When Queen Victoria wore this white dress of Spitalfields silk and Honiton lace to her wedding in 1840, she broke from royal custom and encouraged a lasting tradition for Western bridal fashion.
Category: garment analysis
This lush purple velvet dress designed by Elizabeth Keckley for Mary Todd Lincoln features both an evening and day bodice paired with a wide crinoline skirt. The ensemble, worn in 1861-62 while Lincoln was First Lady, reflects fashionable dress trends of the time.
This striking plaid ensemble designed by Elizabeth Keckley for Mary Todd Lincoln was on the cutting edge of fashion, but also in good taste – embracing the latest French trends while relying on a distinctively American plaid and minimal trimmings in light of the ongoing Civil War.
This 1863 dress has a simple and standard silhouette for the period—buttoned bodice, wide sleeves, full skirt—but is made fashionable by the floral embroidery, sash, and “Mexican blue” color.
This 1863 gown, worn by Mary Todd Lincoln, is an exquisite example of fashionable dress from the early 1860s. With its elegant fabric and thoughtful details, it reveals more about the wearer and the creator, Elizabeth Keckley, an accomplished seamstress who is integral to the history of African-American fashion.
This gold-colored silk afternoon dress with its green bows and ruffles that help to emphasize the back of the silhouette was on trend in 1866, but its coordinating trompe l’oeil jacket was very fashion-forward.
In the 1860s, white cotton piqué afternoon dresses like this one with black cording were often recommended for summer walking for their sturdy breathability.
This green silk day dress, patterned with an abstracted floral design, displays aspects of style associated with the early 1870s. Its bustle silhouette, vibrant hue, and abundance of trimmings all speak to its fashionability and provide an insight into the trends of the year.
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