Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Anyone for tea?

How divine is this dress? It is a Lord & Taylor hand-embroidered tea dress, c.1918. It is a new listing from Vintage Textile, here's how it is described.

With their elaborate handwork, tea dresses from the early 20th century are treasured by today's collector. The dress retains its winsome beauty from 90 years ago when first worn to a garden party.

Nothing can compare with the textural quality of high-relief hand embroidery. The abundance of fine handwork on the dress appeals to our nostalgia for a more genteel lifestyle. The dress came from the upscale New York store Lord & Taylor.

The dress is fashioned from sheer cotton voile lavishly hand embroidered with raised flowers of padded satin stitch and French knots. The lace panels on the sleeves, skirt, and bodice are machine embroidered mesh. All the elements combine to produce an harmonious whole, a superb monochromatic design—a treasure of early handwork!

A delightful touch: rose satin ribbons show through the outer layer from underneath. The dress is constructed in layers that attach at the waist to a petersham. It closes in back with hooks and snaps.

I love the soft oatmeal color, gratifying in itself and also as a canvas for some other element of style. Contrast is an important principle in fashion. Violet, Duchess of Rutland (1910) had three daughters. Lady Diana Manners, the youngest and most beautiful child, was quite blond.
When she made her debut, she did not wear the pink-and-white dress standard for debutantes of the time but rather an off shade, like our oatmeal hue, that made Diana’s opalescent complexion seem even more glowing.

The condition is excellent and wearable.
Generous size. It measures: 40" bust, 32" waist 48" hip, 15 1/2" from the shoulder to the waist, and 51" from the shoulder to the hem.

Pop on over to Vintage Textile and check out the other lastest listings.

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