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Maverick Adams
Maverick Adams

Silk Satin (1980s) PDF ##VERIFIED##

This Paris couture coat reflects the influence of the European Arts and Crafts Movement. It features a medieval-style collar and is entirely covered in dramatic sprays of an English wildflower called 'Sweet Cicely' hand-embroidered in yellow and green silk, with petals of white felt.

Silk Satin (1980s) PDF

There are special suits for all kinds of outdoor amusements, such as shooting, golfing, tennis, boating, driving, riding, bicycling, fishing, hunting, &c., but into the details of these it is unnecessary to enter. It may be remarked, however, that it is easy to stultify the whole effect of these, however perfectly they may be 'built' by the tailor, by the addition of a single incongruous article of attire; such as a silk hat or patent boots with a shooting-suit. (Mrs Humphry, Manners for Men, London 1897)

Underpants were made in linen, cotton and merino, but machine-knitted silk was fashionable with the wealthy and also for summer wear. Underpants of natural coloured wool or cellular cotton were also popular as these fabrics allowed the skin to breathe. Such materials were seen by dress reformers as the healthy alternative to silk, which they claimed trapped harmful chemicals close to the skin. By the late 19th century vests were available in a range of colours, including peach, flesh tint, lavender, light blue and heliotrope.

The dress is dominated by the boldly embroidered panels imported from Turkey and made up in London. In style this dress is transitional between the pronounced curved shapes of the early 1900s and the straighter lines (with high waists) that had become current by about 1909. There is some evidence that an earlier dress may have been adapted to suit the tastes of 1908. The inside of the bodice has a grosgrain waist stay (grosgrain is a heavily ribbed silk) with the woven label of Jays Ltd, which bears a taffeta ribbon marked 'Lady Pearson', the name of the wearer.

'Frequently a silk hat is never seen between Sunday and Sunday. Churchgoers still, to a certain extent, affect it, but in these days of outdoor life, bicycling, and so on, the costume worn by men in church is experiencing the same modifications that characterise it in other department.'

The shape of the top hat appeared at the end of the 18th century. It changed in shape over time and a range of different styles appeared as the century progressed. The gibus or collapsible top hat came into fashion in the 1840s and was often worn with evening dress. It was made of corded silk or cloth over a metal framework which sprung open with a flick of the wrist. It could easily be carried under the arm, making it more convenient for an evening at the opera or theatre than the rigid top hats. Some top hats had ventilation holes in the crown.

In the late 18th century and first half of the 19th century top hats were known as 'beavers'. This is because they were made of felted beaver fur wool. In 1862 Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor reported that 'the bodies of beaver hats are made of a firm felt wrought up of fine wool, rabbit's hair etc. ... over this is placed the nap prepared from the hair of the beaver.' The processes used to create the beaver hats involved the use of mercury. Contact with mercury often had detrimental effects on the hatters and led to the phrase 'mad as a hatter'. By the late 19th century most top hats were made of silk.

By 1894 a range of styles was available, including ventilated waistcoats of lambswool with perforations under the arms, silk undershirts and vests made of lambswool. Many men preferred to have the vest and pants combined in one. These were known as combinations and became very popular in the 20th century.

Vests were made in linen, cotton and merino, but machine-knitted silk was fashionable with the wealthy and also for summer wear. Undervests of natural coloured wool or cellular cotton were also popular, as these fabrics allowed the skin to breathe. Such materials were seen by dress reformers as the healthy alternative to silk, which they claimed trapped harmful chemicals close to the skin. By the late 19th century vests were available in a range of colours, including peach, flesh tint, lavender, light blue and heliotrope.

Pastel colours combined with cream were greatly favoured by fashionable Edwardians. This costume shows how designers of the period lavishly adorned plain cloth with a variety of rich trimmings. It has an alternative matching jacket, a pair of white kid shoes trimmed with ribbon, and white silk stockings, which are not shown in the image.

The smoking jacket was a short, easy- fitting coat, cut in the style of a lounge jacket. It was a distinctive garment since it was often quilted and decorated with silk cord or braid frogging. It could be single- or double-breasted. Soft materials were used such as silk, velvet or wool in dark reds, greens, blues, brown or black.

