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Corsets and Crinolines - unique vintage clothing

Hattas Ballgown

Hattas Ballgown
This extravagant ballgown was made by Hattas of Liverpool. It is made from a very heavy fancy corded silk (the cording in the silk is different sizes) in the bodice, which has elbow-length sleeves made from black Battenburg tape-lace. The front of the bodice is also made from gathered tape-lace, which was called a Moliére front. It has a black chiffon collar which is totally concealed by row upon row of closely packed matte spangles and twinkling jet beads. The same spangles and jet run down the front of the bodice, either side of the Moliére front.
The skirt is made from black silk and is overlaid with black cotton voile which is figured with a meandering pattern of ribbon bows. The bows have been outlined with black jet beads. The hem of the figured voile is weighted down with elaborate passementerie motifs in sequins and jet, and the skirt is lined throughout with a crisp, rustling black silk. The voile overskirt does not cover the frou-frou frills around the hem, which are made from plain black voile, edged with spangles. Each frill has been separately faced with a crisp rustling black frill, and there are more rustling frills inside the skirt.
This would have been worn by a mature married woman, as it is too elaborate and fussy for a young woman.
(Milford-Cottam Collection)