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Woman's Dress: Bodice and Skirt

c. 1874
Designed by Emile Pingat, French, 1820 - 1901. Worn by Mrs. William Carver, American, 1836 - 1912
When visiting Paris, many wealthy women made it their mission to fill their trunks with a Parisian wardrobe that would have that "je ne sais quoi" that was both untranslatable and inimitable. One of the "maisons de couture" especially favored by Americans was that of Emile Pingat, known for his craftsmanship and creativity. In this day dress, designed about 1876, Pingat makes effective use of a bold striped fabric; caught up in front drapery and then cascading down the bustled back, it also sparingly accents the bodice at the collar and cuffs and at the sides of the back. The stripes are skillfully utilized again, on the diagonal, in loops finishing the train, and the motif is echoed by variegated fringe edging the embroidered net trim. Pingat's eye for detail and his flawless workmanship are evident even in the understated areas of his design, as in the vertical tucks that subtly accentuate the fit of the solid blue back of the bodice. Hat and bag in the style of the period....

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