The house of Lucile was renowned for its asymmetrical styles, of which this matt black silk crepe dinner dress is a perfect example. Set into a high waist, the bias-cut skirt is softly swathed over the left hip and the hem is extended into a triangular train. The cross-over bodice has a plunging V neck fitted with a machine-made black lace, while bands of cream and black silk decorate the neck and cuffs.

Cravats and foulards were popular at the time on blouses as well as dresses. They were inspired by earlier masculine styles in neckwear. In August 1912 The Queen magazine described 'the prettiest style of Robespierre collar, finishing with a Latin Quartier cravat of blue and white birds-eye spot silk'.

The high-waisted black cashmere kimono-like gown is trimmed with striking notes of purple and a wide draped purple sash of silk crepe. It has an unusual bodice (without centre back seam), incorporating bat-wing sleeves with long, tapered cuffs and a wired 'Tudor'-style, heart-shaped collar. The gown wraps over and fastens along the left front with tiny press-studs under a line of blind buttonholes with pendant buttons.

Around 1910, leading fashion houses such as Worth created evening dresses with a straight silhouette. Their impact depended on the juxtaposition of colours and a variety of luxurious and richly decorated fabrics. On this garment, vivid velvet pile is set against light-reflecting beadwork, and the triple-tiered matt net overskirt covers the sheen of the trained satin skirt. The pillar-like look exemplified by this dress replaced the exaggerated curves of the early 1900s. It also shows how designers broke the strong vertical emphasis by creating overskirts with horizontal lines. The bodice, however, is still boned (nine bones).

This garment reveals the fashionable elements of dress immediately before World War I (1914-1918). The line is straight and the cut (especially of the cross-over draped bodice) is intricate. Rows of non-functional tiny buttons were frequently used as decorative motifs in this period. The bodice is lined with white cotton (with ruffles attached to give fullness at the bust) and has a stiff, silk-faced waistband. It was not made by one of the top houses, for it is probably a copy by a good dressmaker of a Paris model .

Superb materials and top-quality workmanship combine to create this stunning evening dress. Light-reflecting beads and sequins had long been popular decoration for evening fabrics, but in the 1920s the fashion reached its peak. The embroidery follows the lines of the printed floral design to enhance the pattern and catch the light. This dress was designed by the fashion house Callot Soeurs. Four sisters, Marie, Marthe, Regina and Joséphine, had opened a lace shop in 1888. The eldest, Marie (Madame Gerber), developed the couture side of the business at 9 avenue Matignon, Paris, where it continued until the mid 1930s. The sisters worked with exquisite and unusual materials, including Chinese silks and rubberised gabardine. Callot Soeurs was also known for its use of lace and decorated sheer fabrics.

Skirts with handkerchief points were particularly fashionable in the late 1920s. They were forerunners of the longer skirts that became generally accepted by 1929. Soft, light-silk fabrics proved ideal for this bias-cut flowing style. Diaphanous silks were usually worn with matching petticoats, or laid over the foundation of the dress. The few garments designed by Nabob in the V&A's collection are made from imported 'exotic' materials.

This below-the-knee day dress made of printed silk chiffon is slightly gathered at a normal waistline on an elastic band. The skirt has a minutely pleated yoke that runs across the hips. There are two sets of fine pleats on the front of the skirt, which flares out slightly towards the knees. The printed pattern of waved bands of massed flower-heads is carefully disposed in all pieces of the dress. On the bodice, sleeves and skirt yoke the bands run diagonally, while on the skirt's bias-cut gores they run horizontally. The minute pin-tucks on the bodice, sleeves and skirt are hand sewn. This design is typical of the years following 1929, when flowing summer dresses in gossamer fabrics with floral prints were popular. Such delicate silks are extremely difficult to handle and sew, demanding a great deal of skill and patience.

Throughout the 1920s Jeanne Lanvin (1867-1946) excelled in the creation of ultra-feminine dresses with fitted bodices and long, full skirts, known as robes de style, of which this evening dress is an example. The black fine silk taffeta dress with boat neckline, and small, capped half-sleeves fastens with poppers down the left side. A pair of immense fern-like fronds are machine-embroidered in furry cream chenille on the skirt, and the cream colour is echoed in floating bands caught in silk georgette bows at the right sleeve and left waist. 041b061a72


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