Fancy dress costume

Design House: House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)

Date: ca. 1893

Culture: French

Medium: silk

Credit Line: Gift of James A. and Mary Elizabeth Kingsland, 1994

Accession Number: 1994.462a, b


In addition to day and evening fashions for upper-class society women, Worth also created clothes for special occasions, such as the as-yet-to-be-identified fancy-dress ball to which this dress would have been worn. Composed of a separate bodice and skirt executed in shocking pink and black taffeta with paste buttons, machine lace trim, and pleated silk chiffon fichu, this gown illustrates the fashion for eighteenth-century revival, a popular theme for extravagant costume parties of the period. The narrow sleeves of the garment, along with the double-breasted masculine tailoring, imitation cut-steel buttons, lace fichu, and open front skirt, refer to fashionable women's styles of the 1770s.