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.
Two decades after premiering his most scandalous painting, Madame X, John Singer Sargent unveiled a portrait of another woman known for her unworldly beauty and charm – Lady Helen Vincent, Viscountess D’Abernon.
Lady Meux relied on Whistler’s careful hand and international regard when crafting a new image for herself as an elegant woman who belonged to the elite class into which she had recently married.
Court painter Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun depicts the extremely fashionable Queen Marie Antoinette wearing late 18th-century French aristocratic costume (a robe à la française).
John Galliano impresses the fashion world at the turn of the century with this champagne-pink, punk rock inspired evening gown. The asymmetrical bias-cut silk, daring slit, and body-hugging boning make the garment sexy, intriguing, and memorable.
This afternoon dress, though not extravagant compared to some of the elaborately decorated gowns of 1874, proves to still be en vogue due to its bustled silhouette, tight-fitting bodice with an elongated waist, and decorated high neckline.
In Renoir’s Loge, he paints one of his favorite models Nini Lopez in a black and white striped dress in the context of a theater box–a fashionable dress style, but a questionable fit for the occasion. Her highly made-up face and disheveled hair also provoked discussion when the painting was exhibited at the Impressionists’ first group show in 1874.
Faustina appears to be the ideal woman of 1899 as her dress includes all of the most fashionable evening wear details, like short puffed sleeves, lace details, and a curvaceous silhouette. She embodies beauty and grace as the artist captures her during a private moment of reflection in her extravagant home.
- 1840 – Queen Victoria’s Wedding DressIn 1840-1849, 19th century, garment analysis
- 1872 – Emile Pingat, Visiting DressIn 1870-1879, 19th century, garment analysis
- 1904 – John Singer Sargent, Lady Helen Vincent, Viscountess D’AbernonIn 1900-1909, 20th century, artwork analysis
- 1878 – James Tissot, EveningIn 1870-1879, 19th century, artwork analysis
- clocks/clockingIn 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, C, term definition