KCI says: A bustle style is a look that emerged immediately after the crinoline. Bright purple became fashionable with the invention of the chemical dye aniline in 1856. The usage of fashionable color and the generous drapery used in this dress are characterized of Maison Worth.
Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895), an Englishman by origins, went on to establish his own maison in Paris in 1858. He set up the basis of the fashion system that would later be known as “Haute Couture” through initiatives such as showing his new designs on living women, developing clients who were fashion leaders in society, and implementing skillful advertising strategies. All of these ideas contributed to establishing Paris as the fashion capital of the late 19th Century.
Philippe & Gaston ca. 1925
The Met says: The 1920s was the era of the flapper - a liberated woman who danced all night, sipped cocktails and frequently smoked. She was a carefree spirit and this was expressed through her dress. Hemlines rose and waistlines dropped, creating a tubular silhouette. Sheer and delicate fabrics were used, revealing more skin, and heavy beading was a common adornment, for the beads would catch the light and sparkle while the wearer was in motion. For a fabulous night on the town, a lady had to have the appropriate wardrobe and this evening dress is a perfect example of a well-made dress of the period. It is a visually appealing piece with the combination of the ombré fabric and the refined beadwork. The floating panels on the skirt are a classic design element of the 1920s dresses and would have been quite eye-catching
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
The Royal colour purple.
In the exhibition this costume was described as: “Supremacy. Purple silk moire robe, growing in stature to unapproachable scale and authority. Military command sealed with cut steel orders across a hardened bodice.”
Can you imagine seeing a woman suddenly appear in the doorway wearing this gown? Floating like a fae clothed in her gossamer dragonfly wing gown? Pearls and sequins like dew drops littering a flower petal bodice.
c. 1912 Incredible Bright Lavender Chiffon and Silk Satin Edwardian Gown with Crystal Beading and Beaded Fringe
^ That is the inscription on AD’s website. However I’d like to go ahead and just mention the Edwardian era covers the reign of King Edward VII from 1901-1910.
“This outfit is believed to be the dress of George H. Sumner (1870-1946) of Roxbury, Vermont, who later moved to Deerfield. The dress is made of a purple-blue wool twill, with wide matching velvet collar and off-white satin ribbon. The low, loose waistline would help provide a measure of comfort to Sumner as a young child.”
“Vivid magenta-coloured silk gives this dress a rich and flamboyant appearance. It was probably dyed with one of the new synthetic colours produced from the late 1850s onwards, although intense hues could also be created using natural dyes. The artificial forms of magenta were very popular and a battle for patents began as dyers sought to distinguish their inventions from those of their competitors. In reality many of the dye samples from different manufacturers looked exactly the same, and it was only the exotic names, claims on colourfastness and improved visual quality that set them apart. Other disputes arose over the health risk posed by the wearing and production of garments coloured with synthetic dyes. In the early 1870s a German chemist found traces of arsenic in fabric dyed with magenta, which could leak out in washing, rain or perspiration. There were also reports of serious skin conditions caused by exposure to aniline dyes, and a dye firm in Switzerland was forced to close in 1864 due to arsenic pollution.
Brightly coloured fabrics also led to words of advice from the fashion magazines. The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine of March 1868 recommended that there should be no more than ‘two positive colours in a lady’s toilet’ and that ‘very bright tints’ should be toned down with white, black or grey to prevent a gaudy appearance. Two shades of the same colour were considered very fashionable, particularly if the trimmings were of a contrasting fabric. (In this example, the difference in colour between the thread and material may have become more evident over time.) Satin bows and pleated bias-cut trimmings complement the ribbed silk of this dress perfectly, while delicate puffs of tulle inserted into the sleeves soften the impact of the dramatic colour. These details reveal the skill of eminent couturiers such as Madame Vignon, the maker of this gown, who was also patronised by the fashionable Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III.”
Research chemist William Perkin was trying to make quinine when he instead came up with a substance that has ensured the world is a brighter place.
“… For that privilege, thank a young Victorian research chemist. His attempt to create the anti-malarial medicine quinine from coal tar in his flat in Cable Street in the East End of London went serendipitously wrong as he worked over Easter 150 years ago… . Appropriately, considering the origins of Perkins’ colour, he was to receive a helping hand from the two most famous women of the day - both empresses. Queen Victoria caused a sensation when she stepped out at the Royal Exhibition in 1862 wearing a silk gown dyed with mauveine. In Paris, Napoleon III’s wife, Empress Eugenie, wowed the court when she was seen wearing it. To propel the scientist further on the way to a great fortune, the fashion of the time was for crinoline skirts that, happily for him, needed a lot of his revolutionary new dye.”
The entire article is fascinating!
Edit: to clear up confusion this photo is Princess Victoria, the Princess Royal (1840-1901) taken on the 3 of July 1861.