Friday, December 21, 2007

Trailing Lilies

Court Gown and Train

Charles Frederick Worth (French, born England, 1826–1895). Court Gown and Train, 1888. Pink silk satin with matching silk tulle and lace applied trim, metallic sequin and purple stone embroidery, and applied white ostrich plumes with court train of printed ivory, pink, and olive green devoré silk velvet. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2007 (2007.385a–m).

The Englishman Charles Frederick Worth is considered the inventor of the modern fashion system, with its seasonal menu of constantly evolving styles. The couture house he established in the mid-nineteenth century was considered the preeminent Parisian fashion establishment of its day. Its reputation was enhanced in no small way by its association with many of the aristocratic ladies of the French court. The influence of the house extended to all the royal courts of Europe, as far as Russia, and was particularly favored by privileged American socialites.

This particular gown was worn by Esther Chapin, whose great-great-granduncle was George Washington. Ordered with three bodices, it can be transformed into a dinner dress, a ballgown, and here, with the extraordinary train, into a court presentation gown.

The spectacular voided velvet, woven in Lyons, is distinctive for its Aesthetic Movement palette. The pale, faintly mauve, pink satin ground contrasts with the “greenery-yallery” lilies rendered in cisele, or cut and uncut, silk velvet loops. Worth thus incorporated the advanced “artistic” taste of the period into the most formal and sartorially prescriptive dress available to a nonroyal, the court presentation gown, thereby transforming the retardataire into the fashionably avant-garde.

Comments (108)

  1. Lynne Says:

    Baby got back? Quite elegant, but one supposes not much sitting took place in this outfit.

  2. giancinephile Says:

    Fashion is all about nostalgia really. As an aspiring designer, I often find myself creating a bricollage with the designs I make. At one point you cite Azzedina Alaia, Cristobal Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Worth, to the many others there and you realize that fashion these days is all about re-working of ideas, rethinking of volumes, and so on.

  3. Hannah Says:

    I think the dress is absolutely wonderdful. Where can I buy it? Or anything like it for that matter!!!

  4. Stephanie Says:

    Hannah - unfortunately this isn’t something you can just purchase as it’s from 1888, and was a couture gown designed just for one person. What you should do, instead, is look into clothing from the bustle era (late 1870’s - early 1890’s) and see what goes into making one. There are lots of wonderful websites such as that have examples of such dresses. If you don’t know how to sew, there are numerous seamstresses on the web who sew for hire. It won’t be cheap, but it’s the only way you’ll be able to acquire the same kind of look. Good luck to you!

  5. Gloria Guinness Says:

    Very beautiful, even with that laughably exaggerated bustle; no sitting down allowed and anybody within six feet of Miss Chapin, watch out! On a more practical note, I find it appealing that Worth designed it with interchangable bodices to allow it some versatility. What would be fascinating is to know if the Costume Institute has any information about how long or how many times this particular ensemble was in use. Surely, like so many of the exaggerated gowns of Galliano et al, today, it was worn only a few times before becoming out of fashion, no?

  6. Amanda Says:

    Very intricate, but the underskirt resembles a lampshade.

  7. Alexander Quinn (7 years old) Says:

    The dress looks very beautiful, but how do you go to the bathroom?

  8. Carlos Rodriguez Says:

    I would like to see more about the usage of masks in fashion. I was very impressed with “the birds” piece.

  9. Gary Petronius Says:

    Now that is a beautiful stately outfit. It implies a severe case of Steatopygia which emphasizes the main focus of late Victorian male interest (and earlier too, vide Mlle O’Murphy by Francois Boucher now in Munich and painted for her lover Louis XV)

  10. ash Says:

    in a time not said
    a lady lost her head
    she was fat as a toad, and god only knows,
    we hope that this dress got her dead

  11. jason rapport Says:

    it is fantasy~~`

  12. Jordan Says:

    The concept that fashion is art is a myth propogated by the fashion industry. This entire exhibit contends that there is an equality between, for example, the Egyptian art of many centuries ago — just one floor up — and the very immediate fashion displayed here. The further conceit, that these clothes are “21st Century” enough to garner insightful and relevant commentary is insulting at best. Fashion is not art, it is industry and craft. The Met should be ashamed to share a bed with such trendy devils.

