Edwardian Gown Eye Candy

This fabulous vintage Edwardian dress was recently brought to my attention by one of you fabulous readers. It is for sale on eBay for $2,250! I certainly won’t be purchasing this original, but I absolutely think it is something to add to my body of inspirational images of clothing for future projects… The seller has included many pictures of the dress as well as background information on the dressmaker and a detailed description of the garment. I have included some of that information in addition to pictures for you to view here in this post.

The lace is exquisite! The rhinestones add even more sparkle! I love that there are pictures which show the closures and construction details. I classify this gown as “drool-worthy.” What do you think? Do you like it? Or not? Why?

Some of the information from the eBay seller, labellevintage_inc:

“This was created by Mrs. Catherine Donovan who was originally from Ireland (b.1826) and studied fashion in Paris. She owned the couture shop “MRS. C. DONOVAN & CO” which was located at 29 East 55th St.in New York. Her dresses in 1910 were billed at $100 and up which was extravagant as a gown from her would cost over $4,000 today!

Many of her garments are found in Museums throughout the world. There are 4 dresses at the Metropolitan Museum of Art alone. But the detailing and workmanship of these garments are worth every penny in my opinion.

This is made of peach satin (formerly peach silk) and covered in exquisite ivory lace with re-embroidered patterns done with silk thread. The lace gives hints of Orientalism (which was made popular by Paul Poiret ) with its Royal Pavillion shapes on the back panels. The rosette and belt details are done in peach silk.

This enchanting garment features a fitted satin strapless bodice covered with a blouson bodice of lace. The bodice features a low square neckline and the dolman sleeves are short. Both the neckline and arms are decorated with cream glass and gold painted cut steel beads. There is an inner netted bodice which helps with the weight of the dress.

The empire waist is decorated with a ruched sash which is adorned with rhinestones, each individually sewn on a gold lame’ backing in the shape of a buckle.

The straight satin skirt is covered in two tiers of lace at the front. Each tier is decorated with cream glass beads and gold steel cut beads in a chevron shape. The tier is separated with a silk band featuring a large silk rosette. The top tier is adorned with crystal cut glass beads around the hemline.

The back has a surplice detail on the bodice with the silk band closing at the back decorated with more rhinestones.

The lace skirt is made of 3 tiers with one extra panel which attaches to the finger as a drape or can be left hanging as a short train. The top tier and second tier are both decorated with crystal cut glass beads.

This closes with several snaps, hook & eyes and tiny crochet buttons at the back.”

Thank you, Kimberly, for bringing this dress to my attention!

5 thoughts on “Edwardian Gown Eye Candy

  1. Eye candy indeed. The lace looks so delicate, and the peach silk sets it off. Thank you for the detail photos of the closures; that’s something I am still trying to figure out. Loved the variety of beading, especially the beadwork around the neckline and bottom of the tiers. Seems that would help the drape of the fabric.

    This is very similar to an Edwardian gown I have on the drawing board for a wedding dress. The lace I have is not quite as delicate, has a more pronounced pattern, but still a beautiful piece of fabric. Although I love the chevrons in the pictured gown I think the lace design in my fabric would be too bold to duplicate this look. I have a pale, pale pink silk for the under dress. I have been tooling around with the design for a while and had been afraid it would look like it was made of lace curtains. These photos have eased my mind a bit. Thank you so much for sharing these great photos.

  2. Hi, just thought I would pass on that I am now the proud owner of this gown! And thanks to reading your blog confirmed my desires to own this dress. My wedding is in September 2013 in the UK and this is the first ever dress I have looked at and thought, wow. Ally xx

  3. Thank you, this gown will be handled with the up most care and adornment that it deserves. And after I may consider giving it the love and appreciation it deserves by having it put into my local museum, the Bowes Museum. x

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