15 thoughts on “The Duchess Deep Dive: Bess’s Party Dress

  1. Hah, I also totally nailed that lace as being in my stash! (I’ve gotten it from Joyce Trimming before, unclear if they still have it)

  2. Fabulous! Thank you so much! I luvvv the extra info on the suitability of the hair and adored the trim, especially that used in the image of “Dress, 1775–80, probably British, Metropolitan Museum of Art”… I will most certainly have an attempt at recreating that from scratch. Much fun! :) I am amazed at the Jean-Urbain Guérin portrait of Georgiana and Bess. They do look SO alike in profile; I wonder how much of a true likeness it is and whether Guérin was asked to exaggerate their similarities. I adore the neo – classical, ‘mythological Graces’, gowns that they are wearing – sort of Chemise a la reine but with interesting, theatrical differences. Wasn’t Georgina presented with her first Chemise a la reine by her good friend Marie Antoinette? I believe that she certainly made it fashionable in Britain. Is this so? Many huge thanks again.

  3. Tangential to this post, HA was seen with Tom Cruise at Wimbledon recently, and is rumored to have converted to the “S” religion for him.oppp

    1. There’s not much hair powder to be seen, period. The English weren’t quite as into powder as the French, but it’s definitely something that would show up in this era for something this formal.

  4. 1782 hair might not have been high any longer, but it certainly went wider, based off the photograph used for the example.

  5. I love your look on all the details (although I don’t understand the focus on the same movie again and again). Great work and I’ excited to see and read more.

  6. Did they put the stomacher over the top of the gown? I can’t see properly, but that’s a big mistake, if they did! Stomachers were always worn under gowns, which were put on like a coat over the top.
    Although many of the costumes in the movie were great, I couldn’t get over how the actresses walked. They should have glided, but they trotted, and all that hair wobbled with every step. Ungainly!
    And yes, for a formal occasion like a ball, hair would have been powdered. You could get brown powder.

  7. Ooooh, thanks so much for introducing me to rococo ribbon and Aliexpress!!!

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