Saturday, March 13, 2010
Photo Number 132
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***Update from Norkio about the dress***Without seeing the back of the dress it's hard to date, but I'll say in general 1880-1890. There was a period of time between the Early Bustle and Late Bustle period that was called Natural Form (1877-1882) and did not feature the exaggerated backside. The view in this picture suggests the Natural Form because as we have seen in other photos, ladies wearing bustles often sat or stood in such a way as to show the bustle behind them. The skirt of this dress with all it's pleating looks to me like a skirt that has been altered from its original purpose. If it is a so-called natural form dress and the owner remade a bustle skirt, that would account for all the horizontal pleats. Frankly, it's unattractive to my eye what with that one big fold going right round her hips. The pleated trim at the edge of the over skirt suggests to me that it is a "repurposed" skirt, in particular it tends to drape down in the front, which is associated with the bustle aprons. The bodice doesn't really shout of any era. The hairstyle is rather generic as well. The lady may not have been of much means or have much interest in fashion.