While doing some research on the ballerina Anna Pavlova I found this formal portrait of her wearing an extraordinarily beautiful lace dress with a train and a lace shawl or cape. This is not a wedding dress. It is just one of the many glamorous gowns she collected and wore in her normal non dancing life. She loved fashion and dressed exquisitely. And made sure she was photographed in fashionable attire as well as her dance costumes. And she spent a fortune on jewels, furs and designer gowns. It was necessary part of building her image. This gown appears to be an empire waist creation with short sleeves that is belted with a soft cumberbund under the bust. The skirt is longer that floor length in front and extends into a flowing train behind her. The shawl or cape is a diaphanous lace creation. I cannot find any information on the designer of the dress or the occasion for which she wore it. Knowing Pavlova she may have acquired it solely for the purpose of wearing for a photo shoot. She carefully constructed her public image as a star ballerina and artistic beauty through publicity photos designed to present her as a great beauty. This was a common practice for stage performers at the time. ( As it is today!) There are many photos of Helen Haze in equally exotic fashionable attire as well. These women were well aware of the powerful allure their images held for their adoring public. I love this style and era of fashion.
Posts Tagged ‘Lace’
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
I have recently become interested in figuring out what kind of lace is in items in my collection. Here is a lovely silk satin crepe dress – vintage 1980’s – that features an Alencon lace border around the bottom of the skirt and additional appliques of matching lace at locations of hips, shoulders and the back closure.
Here is a closeup of the lace border on the hem. It is 50 inches in circumference and 5.5 inches wide which is a considerable amount of this very valuable and exquisite lace.
The beading was added to enhance the lavish lace decoration after the lace was applied to the dress. The hips are further enhanced with matching Alencon lace appliques which additionally are embroidered with the beads and little hanging beads shaped like Baroque pearl teardrops.
These little suspended pearl beads actually swing and add movement to the dress as the wearer moves. The detailing is extraordinary! It is common to use small amounts of this lovely lace in this way to embellish bridal veils and gowns, make lace cuff bracelets and decorate sashes, thereby enjoying the beauty of small amounts of this lace which is very expensive in large pieces or quantities. I have found it listed at about $150 a yard and higher lately. That was before the addition of beads and pearls!
Here is a side view of the decorations at the hips.
Here is a closeup photo of the flutter style double layer sleeves.
And a closeup of the shoulder area Alencon lace applique.
Note the lovely tiny scalloped hemming on the edges of the flower-like sleeves making them tie in with the flowers in the lace motif!
And finally, the back view of this lovely well made dress with a tiny bit of bead embellished Alencon lace used to decorate the back single button closure as a final accent in subtle beauty.
I know nothing yet about the designer/maker of this dress but here is the designer’s label ~ the artist’s signature to this artistic dress creation. Please let me know if you know anything about this designer. I have looked all over the internet and have not been able to locate them. I would like to know more. His or her work is incredible! And deserves appreciation!
This classic dress is a size 10 in contemporary Misses sizing. It is listed for sale in my Etsy Store ladyviolettedecourcy.
You can access the listing by visiting http://www.etsy.com/listing/98344007/exquistie-ecru-silk-satin-antique-beaded
More coming on Alencon Lace soon ……..