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Four promenade dresses

from the 1860s
 
 

Period: 1850 - 1865

This ensemble consisting of two dresses each for women and children was commissioned work for the dolls museum in Fischach, which is expected to reopen in June 2012.

The dress is made of cream-colored cotton with delicate embroidery of antique pink color. The tight-fitted jacket is buttoned at the front; the gathered sleeves of the blouse a covered by the distinctive pagoda sleeves from this epoch. Both the shoulders' heavy decline – they were shifted to the back as it had happened so many times in fashion history – and their oversized proportions were conform with the time's ideal of beauty. The applied peplum is deep-puckered. An antique lace collar completes the ensemble.

The skirt – only of moderate width at the beginning of the 1860s – is worn over a steel crinoline, which was only invented a couple of years earlier in 1855 in England.


The second dress was made of heavy green silk lampas. Its interspersed bouquets of flowers were very fashionable at that time.
In addition we consciously forwent lavish decorations to emphasize the precious fabric and the sophisticated cut of this suit.

Only adornments are a correspondingly colored braid of lace and fringe, an opulent brooch, and the antique lace. Similar to the first dress the shoulders of the jacket are very oversized, while the shoulder seams were moved to the back. The plain peplum with overlapping style was very common for day and promenade dress from that time. The jacket is closed with hand-covered green velvet buttons. The tight-fitting, two-piece sleeves are cut roundly. The skirt – also only of moderate width – is worn over a crinoline as well.


During the 1860s the sailor suit came into fashion. It quickly evolved into the most popular clothing for boys and continued to be fashionable until the turn of the century, later even for girls in form of 'sailor dresses'. This children's fashion is attributable to a painting by Winterhalter from the year 1846 that depicts the 5-year old Prince Albert Edward in a sailor suit.

Our model is made of dark blue virgin wool twill. The slightly bloused top is brought to shape with a waistband strap. The 'sailor' collar and the black cotton necktie are put on separately.

The knee-length trousers are of moderate width. They are also closed with a strap at the waistband.



For the little girls' dress we decided for antique-pink-colored damask with little flowers. We coordinated the fabrics' coloring to go nicely with the two ladies' dresses.

The wide sleeves and leveled skirt are still slightly influenced by the Biedermeier period. Multiple skirt levels were quite common for children's dresses as they enabled the dress to adjust to the size of the growing child for a couple of years. The sheer antique lace collar, the color-coordinated brooch, and the velvet scarf are again the only adornments of this creation. Multiple tiers of stiffened hoops were worn below the skirt as well as the absolutely essential long cotton underpants with lace trimming (they are not visible in the picture).

 

Price categories:
Cream-colored lady dress: C
Green silk dress: D
Sailor suit: A
Girls' dress: A