Museum Purchase: Auxiliary Costume Fund. 1998.13A-B
Jacques Doucet (1853-1929), the fashion designer, who came to rival Charles Frederick Worth as one of the top international couturiers of the late nineteenth century, established his couture fashion house in the late 1870s. Fame soon followed. Doucet was sought out by rich clients from around the world as they flocked to Paris to shop for one-of-a-kind fashions. This exceptionally beautiful Doucet Ball Gown in the Fashion Collection dates to circa 1890. This gown comprises a separate bodice and skirt and is a marvel of complex construction. The bodice alone is composed of nearly four dozen separate pattern pieces; with a comparable number comprising the bodice’s inner lining elements. Multiple pattern pieces, totaling forty-eight components, create the chevron design of the skirt; while the back of the gown’s skirt is made of a woven black and white silk.