  13. Janice Says:

    what a marvalous dress, If only I could get my hands on it, I would look ten times prettier and skinnier!

  14. Patric Says:

    This dress was auctioned off at the William Doyle Galleries in NYC on May 2, 2001. It brought a staggering world record price of $101,500, and was said to have been purchased by a foreign buyer. I am glad to see it ended up in a museum, especially an American museum. Compared to other Worth gowns in other collections (such as the V&A, FIT, MCNY, Philadelphia, etc…), I don’t feel this is a particular exemplary Worth gown. Although beautiful and elaborate, and with a great proveance, there are finer examples of the Master of Couture. It is always interesting to me to find out where auction items go, and this is a prime example.

  15. FRED Says:

    To the argument that fashion is not art and that the Met should be ashamed at juxtaposing Egyption art (one floor up) with fashion here, it should be reminded that Egyption fashion several millenium ago is considered art today. Today’s fashion is tomorrow’s art. It is my sense that in some futuristic society where clothing might not be an item and possibly considered not acceptable, the fashion seen here might be a priceless memory of past social mores, such as the mummy one floor above is priceless today.

  16. Dani Says:

    I love this dress. it’s elgent and classy. very pretty

  17. c willow Says:

    I adore the lily fabric, but the dress and bodice/train do not look like they belong together

  18. A. Low Says:

    I think it’s very unconventional but also very interesting. I wouldn’t mind wearing it! Not very many people would try something this daring but it works.

  19. Laurie Aron Says:

    People tend to be overwhelmed at the size and extent of the bustle and train on this dress, but what strikes me about Mr. Worth’s concoctions of this era is that simplicity wasn’t in’em. He must have kept several trimmings houses in business for all the busy-ness he has happening all over this dress from bodice to skirt to train. More than anything else, I believe, it’s the extraordinary amount of trim that dates the dress rather than its non-body-conforming shape, because we’ve certainly seen lots of clothes that go off on their own outside the lines of the wearer’s body in recent years.

  20. M. Cheesman Says:

    I really wish you provided a MUCH larger picture; I am on a 19 inch monitor, and still find the detail in your enlarged picture impossible to see.

    That said, I don’t think one sat at a court presentation. Without the court train, the dress might be ’sittable’ in the furniture of the period, which would be designed to accomodate such a costume.

  21. Heather Says:

    This piece is very interesting and intricate. The dress has body and shape and incredible details. I also like the pattern and color.

  22. Liza Says:

    the train just makes the whole dress more elegant

  23. Sarah Says:

    This represents a lost sense of elegance and fashion. Although it influences our dress today, it really has been lost to red carpets and society at large.

  24. marcela robbio from manhattan Says:

    its probably hard to walk in a dress with this much trail on it.

  25. KD from NY Says:

    this dress looks like a carpet was thrown on some tin foil

  26. delaney Says:

    this could be worn any time any day its lace gives off a strong vibe of power and the flowers give a essenc of grace. its blue silk is like the sky with the very prety flowers that also give of a fun side of being in a higer class

  27. Moo Says:

    … Because appearing to have an absurdly unproportional body is hot. Too much back.

  28. fj Says:

    Does this make my butt look big?

  29. tara Says:


  30. annie Says:

    These fashon ideas were amazing! The only question I have is, how would you stay up in shoes withuot heels?

  31. Rorie Says:

    Dresses of this period have everything that fashion today lacks: elegance, grace, modesty, a flattering sillouette, extrvagence, playfullness. Seeing these clothes reminds one how much is missing in the oversexed industry we are expected to worship today. Where this dress could flatter anyone from zero to fourteen (and beyond I expect) with its feminine lines and flow, the most popular styles today flatter only the starved few who can maintain a small enough figure to suit them. Why can’t we harken back to the edwardian era?

