Déshabillé in light taffeta (sarcenet) in ice-blue, embellished with Leavers lace in soft pastel tones across the bodice, sleeve and frill. High-waisted bodice combined with a broad frilled drape above. Long pagoda sleeves with cuffs pointing inwards. Exquisitely executed, the garment was almost certainly manufactured in France.
The nightgown would have been worn over a nightshirt and is called a déshabillé precisely because it would have been worn exclusively in private; a lady could not allow herself to be surprised in the morning in this attire by anyone who might visit her!
Heavily embroidered and embellished garments such as these would have been in the so-called “bottom drawer” of young girls of marrying age; traditionally, grandmothers and mothers would begin sewing this type of clothing in the baby's first years.
Donation by Giuliana Gorini Schlatter