Always in Style: Dresses from 1775 - 1969

National Museum of Denmark

Highlights from the collection at National Museum of Denmark

Always in Style
Highlights from the collection at National Museum of Denmark

Morning dress

The costume is of silk with quilts en piqué. It belonged to a member of the gentry, family von Arenstorff.

Robe á Manteau

Manteau and skirt made of red silk, decorated with lace and flowers of the same fabric.

Robe á Manteau

Manteau in yellow silk. The design of the fabric could be the work of Anna Maria Garthwaite, one of the leading Spitalfield weavers in the 1740s.

Cotton dress

A dress in "english" style with back and front quite similar. This comfortable style was becoming fashionable in Denmark in the 1770s. The fabric is white cotton with printed flowers.

White dress a l’empire

The dress is made of white mull decorated with yellow leaves. Such thin fabrics were considered quite revealing and leading the wearer to ‘dress in French and freeze in Danish’ . The by classical Greece and Rome inspired dress supposedly belonged to Hedvig Marie West, née Schumacher (1805-79).

Knitted orange dress

The dress is knitted of orange wool, in a technique called "Ajour". Knitting became very fashionable in the beginning of the 19th centry. The dress belonged to a member of the gentry, family Cederfeld de Simonsen, Erholm.

Summer dress

Summer dress made of purple cotton with print in white and mauve. In the mid- 19th. century,, dresses made of washable cotton or linen fabric became popular. The dress has so-called "gabrielle"-sleeves.

Ball gown

Green ball gown with train, which belonged to Danish Queen Louise (1817 – 1898). The dress is made in green satin, dyed with aniline, a novelty invented in the mid-century offering new colours and shades.


Formal day dress made of blue wool, with trimmings in black velvet.

Beige dress

Dress in beige silk taffeta, highly fashionably trimmed with lace, frills and other effects. The dress was bought at the fashionable "Goldschmidt's Magasin" at Amagertorv in Copenhagen and belonged to Mrs. Anna Hechscher (d. 1917).

Yellow evening gown with train

The yellow silk gown from 1914 is made by Paris fashion designer Worth and belonged to Danish Queen Alexandrine (1879 – 1952). It is decorated with pink roses, made out of silk fabric and two “waterfalls” in yellow chiffon with sequins.

“Charleston” dress

Dress made of orange silk georgette, embroidered with pearls. Bought in the fashionable department store “Illum” in Copenhagen, 1926. The prize was then 300 kr. The dress belonged to Mrs. Nørlund, née Møller.

Summer evening gown

Long, 2-piece gown made of cotton lace. The colour is ecru, decorated with gold stamp. It belonged to Mrs. Inger Schrøder.

Evening gown

Long evening gown, made of rust duchess satin. The dress belonged to Mrs. Alice Henriques (1904-85).

Evening gown

Pierre Balmain’s spring collection 1969 featured this very typical A-shaped evening gown ’Vienne’ in ivory and rose coloured silk with underscored quadrangles, designed by Danish Erik Mortensen. The fashionable gown also served as model for Danish costumers in Magasin du Nord’s dress parlour that season.

Credits: Story

Photos by Roberto Fortuna & Peter Danstrøm (CC-BY-SA).

All rights belong to the National Museum of Denmark unless otherwise stated. More photos of fashion in our collections can be found here

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