I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but my style icon is Lucile. This gown and the other Lucile gown are two of the gowns currently on my inspiration board for my 1912 ball gown.
LUCILE SILK and METALLIC LACE BELLE EPOCH GOWN, Winter 1911. Trained royal purple charmeuse with short sleeve wrap bodice of gold metallic lace under purple net trimmed with gold fringe and silk flowers, draped hobble skirt with ruffled chiffon side panels heavily appliqued in metallic gold, open at front hem with tassel over chiffon insert, demi-train. Label “Lucile Ltd 17 West 36th St. New York”. B-40, W-31, front L-56, back L-62. (Tiny holes, corset torn under arms, faint stain) good. $7,800.
The Met says: “The silhouette of the 1910s is a revival of the Directoire and Empire styles, but here it is blended with a turn-of-the-century monobosom. Once again, a new silhouette was founded in reference to past style. The revealing neckline conforms to an unsupported bust, creating a soft, languorous silhouette.”
This is going to bother me so much, I recognize that motif from somewhere. Is it related to Marie Antoinette maybe?
TThe motif of the three ostrich plumes is from the coat of arms of the Prince of Wales, adopted after the Battle of Agincourt
Edit again: I didn’t think it was a fleur de lys. I do know what that looks like! It reminded me of something from Marie Antoinette’s bed but now I’m thinking I might have gotten that confused with one of the beds at Hampton Court.
766 FRENCH BELLE EPOCH TRAINED and CRYSTAL BEAD ENCRUSTED GOWN Tangerine silk satin, weighted fish tail hem, attached two layer short sleeve overdress of white net with crystal and mother of pearl beads, outer sleeves with beaded tassel and ring drops, matching drops at end of chiffon panel set in cutaway skirt front, shorter net layer fringed. Bust 34, waist 28, skirt front length 46, back 57 inches. Some small holes in net, small stains on net, hem soiled, bead losses, good. $1955.00
Dressing Gown Iida Takashimaya, 1900 The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: “Pink silk taffeta dressing gown in kimono style with embroidered naturalistic chrysanthemums and butterflies in polychrome silks. Silk plain weave lining, padded hem and pleat in back of robe. Full sleeves gathered at shoulders and trimmed with braided silk cord and tassles. Matching sash of pink silk taffeta with double-sided embroidery of chrysanthemums in green brown and pink polychrome silk with knotted silk fringe. Gown labeled: S. Iida “Takashimaya” Silks and Embroideries. Kyoto.”
"The following two lots probably relate to Miss Elizabeth A.I. Trummer - the music teacher of Harcourt Lodge, Norwood. An evening gown of black chiffon over rose silk, circa 1912, adorned with pink chiffon roses and black velvet bands inset with chemical lace; together with the pink satin tea gown from which the decoration was removed c.1885 by K&M Davies of Bayswater."
Kerry taylor Auction
I am officially breaking my rule of never posting about what is on my sewing table. I’ve come across entirely too many beautiful costumes to not share!
LUCILE LADY DUFF GORDON BEADED and APPLIQUED SILK GOWN, c. 1914. Cream satin having cream and blue chiffon short sleeve bodice with V-neck and back, trimmed in bands of blue satin, silver metallic cord and crystal beaded fringe and colorful silk flowers, blue satin cummerbund, hobble skirt beneath short beaded chiffon overskirt ruched in front to reveal beaded lace and chiffon underskirt and having silk flower swag, chiffon side drape studded with rhinestones. Paris label. B-35, W-28, L-56. (Underarms torn and very stained, scattered spots, bodice lining shattered) fair. $2,000-4,000.
Sad costuming news coming from my hometown today. My mom called and told me that my Robe de Style had basically disintegrated. I knew there was shattering in the underskirt but I had no idea how bad it was. Mom said that she moved it and when she came back all that was left was a fine pink powder which would be the rose gold lamé lining.
I know when she bought it for me it was in bad condition. The back was shattering but I thought that the inside was in a delicate but stable condition. Obviously I was mistaken, I had no idea the dry rot had set in that bad. I’m hoping for the best and expecting the worst. Ideally I am hoping that the lace on the front and the skirt was spared. If not the lace then let me have the belt with the velvet and silk flowers at the very least.
When I get home in about two weeks I’ll be able to see the extent of the damage. From there I will have to make the conservation decision on what to do based on whether or not the dry rot has moved to the outer gown. If it has then I need to make the hard choice of trying to save what is left by any means necessary or to properly mourn it’s passing.
Oh and you’ll never be able to understand how I will mourn this piece. Robe de styles are so rare but to actually own one? No words. I treasure my costumes, they are small pieces of history that I have been entrusted with to preserve. To have lost a piece on my watch is what hurts the most. I understand that shattering and dry rot happens and that once they set in properly there isn’t much left to do but wait until the end. I’ve never lost a piece of history before and yet this one has slipped straight through my grasping fingertips.