Satin and chenille dress, designer unknown

Satin and chenille dress, designer unknown

Dress
Designer unknown
About 1880
Great Britain
Satin, trimmed with applied beading, chenille tassels and needle lace, lined with cotton, reinforced with whalebone, edged with brush braid, machine and hand sewn
Museum no. T.113-1964
Given by Mrs. A. Nicholls

According to the donor, this dress was worn by her mother on her wedding day. It could have been her 'going away' ensemble, or it could have been the dress she wore for the actual ceremony. Because weddings in those days took place in the morning, daywear with long sleeves and high necks was the acceptable style. For her wedding, a woman invariably wore a coloured dress that would serve as a ‘best dress’ for years to come. By 1880 the skirt was quite slender in profile, often with an overskirt swathed in front, gathered over the bustle at the back and falling into a train. The horizontal bands of applied frills and ruching on the skirt are typical decoration for this period. The bodice is tight-fitting and designed to suggest a jacket.