Evening dress, possibly a copy of a Worth original
Museum no. T.272 & A-1972
Given by Lord and Lady Fairhaven
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 is embroidered in beads with exquisite butterfly and ribbon motifs. Butterflies were popular in 1894. The Queen in April illustrated an example by the couturier Felix.
The label 'Stern Bros., West 23rd , New York' is stitched to the waistband. Stern Bros., one of the largest New York department stores of the time, imported models of Parisian fashions for copying.