sunday, October 30, 2011

Another Ballgown from the 1890s

Check out the characteristic features of an 1890s ballgown. First, the lily-shaped skirt. This is usually cut with trapezoid shaped pieces in the front and sides, and with a rectangular shaped piece in back. This shaping means that in front the skirt nips in at the waist, skims over the hips, and angles out to a wide hem. The rectangular back means that there is plenty of fabric to pleat or gather at the back of the waist, and plenty of fabric to swing out when one dances. A properly cut skirt adds so much to the look and feel of late nineteenth century dances.

The bodice is constructed with a solid and symmetrical base, but then the outer fabric is draped and pleated in an asymmetrical way that completely disguises the ordinary foundation, to the point where you can't even see the fastenings. The big sleeves are also artfully arranged with ribbon loops and gauze puffs. This dress is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

No comments:

Post a Comment