Jacques Doucet was first, and foremost, a connoisseur of art. Additionally, his passion for the refined and exquisite overflowed into his dealings with fashion, making him one of the finest French couturiers during the Belle Époque. The House of Doucet began as a family business, specializing in women's lingerie and laces, as well as articles of clothing for men. Founded in 1817, the company rose to fame under the hand of Jacques. The house was known for its luxurious offerings, which were worn and coveted by royalty, members of the elite society in both Europe and America, and actresses of the stage.This evening dress is an exquisite example of the surface embellishment of the Belle Époque era. The multiple layers of silk, net and lace, accented with satin ribbon, beads, sequins and embroidery show how carefully each piece of couture was constructed. This dress is especially interesting, for it was worn by Mrs. Frederick Augustus Constable, wife of the manager of the high-end New York store Arnold Constable & Co. The establishment imported European dresses, some being Doucet's, as illustrated by both names being included on the petersham.