  32. Nancy Marie Says:

    Opulent and royal. Extreme and extravagent! I do love this.

    Nancy Marie

  33. Yana, Sarah and Lisset Says:

    This dress is amazing. It’s sad that these types of dresses aren’t in style or circulation any more. This dress well definetly be echoed in the design for my wedding dress it is simply stunning.

  34. Tuffy Says:

    >Fred: “it should be reminded that Egyption fashion several millenium ago is considered art today.”

    Yeah, and the Egyptians weren’t even that great dressers. They pretty much just worked the pleated look.

  35. Sarah Says:

    To Jordan, and on fashion as art: Clothes are designed based on color, texture, line, and form, all the hallmarks of traditional art. True, just as some “traditional” art was created solely for a profit, the same can definitely be said of fashion. But deliberate intent go into works of fashion, to create an aesthetically pleasing piece. One that can, I feel, reveal a distinct sense of expression, something we look for in all art.

    To Rorie: As much as I wish we wore dresses like this today, I doubt people of the time thought their fashion to be particularly modest or extravagant. With Worth, you begin to see the hemlines rise upwards again (especially in his dresses from 1883-4), probably to the shock of the public. And when everyone is wearing a dress with a bustle, is it really extravagant, or just an everyday occurrence? It make you wonder what future generations will think of what we’re wearing today…

  36. Hannah Says:

    Wow….a very long dress must have been hard to go around in it!!

  37. Carolyn Says:

    If this were white it could be the PERFECT wedding dress.

  38. zita Says:

    very nice to look at

  39. Katie Says:

    I like the fabric of the train and dress, and also the color of the dress itself is calming and tasteful. I like the whole thing!

  40. Kaitlyn Says:

    It is very beutiful but looks quite uncomfortable

  41. Rachel Says:

    This is a hideous dress. It is too flowery and fake. But I love the idea of making your butt look bigger. I just wonder how it felt to sit down.

  42. devon Says:

    This piece is very interesting, i would never wear it though, it looks uncomfortable!!!

  43. fashion police Says:

    thats a fashion “no-no”

  44. DDDDDDDDD Says:

    WHO WEARS THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  45. Adam A. Says:

    My grandmother had a sofa with this exact pattern. I loved it!

  46. giulia Says:

    for me the most wonderful dress is the pink one!!!

  47. James Says:

    I saw this for sale at Doyle and was amazed at the workmanship of the Worth atelier. The main thing here—apart from the amazing avoirdupois of the woman who had it made—is the velvet print. Had it been used in a small quantity, it would actually seem very down-market…a bit shrill. In the yardage used for the dress, however, it’s fabulous! Someone should pull together all the existing Worth creations and do a breakdown of costs (in today’s dollars), as well as journalistic appraisals…if any exist.

  48. Kendra Says:

    I’m so enjoying this online exhibit, but I agree about wanting much higher resolution images!

    In terms of how to sit in one of these dresses, the best option is to sit on your side (between your hip and your rear) and let the dress fan off to the side. You can actually just sit right down straight, though, as bustles collapse — but you’ll wrinkle your dress!

  49. pete Says:


  50. Josh Says:

    This is a prime example of the difference between a sketch on paper and an actual design in full reality……..I can imagine that on paper this dress by Charles looked “kick-y” and exciting… BUT in reality… look like a wedding cake crossed with a lily pond and a circus freak.

  51. cait Says:

    heavy on the rear end if I had a choice I would not wear it

  52. Frédérique Mengard Says:

    Clothes are made to protect human beeings and to confer dignity on them. So fashion makes sense when it is elevating, when one feels uplifted through his appearence.
    With its exagerated volumes on the back, this “Trailing Lilies” called dress gives a misshapen figure that borders on grotesque. The grotesque has been many times represented in arts, but never in fashion. Perhaps it was the intention of Charles Frederick Worth.

