Evening dress, E. Wiggins

Evening dress, E. Wiggins

Evening dress
E. Wiggins (retailer)
About 1887
New York
Silk satin and velvet, with beaded decoration and cotton lining
Museum no. T.278 to B-1972
Given by Lord and Lady Fairhaven

This evening dress shows how fashion was changing in the late 1880s. The bustle is no longer predominant and emphasis is focused on contrasting fabrics and decorative effects. The closely fitting bodice of dark green velvet is embellished with an iridescent beaded panel. The separate skirt is made from shot cream silk, trimmed with iridescent bead motifs over which machine-made lace is asymmetrically draped. One side of the train is faced with a triangular panel of gold and white figured silk. According to the Lady's World of 1887: 'Skirts now never have two sides alike'.

The grosgrain waistband is stamped in gold 'E. Wiggins, 52 West 21st Street, N.Y.' The paper label stitched to the waistband carries the name of the wearer, 'A. P. Rogers'.

The dress is very similar to a fragmentary one from the same source, now in the collection at Norwich Castle Museum and marked 'Laferrière', a well known Parisian couturier.