Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Evening dress

Design House:
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)
Date:
1898–1900
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk
Credit Line:
Gift of Miss Eva Drexel Dahlgren, 1976
Accession Number:
1976.258.1a, b
Not on view

A superb example of dressmaking from the House of Worth, this dress exhibits the aesthetic of the last years of the nineteenth century. The fashionable reverse S-curve silhouette of the dress and the dramatic scroll pattern of the textile reflect the influence of the Art Nouveau movement. The striking graphic juxtaposition of the black velvet on an ivory satin ground creates the illusion of ironwork, with curving tendrils emphasizing the fashionable shape of the garment. In order to achieve this effect, the textile was woven à la disposition, with the intent that each piece would become a specific part of the dress. With this technique, the design of the fabric is intrinsic to the design of the dress.

Marking: [label] Worth, Paris
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Vanity Fair: A Treasure Trove from the Costume Institute," December 15, 1977–September 3, 1978.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "In Style: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Costume Institute," November 17, 1987–April 17, 1988.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "La Belle Epoque," December 6, 1982–September 4, 1983.

Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. "Femme Fatale: Fashion and Visual Culture in Fin-de-Siecle Paris," October 22, 2002–January 25, 2003.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion," May 3, 2006–September 4, 2006.

Saint Louis Art Museum. "Vanity Fair: Four Centuries of Fashion from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 3, 1979–April 1, 1979.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion," May 3–September 4, 2006.

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