  53. Andrea_at_the_blue_door Says:

    There is a reason, I think, why this period is sometimes referred to as “the Ugly Eighties” Designing around the female form is hard; designing around those large bustles is darned near impossible. I find the shape really unattractive, though the materials are superb.

    For those curious about the practicalities of movement in such clothing, it’s important to understand the historical social importance of dress. Cutting a fine figure was, in some circles, worth any inconvenience, and indeed, one’s willingness to deal with this could be seen as an indicator of class.

  54. Elizabeth Says:

    Charles Fredrick Worth is a phenomenal designer back in the early 1900’s. His textiles are very unique and rare. Reminds me of how Issey Miyake creates his fabrics using new technology.

  55. Ilske Says:

    How to drive a car in such a dress. Sorry dress is too simple for such a voluminous piece of cloths and in fact it was a dress it consist of several pieces.

  56. Ron Knoth Says:

    Worth’s dress epitomizes the period of the Belle Epoch. A time when ladies of class wore clothing worthy of portraiture. The sumptous quality of the silks, damask and brocade are almost dizzzying to the point of narcotic. The declotee neckline makes the womans skin almost as tactile, and vital an element to the gown’s success, as if her powdered buson and freckled shoulder were but fabric themselves. The structure of the dress elevates the to wearer. The broad almost magic circle of the gown attracts the eye, but is almost inpenetratable, reiterating that intimacy is not an option. At a time when the domestic arts were a woman’s domain the silk apron is a lovely almoth maternal touch to what was a very sexy piece of clothing.

  57. Odette Says:

    I love the waistline on this dress! i think the point on it makes it very elegant. i just recently designed a dress i plan to make with a waistline just like it…

  58. Katie Says:

    love it love it love it. I am so old fashion and ask any of my peeps and you are going to hear about my crazy crave. Anyway i am such a trailer girl.ttyl

  59. Justin Says:

    This dress was also featured in the “Anglomania” exhibit in 2006. It was shown on a grand, dark wood carved staircase with the train trailing over the steps behind the form. I remember not liking the colors/pattern in person, but the dress itself is a stunning piece.

    I’m a little perplexed and very offended by Jordan’s ignorant comments. I recall one particular piece in the Met’s own Modern Art wing (much of which is pretentious b.s., but that’s just my opinion), a series of canvases across a wall, each one painted one color out of the color spectrum. Now I ask, is that art? True fashion, not the clothes you find in a mall or the trendy dime-a-dozen designers that occupy much of NY fashion, is art in the sense that a designer took a feeling, idea or thought and turned it into a tangible object to be seen and processed by others. It’s no more self indulgent or shallow than a canvas painted solid colors and lined up to make a spectrum.

  60. Jamie L. Says:

    I think what amazes me the most about all these outfits from the long-dated past is the fact that they don’t conform to the natural body like clothes of today do. Today we try on clothes and expect them to fit us, versus past decades where people wore constrictive body modifiers and bracing undergarments so that we would fit the clothes of the au’ courante silhouette.

    The lengths to which women (and men) would fanatically bind themselves is a mystery to me. Getting dressed then was an event all in its own. There is a great movie based on the Edwardian era called An Ideal Husband that touches lightly on this idea. It is a great wit filled movie.

    Another thing, this era is before the zipper or tee-shirts were mainstream to fashion. It was a time of economic revolution and the industrialization of everything was well underway. There were mass produced garments of all types, but the details that were still there even common garments. These details that were standard then would be to most of us what we would consider fine couture of today. I mourn that loss of detail. I mourn the loss of this dressing etiquette.

  61. Christian Says:

    What a pitiful life made these dresses to women: no jogging, no driving, no sunbath, no rock’n'roll. Thanks for fashionchange!

