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Gaudy? Too much? Today we hear a lot about natural dyes, but aniline dyes (synthetic, chemical dyes for garments first invented in the 19th century) were extremely exciting & fashionable when they were first discovered in the 1850s! Soon after they started to be called tasteless.This ensemble was created by Nicola Bowery for John Joseph Lyndon to wear to the first Lobe Ball AIDS benefit in 1989, an event characterized by the fantastical fashions worn by many of the guests. It is made entirely from repurposed garments. Read more!Designed by Amédée François during the early 1880s, this blue silk day dress exemplifies the popular styles of the period. Covered in lavish embellishments, the dress consists of a bustle and train with a large blue silk bow at the rear. Read more!This 1859 ensemble has a gold, two-tiered skirt and pagoda sleeves, both of which are edged in a red, green, and peach floral brocade pattern. It has a round-necked bodice with a frayed v-shaped seam above the bust and frayed edges. Read more!The banyan is a loose-fitted informal robe or gown typically worn by men in the late 17th to the early 19th centuries. It rose to prominence in 18th-century Europe due to trade with Asia and became a symbol of wealth and sophistication. Read more!Produced by the Asante peoples in Ghana, adinkra is a flat, cotton textile that is stamped with symbols which create the meaning of the garment. After kente, adinkra is the second most famous Asante textile tradition. Read more!1938 saw an exuberance in women’s fashion with vibrant colors, ornate hats, and surrealistic accessories. American women turned to Hollywood stars and other celebrities such as Joan Crawford and Wallis Simpson for fashion inspiration. Read more!A dashiki is a loose-fitting pullover tunic traditionally worn in Western African cultures that was eventually adopted by African diasporic communities as a symbol of African heritage. Read more!Vivienne Westwood and Malcom Mclaren’s 1977 “God Save the Queen” t-shirt features a bold graphic of Queen Elizabeth II by Jamie Reid, and became an iconic representation of early British Punk style and anti-fashion. Read more!Togas are the highly recognizable draped white garment made of undyed cloth worn by men throughout the Roman empire as a sign of citizenship. Today the toga may now be better known for its use for parties in popular culture. Read more!Christian Dior’s 1948 ‘Eugénie’ ball gown designed for his ‘Zig Zag’ collection, proves to be a frothy, feminine gown which draws upon 19th century inspiration all while keeping in line with his famous New Look. Read more!James Tissot’s 1876 painting ‘Summer’ features a woman standing in a doorway wearing a sheer muslin dress trimmed with yellow bows, which was fashionable for the time. Over the years he repeated this dress in several paintings. Read more!Paul Cézanne’s 1870 painting, ‘The Conversation’ proves to not only be a depiction of fashionable dress during the time, but also injects a political charge reflecting the turmoil of France’s war with Prussia, and his own mental state. Read more!1867 womenswear saw an increasing popularity of princess-cut dresses, in addition to a greater emphasis on back volume as the crinoline made its exit. Highly decorative double skirts were also fashionable embellished in various trims. Read more!Despite the limited visibility of the garments, the figures depicted in Henry Lerolle’s The Organ Rehearsal can be seen as a fashionable group of churchgoers to 1885 standards — complete with plumed hats and bustled skirts. Read more!This 1855 day dress proves to be very fashionable for the time with various decorative elements such a fringe and bold patterns, reflecting the rise of voluminous garments and heavy embellishments that became so popular. Read more!

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