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.

Evening Dress

© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Richard Haughton

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Evening Dress

c. 1900

Jean-Philippe Worth
C. Worth 50 939
Pale green silk chiffon and velvet; S-curve silhouette; appliqué of plant pattern; sequin and cord embroidery with water's-edge pattern.
Inventory Number(s)
AC3885 81-25-1AB

The flowing S-curve silhouette of this dress is typical of its time. A water's-edge pattern and plant pattern, lined up in a coordinated fashion, is appliquéd and embroidered onto thin silk chiffon and expressed three-dimensionally. The influence of Art Nouveau, a decorative art style popular from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th, is evident.
It seems as if the plant pattern arranged on the skirt is of Japanese iris, blooming on the waterfront. This stylized pattern makes one recall the plants that appear in the sketch collection supervised by the artists Eugène Grasset (1845–1917) and E.A. Séguy (1889-1985) who were affected on Japonism. These stylized designs were first applied to textiles. Wooden furniture, flower vases, lighting, and various other products were later characterized by the Art Nouveau style.