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Walking ensemble Date: 1887–88 Culture: American or European Medium: silk, glass Accession Number: 1978.295.10a–c The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Jet-beaded burgundy silk velvet carriage dress (back, with dolman and muff), by Mme. Uoll Gross, American, ca. 1885. This dress was designed to be worn in an open top carriage which, at the time, was a social event and everyone had to dress the part. Part of ensemble with matching dolman coat, small muff, and hat with ostrich feathers and geometric jet decoration.
Silk Evening Dress, 1885, American, R.H. White & Co. The bustle silhouette, though primarily associated with the 2nd half of the 19th century, originated in earlier fashions as a simple bump, as with late-17th/early-18th century mantuas and late-18th/early-19th century Empire dresses. The full-blown bustle had its first Victorian debut in the late 1860s, starting as a fullness in skirts moving to the rear. This fullness was drawn up in ties to enable walking, which created a fashionable puff.