Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Robert G. Olmsted, 1965
Not on view
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 afternoon dress was likely worn at the races or to other social events where exhibiting one's finery by promenading was deemed appropriate. The delicate dress of chiffon, lace and velvet is an excellent example of Doucet's artistic hand. The construction of the dress is somewhat unusual, for it is a one-piece garment with a monobosom bodice and usually, a dress such as this is two-pieces. The pleated chiffon godets show the advanced technique needed to create this dress, making it a fine representation of the workmanship of the French couture.
Marking: Stamped in gold on petersham: "Doucet/21. Rue de la Paix/Paris" Written in ink: "1031"