Starshine Junkyard

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V&A

Paris

c. 1889-1892 

This dress was worn by one of the two Rogers sisters, Cara or Anne, daughters of a wealthy American industrialist. Cara Rogers later became Lady Fairhaven - she was a ‘Dollar Princess’, one of several heiresses who came to Britain in the late 19th century, and married into the British aristocracy bringing much-needed glamour and financial capital.

Lady Fairhaven kept several spectacular outfits bought in Paris and New York for her sister and herself in the 1880s and 1890s. These surviving garments give us an insight into the sisters’ taste, and the range of dressmakers they patronised. Many of these dressmakers emulated the work of the House of Worth, which produced the most luxurious gowns created from bold French silks, combined with ingenious design touches in embroidery, lace and chiffon. The contrasting black and ivory textiles of this ensemble create a dramatic effect, while this is softened by the delicacy of the lace, and the rows of narrow ribbons encased in chiffon.

Filed under costume victorian beauty fashion art gorgeous brilliant beauty vicotrian costume fashion