This walking dress elegantly contrasts shimmering blue silk taffeta with matte black velvet. Three wide ruffles depict an à disposition woven pattern that also appears on a smaller scale on the edges of the jacket peplum. Little jackets that were open in front and had tails that seemed to form the uppermost flounce of the dress became very popular around 1855. The tails of this tailored jacket are slit at the sides and in the back and fall gracefully over the skirt. The jacket fastens at the waist by means of hook and eyes. The edges of the jacket front parts have lapels that widen upwards before leading into a slim collar. The long sleeves become somewhat wider toward the cuffs, which are covered with patterned velvet. The bodice is fully lined in silk and has whalebone stays in the front that are reinforced with linen ribbon. The unlined skirt is laid in finest folds at the waist. The luxuriant trim, with silk chenille fringes that end in small ornamental wooden beads, was very fashionable. While they are long on the hem edge of the jacket, they are sized accordingly along the course of the lapel. Such decorations, individually tailored to the specific gown, increased the already considerable cost incurred by the lavish use of materials.


  • Title: Blue Walking Dress
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: ca. 1855
  • Stylistic point of origin: England
  • Rights: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Stephan Klonk │ Text © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Christine Waidenschlager
  • Provenance: 2003 Kamer/Ruf collection; 1996 Phillips, London, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Length: Lap jacket: fl. 55 cm, bl. 53 cm, skirt: fl./bl. 96 cm
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018417
  • Type: Dress
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/kunstgewerbemuseum/home.html
  • Medium: Blue silk taffeta with black velvet pattern, white linen ribbon, whalebone; trim: silk chenille, wooden pearls, black loop ribbon; lining: white silk, black cotton gauze, black wool tress

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