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Opera cloak

Jean-Philippe Worth1897/1900

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

A froth of lace and fine silk frames the neck and shoulders of this elegant opera cloak by the French couturier Worth. Layers of diaphanous fabrics are gathered onto a pink satin foundation to create the ruff-like effect. Curved steel supports attached to the lining at the shoulders emphasise the fashionable sweeping silhouette as it falls away into the main body of the gown.

The couturier has left the folds of damask comparatively unadorned as he wished to focus attention on the face of the wearer. He also intended to highlight the richness of the woven silk satin where feather-like leaves and trailing flowers cascade down the latticework trellis, partly softened by festoons of lace.

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