Ball gown dating from 1898. Originally created for and worn by a young lady in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The original dress was in three layers. with a silk under layer. a layer of silk organza and an over layer of machine lace with large “frou-frou” ruffles around the hem.


This reproduction was created with the intent of functioning as a wedding dress for a client. The bodice is boned between the lining and the outer layer. Since this was for a client the bodice lining is bagged, meaning there are no exposed seams. Finishing such as this would be done only for a garment intended for a single wearer. The draped lace sleeves are in two layers. and hand attached to the arm’s eye as was done in the original garment. There are 16 buttons of cream enamel and pastel jewels on metal backing, and sixteen buttonholes.

The skirt used for this garment is from an 1893 French dinner dress, found in the Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion volume 2. This choice was made as the client wished for a longer train than the original 7-gore skirt that would have been worn for use while dancing. A feature of the skirt not clearly delineated in the photograph: is the chevron effect achieved with careful cutting of the fabric to ensure the matching of the satin weave and the moiré stripes. The effect from the back as the wearer moves away from the observer is stunning with the spread of the train accentuating the upsweep of the striping from the fan.

Contact Designer John Richardson ​or Chris Piehler ​today for a complimentary consultation:

678-596-4019 /