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Lady’s dress

Manifattura inglese (?)

in storage
Silk grosgrain with diagonal silk embellishments
142 cm (front length), 236 cm (back length)
Ancient Textiles no. 6775

A full-length bustle dress in bright red silk grosgrain, with diagonal ornamental decorations in burgundy silk. The corset, fitted tightly at the waist, is shaped in points and trimmed with padded ribbon. Front fastening with 10 buttons in imitation pearl and a ruched collar trimmed with bouillonnée.  The sides of the skirt are also bouillonnée; there are three pleated frills at the front and a single frill at the back, overlaid with horizontal drapes. Balayeuse trimmed in Leavers lace; sarcenet lining for the bodice, cotton and tarlatan for the skirt.

This is a magnificent example of the English manufacturing tradition of bustle dresses, designed to emphasize the waistline with a very tight and slender corset and the contrasting design of the simple fitted bodice with its high fitted collar against the opulence of the skirt.


La Galleria del Costume/5, a cura di K.Aschengreen Piacenti, Firenze 1993, n.15, pp.58-59.; Eleganze della moda fra ‘700 e ‘800. Abiti storici dalla Galleria  del Costume di Palazzo Pitti, a cura di C. Chiarelli e C. Sisi, Milano 1997, n.31, pp.50,77. Catalogo della mostra, Caravino, Castello di Masino, 18 aprile-27 luglio,1997.

Text by
Caterina Chiarelli
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