I am curious about everything and all the influences that can affect fashion. I am a permanent searcher. While browsing the Internet, I discovered the story of the “Peacock Dress” of the vice-queen of the Indies.
What is the “Peacock Dress”?
This extraordinary and world-famous dress came out of the workshop of Charles Frederic Worth in 1903. Its making took months because the fabric has been entirely hand-embroidered with gold and silver threads in India, then travelled by boat to France , to the Worth workshop in Paris.
Once the dress was sewn, it went back to India. This dress has been made for a fairy tale party on the occasion of the arrival in India of Viceroy Lord Curzon, the husband of Lady Curzon.
This dress still exists and is exhibited in an English museum.
Une robe de légende pour une fête fabuleuse donnée aux Indes par le nouveau vice-roi
Why the “Peacock Dress” is so awesome?
Only the story of its making is quite incredible, furthermore, this dress is entirely covered with embroidery of gold and silver threads, plus lace details around the neckline and its hem is decorated with hundreds of white fabric roses! At that time it was necessary to impress the Maharajas of India by showing the wealth and power of Great Britain. Fashion can also be a political tool.
By the way, this dress had to weigh a ton!
I chose this picture in black and white because the gold and silver threads have faded with time and the dress is now sadly dark and dull.
What this dress has to do with a Fashion Stylist Course?
Everything can be inspiration for a fashion designer. Of course, the dress cannot be worn nowadays and even less manufactured to be sold … nobody is rich enough to buy it!
But I find that the “arts deco” design of the Peacock feathers can be used somehow on a modern garment, and this hem overloaded with white fabric roses as well, or maybe both at the same time?
Making a new “Peacock Dress”?
The challenge is senseless but an English costume designer has made the bet, without even thinking about it before (!), and has been trying for years to redo this dress. She had first to raise funds, she opened a blog etc. Since there is no accessible archive of Worth on this dress, she has to do a lot of research and testing.
The dress may never be redone but the attempt itself is already a fascinating adventure.
Are you interested in fashion history?
What is the period that inspires you most?
Waiting for your comments and likes, Cheers,
Hello, I’m a French fashion designer and pattern maker with 30 years experience. I set a goal upon myself: To share my skills in Fashion Design, Pattern Making and Sewing by publishing free courses. You can support me with your views, your subscriptions and your donations on Patreon. Thank you