The donor of this dress presented it as her grandmother’s wedding costume from about 1898 but no details of the bride’s identity were recorded. The dress had been altered in the twentieth century to fit a larger waistline. Stylistic features of the dress suggest a date in the late 1880s is more likely. There is provision for a bustle in the skirt, for example, but bustles went out of fashion by the end of that decade. It is a two-piece costume with a jacket bodice in copper brown silk taffeta with a satin trim at the collar and cuffs. Most of the decoration, however, is concentrated in the skirt, which has layers of taffeta and satin flounces. This also places it firmly in the 1880s. Skirts became plainer and straighter in the 1890s and the decorative emphasis moved upwards to the bodice. The upper part of the sleeves also flared outward in the 1890s to resemble the ‘leg of mutton’ shape of the 1830s. This dress has sleeves with the straighter line of the previous decade.
Production Date
Circa 1898
1,500 (h) x 580 (w) x 460 (d) mm
width includes sleeves padded and hanging when dress is on a mannequin