Creativity, Fashion Features

Friday Fashion Feature: Southwest Styled 1885 Ensemble

Once again, I have another find from the Metropolitan Museum of Art . . . I think that may be the case for a while, as I can’t stop finding things I like there!

Today, I want to share this unique dress from ca. 1885.  I’ve always loved the shape of this time period, and the creative design of this ensemble really catches my attention.

Part of the dress description is as follows:

This dress belonged to Amelia Beard Hollenback (1844-1918), wife of the prominent financier and philanthropist John Welles Hollenback (1835-1927). . .Like many of the garments in Hollenback gift, this dress was most likely custom-made by a Brooklyn-based dressmaker. The unusual color and intriguing use of solid and striped wool fabric in this day dress has a folkloric aesthetic, which may have been inspired by an Amelia Hollenback’s travels through the Southwest. The inventive asymmetrical draping shows a high level of sophistication and design sensibility that was atypical for a day dress.

Gotta love the way the skirt is draped. . . and the way the fabric is laid out on the bodice!
Take a look at all those little knife pleats at the bottom of the skirt.  Wow.
The detail and design of this dress really catch my attention.  I like the colors too.  You can visit the page for this dress here.
What do you like about this dress? What do you not like?

Creatively Yours,
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1 thought on “Friday Fashion Feature: Southwest Styled 1885 Ensemble”

  1. I first saw photos of this dress on the Met's web site, and I immediately started making plans to sew myself one like it. 🙂

    What I like best about this dress is how the skirt is draped: simple, graceful, beautiful. I LOVE the way the skirt is pinned up on the side. I'm not crazy about the shape of the contrast on the bodice, although it makes sense, given the inspirations for the dress as a whole (Southwestern).


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