Saturday, August 27, 2011

Blue-Grey Emile Pasquier Silk Reception Gown c. 1885, from the Brooklyn Museum of Art

This stunning two-piece ensemble consists of a tailed bodice of triple plume pattern brocade and a trained satin skirt. The bodice is trimmed in large teardrop shaped faux pearls, accented with looped silver tinsel and rows of glittering crystal beads. Bodice is fully boned with whalebone, and even the original dress shields are still present (filled with wool or cotton wadding, for absorbency). There are small pads to fill out the upper chest, and the center front closes with hooks and eyes below the deep V neckline. The waist tape is labeled "Maison Emile Pasquier Paris."

The skirt hem has a deep scallop at center front above pleated mousseline de soie over a cadet blue silk underskirt.  This may have been for fancy dress because of the volume of ornament and overall exotic feel of the dress, but it may also have simply belonged to a very bold, very wealthy woman.

The Museum at FIT displayed a contemporaneous Pasquier gown in their 2007 
Luxury exhibition with the following label text : "Fashions of the fin de siecle used shimmering and elaborate surface decoration to create the image of Woman as an expensive, desirable object. Women in highly ornamented outfits literally embodied their husbands' wealth, becoming paragons of seductive artifice. Jean Baudrillard called this 'a production of value through exteriority.'"

Click here to check if this garment is for sale

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