Sunday, April 13, 2014

History's Runway: A Waistcoat from 1770

This and all related images from the V&A.

Famed author Beatrix Potter found some of the inspiration for her book "The Tailor of Gloucester" at what was once the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A). Potter told her editor, Norman Warne, "I have been delighted to find I may draw some most beautiful 18th century clothes at S. Kensington museum." This waistcoat, still on display at the V&A, is one of the pieces that Potter copied for her illustrations. In fact, it appears several times in the book.

This waistcoat from 1770 of cream satin, embroidered with colored silks in stem, would have been part of a dress suit worn by a man on formal occasions. The embroidery was worked in a professional workshop and the front edges were laid with cotton net and edged with couched chenille thread.

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