Form and Fashion

IntroductionPrevious 5
Conclusion
M6327.1-3 M969.1.11.1-4 M971.105.6.1-3 M966.35 M20281.1-2 M968.2.1.1-3 M19789.1 M970.25.1 Conclusion
 
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Bodice
About 1894-1897, 19th century
Fibre: silk (taffeta, velvet), cotton (lining); metal; Sewn (hand)
Gift of the Estate of the Late Mrs. R. S. Logan
M19789.1
© McCord Museum
Description
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Description

During the early nineties the sleeve expanded, reaching an immense size in the mid-decade. The fitted and choke-collared waist-length taffeta bodice has large melon sleeves trimmed with a tied band of velvet under the puff. On either side of the front closure there are four vertical groupings of narrow flat pleats which become gathered in the upper area, some of the gathering continuing up to the collar. Flat pleating of the taffeta with velvet trim at the centre simulates a belt at the waist. The back has vertical narrow flat pleating at the centre, this also becoming gathered as in the front. A large velvet bow finishes the collar at the back. The narrow parts of the long sleeve are attached under the puff to an independent camisole inside the bodice; the lower sections of the sleeves may be removed with the camisole, so that the garment may be worn for more formal wear. The skirt is a reproduction. During 1894-1896 the large sleeve of the 1890s, as seen in the taffeta bodice, was at its largest. In 1897, the year of its collapse, we still see examples of large sleeves in the Notman Photographic Archives. But we also see smaller ones, and ones where the reduced puffing is higher up on the arm. The smaller sleeve, in a variety of styles, is established the following year.

Keys to History

Sleeves expanded during the early 1890s, reaching an [object=II-120351]immense size[/object] in mid-decade. This fitted and choke-collared waist-length taffeta bodice has large melon sleeves trimmed with a tied band of velvet under the puff. On either side of the front closure there are four vertical groupings of narrow flat pleats that become gathered in the upper area; some of the gathering continues up to the collar. Flat-pleated taffeta with velvet trim at the centre simulates a belt at the waist. The back has vertical narrow flat pleating at the centre, gathered as in the front. A large velvet bow finishes the collar at the back. The lower, narrow part of the long sleeves is attached under the puff to an independent underbodice. Removing the underbodice made the garment appropriate for more formal wear. The skirt is a reproduction.

  • What

    This bodice is of yellow silk taffeta with an all-over sprig design warp-printed in green and wine, and wine velvet.

  • Where

    The standing collar and long sleeves of this dress indicate that it was daytime wear.

  • When

    A plate from the fashion journal The Delineator (Canadian edition, October 1895, pp. 407-408) illustrates a dress with large sleeves similar to those of this dress (M19789.1). The picture is captioned "Ladies Costume (in 1830 style)," a sign that the writer considered this 1890s sleeve to be a throwback.

  • Who

    Mrs. R. S. Logan was the owner of this bodice.