Wednesday, December 4, 2013

History's Runway: A Victorian Dressing Gown, c. 1850

Dressing Gown
England, 1850-1870
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Nineteenth Century dressing gowns, while similar in shape to those we know today, were not simply cozy bathrobes. They were formal and tailored, sometimes worn with a girdle. Such dressing gowns were constructed of elegant fabrics like silk, satin and velvet. Most were alive with brilliant colors and adorned with tassels.

A dressing gown was usually quilted to provide added warmth to the wearer. Gentlemen’s dressing gowns were made in “The Frock Great Coat” form with a string in the waist to fit it to the wearer. Most examples have a great, rolling collar which terminates at the waist.

Men and women wore dressing gowns indoors for a more formal breakfast or as a cover-up between daily outfit changes.

This example was made of jacquard woven silk with a “shot effect background” in dark blue for a gentleman. It’s emblazoned with a floral design in maroon and lined with quilted Khaki colored twilled silk. It dates between 1850 and 1870 and was made in London. 

No comments: