The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Court gown & train
Museum Purchase, Funds provided by Yvonne Hummel
I have picked a short sample of what I found to be interesting in the article but I encourage you to click the link at the bottom left hand corner and read the original post by FIDM. It’s well worth the read!
“To be presented at court, a woman had to be sponsored by another woman (often a mother, mother-in-law or other relative) who had already been presented at court. During Edward and Alexandra’s reign, American women presented at court were always sponsored by the wife of the American ambassador. In her application, the sponsor vouched for the character of the presentee, ensuring that only women of good character were presented. Under no circumstances could a woman who wanted to be presented make an application for herself. All applicants were investigated before being accepted for presentation. Women eligible for presentation included wives and daughters of the aristocracy, clergy, navy or military officers and certain “aristocratic” professions, including physicians and barristers. Ineligible women included divorcees who were considered legally at fault for the divorce, and actresses… . The train on our court dress is the required 11 feet, and attaches at the shoulders with hand-carved cameos depicting classical dancers. The classical theme is continued in the graduated laurel leaves decorating the train. Vertical lines of laurel leaves accent the princess seams of the gown, a silhouette named for Queen Alexandra when she was the Princess of Wales.”
Jean-Philippe Worth, 1894-1895
The Museum of the City of New York
Under Charles Fredrick Worth, Maison Worth offered tea gown like any other couture house, but they always came second to the grand, opulent evening dresses that the maison was famous for. Jean-Philippe Worth followed the trend of the 1890s and brought that opulence into all areas of life, making the once humble tea gown into a specialty of his. Worth tea gowns became colorful, elegant, and magnificent gowns that would give any hostess cause to invite guests much more often.