1894 Late Victorian Seaside Day Dress Ensemble

This 1895 dress design was inspired by the seaside day wear from this period and i confess it has a slight vaudevillian bent, i can't help myself sometimes. Women around this period where becoming more active and so there is plenty of reference pictures that illuminate these vibrant and playful ensembles. This kind of ensemble was considered very practical for an outing at the beach, but if you have ever worn one you will realise just how absurd that is!

This ensemble was custom made and does include all underpinnings, the chemise, corset and petticoat. The foundation garments inform the period silhouette and is essential to accurately capture the period from which these outfits came. This garment was made for the screen and so accuracy and the finer details where closely considered and also finished perfectly.

A little about my process for period cutting.

Initially when designing and/or making to re-create such an historically accurate garment. I reference existing garments from the period and also books such as Janet Arnold to inform the pattern making, construction and finishing techniques that are often quite different to modern day garment design and construction. From here i consider what foundation garments are required to illustrate the appropriate silhouette. If like in this 1895 seaside ensemble they are required to be custom made they are the first part of the process. From here measurements will be retaken after the body has been appropriately padded and pulled in and resembles the specific period body shape. I have included these images of the corset, petticoat and chemise i constructed for you to view.

From here if time is available a toile is constructed. I have included the final toile images of this garment which is constructed out of calico for you to view. This can be an incredibly important step for the designer or client. In this part of the process; fit, proportions and design lines are addressed and then palette, fabrics, trims and finishing etc are finalised. Here discussions with myself- the cutter; the designer, actor/actress, choreographer and director can discuss any specific requirements that may not have yet been considered like movement and action. The cutter can make the appropriate modifications and then properly construct the costume/garment.

I hope you enjoy the pictures, i had to restrain myself from using all of them because i just adored this period and concept.