This sumptuous evening dress has huge puffed sleeves which were highly fashionable during the mid 1890s. One of the advantages of these large sleeves was to make the waist look small by comparison. The shoulder width was counterbalanced by the size of the skirt, which widened at the hem - an effect that was achieved by gores, shaped panels, box pleats in the back of the skirt and stiff interlining. The skirt and bodice are trimmed with glass bead and sequin embroidery and bead-embroidered net in a design of butterflies and ribbons. Butterflies were popular in 1894; the April edition of The Queen magazine contained an example by the couturier Felix.
The label 'Stern Bros., West 23rd , New York' is stitched to the waistband of the skirt. Stern Bros., one of the largest New York department stores of the time, imported models of Parisian fashions for copying.
Museum no. T272-1972 & T.272A-1972
Given by Major and Mrs Broughton