KCIDigital Archives

The KCI Digital Archives on the KCI website presents image and text information for the objects in the collection, arranged in chronological order.

Ball Gown

© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Richard Haughton

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Ball Gown

c. 1888

Rouff Paris
Pale green silk satin embroidered with silver threads and sequins; set of bodice and skirt; train of gold silk brocade with plant pattern.
Inventory Number(s)
AC7068 92-5-3AB

The leaf pattern on the impressive silk brocade of the train evokes Japonisme, as one can see either a fern or a basho (Japanese banana) in its design. This motif is similar to a Japanese textile in the collection of Musée des Tissus et des Arts Décoratifs, Lyon; using this Japanese textile as an image source, the possibility that this textile was made in Lyon is large. In the second half of the 19th century, Lyon silk manufactures who produced the materials used in Paris "Haute Couture" kept their eyes to the popular Japonism trend as a new design source.
In the latter half of the 1880s the bustle reduced in size, and the entire dress changed to a more simple style. At the rear of the skirt, vestiges of the bustle style remained, but the extreme forms of the bustle style were simplified and toned down.