Figured silk and chenille afternoon dress, Halling

Figured silk and chenille afternoon dress, Halling

Afternoon dress (bodice and skirt)
Halling, Pearce & Stone
1879-81
London
Satin, trimmed with figured silk, chenille tassels and machine-made lace, lined with silk and cotton, reinforced with whalebone
Museum no. T.238&A-1916
Given by Miss Bertha H. Davey

By 1880 women’s fashions were becoming very elaborate. This ensemble demonstrates the ‘over-upholstered’ look, with a variety of fabrics, rows of tassels and lace embellishment, all used on one outfit. Hitherto the train was found only on evening dress, but the high neckline and elbow-length sleeves indicate that this dress was for formal afternoon wear. The bodice is in the ‘cuirasse’ style, extending into a point below the waistline. The dress bears the label of the maker: Halling, Pearce and Stone. Following the example set by Charles Worth in Paris, dressmakers had begun to identify the clothes they made. This can be seen in professionally made clothing from the late 1870s onward.