  62. PEGGY/SUE Says:

    This must have been the first of the bustier. It also was quite creative to have a design that could be changed for multiple purposes. At a time when expense was probably not a factor, the creator/customer chose to create or buy a garment that could have different looks for different occasions. The use of fabric combinations was very elegant.

  63. Louise Says:

    I think so much of what is in this exhibit, from Worth in the 1900s to contemporary designers like those for Comme des Garcons, represents how interesting and influential fashion is to art. Both mediums, fashion and “high” art, have taken from each other and have benefitted from the others influence. The same way that modern artists are breaking down conventions and providing new ideas, fashion designers are doing the same thing.

    Thanks to the Met for their appreciation of fashion as an art form and showing the progression from Paul Poiret to Vivianne Westwood and the changes and influences fashion has undergone. Because an artist chooses to work in the medium of cloth doesn’t make his work any less important.

  64. Robin Says:

    The diverse materials, textures and patterns somehow work. Why is it that in today’s fashions when I see such oddly put together pieces/colors/styles, it seems so offensive? Fashion today is beyond boring in comparison.

  65. Lily Monir Matini, Esq. Says:

    the skirt, my God, the skirt
    bring back satin bows on satin skirts

  66. Ramona Sky Says:

    Hun, I just got three words for you, this is fabulous!!!

  67. Lona Gutknecht Says:

    This is the most beautiful dress here and has the most beautiful detail.
    The Bows I Love

  68. Katie Mcnellis Says:

    Charles Ferderick Worth’s court gown and train is amzing gown. The colors are devine. I love the detailing and the patterns. It was nice to see one of Charles Frederick Worth’s gowns .

  69. chriss Says:

    this dress resembles the women shape as formed by the corset .is elegant and traditional gown for ladies of this period . The silk fabric used on the dress make it seem sophisticated and delicate

  70. Malika R. Says:

    I loveeeee this dress by Charles Frederick! It’s brilliant! This garment is a great example of true creativity as a fashion designer and it holds all of the elements of design. The silhouette is really exaggerated and I’m sure it was appropiate for that time period. The fact that so much is going on in the dress is what attracted my eye. I like the bows and polka dots and different kinds of pleats. The color is great too and I’m happy he didnt over do it with some bright colors and he kept it neutral. The brocade train is also and excellent accent to the dress. This dress just keeps me staring at it and I like the intentional uneveness of it and the ostrich feathers on the side. I just really liek this dress!

  71. Anna F. Says:

    Very elegant dress. The type that makes you think that it is a shame that a dress such as this one is not available for purchase in this century. If it was, I know I wouldn’t be able to afford it but it wouldn’t stop me from trying it on

  72. Lynnette V. Says:

    I find this dress to be one of the pieces that caught my eye the most. i enjoyed every aspect of the dress. i personally love the silhouette and the color choice. i think too much color would have been too much. the train is exceptionally beautiful however i doubt that it was a comfortable dress to be in. i guess beauty is pain. i love the tight fit but i see now why poiret wanted to release women of this constriction.

  73. Christy Says:

    wow im lovin this!!

  74. LCCG Says:

    I love the French. Their designs make to laugh. As you look at this dress,..the first think that come to do you go to the bathroom?

    Sorry,but someone had to say it.

  75. Ashley Says:

    To me, French designs seem so original. None of them look like another. What I absolutely love about this dress is the train. I feel that it is the most unigue piece on the gown. The print on the train is very pretty and the colors are subtle and compliment each other. I also like the top of the dress. It fits very snug(as all dresses in the 1800’s did) and the ostrich plumes adds a sassy touch to it. I enjoy that the dress can be transformed into a dinner dress, a ball gown and a court presentation gown.

  76. Kate C Says:

    Everything about this dress is absolutely impecable, from the siloette to the fabric, it is a masterpiece.
    Wonderfully feminine.

