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Lady’s dress

Author
Manifattura inglese (?)
Date
1880-82
Location
in storage
Technique
Silk grosgrain with diagonal silk embellishments
Size
142 cm (front length), 236 cm (back length)
Inventory
Inv. Tessuti Antichi 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.