Sunday, August 21, 2011

Two piece printed cotton day bodice and bustle overskirt 1880's

The bodice is fully boned and has box pleats, narrow cuffed sleeves, stand up collar, mother of pearl buttons and is flatlined in cotton twill.  The buttonholes are bound by hand with a buttonhole stitch.  The skirt is not lined and bustles with internal self fabric and twill tape ties.  

The unusual print resembles volleyballs or golf balls, quite playful, and certainly a conversation piece!

Bust:  30 inches (76 cm)
Waist:  23 inches (58.5 cm)
Skirt Length:  43 inches (109 cm)

The late James Laver, a curator at the Victoria and Albert museum, once noted "It seems to be one of the principles of fashion that once an exaggeration has been decided upon, it becomes ever more exaggerated." So it was with the bustle fashions of the 1880s. After a brief flirtation with a more fitted silhouette, the bustle expanded to its peak around 1885, with fashion plates depicting women resembling nothing so much as centaurs, and satiric cartoons comparing well-dressed ladies to snails, beetles, even tea trays.
Source: Four Hundred Years of Fashion, Natalie Rothstein

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