  77. Kirche Says:

    Actually, it was quite easy to sit down in a dress of this period as most bustles were collapsible. (It was more comfortable than sitting on one’s hip). Actually, there were many different types of bustles. In England, a lady could acquire a bustle that played “God Save the Queen” whenever she sat down. What a scream!

  78. Elle Says:

    Very detailed and well-made, but very dysfunctional. it is definitely made to attract attention in a standing scenario at ball room alike event. Also, the train isn’t making it easier to attend anything less glamourous than a 1800 party.

  79. Sarah Says:

    This dress is just beautiful. Loved the velvet lining… the details are so delicate. My favorite piece in this exhibit.

  80. Natalia Savitskaia Says:

    This elegant court gown is a fine example of art of fashion. It’s amaising how the disigner could create a harmony using so many elaborated details on the dress and a train wich is a piece of art on it’s own. It would be so easy to overdo it!
    The use of complementary colors is also perfect.

  81. Adelina Says:

    What a dress. Now this is a dress! If I had that dress I wouldn’t need a couch. I’d just park myself anywhere and be comfortable!! I’d be pretty and comfortable!

  82. Maya Says:

    It’s a really pretty dress, and think how conventional it would be to have a dress that could suit so many occasions! But it doesn’t look very comfortable.

  83. Brittni Says:

    I was in absolute awe of this dress when I first saw it. The detail and innovation was a sight to be seen I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I loved the multi layers and the plume, but the train! It was so beautiful and detailed. I always think back to how difficult it would be and how long it would take to make such a creation. Especially since back then, since dresses could be transformed to be used for multiple occasions, they usually got worn out and dirty. To me it was so luxurious to have a garment with so much detail and workmanship that one would actually wear and even risk to damage it! Thankfully it has been preserved to show us what an amazing innovator CF Worth really was and what he did to the fashion industry.

  84. Amy Says:

    I think this dress is goreous and it is even more impressive once you read that it can be turned into three different type of dresses. I do not think this dress or any like it would ever be able to make in todays world though, since it would be very hard to move in, and impossible to sit in. However the beauty of the dress, with all the fine details and layers can go on through the times, and forever be looked at as beautiful. The train on this is such a beautiful fabric, and has a lovely flow to it.

  85. Kristen Wigle Says:

    I really like this piece. It is so old world. It has such a romantic silhouette. It was truly inspiring. To see pieces that are from right around that century the dress is more wide then added in the back. The fabric is wonderful and has amazing texture. I can only imagine a woman wearing this, it is so different from what we wear right now. This is an amazing piece.

  86. Brittany Says:

    This dress is marvelous and very versatile, which makes it even more smashing. I love how it could be worn during any part of the day and transform to what you are doing. I would say this was my favorite piece in the exhibit.

  87. Brandon Says:

    Another one of my favorites from the exhibition! The detailing on this dress was stunning. There is so much going on in this dress but at the same time its not over done. The gown an amazing piece of art and looks rather difficult to wear and very very heavy. My favorite part of the gown is the train, it just adds extreme elegance and interest. Esther Chapin was a very lucky lady for getting to wear such a beautiful piece of art.

  88. isis Says:

    i like the dresses they are so cute:)

  89. Chia Says:

    Not only is it amazing to see the costumes, but the commentaries of each piece are very well-written. Upon reading the descriptions, I immediately realize the genius of costume historians–you can tell that they have done their research, juxtaposing modern day works of that to the past. Just as designers pull apart different ideas from the past and present to create a “new” garment, historians pull apart different words and phrases to write something in a different light to make you think. By the way, the top hat made out of black hair was amazingly creepy.

  90. Judith Says:

    WOW! This one caught my eye. Very drawn to its beauty.

  91. Georgio Says:

    I think Armani should showcase this in its upcoming spring/summer 09 show

  92. devynette laudree Says:

    c’est tres jolie!! j’espere que un jour, je peux avoir une robe comme ca!!!!!le fantome del’opera est le meilleur piece de theatre !!!!!! j’aime la vie.

