This is a wonderful piece of Victorian fashion! It is a black and lavender 2 piece silk gown. This dress is so unusual because of the graphic print on the fabric. This dress is made of the softest silk I have ever touched! The dress has a boned bodice and a long skirt.
The bodice has tuxedo pleats at the front. Surrounding the pleats, the collar, and the sleeves is black net lace. The sleeves are gathered at the top and the bottom to give them a full look. The bottoms of the sleeves are tight and have 2 paste buttons that look like cuff links, but are actually decorative. The front has two rows of cut steel buttons, one row which actually closes the top and the other which is decorative. (2 buttons are missing, one which has been replaced with a button that does not match). The top part of the bodice closes with hooks and eyes. The dress is lined with a heavy beige cotton.
The skirt is heavily gathered at the back to create a bustle look. There are pleats at the front of the skirt. The hem of the skirt is lined in a heavy black velvet. The skirt is lined, like the bodice, in cotton fabric.
The condition of this dress is wonderful considering the age. As I said before, there are a couple of missing buttons. Also, the silk has some weak areas and some holes in the underarms. The underarms are also faded. There are 3 or 4 areas of wear either at the ends of the boning or along the edge of it. Also, the closure area of the skirt has some wear and tears (I tried to show this in the pictures)The lace has very little wear, it has a hole here and there, but not bad. The lace has also faded some to an almost purple color. This silk is not perfect, it does have some holes and worn spots, but I think it is in great condition considering its age as well as the fact that it is silk.
Measurements: Skirt: Waist band: 30 inches around Length Front (waistband to hem): 36 inches Length Back (waistband to hem): 35.5 inches
Bodice: Arm Length (top of shoulder to bottom of sleeve): 24 inches Bust (seam to seam at front): 17 inches Waist (seam to seam at front): 13 inches Length (top of collar to bottom at back): 21.5 inches Shoulder Width (shoulder seam to shoulder seam): 12.5 inches