Photograph, portrait of Princess Colonna
Frederick Hollyer (1837-1933)
Museum no. 7831-1938
The sitter in this photograph is wearing fashions typical of the 1900s. She is wearing a 'lingerie dress', a type of diaphanous gown reminiscent of nightgowns or petticoats. They were made with lots of frills and tiers, usually in white or light pastel shades, and often decorated with lace, ribbons and pin-tucks.
The very early years of the century saw a vogue for light and frothy dresses, and was accompanied by hairstyles that were loose and flowing about the shoulders, often in waves. The look was one of slight undress compared to the fitted tailoring and corsetry of the Victorian age, worn especially for evening wear and for entertaining at home.