  93. Tim Says:

    Much like the rest of this exhibit, this costume is an example of the divide in our society between the haves and the have nots. At the same time this dress was worn, millions barely have the cloth to cover their bodies.

  94. Lily Says:

    This is dress is awesome! I would love to walk around with a long piece of fabric trailing me. I’d feel like I’m making a statement or something. Although I think it would be really difficult to goto the bathroom.

  95. Christina Says:

    Beautiful! I love this time of fashion. So elegant and detailed. If only we wore these typed of dresses today. I love it.

  96. Alexa Says:

    It’s great. I love the way the train and the dress are two different things. They look great together. The sleeves are also wonderful. I love it. (-:

  97. Jan Reeder Says:

    To everyone concerned about dragging around the heavy train: The train is detachable. It is attached at the waist with a simple velvet waistband that has a hook and eye closure. It was worn only during the presentation ceremony at court, where there were attendants to handle the train, then it was removed for subsequent festivities. The other two bodices are made from the same satin as the skirt, which creates a simpler and more demure look.
    When the train is removed, the bustle line is somewhat less exaggerated as well.

  98. Mariel Chang Says:

    I love this dress by Worth. It shows how elegant and how many extra details were in his clothes. I like how it can be worn as a dinner dress, a court dress, and a court presentation gown with the long train. I also like how it is shaped in the bodice and how bustle shapes the skirt. The off shoulder neckline and details on shoulder makes this dress definetly a ballgown.The color and fabric added more elegance to the dress. Especially the extraodinary long train made the whole outfir even more elaborate. It was interesting to see Worth’s dress in real!

  99. Emily Says:

    A little too voluminous for my taste but its got its qualities

  100. Laura Anderson Says:

    It’s hard to believe that at one point this was aesthetically pleasing. The garment details are beautiful and I love the court train constructed from silk velvet. Viewing this garment gave me a greater appreciation for the functional fashion we see today and a greater gratefulness to Charles Worth, who was considered to be the first fashion designer.

  101. kenditto Says:

    I really would love to try this dress on.. I wonder what its like to wear a dress this expressive!

  102. Mai Says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I love all clothing from this era- very elegant. The dress is fantastic, it is better in person, in the picture, one can not appreciate all the detail in this piece, truly a work of art

  103. Monica Seggos Says:

    I am floored by the restoration of the gown. I love the way it is displayed as if the wearer has just turned towards you for her presentation. Thank you so much for bringing the gown back home and for making it part of your permanent collection. It is stunning. Congratulations.

  104. meimi1995529 Says:

    EW EW EW EW!!!! no way that I would let ANYONE wear that thing.

  105. Kat :-) Says:

    DId anyone see the first episode of Project Runway 4 when Elisa made that dress with the ugly, horrible, bad, train-wreck train of fabric on the back? Bet ya she got the idea from this :-(.

  106. andy Says:

    this is overly design!

  107. Melissa Pellone Says:

    Wow. Charles F. Worth is the very first “designer”. I have studied history of costume and fashion and specifically this designer. I cannot believe that his pieces remain in such perfect condition and it is a wonder to see the creation of an artist who essentially started it all!

  108. Christine McKenna Says:

    Worth always gets 10 out of 10 for me. I think of him as the Yves St Laurent of his time, designing for the wealthy. I love all the comments about bathroom use and sitting down, LOL. Of course, when being presented at Court to the monarch, you DIDN’T sit down, and the bathroom had to wait a while. Once the train was removed though, you could mingle. The underwear accomodated the bathroom (divided drawers) and the bustle cage underneath was collapsible. I’d be more concerned about the weight of the whole ensemble and walking would necessarily have been slow and quite difficult. The “upholstery” look of the fabric was the current fashion, so Worth got it all correct. Thankyou to the Met for allowing us to view this beauty online, the only way us Aussies can see your collection unless we’ve the price of the airfare, VBG.

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